The electrifying realm of graphic design is continually evolving, so if you’re interested in a career in this fast flowing industry, you should be prepared to learn the fundamentals of the craft and keep your finger on the art’s relentless pulse.
But before being let loose to create graphics for advertising, packaging, logos or websites, the budding designer should be armed with the educational knowhow gleaned from a university degree, as prospective employers are unlikely to give you a second glance without it.
In reality, graphic design offers a challenging career, with the unlikelihood that any two days will be the same. If this appeals to you, a livelihood in graphic design presents a stimulating opportunity, but you should be aware of all the facts to allow you to make an informed decision.
Typically, those keen to get involved in the creative industries will simply know that’s the path they need to follow, but it’s also important to fully comprehend how design governs the way we think and feel about products.
With that in mind, read on for our top tips to set you on the path to attaining your dream job as a graphic designer …
Choose your niche
As with any career, you should be prepared to make some big decisions before becoming a graphic designer. Depending on your skillset, the area you want to specialise in will vary, with many designers involved in web development, print design or animation, for example, so it makes sense to narrow it down and really hone in on an area that floats your boat.
Pick up the tools of the trade
In the same way a portrait artist relies on a paintbrush and a bricklayer requires cement, a graphic designer should have access to software such as Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and After Effects. Although these tools can be tricky to master, the effort required – and the results garnered – is more than worth it if you want to make it in this extremely competitive industry.
Immerse yourself in the design community
With any art, it’s important to keep your hand in with what’s hot by becoming an integral part of the artistic community. The internet can only teach you so much, so it’s a great idea to take your designs out on the road to benefit from feedback and tips from other, more experienced, designers. In addition, considering the competitiveness of the industry, new friends and contacts are very useful.
Learn from the professionals
Graphic design is ubiquitous, so it’s extremely easy to drink in the smorgasbord of wonderful designs all around you. Analyse designs printed in magazines and the internet and try to determine what makes them work (or not) and try to incorporate this into your own work. Don’t be afraid to question what you see, and take inspiration from the things you love to boost your own creativity.