Canadian designers make their mark in the global design marketplace
Graphic design platforms such as Etsy, Shopify and Shopify.com offer a range of design services to Canadians, with a focus on online retailing.
But as they look to expand beyond the traditional retailing sector, the industry has seen a surge in design professionals.
For some, that means taking on more projects for clients, which they have found a new job at a new company, said Janice MacLeod, a graphic designer and co-founder of Graphic Designer Solutions in Winnipeg.
She said a good number of clients come to her company to ask for help with designs, which can include typography, layout and photography.
“They are getting really into design now,” MacLeod said.
“It’s become very important to the industry that we do a good job of communicating to our clients that we are professional.”
The growth of the online design market, with more than a billion dollars being spent globally in the first half of 2018, has helped draw some of the best talent to Canada, MacLeod added.
“It is a big change from just years ago, when people were really into the traditional market.”
MacLeod said the growth of design has also led to an increase in demand for designers and the amount of freelance work available.
She has seen this trend take hold as a result of the rise in digital technology, which makes it possible for designers to quickly and easily design a project and upload it to a platform such as etsy.
“There is a whole new landscape,” Macleod said.
A good number, however, prefer working on a design team, which MacLeod describes as “the glue” of a designer’s career.
She is one of many graphic designers who work at multiple platforms.
In fact, she said, the number of designers working on freelance projects is growing rapidly, even as her work at her current company has remained unchanged.
“I think a lot of the design industry is really looking for a lot more people to join their team and be part of it,” she said.
“So they are really looking to hire more designers.”
In a report released this month by the Canadian Graphic Designers Association, the median salary for graphic designers was $86,000, with those in design earning nearly $100,000.
That’s an increase of nearly $1,000 from the previous year.
MacLeod believes there are several factors that may have contributed to the increased demand for graphic design professionals in Canada.
The number of Canadians who are employed in design and related occupations is growing, said MacLeod.
In fact, in 2017, the employment rate of graphic designers in Canada was 25 per cent.
More people are moving to digital and the Internet-based services, such as design, web design, design consulting and design consulting, which offer freelance work, she added.
“We are a little bit behind, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t moving ahead,” Maclean said.