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How Does a Graphic Designer Spend Their Time?

I get asked so often, "what does a graphic designer really do?" A graphic designer has a very complex job because there are so many tasks we must do in order to do our job well. If you have ever wondered what we are our thoughts.

The Misconceptions

Graphic design jobs have many misconceptions and they go all different ways. Some think we just doodle and draw on the computer. Some think we aren't really artists at all. Some see us as marketers or advertisers. And some think we have a really easy going and fun job. While some of these are true to an extent, none of them fully encompass what we do on a weekly or even on a daily basis. So who are we?

1. We are the sales people

If a designer owns their own business, they are salesman. Without this aspect of our business, we could not even get to the graphic design work. We must not only be creative in art, but also creative in the way that we are going to market our business and find clients that will work well with us. This includes hours of prospecting, networking, meetings, calls, emails, and so much more! And this is only the beginning....

2. We are the business people

As a graphic designer, we are not the same as a marketer, advertiser or business manager. But, we do take on each of these roles to an extent. This is not our main area of expertise but without great knowledge of these three areas, we could not begin to do our job well at all. So, we must stay educated and informed in these areas so that this can influence the other aspects of our business.

3. We are the thinkers, problem solvers, and strategists

Creativity is the cornerstone of what we do. It's not just that we sit and draw but creativity also includes business problems that we set out to solve. Creativity for us is listening and understanding a business' problems and finding a way to solve them through design. To do this, we spend hours researching and brainstorming so that we can creatively come up with a solution and help your business in the long run.

4. We are the artists

Once we find a concept and direction that works, we start sketching. This is where the fine art side of our jobs comes out. This is the best way to get many ideas down on paper efficiently and effectively before we start conducting graphic design on the computer.

5. We are the graphic artists

After we have conducted our ideas, drawn and illuminated the options that we don't like, we begin the process of translating our drawings onto the computer. This is what most people think the whole process of graphic design entails, but it is just one small part.

6. We are the learners

Our specific field is ALWAYS changing. We want to never stop learning. We want to always increase our knowledge in every area of our business. This includes business, marketing, advertising, strategy, positioning, design styles, design trends, design software, design skills and more. We want to never be stagnant, and through reading, listening to podcasts, and taking classes, we attempt to always be evolving and growing so that we can serve our clients in the best way possible.

What are the misconceptions about your job?


To learn more about What to look for in a Graphic Designer, read our blog on this topic.

Also, Is Graphic Design an Investment or an Expense? may be of interest to you.


Kimberly Norris


Marketing Blog, Graphic Design, Branding, Advertising Rogers, AR, Marketing Rogers, AR, Branding Rogers, AR, Brand Strategy, Brand Consulting

A Note From the Author

As a business owner, brand strategist, and graphic designer I run in to questions and ideas every day.

As the owner of Norris Design, I started out wanting to solely be a designer, but education changed the way I thought, the way I viewed business and the way I viewed my role in helping other's businesses.  

Graphic design will always be my original love, but as I grew in knowledge, I realized the small view of design for the sake of something beautiful was such a disservice to businesses.

Businesses needed much more than just graphic design.  They needed to see the bigger picture of their businesses from the perspective of a designer.  Once I realized that branding had a huge role in large businesses that see amazing success but very few small businesses even think about branding or brand strategy, I realized that if I could offer a brand strategy view as a consultant rather than just an order taker graphic designer, I could actually move the needle in their businesses.

This is the beginning of where I started to fall in love with business, marketing, branding, brand strategy, consulting and brand building. 

It all started with education after college.

I obsessively read articles, listened to podcasts, watched videos, read books, and took classes.  This was to fulfill this desire to be more involved in the businesses side of design rather than just design alone.

So, this is why I wright. I appreciate other people's perspective and I hope that one day, mine can help someone else.

Kimberly Norris

Brand Strategy

We create a results-based brand strategy for all aspects of your company to foster customer trust and build brand acknowledgment over time.

Logo/Brand Design

Creating brand identities is our passion. We believe it takes insight into your business, your customers, and your hopes for your business to build the best logo possible. And we’re willing to take the time to do this.

Brand Consultation

We’re happy to meet with you on a consulting basis about your brand strategy. As your Brand Consultant, I’ll periodically check-in after the initial strategy session, on a continual basis, to make any adjustments or revisions to keep your brand and messaging on track. 

Print Marketing

Think of us as your one-stop-shop for printed marketing materials. We create thoughtful designs and take care of the printing for you. This can save you time and money. Our printing services include business cards, brochures, flyers, and more.

Website Design

Your website is crucial to your business, We design custom websites that are responsive to all platforms, are easy to navigate, and present your company professionally and clearly.

Search Engine Optimization

We offer affordable SEO that actually gets results.  This service includes on-page and off page SEO.  We offer local, regional, and national SEO Services with not long-term contracts.

Our Services

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