How to Start a Career in Graphic Design
Graphic Design is a great career that allows you to express your creativity and design engaging visual content that drives results. However, this industry is competitive, and it can be difficult to know where to start if you’re a complete beginner. This blog post will talk you through how to get on the right path and provide you with some resources to kickstart your career in Graphic Design.
1) Learn How to Use Graphic Design Software
In order to create visual content as a graphic designer, you will need to learn how to use different types of software and design tools. This includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Affinity Designer, Sketch and more. These tools will allow you to transform your creative ideas into a reality. Most of the software listed above will come with built in tutorials, but these will only cover the basics. In order to get a full understanding of graphic design software, it is a good idea to take a detailed course that covers all aspects of the design tool. Another benefit of taking an external course is that it provides evidence of your skills that can be added to your CV for potential employers to see.
2) Learn the Principles of Graphic Design
You know how to use the software, but this is useless if you don’t know what to do with it! In Graphic Design, there are fundamental principles to follow that allow you to create effective work that is visually appealing and easy to follow. These principles include things like the hierarchy of the design (how the elements of your design are organised), contrast, and spacing.
In order to learn these key skills, it is important to undertake some form of training. This may be in the form of in-person learning or eLearning. If you prefer the online learning route, we have a wide range of courses that cover all types of Graphic Design software, as well as the principles of design. Our courses can be taken anytime, anywhere and from any device. Take a look here!
3) Start Your Portfolio
Once you’ve learned how to use graphic design software, you can get to work on creating a portfolio to show off your newly acquired skills! When you’re a complete newbie, it can be difficult to know where to start. Start by giving yourself a brief and seeing what you come up with. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are some great websites that automatically generate design briefs for you to work from. Try Good Brief, Brief.Biz, and Brief Generator.
Freelancing is also a great way to build your creative portfolio and secure some real-world experience. There are great websites for freelancers to connect with companies looking for design work, such as Upwork and Fiverr.
Internships are another excellent way to dip your toes into the water and gain valuable experience. Many creative companies have internship schemes on offer that you can apply for, and the work you complete there can be added to your portfolio.
When you have a few projects under your belt, you can start to create your portfolio! This could be in the form of an online blog, a dedicated website, an online portfolio creator like Behance, or go old-school and print out a physical portfolio. A good tip for creating a portfolio is quality over quantity – it is far better to have 5 excellent projects in your portfolio that 15 average ones. You can then show your portfolio to potential employers to demonstrate your skills.
Network, Network, Network!
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Well, not quite – your design skills are still very important! However, networking with those in the industry and your potential clients is certainly a key factor to your success. A good way to start building your professional network is to connect with fellow graphic designers on sites like LinkedIn. Dribbble, an online social network for graphic designers and creatives, is another great way to display your work, connect with clients, and find inspiration.
Conferences and Events are another essential way to meet new people, learn new skills and get inspired. There are often seminars and talks from industry leaders, as well as networking sessions and workshops to connect with others in the industry. In the UK, some key events include The Print Show and The London Design Festival.
We hope this blog post has been helpful and given you some insight into how to make a start in Graphic Design. As mentioned above, we have a range of courses that can teach you the key skills you need for a successful career – you can find them here.