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How to Become a Graphic Designer

Bachelor's degree

Graphic designers often demonstrate their originality and creativity with their professional portfolio. Typically, graphic designers require a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a similar field. Graphic design candidates can showcase their best designs through a professional portfolio that demonstrates their originality and creativity.

Education & Training

Having a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a similar field is typically necessary. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in a different field may decide to further their technical training in order to satisfy the majority of hiring qualifications.

Approximately 300 postsecondary universities, colleges and independent institutes are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The majority of schools include the following classes: printing techniques, studio art, computerized design, website design and commercial graphics production. Students will additionally benefit from marketing, writing and businesses classes, as these skills will be utilized; helping designers efficiently take on team projects.

Students often take the opportunity to create a professional portfolio to showcase their creative designs. This entails collecting examples of their design ideas from previous experience such as internships or classroom projects. Students can utilize these work examples in order to highlight their design skills when bidding on projects and applying for jobs. A decent portfolio is often the deciding factor when it comes to securing a career.

Those considering a career in graphic design benefit from taking basic design and art classes during high school if these programs are offered. Numerous bachelor's degree programs require students to finish a year of basic design and art classes prior to being admitted into a formal design school. Certain programs require applicants to submit examples of their artistic nature by sending in sketches along with their portfolio.

It is vital that graphic designers keep abreast of the latest and updated computer design and graphics software. They may attend formal training programs specializing in software or through studying on their own. Professionals including the Graphic Artists Guild and the AIGA who specialize in graphic design provide courses to help their members stay current with the latest developments.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

A variety of certification programs are available through software product vendors. Graphic design software certification can demonstrate a competency level that may provide a competitive advantage to jobseekers.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Analytical skills: It is vital that graphic designers look at their work from a customer point of view and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by the consumer. It is necessary to ensure that the designs implement the desired message as set out by the client.

Artistic ability: Designs must be created that are appealing to consumers and clients while being artistically creative. Computer program or traditional hand sketching produces the initial illustration concepts and the ideas are built up from there.

Communication skills: It is essential that graphic designers communicate with customers, clients and additional designers to make sure their work effectively expresses information and accurately reflects the proposed message.

Computer skills: The majority of graphic designers utilize highly specialized computer software to create their designs.

Creativity: It is necessary that graphic designers can communicate consumer ideas and come up with fresh ideas. They must understand their clients desires and covey them in a unique way on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills: Graphic designers may work on numerous projects simultaneously and each may have a different deadline.

How To Advance

Graphic designers just starting out often need 1 to 3 years of work experience prior to advancing to higher positions. Experienced graphic designers may become a creative director or art director. Additional supervisory positions including chief designer may become available.