How to Become a Graphic Designer and Career Highlight
Before deciding to become a graphic designer, it’s important to know what the career holds and how to successfully get into it, including the training to take.
This post provides a guide into the world of graphic designing, showing you what you need to know to effectively become a designer and excel in the career.
What does a Graphic Designer Do?
A graphic designer works on a number of products and activities. He/she works on websites, advert posters, magazines, computer games, and visual branding.
He/she is a visual communication expert who develops graphics materials, prints, and designs television graphics, logos, and websites.
Graphic designers are usually employed by advertising agencies, publishers, companies, and other businesses that require the service of design professionals.
Graphic designers can earn bachelor’s degrees that can help them develop designs and technical skills, and even develop their portfolio.
Educational requirements and training
it is easier to earn an associate degree, which may qualify you as an assistant or technical support positions, but most graphic designers may need a bachelor’s degree. Also, attending a graphic school of arts and designs can be beneficial.
Some design programs admit applicants who have completed at least a year of arts and design courses.
Some colleges and universities may offer bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design programs, which span a four year period, equipping students with technical and artistic skills for entry-level employment or even higher positions as a graphic designer.
The curriculum is comprised mostly of design coursework in the liberal arts, and has topics in commercial arts, computer assisted designs, printing, and studio arts. Book design and typography may also be options for students.
Other courses offered by institutions may expose you to 3D design, communication design, film/TV, illustration, photography, and graphic design.
Certifications and practice
Most learning as a graphic designer is usually on the job, except in cases where some specific software may be needed.
Generally, a graphic designer will be skilled in using a variety of packages, such as InDesign, QuarkXPress, illustrator, and acrobat.
Though some employers are likely going to fund certain courses for you, it is also likely that you will need to continue to learn new skills to be able to meet up with certain demands as they come, and learning does not stop until the end of your career.
For easy accessibility to resources, advice and often times training, membership of professional bodies may be useful.
Roles, duties, and responsibilities
Graphic designers’ responsibilities include thinking and producing useful ideas, designing and developing briefs that meet customers’ tastes, working as part of a team with other professionals to execute tasks. See detail graphic designer duties and responsibilities here.
Graphic designing Skills
To succeed as a graphic designer, you need to have the following skills and characteristics, apart from technical and design skills:
- Passion and enthusiasm
- A flexible approach, especially when working with a team
- An excellent communication skill to enable interpretation of works and negotiation with clients
- A reasonably good presentation skill in other to inspire confidence and sell ideas to clients and colleagues, which is equally very beneficial to designers who are self-employed
- Time management skill, the ability to cope with a large workload, and finish tasks on time are essential since staying on schedule can be good for business
- Attention to details and accuracy in design
- Effective networking skill and being open to corrections and alternative opinion.
Career progression is possible within a few years, since the first few jobs may likely add up to boost your portfolio.
It is important to note that the first few years are basically to gain connection with people and register your credibility and network.
If you are successful after three to five years, it is possible to request for a position upgrade, or even managerial positions like studio manager or creative director.
In all, frequent job movements determine career development experience and the development of a portfolio.
Building up a good reputation over a period of time makes it easy to become self-employed, and getting a charted status also helps others to know that you are working at certain professional levels.
Internship and placement experience is very important in building a graphic designing career.
Most graphic designers are expected to work for about 37 hours weekly with usually flexible start and finish times. Extra hours come up when deadliness are approaching to get a job finished.
Part-time work may be difficult to find, but there are often opportunities that may require the services of part-time designers.
As a graphic designer, it is expected that you are likely going to share a studio, and at some jobs work as a team with designers, although it is possible to work as an individual.
Individuals or freelancers can rent space, share offices or have their studio located in their homes.
Job satisfaction only comes from creating high quality works and building a reputation. Although the work is mostly a studio based work, it is not unlikely that you will travel out to meet certain clients sometimes.
Did you learn something from our graphic designer career guide? Do share it in the comment box below. We will also love to know how you became a graphic designer if you are already one, thanks for sharing.