As we all know the pandemic of covid19 is disturbing the whole world. People all across the globe are losing their jobs and we are feeling depressed about their future and jobs as they need to survive themselves and a family to feed. This truth can’t be denied, so looking into this matter, I decided to write this article which would throw light on how to survive this problem by learning a new skill which is huge in demand and people can work remotely by working on project basis. There are a lot skills which one can learn to build a career such as copy writing, business analysis, and social media handling and so on. Today I m going to write about one such skill which is known as graphic designing. Hope this article find you in good health.
What Is Graphic Design?
When you think of graphic design, do you think of artistic advertisements? Eye-grabbing graphics on websites? Stunningly arranged spreads in magazines? While these examples certainly fit under the graphic design definition, the term encompasses a lot: posters, infographics, book covers, product labels, logos, business cards, signs, website layouts, mobile apps, software interfaces—the list goes on.
So what is graphic design, exactly? Listing these graphic design examples is a good start, but it doesn’t paint the full picture. While covering the details and intricacies of the entire graphic design field might not be possible in one article, this high-level overview will help you better understand this creative career field. If you’re at all interested in becoming a professional graphic designer, keep reading to learn the basics of the field.
Graphic design basics
To better understand the meaning of graphic design, it is important to be aware of the elements and principles that make up design. Elements are used in conjunction or opposition with each other to create visually striking and impactful designs.
These graphic design elements include:
Graphic designers also adhere to the principles of design, which are essentially a set of guidelines that help a design achieve effective composition. These basic principles aid in creating balance and stability for the piece of work.
These graphic design principles include:
You’ve heard the old saying that “rules are meant to be broken,” which can certainly ring true in this case. But a good graphic designer must first understand these principles before making the conscious decision to break them.
Types of graphic design
As mentioned earlier, there is no single graphic design meaning. Graphic design is composed of many fields and specializations, ranging from print and web design to animation and motion graphics. Graphic design offers opportunities and options for individuals of almost any interest.
If you’d asked someone 30 years ago to define graphic design, their answer would have likely been focused on print-related examples like magazines, movie posters and advertisements. Now we’re living in the digital age, which has given birth to several new types of graphic design.
Some of the most notable modern-day graphic design examples stem from advancements in technology. Here’s a glimpse of some of these types of graphic design:
- Website design involves creating engaging and intuitive web pages for users. This includes overall layout, color scheme and navigation.
- User experience (UX) design is focused on ensuring a website or application is easy and satisfying to use. These designers emphasize value, usability, adoptability and desirability.
- Motion graphics design—or animation—brings visual elements to life through special effects, TV shows, video games and movies.
These are the Steps which one needs to follow to become a graphic designer
Step 1. The Basics – Build Your Foundation
You’ve loved to sketch, draw and paint your entire life – and having grown up in the world of social posts, hashtags, memes, and live streams – your computer skills are excellent too. So, when the time comes to choose a career, you’ve decided that a job in graphic design is not only going to ensure a steady paycheck but also allow you to combine your gift for creativity with your computer skills
Graphic design professionals work in the commercial art industry, specifically, in advertising, marketing, and identity branding. As AIGA, the professional association for design, reports, you may find work at a specialized design firm as a member of a collaborative team, or work independently as a self-employed contractor. Graphic designers are responsible for laying out the design elements, creating concepts, and overseeing the production of all the digital, printed and visual materials for a brand.
A graphic designer works directly or indirectly for a client to create materials that align with the client’s brand, appeal to the target audience and, ultimately, please the client. An understanding of design theory, mastering specific commercial art skills, and learning industry standards should be the first objectives of all new designers who wish to set themselves apart from the amateur.
Essential Skills and Knowledge
- Basic Drawing
- Graphic Design Theory
- Layout and Structuring
- Fonts and Type
- User Experience
- Website Design Best Practices
- Professional Copywriting
- The Art of Critique
Learn Basic Drawing Skills
The answer about how to become a graphic designer always begins with learning basic drawing skills. Before approaching the commercial side of art, you need a basic ability to illustrate your ideas on paper. Many graphic designers begin every project with a series of “thumbnails” (small sketches that illustrate basic layouts and concepts) before turning their top selections into “roughs” (detailed layouts that illustrate the concept). They show these rough sketches to other professionals at their firm, including art directors, creative directors, and account managers, and to clients. To express your ideas concisely, you need basic drawing abilities and a practiced clarity in your sketching that allows you to express your point of view. And, later, if you work in television, designing for commercial advertising, you’ll use those drawing skills to “storyboard” your concepts – thumbnail drawings that accompany the voiceover text and art direction.
Learn Graphic Design Theory – Typography, Color Theory, & Grid Systems
Graphic design is not simply slapping a fun font and a few images into a design. Instead, good design and strong layouts can be approached in a scientific manner. You must put a lot of effort into determining the correct imagery, layout, spacing, visual structure and appropriate typography, and an appealing design. Graphic designers must consider the white space around the design elements in the layout – clients don’t like paying for empty space! – or how headers and subheads can be a consistent size while fitting the space on the page. Designers must know how color and imagery impact individuals and how to manipulate them effectively to direct users (and buyers) where you want them to look.
Learn the Basics of User Experience
A good graphic designer has to understand both the client’s brand and the brand audience to create materials that are appealing. A website, for example, must be designed in a way that visitors can navigate it easily. If user experience (UX) isn’t considered, visitors may become frustrated and quickly leave when they are unable to find the content they want.
Learn Website Design Best Practices
Users spend only a few seconds to determine if your digital ad or website holds their interest or meets their needs before deciding to explore further — or bounce. Understanding best practices for content, structure, layout and visual aids helps increase engagement time, click-through rates and visitor retention. You also need to know how to ensure quick page loading times, optimize designs for mobile and the responsive elements that personalize all aspects of the UX.
Learn Professional Copywriting
Graphic designers, especially those working as solo entrepreneurs, often need strong writing skills to ensure the client’s message is clear and appealing. Since visitors often skim content to determine if they want to spend time reading it, graphic designers frequently play the role of copywriters by writing descriptions, text blocks, headers, article titles, CTAs and even meta descriptions for brochures, point-of-sale, collateral, websites, and digital ads. Writing should be grammatically correct, concise and remain consistent with the voice of the brand in an effort to increase engagement and promote interest and visibility. If the company does not have a developed voice, then the graphic designer likely helps determine the voice best suited for the target audience of that brand.
Learn the Art of Critique
One of the hardest skills to learn is how to not only take criticism from others but critiquing your own work effectively. Graphic designers must be willing to create what the client wants. Clients, peers and even the public will criticize every part of ads and designs. Starting with the initial brainstorming process, a graphic designer has to be able to think creatively and look at every idea with a critical eye. Designers have to consider how something might be misinterpreted or how it could be improved in the smallest way.
Step 2. Master the Software
Computer design skills are vital in creating professional layouts. To become proficient, the designer needs a high degree of skill in the industry’s standard software programs, usually acquired through long hours of practice. You need to get comfortable with the software to create designs quickly and up to industry standards. Whether you are preparing images for website use or laying out a brochure for the printer, a graphic designer must know the right size, format, and dimensions for every different kind of project a client may need.
Learn Adobe Photoshop
If you need to edit or adjust an image, Photoshop is your go-to program. Photoshop works with rasterized images that allow manipulation of individual pixels. This ability makes Photoshop suitable for photographic imagery, but not for website design, logos, fonts or any other type of graphic design work. You can use Photoshop to swap parts of images to change out a face, for example, or to insert a background or edit flaws in a photo. From healing brushes, lasso tools, feathering and burning, you need to understand and be able to use the numerous editing tools that Photoshop offers to edit images at a true professional level for your client. A good designer will not rely on stock images, since they are often generic and do not promote the brand.
Learn Adobe Illustrator
When a client needs a logo or an illustration, you will likely use Illustrator to complete the project. Illustrator works with vector art, creating lines that can be expanded in size but still not lose clarity. A logo created in Illustrator, for example, can be used on both a business card, on which it’s no large than an inch high and on a billboard, where it appears 10 feet high. Illustrator has an extremely complicated line, gradient, and coloring tools that allow the user to make complicated projects. Like Photoshop, Illustrator, created as a tool with professionals in mind, is not an intuitive program to beginners. This program does not handle raster images well and will quickly get bogged down if you try to drop photos into your design.
Learn Adobe InDesign
For projects that combine rasterized images with vector elements, you need a program that handles both effectively. InDesign effectively allows you to organize your text, create layout formats, insert image placeholders and then save the file in a format designed for professional printing. If you are creating the mechanical for a brochure layout to go to press, for example, you will save your final project into a folder that contains copies of your fonts and images as well as the design file. Because the program is essentially adding “placeholders” instead of real images, you can create a large number of pages without the program bogging down due to its size. Once you’ve learned Illustrator and Photoshop, InDesign is somewhat easier to learn, but it is still quite different from most tools and should be practiced until you gain proficiency.
Step 3. Earn a Degree in Graphic Design or Related Field
We’ve all heard stories about people throwing off the chains of a bachelor’s degree to start multi-million dollar businesses. People like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college and went on to create companies that changed the world we live in. These stories reinforce the idea that a college education isn’t necessary – all you really need is old-fashioned grit, originality, and natural talent to succeed.
Stories like this beg the question, are those who go straight into business after high school as likely to succeed as those who pursue higher education? What do the numbers say?
The Value of a Degree
Labor stastics show that students who pursue a bachelor’s degree earn significantly more over the course of their career than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma. The lifetime earnings gap between college graduates and those without a degree continues to widen, as employers demand more skilled talent.
While it’s true that not every job in the design industry requires a graphic design degree, it is also true that some skills are very hard to learn on your own. A degree in graphic design from a reputable university demonstrates to clients, advertising agencies, and other employers that you are a serious professional who has put in the effort required to be successful.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
The bottom line is, there is so much for you to learn. Regardless of whether you are starting from zero or already have some experience, university education can help you develop your talent into a career. A lot of information simply isn’t available by searching google or attempting the process of trial and error. Schools provide opportunities for aspiring graphic designers to master the software, explore the history of design, practice illustrations, learn the basics of animation, and much more, all while nurturing your own personal style.
Studying graphic design in a university setting also helps you achieve other objectives, like developing the soft skills that you need to succeed at work. Skills like communication, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork are all important attributes that are hard to develop on your own.
Step 4. Choose an Area of Specialization
Having a niche helps narrow your focus to a single area, so you can get really good at what you do. For many graphic design firms, it is important to have a solid understanding of all aspects of graphic design, but a focus sets you apart from the rest of the professionals. If you plan to work as a freelancer, you want a very specific focus so that firms or companies are eager to hire you instead of other professionals in that area.
A few popular areas of specialization include:
Being able to pinpoint the direction of a company and succinctly conceptualize it in a memorable logo is no easy task. Graphic designers work to create logos that are unique but yet still express purpose and meaning to the target audience takes not only the ability to think creatively but also a deep understanding of design history combined with a lot of skill and practice. Logos have to be instantly recognizable, with the ability to be scalable for both small and large branded materials.
Web Design and Digital Design
Web and digital designs are growing quickly in importance. Today, brands without websites or digital advertising lose a lot of business. Some estimates compare the lack of a website to closing the bricks-and-mortar location for an additional day each week. Digital designers must stay current with design and technology trends. A talented graphic designer with a niche in digital and web design must be able to understand the innate expectations of internet visitors, creating layouts and ads that are easily navigable and that function correctly.
With a wide number of formats and platforms, some graphic designers choose to focus on creating designs that work across multiple forms of media. You may prefer to focus on video and audio to help produce commercials, tutorials, and podcasts for your clients.
Step 5. Build a Stand-Out Portfolio
Your portfolio proves your skills and understanding of the industry. Your graphic design program should help you develop an impressive portfolio that helps you get a job (or internship) as soon as you graduate. You want to focus on quality over quantity, choosing your very best work to showcase to clients or potential employers. A portfolio should include a handful (often about 10 to 12 examples) of your best work that demonstrates your abilities and niche skills and interests.
Many students create mock ads, logos, and graphic design projects for fake companies or even fake projects for real companies. A student may choose an existing company’s materials and rework them for the sole purpose of displaying his or her talent in identifying and addressing the target audience. When you’ve worked in the industry or have worked on real projects as an intern, then you will likely want to include projects that demonstrate your ability to work for a real-world client. Some graphic design students volunteer their talents to organizations or local brands to work on projects for their portfolios. Others may be able to pick up graphic design projects for local companies with very small budgets that will pay an amateur rate for a project perfect for display in a portfolio.
Step 6. Start Your Career
Taking the next step may seem scary, but your education has prepared you. The key to working as a top professional is continuing your education as much as possible by being involved in the industry and staying up on the trends. Continuing to critique your own work may be the single most important factor in improving, and you will constantly want to assess the impact of your work. After graduation, you will spend a lot of time initially in perfecting your resume and portfolio as well as marketing to potential clients and applying for jobs at marketing and design firms.
Don’t settle for middle-of-the-barrel work. Keep pushing for better and better designs. You want to stand out so that you are invaluable to your clients and employer. Many graphic design artists work in agencies, but some prefer to work alone. No matter where you land, you want to stand apart so that you are not easily replaced. Amateurs and college students abound who are willing to work for low rates just to build their portfolios. You will win jobs at premium rates only by being far better at your job than the other candidates for the position.
Be Original and Stay Involved
Keep working to stay original in your approach. Become a leader in the design industry, not simply a follower. Find ways to measure results and keep improving based on methods that work better than others. Stay involved in top companies from all industries, since you never know when inspiration may hit. Join local and national design organizations and participate in them. Explore new apps, platforms, media and tools without hesitation.
Keep Learning and Embrace Change
Don’t hamper your talent by slowing to a standstill after earning your degree. Keep growing and look for new perspectives that are outside the graphic design world. Don’t allow yourself to get into an echo chamber that keeps you thinking inside the same box with assumptions you don’t even realize you hold. Allow the data to drive your direction. Keep taking classes to stay up-to-date on new techniques, practices, and tools that will become industry standards for the competing new talent. Adobe and other software makers, for example, continually provide updates to their software, so designers must stay in “student” mode their entire careers, taking classes either online or in traditional settings, or teaching themselves new tricks and tips. This is an industry in a near-constant state of flux, as new trends and technological updates emerge. A designer who wants to stay employed in the field must learn to embrace change and stay ready to learn. As noted in GDUSA (Graphic Design USA), “It’s important to always be learning when you’re in a digital career.”
Step 7. Learn Business Basics – Contracts, Marketing, & More
Finally, don’t think that graphic design is simply a technical art. Explore the basics of business, so you have a solid understanding of a company’s background and history when a client approaches you with a project. Understanding how business leaders think will help you create the kind of strategy that they can understand and appreciate. Knowing how graphic design works hand-in-hand with the marketing and sales teams allows you to be relevant and invaluable to a company. As you continue to learn and grow, play close attention to the aspects of business and marketing that affect your job and continue studying ways to provide additional business value to your clients.