Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference (2016)

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Dziobczenski, P. & Person, O. (2016). What is sought from graphic designers? A first thematic analysis of job offers for graphic design positions in the United Kingdom (2016). Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, pp. 705 – 718. Doi: 10.21606/drs.2016.404


An empirically grounded understanding about which knowledge and skills that are sought from designers is missing for a number of professional subfields of design. This gap in research challenges (1) design educators in planning their educational offerings and (2) design practitioners and students in articulating their contribution to clients and future employers. In this paper, we study the references that are made to knowledge and skills in job offers for graphic designers in UK. Based on a first thematic analysis of 1,406 job offers, we distinguish four main knowledge areas for graphic designers in terms of i) operational design skills, ii) process management skills, iii) technical design skills and iv) software skills. We note that expertise in 2D software, teamwork, project planning and administration, creativity and aesthetic as well as detailing and production emerge as the most frequently mentioned skills across the offers.

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Strategic Design Integration and Management research group (SDIM) is at the Department of Design, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Finland