Market Focus - Graphic Designers
By Irene Cherkassky
In direct marketing, it's always important to have creative that stands out and makes an impact. Stunning creative may be even more imperative when you're reaching out to graphic designers. After all, these folks are paid to know and create good design.
According to Rick Grefé, executive director for the New York City-based American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the professional association for design, there are "160,000 graphic designers of the kind we normally consider fully qualified." And approximately another 320,000 have engaged in some aspect of graphic design at a more amateur level, according to the organization.
And forget about the cliché of the starving artist. Graphic artists are, for the most part, a well-to-do group. "Although the demand for graphic designers has somewhat declined since the dot-com boom, this is still a very lucrative career," says Jeremy Johnson, account manager for Peterborough, N.H.-based Millard Group Inc. "I've seen nationwide surveys that indicate a graphic designer hired for an entry level position can expect to receive around $35,000 to $40,000, with some individuals making well over $100,000." Overall, this is a well-educated group, with most employers requiring graphic designers to come equipped with a college education, even for entry-level positions.
These professionals are technologically savvy, having long ago traded paper and pencils for the computer screen and mouse. Tools of the trade now include software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign, just to name a few. And, since both hardware and software continually are being upgraded, these professionals need to keep up with the latest trends in technology. Therefore, software and hardware offers are of particular interest to them. Apple's Macintosh computer systems often are the standard in this field. "Some of my general software and technology mailers have mailed to the graphic design lists with success," adds Johnson. "However, we have experienced limited success mailing art-related offers to this market."