What does a Principal Graphic Designer do?

Graphic designers use their artistic abilities to communicate ideas, inform consumers, and solve problems. From the layout of a website to large images seen on billboards, graphic designers create visual concepts by hand or by computer to help others interpret the world around them through color, texture, images, and symbols. Graphic designers can be found in many industries and may be responsible for all aspects of a company's design process, or they might specialize in a particular field such as advertising, digital design, illustration, or branding. Some work independently as freelancers, while others are part of a design studio, a creative agency, or a corporate company.

Most graphic design positions require at least a Bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. However, graphic designers need creativity first and foremost, as well as knowledge of the industry's standard software.

What responsibilities are common for Principal Graphic Designer jobs?
  • Create and design various materials for print and digital collateral
  • Ensure projects are completed with high quality and on schedule
  • Establish creative direction for the company as well as brand guidelines
  • Prioritize and manage multiple projects within design specifications and budget restrictions
  • Perform retouching and manipulation of images
  • Work with a wide range of media and use graphic design software
What are the typical qualifications for Principal Graphic Designer jobs?
  • Bachelor's degree in graphic arts, design, communications, or related field
  • 3-5 years of experience in graphic design
  • Knowledge of layouts, graphic fundamentals, typography, print, and the web
  • Familiarity with HTML and CSS preferred
  • Knowledge of Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, Sketch, InDesign, and other graphic design software
  • Compelling portfolio of work over a wide range of creative projects
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent eye for detail
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Principal Graphic Designer make?

Confident
$85,711 /yr
Total Pay
$72,527
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$13,184
 /yr

Additional Pay

$85,711

 / yr
$53K$140K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Principal Graphic Designer Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal Graphic Designer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Team Lead Graphic Designer
$50,981/yr
Principal Graphic Designer
$85,711/yr
Principal Graphic Designer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
0%
2 - 4
100%
5 - 7
0%
8+
0%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Principal Graphic Designer Insights

Read what Principal Graphic Designer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
StoryBuiltStoryBuilt
Intermediate Designer
Aug 24, 2021

“One of the best things about Storybuilt is being able to work on some unique and fun projects.”

Sound PublishingSound Publishing
Graphic Artist
Aug 18, 2021

“Great team of artists; everyone is highly skilled and eager to get the job done.”

PreZentiumPreZentium
Senior Visual Designer
Mar 12, 2021

“Good payment for your work and recognises you if you and your work is worth of”

Hexagon NutritionHexagon Nutrition
Senior Graphic Designer
May 27, 2021

“It is a Great Place to work and they pay good remuneration as per skill / knowledge”

echoVMEechoVME
Graphic Designer
Nov 17, 2021

“plenty for my career and my team managers taught me a lot and worked as a great team on higher”

Liaison Creative + MarketingLiaison Creative + Marketing
Graphic Designer
Sep 15, 2021

“type agency like this (and I've worked for others) is pretty amazing.”

Anita Goodesign Anita Goodesign
Senior Graphic Designer
May 26, 2021

“There is no job security here no matter how well you do your job or how hard you work.”

Ashley FurnitureAshley Furniture
Graphic Designer
Jan 11, 2022

“Management is amazing has been great to work with when things pop up in my personal life.”

See More

Principal Graphic Designer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of graphic designers

Graphic designers use their creative skills to work on projects that convey information using visual concepts with words, art, and photos. They create artwork, layouts, and visual aesthetics for digital or print content by hand or with special computer software programs.

Graphic design is a great career for those with creative talents, as companies will always need graphic designers to create their corporate image and marketing materials. Magazines also rely heavily on graphic design teams. Graphic design is often at the forefront of a brand's image.

Graphic designers do get paid well. The average base pay for a graphic designer in the United States is $85,711 per year. Those in more senior positions or those employed at elite organizations can earn up to $139,540 per year.

Being a graphic designer is not generally a hard job, as they often get a great deal of artistic freedom. However, the nature of design approval is subjective, and some projects will have tight deadlines, which can result in increased pressure.

Related Careers

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No skills overlap
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Web Designer
$66,242
No skills overlap
Design Manager
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Principal Graphic Designer Jobs