A room of graphic designers frowning because they are realizing the disadvantages of a graphic design career.

Disadvantages of a Graphic Design Career

While graphic design has its upsides, there are many downsides to the industry as well . If you're thinking about heading into a career in graphic design, make sure to familiarize yourself with all of the pitfalls that come along with it.

  1. It's All About Dealines
    Graphic design is not necessarily is a 9-5 job. Graphic design is centered heavily around meeting deadlines, navigating time crunches, working under a great deal of pressure, and responding immediately to "emergencies" or revision requests. In other words, get used to being interrupted during dinner by clients that want the text on their site changed to lime green immediately.
  2. The Pay isn’t Always Attractive
    While some graphic design jobs are monetarily rewarding, there will be many that aren't. A project might even start off promising, but once you log in the number of hours for each sample and revision the pay might not be worth the time. Unfortunately, that’s just part of the graphic design field.
  3. Deadlines Interfere with Creativity
    When you’re juggling multiple clients at once, it can be easy to place originality and creativity on the backburner in order to meet deadlines. Graphic design doesn’t allow for leisurely creativity, instead you have to force creativity to meet client expectations and time frames.
  4. The Details will Make or Break You
    Graphic design is all about precision and detail. A slightly off balance element can throw an entire piece off, and, in some cases, a slight change in color can make all the difference. You have to pay attention to all the details when doing graphic design otherwise your products won’t sell.
  5. You Must Love What You Do
    Graphic design isn’t a career you can fake passion for. It’s something you have to love doing in order to be successful. A graphic designer that hates his/her job will definitely reflect it in the work he/she produces. As a rule of thumb, complete work for clients on the side as you progress through your degree program. If you find that you burn out or are easily frustrated, it could be a sign that you're suited to the career.

While some of these may not seem like major disadvantages, they certainly make an impact on graphic designers that aren’t completely in love with the field. If any of the disadvantages make you second guess a career in graphic design, then you should reconsider your career options.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015