What Does A Digital Designer Do? Skills And Qualifications

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 14 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A digital designer is a creative professional who creates animations, 2D design, 3D design and special effects for advertisements, websites, video games and social media. Organisations employ these professionals to create brand awareness and innovative designs to attract customers. If you want to become a digital designer, knowing more about the job role can help you make an informed decision. In this article, we answer “What does a digital designer do?”, explore the benefits of becoming one, learn the difference between a digital and graphic designer and discover the skills and steps required to become a digital designer.

What Does A Digital Designer Do?

The answer to the question, "What does a digital designer do?" is that they design, manage and focus on online and digital content such as images, GIFs, ads, website design pieces and other promotional work. These professionals produce multimedia for viewing on different screens. Apart from producing digital media, these professionals perform these duties:

  • Work with artists and illustrators to produce digital content and animations for various projects

  • Meet and discuss with clients the scope of a design project

  • Create mock-up reviews and templates to get approval from the client

  • Ensure consistency in content and design across all communication channels

  • Develop a website for customers and produce video games for customers

  • Prepare briefs for each project

  • Present design ideas to clients for their approval

  • Collaborate with the marketing team to ensure all design aligns with the brand image

  • Ensure the design meets website and usability standards

  • Transform wireframes into an interesting and intuitive user interface

  • Improve existing graphics and images for videos and websites

  • Map out animation storyboards and use hand-drawn sketches to create a starting point for a design

  • Conduct usability tests on animated projects

  • Make corrections and improvements in the design phase to enhance user experience

Benefits Of Becoming A Digital Designer

Here are a few benefits of becoming a digital designer:

  • Work in any industry: As almost every industry uses content visualisation, digital designers can work in various industries, like education, retail, finance, hospitality, consumer good and capital goods. Working as a digital designer increases your prospects because your skills are transferable to any industry.

  • Different areas of specialisation: You can work in many design areas, including books and magazines, marketing and advertising, branding, smartphone apps, packaging, animation, websites, three-dimensional design. Using the latest design tools, you convert print designs to online media.

  • Work freelance or full time: Creative professionals like digital designers can work as freelancers or full-time employees. When working as freelancers, you can set your schedule and decide how much work you want to take.

Average salary of a digital designer

The average salary of a digital designer is ₹21,979 per month. Their exact salary depends upon their skills, qualification, experience and job location. Usually, some cities pay a higher salary than others. For instance, the average salary of a digital designer in Mumbai is ₹76,352 per month, whereas the average salary in Bengaluru is ₹31,791 per month. The salary of a digital designer depends upon their knowledge of graphics, visual effects, animation and ability to use different design tools.

Skills Of A Digital Designer

A digital designer requires technical and soft skills to create visual content for a diverse range of communication, marketing and entertainment needs. Here are some key abilities designers can have for a fulfilling career:

Technical knowledge

Digital design engineers rely on electronic interfaces and tools to create visually attractive designs. If the design tasks pertain to a website, knowing web designing can be helpful. They use a variety of software programmes and computer systems to develop designs that attract the customer to the client's website or brand. Basic technical and computer skills are beneficial for scheduling tasks, building client presentations and interacting with clients.

Innovation and creativity

A digital designer brainstorms ideas with their clients and team members to create innovative and attractive designs. Using their creativity, designers conceptualise ideas and develop designs that fit a client's specifications and requirements. Employers prefer hiring naturally artistic candidates for a creative role like a digital designer, because such individuals can create visually appealing designs.

Time management and organisation

A digital designer handles many tasks and accounts at once. Using their time management and organisation skills, these professionals prioritise tasks and ensure the timely completion of activities. The ability to organise and multitask simultaneously on different projects is essential for a rewarding career.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

Communication skills

As digital designer works with many people, including colleagues, stakeholders and clients, they require excellent communication skills. They use their communications skills to discuss and pitch ideas to clients and managers. Apart from excellent written and verbal communication skills, employers prefer candidates with active listening skills. This helps a designer actively listen to the client and incorporate the feedback into the design.

Teamwork skills

Every design project requires collaboration with stakeholders, clients and colleagues and a talented designer makes things easier for people with whom they work. Working in a team and contributing to making the project successful is a desirable skill for a successful career. Employers prefer candidates who encourage participation and accept the ideas of their team members.

Related: Examples Of Teamwork Skills And How To Improve Them

Difference Between Digital Designer And Graphic Designer

Digital and graphic designers use their artistic abilities and creativity to create art and images for a company. A graphic designer applies drawing, sketching and design skills to create graphics for websites and print media. In comparison, a digital designer creates graphics with motion and interactivity. They create 2D or 3D designs, interactive web pages and animation. A digital designer may not work with print graphics and focuses primarily on graphics for computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Related: How To Become A Graphic Designer: A Complete Guide

How To Become A Digital Designer

Here are five steps for becoming a digital designer:

1. Complete your 10+2

After completing your higher secondary or 10th standard, you can complete a design course, but most courses prefer candidates with a senior secondary certificate. So, pursue your 10+2 in any stream. During your 10+2, consider enrolling in a design program to develop your design and drawing skills. Start building your digital design portfolio to get admission to a design school of your choice.

2. Earn a bachelor's degree

Having a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, fine arts, animation, web design and digital video production can be helpful for a rewarding career. Some popular design courses to pursue are:

  • Bachelor of Design (BDes) in graphic design or animation

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in animation and graphic design

  • Bachelor of Visual Arts

  • BA in digital filmmaking and animation

  • Bachelor of Science (BSC) in animation and gaming

  • BSc in VFX and animation

All these courses take three years to complete and provide you with important multimedia, visual communication, design and web design skills.

Related: What Does A VFX Artist Do? (With Salary, Skills And FAQs)

3. Build a portfolio

Most employers prefer hiring candidates with an extensive digital portfolio showcasing their creativity and innovation. So, before applying for any digital design job, focus on building a portfolio. Your portfolio can include work you completed during internship, freelance assignment or college project. When building your portfolio, give importance to creativity because digital designers use this skill set to create visually appealing designs. Your portfolio can best illustrate your design capabilities.

4. Improve your computer skills

Because digital designers use computers and other software, they require proficiency in commonly used design software and computer programming language. Designers creating app and website designs require proficiency in design software and computer programming language. Having knowledge of basic web designing programming languages like JavaScript, HTML or CSS is essential for completing job-specific duties.

5. Earn a certification

Though not mandatory, many digital designers earn certificates in 2D animation, 3D animation, VFX, CG arts and post-production work. Professional certifications show your expertise and convince an employer about your knowledge in digital design. Often, certification gives you an advantage over other candidates with similar experience and qualifications.

6. Create a resume and apply for jobs

Create a resume listing your relevant skills, experience, certification and qualification. Mention all relevant details but do not go too much in-depth and limit your resume to one page. Before applying to any job, read the job description and pick out some keywords. This makes your resume applicant tracking system compliant. Tailor your resume for every job you apply for and upload it on various job portals. Start searching for an entry-level job with advertising agencies, television stations, website development companies or any design department organisation.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.


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