Types of Graphic Designers in Los Angeles

The types of jobs graphic designers can do varies widely in Los Angeles. All the different types have much to do with all the streaming and digital studios, businesses, agencies, and entertainment that exists here in LA, California.

The titles and work that an individual may be a good fit for will depend on the years and types of experience a designer has and of course the business or organization hiring. The interests of a graphic designer will also influence the jobs they choose and can do.

Below are common titles of graphic designers, and the bare bones in descriptions and requirements. Take note, the below is the minimum and most common characteristics. Usually there is a much longer and varied list between businesses hiring graphic designers.

Graphic Designer

As a graphic designer, a person must be creative, know the trends in design and have a keen interest in culture. An employed graphic designer may work solo, such as in small to mid-size businesses. In larger companies, graphic designers are more likely to work on a team and receive artistic direction from an art or creative director.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 1-3 years’ experience
  • Design and/or art background
  • Proficiency in design and/or animation software

Contracted Graphic Designer

A contracted graphic designer can be confused as a freelancer, but much depends on the contract and the terms you have agreed to. Usually, this type of position is a temporary job that can last a few months to a year and is usually managed by a third-party staffing agency. The requirements may be similar to the graphic designer position above but a staffing agency may be not as strict on some aspects.

Visual Designer

A Visual designer is a type of graphic designer though usually with broader responsibility and work. The reason why most call it a visual designer is because this type of job title requires a broader skill set which can include creating or coding websites, coding emails, social media posts, photo-editing, illustration and more. Companies appoint the broader term of “visual” to a graphic designer to attach auxiliary functions. That doesn’t translate into more work per say, just more varied work.

Digital Graphics Designer

When the title includes the word digital it usually means that they want someone who can make graphics across all digital media. All digital media can include streaming videos and content for the internet. Thus the digital graphic designer would be expected to create animations and motion graphics.

Art Director

The art director is usually an advanced graphic designer with many other skills. One of the main qualifications is the ability to manage other graphic designers. They will also have expert level proficiency in Adobe and other related software. Other types of expertise usually requires Art Directors are strong in maintaining strong brand identity, strong portfolio, and excellent communication and presentation skills.

Digital Art Director

A mastery of graphic design, and 2D and 3D motion graphics is usually required of a Digital Art Director, as well as managing others. Storyboarding and the visual execution of concepts is also expected. The Digital Art Director may be expected to produce content for all digital channels, including streaming, social media, and websites.

Creative Director

A creative director is sometimes another way of saying art director, but sometimes it carries even broader responsibilities, qualifications, and skills. It usually also involves digital streaming platforms and could also contribute to and participate in the business activities of a company. A creative director will manage a team of graphic designers, animators, digital artists, copywriters and individuals part of the creative group.


An Illustrator is a graphic designer who works in only one area of design, which is illustration. It’s easier to explain the work that an Illustrator does in terms of what they don’t do. They don’t design websites, logos, ads, brochures and the most common marketing communications used by businesses. Illustration is a style of graphic design that can appear to be like a cartoon, photorealistic, digital painting, or other style. Some graphic designers, such as Linda Sturling, do illustration naturally because she’s always been an artist. However, a lot of illustrators are not graphic designers, and a lot of graphic designers are not illustrators only a specialized few, like Sturling.

Freelance Graphic Designer

Sometimes companies title a position as a freelance graphic designer in error, and what they really mean is a graphic designer who is contracted, works in-house, has a manager, and so forth. A true freelance graphic designer works from home, does not have a manager and is not bound by rules. A freelance graphic designer runs a real business and delivers on the end-product of what a client wants. A freelance graphic designer will have multiple clients and work for many different companies. A freelancer is not bound or limited to working for one organization only.

Los Angeles Graphic Designer Fuels Business

The above are the most common titles held by graphic designers. There may be also be levels in-between, such as Senior Graphic Designer, or Junior Designer. In Los Angeles, there are more types of graphic designers with a varied skillset than anywhere because of the streaming services, movie and entertainment industry. Some graphic designers are extremely specialized, such as a Digital Background Painter, who only paints backgrounds in a digital format.

In Los Angeles, when someone uses the term graphic designer, it is a blanket term that can be almost anything. For most small to mid-size businesses and organizations, what they’re looking for is a freelance graphic designer to help with their communications and marketing graphic design. Freelance graphic designers have the most experience, expertise in software, equipment and full breadth of knowledge in assisting small to mid-size businesses all the way to completion and everything in-between. Freelance graphic designers are great communicators and listeners. They understand the business aspects of running a business, especially since they run one themselves, their own.

Freelance graphic designer, Sturling, has an extremely unique background in that she has the education, expertise and experience working with all types of businesses, organizations, and for and with marketing and advertising agencies. She understands the importance of purpose, emotional response and resonance, and elicit devotion in graphic design.

Knowing the different types of graphic designers is useful for any organization or company wishing to to hire a graphic designer. Linda Sturling works in a freelance capacity as a graphic designer in Los Angeles. You can view this graphic designer’s list of services. If you are interested in hiring her, don’t hesitate to call 818-964-0967