When you think of your future as a designer, you imagine creating awesome illustrations, or websites which are simple, sleek and sophisticated. You want to be successful, and you’re looking to find a way to get there.
There are many different ways to become a graphic designer. Although some people might learn a single computer software program and call themselves a designer, but developing into a true professional will give you the ability to go further, creating those breathtaking designs that inspire you. So, here’s a look at how to take your skill to the next level.
Courses to help you succeed
If you’re starting out, learning the foundations of design will give you the ability to grasp the principles of the work while you develop your own skills, talents and design styles.
Building on foundational knowledge means you’ll have no need to imitate or follow trends.
– 1.Design Foundations
Learning the building blocks of graphic design will help you to use computer design software to produce excellent results.
When you understand the principles of design, you will be able to use the computer as a tool to create websites or work on desktop publishing.
– 2.Digital Illustration
Illustration offers an expressive way to represent a text or create a visual message.
By learning digital illustration, you will be able to work on storyboards or create unique imagery for projects.
– 3.Digital Media Production
If you’re interested in interactive projects such as animation, special effects and multimedia, you would benefit from learning After Effects, for example.
This will enable you to work on adverts, computer games, multimedia and various graphics.
– 4.Career Development
Understanding how to work as a design professional, and the qualities needed in order to carry out this work will enable you to seek employment or set up your own practice as a freelancer. Learn how to market yourself as a designer and manage well in interviews.
– 5.Portfolio Development
A mentor or instructor who can assist you with developing your portfolio will assist you with creating a top quality one. This will help you with finding work within the industry.
Many graphic design programs include courses which include business skills, soft skills or professional development.
These courses teach how to work in the world, manage projects, plan your time or manage a business. If you’re interested in working freelance or setting up a design practice, this knowledge is very helpful to have.
The importance of gaining experience
Once you have the foundations under your belt, it is time to gain experience as a graphic designer. Experience helps you build skill, confidence, and establish a reputation. When you work in the design field, you’ll begin to find your niche, develop your interests and gain client feedback and establish a reputation.
While working in the field, you will become familiar with negotiating client relationships, working with art directors, learning new skills and finding your flare. Experience will bring you invaluable knowledge of managing projects and work under pressure.
As you meet new designers, find clients and build industry contacts, you will start to build a network. This will slowly build your reputation and a group of people who may refer work to you. You will also build and develop your portfolio.
Creative ways to gain experience as a new graphic designer:
Volunteer: offer your services to an NGO, charity or local outreach program.
Help friends or family design business cards invites or brochures.
Design your own cards, pamphlets, t-shirts or website. T-shirt designing is probably the easiest. Create a neat illustration, use a T-Shirt template and promote it.
Sell your work on Etsy.
As a graphic designer, you will need to be skilled in software such as InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or Affinity.
If you are working fulltime, your employer may contribute to continual training, but if you are working freelance, you might have to pay for training yourself. You might sometimes need to learn new skills for new projects. You will also need to stay ahead of rapidly changing trends.
Registering with professional design organizations will help you to network, learn new knowledge and gain advice from fellow designers in the field. You may have to submit your portfolio in order to acquire new skills.
Get started with vector Illustration
If you are currently learning new skills, you might be interested in how to start with vector illustrating. Here are some tips:
Open up the illustrator. In order to create an Artboard (or the area you will be working on), click File and then New. Choose the size of Artboard you’d like to work on. If you are going to be working on the web, choose RGB (from the advanced section). If you are working for print, choose CMYK.
Quick tip: when working with Illustrator, remember to save as you go along. You can do this by clicking on File and then Save.
Your toolbar is on the left-hand side of your screen. As a beginner, you may enjoy using the Pencil Tool. If you are drawing from a Wacom pad, using the tools will feel easy, but you can still draw on the screen using a mouse.
After you have drawn your first shape, you will see it highlighted by a vector line. This line will disappear after you have produced your second shape. You can play with your shapes, altering line thickness and filling in color. To do this, click between filled or outline squares on the menu box.
To become a reputable graphic designer, you need to understand the principles of design, gain experience in the field, and then carry on expanding your knowledge so that you can continue to grow and develop.
Select the route that is right for you, as there are many options for a great career in graphic design.