GRAPHIC DESIGN IS ONE OF THE MOST flexible careers imaginable. From the types of places where you can work to the different jobs that you can do, the combinations are nearly infinite. You can join the ranks of established Fortune 500 companies, or march to your own tune as a self-employed freelancer. You can work from your home office in your pajamas, or put on a suit and tie and direct an advertising agency. You can even make movies for Disney! Graphic designers are the renaissance artists of the 21st century. The graphic designer is a true artist, drawing inspiration from everywhere - television shows, food, clothing styles, faraway places, nature, and interesting people. Unlike starving artists of days gone by, however, these highly skilled individuals are well paid to create art in the Digital Age. They influence every area of our culture, and continually have more and more input into every area of society. These artists are responsible for creating clothes, furniture, signs, websites, books, magazines, commercials, home appliances, cars, traffic signals, product packaging, the layout of city parks and tourist attractions, and even driverless cars. They deliver messages through visual concepts, designed to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. Graphic designers use a variety of print, electronic, and video media to create the designs that meet commercial needs of employers and clients. Using computer applications, they develop the overall layout and design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications. They also may produce promotional displays and marketing brochures for products and services, develop distinctive company brands, and create signs and signage systems (called environmental graphics) for business and government. They help users navigate websites and produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies. One of the most compelling aspects of graphic design is that it is always changing. The technology used gets updated constantly. There are always new versions of software to learn, new techniques to apply, new strategies to try out. Getting a design job usually requires a four-year college or art school degree, but graduation is not the end of a designer’s education. Lifelong learning is needed to succeed in this field. The specialties of web design, animation, video entertainment, and user experience, are currently seeing the most job growth, but the whole industry is seeing an uptick. There is the potential to make nearly six figures in this career if you are highly skilled and choose a hot specialty. Most designers will not obtain that level of success, but every designer can build a rewarding and satisfying career. That could mean climbing the corporate ladder, working solo, or creating an independent agency or design studio. If you are creative, love to learn, speak Adobe, and are handy with a keyboard and mouse, graphic design could be a good fit for your career.