Copyright

Become a Typographer: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a typographer. Learn about the job description and duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career in typography. View article »

View 10 Popular Schools »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
 Replay
  • 0:04 Should I Become a Typographer?
  • 0:39 Career Info and Skills
  • 1:26 Step 1: Education
  • 1:55 Step 2: Internship and…
  • 2:37 Step 3: Employment

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Should I Become a Typographer?

Typographers are experts who design or style type for online and print publications. They are sometimes referred to as desktop publishers and layout artists. While they get to make use of their creative talents, they often experience the stress of having to meet deadlines, which may require having to work long hours.

Educational backgrounds vary, but many typographers complete some form of postsecondary education, such as an associate's degree program. Some community colleges or trade schools offer non-degree awards or independent courses in desktop publishing. Training can also be gained on the job.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Associate's degrees are common
Degree Fields Graphic design, graphic arts, graphic communications
Experience Entry-level, though experience can be an alternative for formal training
Key Skills Attention to detail, creativity, communication skills; technical skill with data-conversion software, graphic design software (like Adobe), desktop publishers and scanning programs
Salary (2015) $39,840 (median annual wage for all desktop publishers), while graphic designers earned $46,900

Between 2014-2024, desktop publishers can expect a 21% decrease in employment. During the same period, graphic designers will see minimal to no change in job opportunities.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine

Step 1: Education

Typographers often prepare for this occupation by earning associate's degrees in graphic design or a related field. Less commonly, people meet the training qualifications by earning bachelor's degrees or non-degree awards, such as certificates. Associate's degree programs in and related to graphic design introduce students to the fundamentals of graphic arts as well as the most current technology. Coursework typically covers topics in computerized design and page layout, digital media, studio art, and of course, typography.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
  • Computer Typography and Composition
  • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operations
  • Platemaker
  • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
  • Printing Management
  • Printing Press Operation

Step 2: Internship & Portfolio

Many employers prefer topographers who have experience preparing layouts. Students preparing for careers in typography can gain entry-level experience by participating in internships during college. Degree programs in graphic design typically include some form of internship or field training. These experiences can help students build a portfolio.

In the graphic design field, a portfolio can be the determining factor for getting hired, and employers often favor applicants who provide proof of quality work. During college, aspiring typographers can assemble their strongest samples, acquired from class projects and work done during internships. In fact, graphic design degree programs typically offer courses that help students create impressive portfolios.

Step 3: Employment

Graduates of graphic design programs can pursue employment in the publishing industry, which is one of the biggest employers of typographers and other desktop publishers. Advertising firms also employ these workers. After getting hired, typographers continue to learn occupational skills and typography techniques on the job by observing other, more experienced professionals.

Success Tip

  • Pursue continuing education. Due to ongoing and rapid changes in computer technology and desktop publishing software, typographers usually need continual training to stay abreast of advancements in graphic design applications. Individuals might pursue continuing education through typography courses and seminars.

Let's quickly go over what we just discussed in this lesson. Typographers who design or style type for online and print publications usually have an associate's degree in graphic design, or other closely related fields. Those employed as desktop publishers and graphic designers in May of 2015 earned $39,840 and $46,900 respectively.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MA in Communication

    What is your highest level of education?

    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Advertising and Public Relations
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Communication Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Communication Studies, B.A.
    • Communication Studies, A.A.

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Arts in Communication - General
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration

    What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?