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How to become a Graphic Designer?

If you are dreaming to become a Graphic Designer, then you have landed up at the right place! Here, we will discuss what all is required to become a Graphic designer – whether you hold a college degree or not. Though a bachelor’s degree in Graphic design is always welcomed, it is not mandatory to enter this exciting and creative field. Your innovative ideas, a sense for design and business knowledge will take you a long way as a Graphic designer.

How to become a Graphic Designer? Here we go…

How to become a Graphic Designer

1. Select your Area of Interest:

The field of Graphic Design is as vast as an ocean. The more you go deeper in it, the more you realize you know just the tip of an iceberg! You may not be able to conquer the entire ocean, but specialize in your area of interest. If the mere idea of CMYK and printing machines attracts you, plunge into print design and start creating graphics for magazines, business cards, journals, newsletters, logos, etc. If web is what fascinates you, choose web deigning and start learning HTML, CSS, and related topics. If UI design is your pathway to success, start learning the nuances of UI designing. If animation is your goal in life, then put your entire effort in it. In Graphic designing, it is important to know something about everything and everything about something. It means, have a basic knowledge of every graphic designing field but expertise in one of them.

2. Learn the Necessary Tools:

Once have decided, which career path to choose, start getting a thorough knowledge of the essential tools required to become a graphic designer. Fall in love with Adobe as you cannot get away with Photoshop, whatever career path you may choose in Graphic Design. In print design apart from Photoshop you also need to learn Illustrator, Indesign, Quark Xpress, etc. For Web Designing, HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver are the pre-requisites besides Photoshop. UI design again requires Photoshop and Illustrator. For animation and Video effects learn Autodesk 3D Maya, 3D Modeling, Flash, Premiere Pro, After Effects and so on. For every Graphic designer, Photoshop is the most essential software one needs to master.  You journey as a Graphic designer will become quite smooth and successful, if you can work well with Photoshop and learn how to create attractive looking designs with eye-catching effects.

3. Read Online:

A quick, easy and economical way of learning graphic design is to read a lot on the net. Internet is full of graphic tutorials which show step-by-step method of creating various visual effects. You will find all sort of tutorials, for beginners as well as advanced learners. Start reading and practicing from these tutorials to gain confidence in the software you are learning. Some of the famous graphic design tutorials are:

4. Buy and read Books:

Not only online reading will help you, even good books on graphic designing will give you a thorough knowledge of various softwares. Such books are timeless as they are written by well known authors who have been experts in Graphic design for long. Here are some of these books:

  • The Elements of Graphic Design by Alex W. White
  • A designer’s art by Paul Rand
  • How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
  • The Art of Color by Johannes Itten
  • How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer by Debbie Millman

5. Enroll for a Graphic Designing Course:

All those who are not fully satisfied with self-learning, can enroll for a course or diploma in graphic design. There are various classroom as well as online courses available for graphic design. Joining a course brings in discipline, networking with other students, learning from the experts and many other benefits. There are various institutes running such courses such as:

  • Arena Multimedia
  • Pearl Academy
  • National Institute of design
  • Design Institute of India
  • National Deisgn centre
  • Wigan & Leigh College
  • MAAC
  • ZEE Institute of Design

6. Plunge into the creative network:

You need to know what is happening in the outside world! Join graphic design communities, discussion forums and start posting your thoughts, questions, answers and have a fruitful discussion on various aspects of graphic design and how to enter the job market. Make good use of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin to update yourself with latest news and trends in graphics. Some of the popular communities and discussion forums on graphic design are:

  • HOW Design Forum
  • deviantART
  • GDF (Graphic Design Forum)
  • All Graphic Design Forum
  • Estetica
  • UCreative Forum

7. Collect good designs you come across:

Start collecting designs that inspire you, make you think out of the box and trigger your creativity. These designs could be online or in print. Refer these designs time and again to get inspired and take your creativity to the next level! Read through design magazines, everyday newspaper, menu card, bottle lables, packaging, even flyers and pamphlets you receive and start concentrating on the design elements which you really like in these. Design is everywhere, the only thing is that now you should start observing instead of just looking at them.

8. A Portfolio is a must:

Once you have learnt the basics and are in the process of getting expert at various tools and softwares, start creating your portfolio. It is better to have a portfolio in print as well as online, as some companies prefer either of the two. Portfolio is a showcase of your skill sets, your creativity, uniqueness and the confidence level you have in design.  The portfolio should demonstrate best works you have done so far and bring out clarity in your thoughts and motives behind such designs. A portfolio is what can make or break your chances of getting a job! So, take sufficient time out to build a great looking portfolio.

Graphic Designing is a very challenging and dynamic field with lots of creativity and job satisfaction. One needs to be patient and follow the above steps to enter the job market and build a successful career as a Graphic Designer!

Also, read related posts on Graphic Designing:

What is Graphic Design?
Graphic Design Careers

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Graphic Design Careers | Careers in Graphic Design | Career options in Graphic Designing 11/04/2014

[…] doesn’t need a college degree (though it is always good to have one) to become a graphic designer. One can also be a self-made graphic designer and learn the tools online. With a little mentoring, […]

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