Youtube preview bouton play youtube

Lead video game graphic designer

A lead graphic designer can be promoted to this position after a few years of experience. Initially, they would have been a graphic designer or a computer graphics designer. Their role is to supervise and support a team in developing graphic and visual elements for a video game, but they’ll have other responsibilities too.

Lead Graphic Designer Job Description
Last update
Education level: Bac+5
Recommended high school diploma: Scientific ou Artistic
Employability: Very good
Beginner salary: € 3,350
Established salary: € 4,150
Mobility: Good
ROME code: E1205
FAP code: M1Z80

What are the responsibilities of a lead graphic designer?

This video game expert has several responsibilities. Concretely, they are able to:

  • Design the graphic and visual elements (2D and 3D)
  • Distribute tasks to each member of their team and ensure that they fulfil their duties
  • Ensure the progress of the project
  • Respond and find solutions to possible problems

What are their qualities?

There are many. Not everyone has the ability to become a lead graphic designer, because this job requires certain qualities, such as:

  • Listening and teaching
  • Knowing how to communicate, unite
  • Showing leadership
  • Knowing how to get involved
  • Being a diplomat

What are the skills of a lead graphic designer?

Being a lead graphic designer requires that you master a set of skills both technically and managerially. In detail, a lead graphic designer must understand:

  • Graphics software
  • Anything related to the moving image
  • All notions of anatomy, architecture, etc.
  • Digital techniques and tools
  • The conformity and consistency of the graphic elements according to specifications
  • How to design the concept taking into account technical, human, budgetary, and time constraints
  • How to carry out an inventory of constraints, trends
  • How to coordinate, manage a team and a project
screenshot Blender
When you are a lead graphic designer, Blender software is the basic tool you’ll need to master

The advantages and disadvantages of being a lead graphic designer

Doing this job means taking into account the advantages and disadvantages. Notably:

  • Good employability, right out of school
  • Interesting salary
  • Passionate profession
  • Numerous career developments and possible bridges to other careers

For the downsides, this is a job:

  • That requires a lot of work
  • Competitive
  • Constrained creativity

The level of study to needed become a lead graphic designer

Before embarking on this adventure, it will be essential to do studies. Therefore, from high school, it is necessary to do a general (specialising in arts) or technical high school diploma. Then after you should aim for a bachelor’s degree course in a school specialising in video games. Pursuing an MBA will prove appropriate because this job requires supervising people and managing large projects. You will see all this in a master’s degree.

What school and what course to become a graphic leader?

The best way to become a lead graphic designer is through two steps. The first: choose a quality school. The second: to have a few years of experience. This is why, at G. Art, we suggest that you take a bachelor’s degree and then choose between two MBAs that will allow you to work in studios.

First, our 2D – 3D Graphic Designer Bachelor offers a three-year program consisting of technical education and learning the fundamentals of graphic design software, video creation, dynamic drawing, lighting, materials, etc. as well as education in gaming culture and education in communication, management, management, English, etc.

Then, you will have the choice between the MBA in Technical artistry or the MBA in Game artistry. Taking place over two years, the first trains you  in video game development and game art. The second educates you in coherent and immersive graphic universes.

All of our diplomas place the bar quite high. Concrete projects during the years of study and work placements complete each of the training courses.

Doing a lead graphic designer internship

Before becoming a lead graphic designer, you will have to be a graphic designer, it is essential. And before that again, during training, carrying out internships will allow you to understand your future profession, work concretely on projects, and familiarise yourself with the video game environment.

Therefore, the school wants each student to be able to immerse themselves in the heart of a company during internships lasting from two months to a full year (at the end of the MBA).

How much do they earn?

The salary of a lead graphic designer varies depending on the company in which they work. It is rarer for the lead graphic designer to work as a freelancer, unlike in other image professions. On average, a lead graphic designer can earn between 40,000 and 50,000 euros per year.

The salary for a lead video game designer ranges from $ 60,000 in Montreal to nearly $ 95,000 in San Francisco, California.

Where to work

Most studios have at least one lead designer – Ubisoft Mobile, Spiders, Cyanide Studio, Wolcen Studio to name a few. Also, companies that develop serious games have one, just like digital or web companies.

Blood Bowl studio Cyanide
All video game studios like Cyanide Studio (with the example of their Blood Bowl game shown here) have a lead video game designer in their teams.

Possible career developments

By mastering graphic tools and techniques and knowing how to supervise and manage projects, a lead graphic designer has a lot of responsibilities. This allows them to progress to other positions and take on even more responsibilities. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see a lead graphic designer become, for example, an artistic director or lead game artist.

Become a freelance lead graphic designer

Some work in complete freedom and have chosen to become freelance lead graphic designers. This status allows them to manage their customers and their time as they see fit. This requires a perfect mastery of creative techniques and a sense of creativity and an ability to deal with people. Therefore, becoming independent in this position can only be done after several workplace experiences.

Famous lead graphic designers

There is a graphic designer behind each game (often several in practice). And sometimes, they have been able to make their game popular thanks to their creativity. This is the case with Eric Chahi (Heart of Darkness) or Ron Gilbert (Maniac Mansion).

Photo Eric Chahi
Among the figures of graphics in video games, we can note Eric Chahi, who in 1991, produced Another World

In summary

How can you become a lead graphic designer?

You can’t become a lead graphic designer overnight. Through patience, mastery of tools, know-how, and experience, a graphic designer can progress to lead graphic design. For this, it is necessary to obtain specialised training, from the start, which allows you to learn about communication, management, and everything related to drawing, digital and technological culture. This is what the G. Art school in Lyon teaches with its bachelor’s and MBA degrees.

In video

Youtube preview bouton play youtube