Graphics designer


A graphic designer is responsible for planning, organising and creating a visual response to communication issues. A graphic designer will spend time with the clients to gain a solid understanding of the message that needs to be communicated. The graphic designer will then develop the overall layout of the solution by selecting the colours, sounds, artwork, animation, font type and other visual elements that will all be used in the final solution design.

Once the overall concept has been approved by the client the graphic artist will then work with other professionals such as printers and photographers to develop the detailed designs that will be used by the client.

A graphic designer exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Leadership competencies for Queensland.

SFIA profile

Within the SFIA profile, the graphics designer has level 4 and 5 capabilities, i.e. enables, ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.

Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.

SFIA skillSFIA skill codeSFIA skill level of responsibilitySFIA skills level descriptor
Information content publishingICPM5Develops standards and procedures to support content publishing across one or more platforms/channels in a form accessible to all potential users, including those with disabilities. Leads publishing activities and assignments, ensuring design of the overall structure and graphical style as well as the publication processes comply with agreed policies and strategies. Understands the range of publishing options available and advises on specification and procurement, taking account of the key costs and benefits of different channels and applying objective measures of effectiveness. Selects tools, templates and standards appropriate to customer expectations (differentiating, for example, between needs such as optimisation and ease of modification). Ensures that any legal issues related to publishing, including associate copyright concerns are adequately managed.
Information content authoringINCA5Provides overall editorial control across the team or teams of content designers and authors, to ensure appropriate content, tone, brevity, consistency and re-use. Advises on appropriate content formats and mediums and oversees the review and approval of materials to enable requirements to be satisfied. Develops and maintains content plans showing how the identified audience needs will be met.

Leadership skills

Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.

Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:

  • Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
  • Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
  • Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
  • Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
  • Chief executive (leads the organisation).

When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.

Entry points

A certificate qualification in areas such as design or creative industries is a minimum requirement.

Highly developed communication skills, ability to work under pressure and the ability to work in a team are also required to be a graphic designer.