Graphic design is a broad term that can cover many different types of work, from logo and branding to web graphics and print media.
However, it is a profession that can be difficult to get into if you are unsure of where you need to start.
In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at the steps you need to follow if you want to become a graphic designer, as well as a look at graphic design in general.
What Is Graphic Design?
Graphic design is the art or craft of creating visual communication through the use of typography, layout, color theory, composition, illustration, photography, film, animation, video, etc.
It is also known as “visual communications” or “visual marketing”. The word “graphic” refers to images (or pictures) used for communication purposes.
Graphic design as a profession has existed since the early days of printing, when artists were commissioned by printers to create illustrations for books and newspapers.
Today, graphic designers are responsible for everything from logos and brand identities to packaging designs and website layouts.
They are often involved with advertising campaigns, corporate identity projects, publications, and more.
Learning And Practicing The Basic Principles Of Graphic Design
Before you begin learning how to become a graphic designer, you will first need to understand the basics of what makes up good graphic design.
This includes understanding the elements of design, principles of typography, color theory, and composition.
Consider enrolling in a course or taking a class on these topics. These classes will teach you the fundamentals of design and help you develop your skills.
If you have access to a computer, then you can practice using software programs like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
There are plenty of other tools available online that you can use to learn how to become a graphic artist.
You don’t necessarily need to be an expert to become a graphic designer. But, you do need to understand the basics.
The field of graphic design is very diverse, so there are many ways to go about becoming a graphic designer.
You may wish to study a specific area such as typography, illustration, motion graphics, or even digital arts.
Or, you could choose to focus on one aspect of graphic design such as web design, print design, or user experience design.
Whatever your path, here are some basic things you should know before starting out.
Elements Of Design
Designers often break down their work into three main categories: typographic, illustrative, and photographic.
Typographic design involves the creation of typefaces, which include fonts, headlines, display text, and body copy.
Illustrative design deals with the use of shapes, patterns, colors, textures, and symbols. And photographic design involves the use of photographs, videos, and other imagery.
Typography is the most important part of any piece of printed material. In fact, it is considered the foundation of all types of design.
Without proper typography, nothing else matters. So, if you want to learn how to become an effective graphic designer, you must master the basics of typography.
There are two main parts of typography: font selection and Kerning. Fonts are the individual letters that makeup words. Kerning refers to the spacing between different letters within a single word.
The second element of design is illustrative design. Illustrations are used to convey information visually.
For example, they can be used to show people, places, objects, and ideas. When creating illustrations, designers must consider several factors including scale, perspective, and balance.
The third element of design is photographic design. Photographers take pictures of real-life subjects.
They also use lighting effects and special filters to manipulate the appearance of images. Good photographers must pay attention to detail, composition, light, and shadow.
Colors play a major role in designing. Color theory helps us understand why certain colors look better together than others. It also gives us insight into how we perceive colors.
When working with color and form, designers must keep in mind the concept of “balance.”
Balance means having equal amounts of positive and negative space. This leads to more interesting compositions.
Learning The Tools Of Graphic Design
Once you have learned the basics principles of graphic design, you will need to learn how to use various tools to create great-looking pieces of art.
Some of the best tools for graphic designers include:
- Adobe Photoshop – An image editing program used by many professional designers. It allows you to manipulate images, add special effects, and create logos, posters, and advertisements.
- Adobe Illustrator – Another popular tool used by designers. It is similar to Photoshop, but focuses more on creating illustrations.
- Adobe Fireworks – A vector drawing program designed specifically for web designers. It has features similar to those found in Adobe Illustrator.
- Adobe Dreamweaver – A web development application used by many web designers. It helps you build websites from scratch or modify existing ones.
- Adobe Flash – An animation program used primarily by web designers. It enables them to create animations and interactive content for websites.
- CorelDRAW – A graphics editor used by some web designers. It provides basic functions such as creating line drawings, diagrams, and charts.
- Microsoft PowerPoint – A presentation program used by many business professionals. It lets you create slideshows, presentations, and infographics.
Work On Graphic Design Projects To Hone Your Skills
Now that you know what you need to learn and what tools you need to become familiar with, you should start working on projects that require you to apply this knowledge.
This way, you will get experience designing everything from simple logos to complex advertising campaigns.
A good way to get in some practice would be to take a class- be it online or in person- or even asking friends or family members if they have any projects that you could help with.
As long as you keep learning and building on your graphic design skills, you are sure to be able to improve your skills over time and become a professional.
Volunteering Or Intern Work
If you want to go into graphic design full-time, then volunteering or interning at a company may be a good option.
You will gain valuable work experience while making contacts who might hire you one day.
Another option is to find an internship through a college or university. Many colleges offer paid internships where students can earn money and receive academic credit.
If you do not have access to a college nearby, then you can always look up local companies that are looking for interns.
Working As A Freelance Graphic Designer
If you already have some experience under your belt, then you can consider becoming a freelance designer.
There are many different ways you can make money as a freelancer. For example, you can sell custom designs, provide services like website creation, or produce promotional materials.
You can also set up your own small business. If you are creative enough, there is no reason why you cannot open your own graphic design firm.
The only thing you need to remember is that you must charge clients for the work that you do.
Becoming A Professional Graphic Designer
Finally, if you really want to become a professional graphic designer, then you need to invest in yourself.
This means getting a degree in graphic design, taking classes, and practicing all the skills that you learned so far.
Learning The Business Elements Of Graphic Design
The business side of graphic design is another essential factor that you need to consider if you want to become a successful graphic designer.
When starting out, you will most likely focus on the artistic aspects of graphic design.
However, once you have gained more experience, you will realize that knowing the business elements of graphic design is just as important.
In order to succeed in the field of graphic design, you need to understand how to market your work effectively.
In addition, you will need to know how to manage your finances well. These two factors are very important because without them, you will never be able to build a client base.
You will also need to develop strong communication skills. It is crucial to be able to communicate clearly with clients, designers, and other people involved in the process of creating graphics.
If you’re serious about becoming a graphic designer, then now is the perfect time to start honing your craft.
By taking the steps outlined above, you’ll quickly gain valuable experience and build up a portfolio that will impress prospective employers.
Plus, you’ll develop the confidence needed to pursue your dreams.
As long as you continue to learn and improve your skills, you’re sure to reach your goals sooner than you think!