Ultimate Guide: How To Become A Graphic Designer

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Is graphic design your passion?

Do you want to become a graphic designer?

Graphic design is a fantastic career path, which is full of great people, great ideas, and is a great creative discipline.

It’s a industry which has lots of opportunities, from packaging, branding, to advertisement, graphic design is a popular subject amongst a lot of creatives.

Even though it’s a good career choice, it requires hard work, determination and knowledge of this broad subject to become a graphic designer – but we’re here to help with that!

In this blog post, you’ll learn everything that you need to become a graphic designer.

From idea generation, developing your skill’s, and learning from the experts, this blog post is going to teach you how to become a graphic designer.

We’re pleased that you can join us, and you’re determined to make this career choice a priority.

So let’s get started!

Idea Generation

Graphic Design is all about ideas.

The idea behind any piece of graphic design is essential, which always comes first ahead of the way it looks.

Whatever your concept, your meaning, your idea, make sure it’s of the highest quality, which your audience will be amazed by.

But how do you install this into your mindset?

Even though you’re on your laptop, computer or mobile device to read this blog post; this is the thing that you need to get away from, in order for you to think of quality ideas.

Sketchbooks, layout paper, and writing down your thought’s is the way to go.

In order for you to create amazing ideas that can wow your audience, you need to be able to think of great ideas.

This doesn’t just develop out of no where, and certainly doesn’t happen by just doing some research on the internet, but is worked out in paper format.

For you to do just this, you need to use your hands as much as possible.

Mind mapping, sketching your ideas out onto paper, and doing your research, you can come up with epic ideas.

Sure, you can use the internet to help with your ideas, but this shouldn’t be the place where your main ideas originally come from e.g. Adobe Photoshop.

All professional graphic designers don’t rush onto the computer to think of an idea, but spend countless number of hours working out their ideas on paper, before going anywhere near a computer.

But why is this?

Because as soon as you start to think of ideas on the computer, it slows down your creative process, as you begin to make everything perfect.

A computer shouldn’t be used for idea generation, but should be used as the creator of the design itself.

Learn The The Fundamentals Of Design

In order for you to become a graphic designer, you need to know the fundamentals of design.

There’s typography, layout, branding, packaging, advertising, the list goes on and on.

In order for you to make your mark within Graphic Design, you need to know what you’re getting into, and what you’re interested in.

You might not have any idea what sort of graphic designer you want to be, but with researching and referring to books, you can get a sense of what you prefer to others.

These disciplines all go back in history, and it’s key you learn the fundamentals of design.

This is not only so you know what sort of discipline you want to go into, but will drastically help you become a better graphic designer.

You can see what’s worked well before, what other people have done before, and teaches you the rules, before you can break them.

Purchase quality books, read blogs and teach yourself some new skills can drastically help with this, and can heighten your perspective as a graphic designer.

Learn The Tools Of The Trade

In the 21st Century, graphic design is mainly produced digitally, which can be copied onto multiple subjects, areas and all walks of life.

To become a graphic designer, you need to learn the tools of the trade.

From Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and of course Adobe InDesign, these are the tools which you’ll need to master in order to be able to become a top class graphic designer.

Even though ideas are the essential part of graphic design, it’s also paramount that you learn the tools of the trade, as you might have thought provoking ideas, but the final design just doesn’t match.

This is why you need to learn the tools of the trade, that can help bring your excellent ideas to life, and make them stand out from your competition.

If you don’t know much about Adobe, which every graphic designer uses, you can use online tutorials to help you out.

From our previous Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials, which are essential to developing your skills,, it can help you feel confident about the software.

Visit other tutorial websites to help you out, from Tutsplus, Digital Arts blog, to Chris Spooner’s website.

Books, Websites & Blogs

In order for you to become a graphic designer, you need to learn from the best.

Fortunately for you, there’s lots of resources out there for you to become a better graphic designer.

From blogs, websites to conferences, there’s no better time to develop your skills, and become a master at your discipline.

But one resource powers over all of this – the book.

The books that we purchase have a huge effect on our learning, and can highly influence you, unlike blogs and websites.

It’s a physical object, which you can refer to at any point.

Use books to heighten your learning and encourage you to learn about all forms of graphic design.

Take A Graphic Design Course

To really heighten your skillset, and help you become the graphic designer that you want to be, taking a graphic design course is one option.

Teaching by professionals, people that know what they’re talking about, to learning about new ways of work and perspectives, taking a graphic design course is an excellent choice.

Sometimes we can become so narrow minded in our learning, that we need someone else to help us along the way, and encourage us to look in different directions.

A graphic design course allows you to do just this, which no blog, book or website can match.

Create An Amazing Portfolio

Every professional graphic designer should have a portfolio of work.

This is used to show clients your style, who you’ve worked for, and gives them a flavour of your skill.

Similar to a physical portfolio, is an online portfolio, which is just as important.

Clients and customers can visit your website, like what they see, get a sense of your brand, and hire you because of it.

It’s crucial that you invest in a quality physical portfolio, which you can take to meet clients and showcase your style.

On the other hand, it’s also paramount that you build a portfolio website, that can attract clients from all over the world.

Portfolios on Behance and Cargo Collective is a good place to start, as they’re free of charge.

But to be the best, you need your own website.

Invest in this, and you’ll be regarded as professional.

Show Your Personality & Build Your Brand

In a crowded graphic design market, you need to stand out to be recognised.

For you to do this, you need to show your personality, build your brand, and let others see you for who you really are.

Building your online presence can help immensely, as your putting yourself out there, and showing the world what you can do.

Platforms like Facebook and in particular Twitter are musts, as you can drive traffic to your website, showcase your brand to users, and develop a tribe which follow your every move.

We discuss more on social media marketing on our exclusive page.

The Ultimate How To Become A Graphic Designer

For you to become a graphic designer, you need to have a good portfolio of work, learn the tools of the trade, develop a strong sense of branding, and focus on the most important aspect of graphic design – the idea.

If you follow all these steps, and really put your heart into them, you’ll be able to develop a large array of work, which is classed as professional, high quality and unique.

Graphic Design can be a fantastic career to choose, you’ve just to go out and take it with both hands!

When you’ve become a world class graphic designer – fancy submitting your work to us?

Have I missed any points?

How have you developed your graphic designer skills?

Comments are more than welcome below!

Summary Of Points

  • Idea Generation – ideas, ideas, ideas. This is the most important aspect of graphic design. Ditch the computer or laptop, and get your hands dirty by working in your sketchbook or layout paper, and only use the internet to help your research
  • Learn The The Fundamentals Of Design – for you to become a graphic designer, you need to know what others have done before you. What’s worked? What have they tried? What area of design do you want to go into? Only by doing this can you discover who you want to be
  • Learn The Tools Of The Trade – to compliment your excellent ideas and concepts, you need to back this up with learning the tools of the trade. From Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, you need to master this to help your graphic design career
  • Books, Websites & Blogs – to develop your skills, ways of working, and to help you discover new perspectives, books, websites and blogs is highly encouraged
  • Take A Graphic Design Course – you can become a well established graphic designer in a number of years with the help of professional tutors and guidance
  • Create An Amazing Portfolio – for others to hire you, you need to have an amazing physical and online portfolio.
  • Show Your Personality & Build Your Brand – be unique, be different and be yourself by building your brand on social media, online platforms like Behance, and telling everyone about your great talent!

So thanks for visiting today, be sure to leave a comment below, as we would love to hear from you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, it will be great to see you on there. Thanks again, and have a great day!

About the author - HKJS


I'm an Illustrator, Designer & Animator from Hampshire, United Kingdom, and have been illustrating for a number of years. I have a wealth of experience within editorial, maps, posters and book covers. Having a firm interest in the creative industry and everything that revolves around it, I want to share what I've learnt to you. From this, I have a keen passion for t-shirt design and how illustration can become a part of something you wear.

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