Explore Careers - Job Market Report

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Graphic Designers and Illustrators  (NOC 5241)
Vancouver Island and Coast Region
Description |  Titles |  Duties |   Related Occupations

Graphic designers conceptualize and produce graphic art and visual materials to effectively communicate information for publications, advertising, films, packaging, posters, signs and interactive media such as Web sites and CD-ROMs. They are employed by advertising and graphic design firms, by establishments with advertising or communications departments and by multimedia production companies, or they may be self-employed. Graphic designers who are also supervisors, project managers or consultants are included in this unit group. Illustrators conceptualize and create illustrations to represent information through images. They are almost solely self-employed.

advertising designer, animator – animated films, cartoonist, commercial artist, cybergraphic designer, graphic artist, graphic designer, graphic designer – multimedia, graphic designer – multimedia, interactive or new media, illustrator, layout designer, medical illustrator, multimedia illustrator, scientific illustrator.

Graphic designers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Consult with clients to establish the overall look, graphic elements and content of communications materials in order to meet their needs
  • Determine the medium best suited to produce the desired visual effect and the most appropriate vehicle for communication
  • Develop the graphic elements that meet the clients' objectives
  • Prepare sketches, layouts and graphic elements of the subjects to be rendered using traditional tools, multimedia software and image processing, layout and design software
  • Estimate cost of materials and time to complete graphic design
  • Use existing photo and illustration banks and typography guides or hire an illustrator or photographer to produce images that meet clients' communications needs
  • Establish guidelines for illustrators or photographers
  • Co-ordinate all aspects of production for print, audio-visual or electronic materials, such as Web sites, CD-ROMs, interactive terminals, etc.
  • Co-ordinate sub-contracting
  • Work in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Supervise other graphic designers or graphic arts technicians.
Illustrators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Consult with clients to determine the nature and content of illustrations in order to meet their communications needs
  • Develop and produce realistic or representational sketches and final illustrations, by hand or using computer-assisted design (CAD) software, for printed materials such as books, magazines, packaging, greeting cards, stationery, etc.
  • Assist in developing storyboards for electronic productions such as multimedia, interactive and digital products, television advertising and productions, etc.
  • Produce 2-D and 3-D animated drawings or computer illustrations
  • May adapt existing illustrations.

Illustrators may specialize in a particular field such as illustrations for children, advertising, editorials, humour, or medical, scientific or technical illustration, or multimedia design.

Included Cities in Region | Service Canada Offices

Victoria, Campbell River, Colwood, Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni, Comox, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Port McNeill, Qualicum Beach, Sidney, View Royal, Cumberland, Sooke

View a list of Service Canada offices in this area.

Education & Job Requirements for Graphic Designers and Illustrators in Vancouver Island and Coast Region

Education and job requirements can vary by region. Workers in regulated occupations require a licence to work legally. Workers in non-regulated occupations do not require a licence, but employers may have other certification requirements.

Employment Requirements

Employment requirements are prerequisites generally needed to enter an occupation.

  • A university degree in visual arts with specialization in graphic design, commercial art, graphic communications or cartooning
    or
    Completion of a college diploma program in graphic arts is required.
  • Experience or training in multimedia design at a post-secondary, college or technical institution may be required.
  • In addition to the arts, training in biology, engineering, architecture or a scientific field is usually required for medical, technical and scientific illustrators.
  • Creative ability and artistic talent, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required for graphic designers and illustrators.

Regulation by Province/Territory

Some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province, your licence may not be accepted in other provinces or territories. Consult the table below to determine in which province or territory your occupation/trade is regulated.

Table of job opportunities for your chosen occupation at the provincial or territorial level.
Province and Territory Regulation
Alberta
Not regulated
British Columbia
Not regulated
Manitoba
Not regulated
New Brunswick
Not regulated
Newfoundland and Labrador
Not regulated
Northwest Territories
Not regulated
Nova Scotia
Not regulated
Nunavut
Not regulated
Ontario
Not regulated
Prince Edward Island
Not regulated
Québec
Not regulated
Saskatchewan
Not regulated
Yukon
Not regulated

Education Programs

Programs in the order in which they are most likely to supply graduates to this occupation (Graphic Designers and Illustrators):

Apprenticeship Grants

There are two types of Apprenticeship Grants available from the Government of Canada:
  • The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a taxable cash grant of $1,000 per year, up to a maximum of $2,000 per person. This grant helps registered apprentices in designated Red Seal trades get started.
  • The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a taxable cash grant of $2,000. This grant helps registered apprentices who have completed their training become certified journeypersons in designated Red Seal trades.
[ Source: CanLearn - HRSDC ]
Information for Newcomers

Fact Sheet for Internationally Trained Individuals

Are you an internationally trained individual looking for guidance on foreign credential recognition in your profession in Canada? This occupational fact sheet can help you by providing information on:

  • the general requirements to work in your profession
  • the steps that you can take to find the most reliable sources of information

Information and Communications Technology (PDF Format - Size: 717 KB)

Credential Assessment

Provincial credential assessment services assess academic credentials for a fee. Contact a regulatory body or other organization to determine if you need an assessment before spending money on one that is not required or recognized.

The assessment will tell you how your education compares with educational standards in the province or territory where you are planning to settle can help you in your job search.

Please consult the Vancouver Island and Coast Region and British Columbia tabs for more useful information related to education and job requirements.