A graphic designer is one of the most important professions in the digital sphere, so if you want to become a graphic designer to earn good money, you made the right choice.
Graphic design surrounds us everywhere, both on the Internet and in real life. It includes creating banners, flyers, presentations, the layout of magazines, and other graphic materials for advertising and business.
Main areas of graphic design:
- Corporate identity
- Business cards
- Logos and brand names
- Posters and posters
- Magazines and books
- Illustrations and advertising in print media
- Outdoor and transport advertising
- Advertising banners
- Infographics and graphic diagrams
- Flyers and booklets
- Packaging and labels
To become a graphic designer, consider what you are more interested in: creating a corporate identity for your business, labels and packaging, infographics, or interfaces.
Then, choose several related areas: for example, you can devote yourself to working with a business — developing corporate identity, logos, business cards, and presentations. Or learn the specifics of printing and layout and make designs for flyers, booklets, calendars, posters, and other printed products.
To understand what you like, you must try yourself in each direction.
What skills do you need to become a graphic designer
The first thing you need is a good knowledge of graphics programs. In the first stage, you will need to learn:
- Adobe Photoshop (learn the basics on this course),
- Adobe Illustrator (learn the basics on this fundamental course),
- Corel Draw,
or their free counterparts, for example:
- Vecteezy Editor.
But if you want to develop in the profession of a graphic designer, you will need to know more programs:
- For layout purposes: InDesign (introductory course is here), Quark Xpress, Ventura Publisher, TeX, FrameMaker.
- For animating objects and characters: After Effects (introductory course is here).
- For 3D modeling: 3DMax, Blender, SketchUp, ZBrush, Cinema 4D.
The next point in becoming a graphic designer is studying the visual side of design. The most important ones are composition theory, coloristic (the science of colors and their compatibility), and typography (the science of fonts). Specialized literature and online courses will help you learn them.
Essential books for graphic designers:
- Now You See it And Other Design Essays. Michael Beirut.
- Icons of graphic design. Steven Heller.
- Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type (Design Briefs), Kimberly Elam
- Typography Essentials Revised and Updated: 100 Design Principles for Working with Type. Ina Saltz.
- Just My Type: A Book About Fonts. Simon Garfield.
- Visual Thinking: Empowering People and Organisations through Visual Collaboration. Williemien Brand.
The third thing a graphic designer needs is continuous improvement. Follow the latest trends and view them regularly on Behance, checking the works of other designers. Expand your horizons and develop your artistic taste, turn to fine art and design classics, and draw inspiration from the works of recognized masters. It will help you not stand still and not get stuck in your templates.
How to create a portfolio for a graphic designer
Finding a job without a portfolio will be difficult, so during the training process, create several works you can show to a potential customer. The easiest way is to open any freelance marketplace and view orders there. You’ll see what your customers need, what their requirements are, and what their budgets are. The last point will help you decide on the most profitable destinations.
Another way is to create what you want, to implement your idea. For example, create an advertising banner for your favorite clothing brand, a business card with an exciting picture, or your logo. The main thing to remember is that your work should look professional and meet design trends.
Where to study to become a graphic designer
You can learn the profession yourself using books and video tutorials or take an online course with a teacher who will not only give you structured theoretical knowledge but also tell you about the state of the industry, the specifics of working with clients, pitfalls, and typical mistakes of beginners.
Here are some practical courses to start with:
- Become an Adobe Creative Cloud Expert: Ps, Id, Ae, Pr, Lr, Xd
- Logo Design Fundamentals
- Logo and Brand Identity for Designers
- Create And Design Memorable Presentations
What blogs about graphic design to read
Don’t limit yourself to courses and books — be sure to browse design resources with up-to-date information and fresh ideas.
- Smashing Magazine
- Adobe Create Magazine
- The Inspiration Grid
- Identity Designed
- Graphic Design for Fearless Women
- Creative Overflow
- Creative Bloq
- and, of course, Dribble.
- Choose the area of graphic design
- Learn the basics of design from books and courses for beginners
- Make your first portfolio yourself on projects from exchanges
- Start responding to requests on marketplaces and get your first actual orders
- Constantly check Behance and profile blogs about design
Don’t know where to start? Book a consultation with me, and I will create a roadmap for you to become a freelance graphic designer and where to find your first projects. Write me on Facebook.
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