Design work experience student workbook

A 20 page workbook to help students complete work experience in a design studio.


How work experience works
How to organise your studio contacts
Suggested interview questions
Help write a design brief
Achievements checklist to record outcomes

Read more about the workbook.

Price: $27.50 inc gst
The book will be supplied as a pdf.
Place your order here. Once payment is verified you will be sent the file via email.

About the design industry

Where are graphic designers employed?

In helping students look for work experience it is worth noting that there are many different types of design businesses.There is more about the design industry in the students section.

Places of possible employment

Self employed/ freelance

  • this means working by yourself, for yourself, unfortunately often not by choice
  • responsible for all tasks below plus new business development (ie. getting work) and project management such as managing printing or website development

Graphic design studios

There are a number of roles in this environment

  • creative director (often the studio owner)
  • graphic designer (could be a junior, middleweight or senior depending on years of experience)
  • art director (develops concepts and then directs others to design them)
  • mac operator (finished artist responsible for preparing files for printing or web )

Advertising agencies

Operate with a hierarchy with tasks performed in different departments

  • the ‘creative department’, where concepts are developed, or
  • the ‘studio’ where artwork is completed for presentation.

Here Mac operators with differing skills or backgrounds can be found ie: photo retouchers, illustrators. Freelance operators are also employed in times of heavy work load.

Digital agencies

These agencies have a range of design related jobs

  • user experience designer (understanding how the user will interact with the website)
  • web interface design (designs the look and feel of the website)
  • web strategy (devises the way that the website, user experience and design will work with the business strategy)

Marketing and Public Relations consultancies

Some consultancies have inhouse design teams

  • graphic designer
  • desktop publisher

Film production

Graphic designers with added skills can work in any number of areas on commercial and feature production

  • prop design
  • graphics and titling
  • production design
  • special effects, editing
  • animation

Video production

Graphic designers with added skills can work in any number of areas

  • prop and set design
  • graphics and titling
  • animation
  • games design

Exhibition and display design

These company’s sometimes have inhouse studios

  • typography and sign design
  • interactive design
  • 3D design
  • lighting design


Some printers have inhouse design and artwork capability

  • graphic designer
  • mac operator (preparing final files ready for prepress)
  • prepress operator (prepares files ready for the proofing and platemaking process)

Newspaper and magazine publishers

Most have inhouse studios

  • graphic design
  • mac operator
  • illustrator (usually a graphic designer who has chosen to specialise in illustration)
  • cartoonist (usually a graphic designer who has chosen to specialise in a cartoon style of illustration)

Book publishers

Most have inhouse studios

  • graphic design
  • graphic artist
  • illustrator

Desktop publishers/Quick print outlets

Inhouse studios with

  • page layout designer
  • mac operator

In-house corporate design studio (such as BHP)

These studios produce work for the corporation

  • graphic designer
  • desktop publisher
  • technical illustrator