Career Advice For Graphic Design Beginners

Are you looking for a career change? The graphic design profession is one of the most competitive fields and you will need to stand out if you’re looking to thrive in the market. Graphic design can also be beneficial to anyone who is looking to expand their skills. Follow these graphic design career advice if you are looking to advance your career further.


Your personal taste is necessary in graphic design

Doing design isn’t all about walking in at a 9-5 job and sitting down on a computer and designing. You can find design in every aspect of your life. Discover other creative outputs from photography, printmaking, drawing, etc. If you are looking to pursue a career in graphic design, having a degree is certainly an advantage. Design schools can help you in an environment where everything you do is questioned by people more experienced than you. They will show you what design is like in the real world. 

Familiarizing your tools

The Adobe suite is the most prominently used software for design work. It is very useful and not everyone is capable of mastering every tool within the software. All of its software can be utilized for many things if you gain sufficient knowledge and experience. The basics will only take you weeks to get a hold on. Spend time watching tutorials if you want an effect you want to replicate on your work. There are plenty of free/paid resources available at your disposal too.

  • Photoshop: For manipulating images and incredibly useful for design works.
  • Illustrator: For vector graphics, which means you will use it mainly for logos. It’s essential to familiar yourself with the pen tool. Know how it works, try copying styles. Illustrator can be a great tool for page layout, wireframing and GUI design.
  • InDesign: For print materials. This ranges from basic flyers to an entire book. It’s a very useful program that helps with any print problem. InDesign can also be utilized for e-books and interactive PDF files.

Knowing the differences for color models

There are many variations of color models such as RGB, CMYK, Pantone colours, HEX codes, etc. If you only start copying and pasting between programs and realize that the colours are messed up, there is a high chance the issue lies within the Document Mode and colour setup, so it’s essential know the difference between raster and vector.

The importance of Typography and Color Theory

At the basic level, knowing the differences between serif and sans-serif fonts, along with what kerning, leading, tracking and line-headings are important. Check out Adobe Kuler to familiarize how complementary colours can work together, what analogous means and why different shades of colours can look better compared to others, etc. If you’re considering a career into web design, you will need to learn HTML and CSS as well.

Keep your design simple and ask for criticism

It’s not necessary to add all kinds of effects and filter to a piece of work. Most of the time, it’s not needed there in the first place. Keep in mind that some of the best designs are the simplest pieces. Whenever you receive a criticism, take it positively and keep an open mind. Assess on the things you did wrong as it’s one of the best ways to learn from your mistakes. 

Building your own portfolio, share and talk about your work

Try to look into design challenges. Provide local nonprofits free design work. There are many ways to build up your portfolio and there is no harm to doing it for free in the beginning. Sharing and explaining about why you made certain design choices are a great way to improve yourself especially when that criticism comes around.

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You Jing is a content writer who writes career and lifestyle contents to inspire job seekers and employers alike on their journey to work-life balance, empowerment and transformation in their career path.

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