Schools Training

How to be a Graphic Designer

17 MAY 2013
Career Path : Computers and Technology


Graphic design is a creative process, combining words, symbols and images to communicate a visual representation of ideas and messages. We see it in all types of artistic and professional disciplines, from product packaging, company logos and publication layouts to website design and film credits. It is a very challenging and rewarding career in a perpetually shifting industry, requiring a great eye and adept interpersonal skills. As media continues to shift towards purely digital there are no shortage of opportunities available to enterprising individuals who have mastered their craft.


“Create your own visual style: let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others” – Orson Welles

Aspiring designers should know it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to be successful in this career. Creativity is especially important though it’s not necessary to be a great artist. It will definitely help if you’re able to paint and sketch, but the key to graphic design is the ability to problem solve and arrange design concepts in a creative way. Other artists are often hired to create illustrations for a project that is then handed off to a graphic designer to integrate into the album cover, business card, poster or other graphic work. That said, it is ideal if you have some go-to artistic medium, such as photography, to save you money by completing more tasks independently, making you more marketable.


An understanding of art and design history and fundamentals, including the use of colour, shapes, and other visual elements, are vital for any graphic designer. Even if you have the most creative ideas, however, you will be severely limited if your technical skills aren’t up to par. You’ll need to know how to translate your concepts to Photoshop, Illustrator or some other application, accepting and working on the things you need to improve upon.


“Practice safe design: use a concept” – Petrula Vrontikis

It begins with just creating designs for yourself. Make your own business card, maybe a website design for a fake company, but do it in a way that makes it seem like you have done work for an actual client. Start to develop your portfolio and take a look at others around to get a better idea of what level you’ll need to make it in this very competitive industry. Taking some web design courses will help with building these capabilities and eventually creating your own website to show off your portfolio. Collect the designs that inspire you, read books and design-related blogs, take lots of photos, redo other people’s designs – anything that strengthens your creativity and immerses you in a designer’s mentality.


At some point you may want to focus on a specific area of design that appeals to you but begin with an open mind. If you’re really interested in this career path you should consider getting a degree. Graphic design courses can be inspiring and the networking opportunities will open many doors. Besides that, many people won’t hire a graphic designer without proof that they’ve been properly trained. These are just a few tips to get you started – good luck!

Visit Academy of Learning College for more information on graphic design and home inspection courses.