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New York is the Empire State for Graphic Design – Caroline Petersen

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In the past decade, New York has seen an increase of industries that call the state home, and many of them have hired graphic design artists to give them a leg up on the competition. To the untrained eye, graphic designers may look like freelance workers taking any gig they can get, but the truth is many of them play a critical role in how companies operate, and ultimately, succeed. Having a large number of designers in the tri-state area has not only helped new and established companies, but in turn, have been an intricate part of New York’s growing economy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that New York has, far and away, the largest number of employed graphic designers, and that does not even include freelancers. When you take into account the entire Metropolitan area, there are more graphic designers employed here than in California.

Considering what graphic designers can do for a variety of businesses, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Studies have proven that a strong design process, infused not just in marketing but all facets of a company, can make internal processes more efficient, increase sales and support the creation of new products. These are key elements for any organization, because by ensuring the entrepreneur has her business and employees organized, they can produce the best work possible for clients.

That’s why some of the largest companies in the world — many of whom have a large presence in New York including Nike, Proctor and Gamble, and IBM — have built design methods into their business practices, and their stock prices have grown at a much higher rate because of it.

As more companies realize they need to hire graphic designers, there are two key factors New York has going for it that will help continue the industry’s growth:

First, there are plenty of places where you can learn the skills you need to become a designer. Institutions including The New School, Pratt Institute, and State University of New York at New Paltz, all have programs that teach the latest methods and tools one needs to enter the market.

Second, opportunities for employment will continue to be available. The industries that hire graphic designers the most — tech, media, and manufacturing — are all growing in New York City. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is continuing to attract more manufacturing companies, and Hudson Yards has built large offices for media and tech companies, which is why Warner Media and Facebook have leased large spaces in the new buildings. On top of that, New York’s mainstay industry, finance, also needs graphic designers for its new products. Billions of dollars have been spent for financial technology start-ups, and those companies are going to need established User Experience Designers and Interface Designers to make their products work.

New York should be proud to have built a foundation that allows those who want to pursue a creative career the opportunity to do so. Through education and the vast number of networking events through business organizations, it’s safe to say that the graphic design industry in the Empire State is not going anywhere.



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