How to Become a Graphic Designer
A career in graphic design encompasses a range of different skills, most importantly a passion and enthusiasm for design and the drive to succeed in making clients dreams become a reality! This guide will give you some helpful tips and tricks on how to become a graphic designer.
What is a Graphic Designer?
A graphic designer incorporates a range of creative work and collaborates with clients and businesses to design websites, magazines, product packaging and corporate communications. The works demands that you stay up-to-date with design software that is new in the design world and follow clients’ briefs to meet their objectives. Graphic designers can either work full-time in house or part time as a side project.
Work Experience Required
Design firms will look for you to have relevant work experience in the field, which can be acquired by enrolling in an internship or work placement. Not only does work experience show future employers that you know how design software works and what the job entails but it also gives you the opportunity to network and build up a body of contacts.
Having a design portfolio of your work is greatly beneficial as it shows companies that you have experience working with design software and various design programs such as Adobe, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop, and may help you to secure an entry-level position.
Qualifications and Skills Required
Most graphic design roles will require that you have a formal education and have attained a university degree. However, there are also other alternative routes to becoming a graphic designer, such as studying design at college and attaining an HND in one of the following subjects:
As far as skills go, every good graphic designer needs to have the following:
Excellent time management
A large fraction of every graphic designer’s job is taking on projects and working to tight deadlines. In order to be able to meet them, they need to be able to manage their time well.
Meticulous design skills
Design skills are a given and they form the basis of every graphic designer’s career.
Good organisation skills
Graphic designers are usually tackling numerous projects and clients at once. Being able to do this successfully requires them to be well-organised.
The ability to communicate with potential clients and follow briefs
Getting work and being able to make it in the world of graphic design requires graphic designers to be able to communicate effectively and convince their clients to choose their services. Sometimes talent itself isn’t enough and everyone needs to be able to do a bit of self marketing.
Typical Duties for a Graphic Designer
Graphic designers are responsible for a range of duties which involve utilising both interpersonal and creative skills:
Career Progression in Graphic Design
To progress your graphic design career the key is to work hard at developing your reputation and build up a bank of contacts. On average, it takes two to three years to progress from a junior graphic designer position to a senior graphic designer one. Gaining chartered status with the Charted Society of Designers (CSD) shows future employers that your work is of a high calibre.