Would you like to play a pivotal role in defining, designing and maintaining a company’s internet, intranet and other digital platforms? Then the visual designer job could be just the position you’re looking for.

How is a visual designer different from a graphic designer? A visual designer is oriented more toward what a user sees on the screen and less toward what happens behind the scenes. In that sense, it’s a hybrid of user interface (UI) design and graphic design.

A visual designer, for example, might create web banner ads, email templates, landing pages, or a visual overlay for a button, tab or icon. Much like the role of UI and user experience (UX) designers, visual designers aim to get users from Point A to Point B in a frictionless and visually intuitive way.

Visual designer duties and expectations

A visual designer creates the concepts, artwork and layouts for digital projects based on creative briefs and client meetings. Visual designer duties are often industry or project-specific, so job descriptions frequently call for knowledge of a particular business sector. Individual companies may also prefer candidates to have business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or marketing expertise in a specific area.

In general, most visual designers are required to:

  • Establish the look and feel for various interfaces, including websites, mobile devices, apps, kiosks, games and wearables
  • Work within brand guidelines to create layouts that reinforce a brand’s voice through its visual touchpoints
  • Design user-centered interaction models, wireframes or screen mockups
  • Design logos, icons and infographics
  • Closely collaborate with IT and business teams to solve complex issues, like interaction models and data visualization
  • Create and organize production assets
  • Ensure assets are consistent and compatible across various devices
  • Source images (stock photos and video footage)
  • Work with a component library
  • Develop mood boards and color studies
  • Work on marketing items, presentation materials and interactive event materials
  • Juggle multiple projects while effectively managing timelines and expectations

Professional experience and skills for visual designer jobs

Visual designers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in design and a firm grasp of Adobe Creative Cloud, particularly Photoshop, Adobe XD and Illustrator. Experience with other software may be required.

A visual designer should also understand web design issues, including browser usability and cross-platform compatibility. Responsive design, marketing and e-commerce experience are also pluses.

In general, a visual designer should have the following:

  • A solid foundation in design, layout and typography
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Experience with transitions, animation, motion design and dynamic interactions
  • Excellent visual, written and verbal communication skills, along with presentation and negotiation skills
  • A knack for staying organized, including the ability to prioritize tasks, communicate progress and meet deadlines
  • The ability to know when to positively take direction and work both collaboratively and solo

One nice-to-have skill set for a visual designer is basic coding knowledge or a sufficient understanding of programming concepts to communicate comfortably with software engineers.

Visual designer salary benchmarks

The latest Salary Guide from Robert Half will give you salary projections for many roles, including visual designer. Access the guide to find out what a visual designer can earn in your city.

Also, be sure to see these tips from Robert Half’s recruiters for putting together a standout digital portfolio and creative industry resume.