How to Become a Graphic Designer – Part 1

Graphic designers create visual solutions to communication problems, and they also find the best ways to get messages over, be they in print or any electronic media. This is normally done by fonts, colors, animation, photography, illustration and layout techniques. Graphic designers work in many industries and could get involved with the production design and overall layout of magazines, journals, newspapers and more or less any print or digital publications. They also get heavily involved with marketing materials, packaging, advertising, promotional displays, plus designing logos, and signs. An increasing development is for graphic designers to design and develop material for websites, interactive and multimedia projects. So how does somebody become a graphic designer? In this blog we look at the steps to achieve this, so you can follow a very lucrative career.

Education & Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design is normally required to enter into the industry for senior positions and there are many universities who offer such courses. Once qualified, graphic designers must keep up with updated computer graphics and software design.

Early Steps

Before entering into full time education for attaining a degree you most probably will need the desire to paint, draw and create, and be computer literate with good social media skills. Graphic designers work in modern industries connected with commercial art and specifically in marketing, advertising and identity branding. The early steps to becoming a graphic designer is being aware how these industries work and to understand the impact a graphic designer could have on them.

Basic Drawing Skills

You will also have to develop your basic skills such as drawing, many hopeful graphic designers start withdrawing classes to develop their ability to express their point of view. Later you can use these drawing skills in jobs such as commercial advertising that utilize storyboards.

Graphic Design Theory

To be a good graphic designer you need to learn good design and strong layout principles, it is not just good enough to be arty you need to approach your work scientifically. The properties of spacing, correct imagery, structure, typography and design are all relevant in the work as a graphic designer. Things like the consideration of white around elements in design all need addressing. Graphic designers must know how to integrate imagery and colour to make the most impact on potential customers and buyers on client’s sites.

User Experience

A graphic designer needs to fully understand a client’s business and just importantly their audience. Without this a designer cannot possibly create materials to help the website sell, if the user experience is not good they will leave the site.

Website Design Best Practice

It is essential that a graphic designer knows the basic principles of web design, how the website designer keeps the interest of the visitor. When you can appreciate the structure, content and visual aids of website design you will then get the handle of how your graphic design can have the most impact, and engage in all elements of user experience. In part two of our blog in how to become a graphic designer we will look at all aspects of copywriting and how to master the software required.

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