Learning how to be a graphic designer doesn’t require a college degree, although one in the field or a related field is helpful. Graphic design involves a commitment of time to learn, practice, and sharpen one’s skills. The process of creating graphics requires critical thinking, analysis, visual skills, as well as an understanding of the basic art elements. Here are some suggestions for the quest toward proficiency in graphic design:
Read as many blogs about graphic design, advertising, and marketing as possible. These blogs can provide valuable information about the latest styles and trends in graphic design. Many blogs provide free tutorials about how to achieve the latest graphic effects and styles. Blogs may also provide practical suggestions on brainstorming and the design process.
Consider signing up for free or low-cost online education courses in graphic design. These classes can be valuable for learning from professionals who have experience in the field. Many of the skills learned may include problem-solving in graphic design, and skills related to evaluating the effectiveness of designs.
Practice drawing and illustrating in a variety of styles. Graphic design involves a solid understanding of proportion, shadow and light, as well as texture and line. You may need to interpret a range of styles at any moment. There are many online sources for researching and learning about many visual styles, ranging from vintage to sleek 21st century styles. It helps to create sketches based on various time periods, and scan them into your computer to work on them in various graphic design applications.
Once you have learned the graphic design basics, self-initiate design projects or volunteer your time as a graphic designer. One of the best ways to improve as a graphic designer is to continuously create new projects for personal development, or for non-profit organizations if the help is needed. Each graphic design project – whether it’s a flyer, brochure, or billboard – has various requirements and goals. With each project, new skills can be learned.
Learn about fields related to graphic design, such as photography, typography, and advertising design. These fields can help to inform your ideas about how graphic design functions in the real world, or as part of an ad campaign. Graphic designers often create layouts that involve photos or text, and work with applications that focus on photography.
Constantly learn about social media, and how web graphics can play a role. Designing web graphics has become an in-demand skill in the graphic design field. Many organizations and businesses seek visually savvy designs that can easily grab the attention of their followers on social media websites. In addition, web graphics can easily make a website look fresh and updated.
Seek feedback on your graphic designs from your clients or friends. Oftentimes, the designs we create as designers might make sense to us, but not others. By seeking feedback, we learn what we may have missed, or how we could have made the design more appealing to the target audience.
Be flexible, patient, and learn about client communication. Much of the work of a graphic designer involves communicating about designs. This can be stressful or difficult, especially when you think your designs meet specific goals, but the client disagrees. It can be helpful to find resources online for learning about how to respond to nearly impossible client requests, or how to explain aspects of design to someone untrained in design.
Be aware of graphics all around you. Graphic design is an integral part of modern life, with graphics on signs, posters, tags, and more. The logos and imagery that we associate with many popular companies are created through skillful graphic design.
Seek to learn from established, revered, or pioneering graphic designers. The field of graphic design has a fascinating history, with many individuals who are well-known stars in the field. By reading about famous, well-known graphic designers, you can learn about how they became successful and what set them apart.