Graphic Design: So You Want To Become A Graphic Designer

Graphic design is fun

If you are reasonably good at art and enjoy work that involves words, images, type and illustrations, you will definitely find being a graphic designer or working for a graphic design company enjoyable. However, being a professional designer, the job may not be fun all the time. The projects can get quite tedious and since you would be getting paid, you would be working for others like a boss or a client, and both may have different opinions about a project that you will have to deal with.

The essential skills and qualifications

Being good at art and creating things, paying attention to detail and solid grammar and spelling proficiency are some of the basic skills you must have. You will need formal education and training in the job at hand. You could work towards a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a specialization in this field also called BFA/GD. Alternatively, you could do an associate degree, which is generally a two-year programme or certificate courses, however, most employers prefer hiring designers with a BFA/GD.

Important software

Being good at using software is very important, right after creativity in thinking. You must familiarize yourself with the software most commonly used by designers. Although there are numerous other applications, initially focus on some of the more popular ones.

For designing page layouts for books, flyer design, brochure design and reports, the two applications that are close competitors are QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign. Although they are both quite popular, InDesign has become an industry favourite.

For designing illustrations such as icons, logos, charts, or any other type of illustrations, good designers uses Adobe Illustrator.

For work involving images and photos, or any other type of pixel-based work such as scanned hand-made art work, graphic designers use Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Dreamweaver is the best option for website creation and later work since website designing is an important part of a graphic designer’s job.

Your employers

A designer can have three main options for working in the industry.

As a freelance graphic designer, you can look for work yourself to find suitable projects and clients. In this situation, you might rent an office or work from your home. You can work on identifying your niche and specialize one industry. Another option could be to work as a generalist and have various types of clients from all kinds of industries.

If you choose to work for a company with a good amount of work, you would be an in-house designer.

Most designers prefer working for a professional graphic design company. This could be a good place to start as the creative and stimulating environment will provide opportunities to learn and a lot of work.

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