What is sought from graphic designers? A first thematic analysis of job offers for graphic design positions in the United Kingdom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units


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 i) design educators in planning their educational offerings and ii) 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.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS2016
Subtitle of host publicationDesign + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventDesign Research Society International Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016
Conference number: 50

Publication series

NameProceedings of DRS2016
PublisherDesign Research Society
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132


ConferenceDesign Research Society International Conference
Abbreviated titleDRS
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

    Research areas

  • graphic design, design expertise, design education, United Kingdom

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