FAQs & Tips for GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Posted on Posted in Anatomy of a Graphic Designer

Do I Need a Postgraduate Degree/Undergraduate degree in Graphic Design to be a good Graphic Designer?

new graduateif you’re just finishing school and starting out fresh, a design degree will let you meet and work with lots of others who are doing the same thing, you’ll be given opportunities to meet and listen to great designers and creative folk, and you’ll have unlimited access to design resources and guidance from dedicated professors. However, a huge number of fantastic designers never went to design school, and just learned their trade as they went along, by reading design books, working with more experienced graphic designers, and most importantly – working in the field. Because what you REALLY need to become a good designer is practice, practice, practice. Find a good source of guidance, find out what good design practices are, and then apply them, again and again, until you become really good.

I never studied graphic design as an undergraduate student, but I pay very good attention to observing great graphic designers works, practice and apply each techniques used until I derive my own unique design, so snap out of the thought that keeps on saying you can’t be a good graphic designer without a postgraduate/undergraduate degree in graphics

No one really cares about your degree when they hire you as a graphic designer, there care more about your portfolio.

And by the way, there are thousands of design books out there, full of amazing advice, sample work and tips from the best designers through the ages – and if you’re not the reading sort, there are hundreds of talks, seminars and workshops to be found online. Learn from the best, then apply their principles, constantly, in your own work.

Do I need to be great with Drawing?

Many at times, I’ve been asked the question “I’m not so good at drawing, can I still be a good graphic designer?” Why not. Art often stems from inborn talent, whereas design is a skill, and like all skills, it can be learned. And as a designer, your ideas aren’t necessarily limited by your skill set – you’ll find yourself collaborating with artists, animators, and other breeds of creative folk on many of your projects. Don’t get me wrong, if you can draw, that’s great – but it’s not essential. My drawing talent, for example, extends to stick figures and balloon people. It does help to be willing to work out your solutions visually, by scribbling in a notebook or mind-mapping on a large sheet of paper – but you don’t need artistic talent to scribble down roughs and jot down ideas. I personally like to do my visual thinking via pen and paper and figure out rough concepts for logos/layouts before going to my computer – and that’s the accepted, tried-and-trusted method (in my opinion, it saves a lot of time as well!). However, there are plenty of designers who go straight to digital.

You do need to speak ADOBE

17Adobe-Creative-Suite-6-Design-StandardWhether you can draw or not, you’re going to need to learn how to use certain design software, and use it well. The Adobe Creative Suite is the most widely used among designers, and hence has the most available resources and tutorials. I’ll recommend a fluent knowledge in the use of Photoshop, Illustrator and In-design (I call them THE GRAPHIC TRIPLET). Illustrator is what you design logos and vector graphics in, Photoshop is for image editing and web design, and In Design is meant for print. As you can see this three work hand in hand to produce a stunning product for your client, be it book design, logo, branding, magazine among others.

Get involved with the design community

45-Flat-Styled-Social-Icons-PSDPracticing at home is a great, safe way to learn the ropes, but eventually, you need to put yourself out there so you can get feedback. Though it may be painful at first, keep your ego in check and take the tips seriously; the payoff will be enormous. Additionally, it’s important to see what other people are doing so that you’re exposed to more than just one or two styles.

  • As with any business, networking is important in graphic design, especially if you intend to freelance. Make friends, keep in touch, be willing to learn, and you might just get work out of it.
  • As a graphic designer, you must be at least on one of this platforms; pinterest, behance, 54artistry

Study the pros

9f372c463148c7133aaba2d01983d6f1Hunt down and devour the designs featured in newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and anywhere else you spot graphic design (hint: it will be everywhere you look).

  • Don’t limit yourself to what is traditionally considered “graphic design,” but expand into other areas as well, Draw inspiration to foster your own creativity.
  • Don’t just look in the likely places. Check out wine stores, for example: label design is a key part of the industry. Also check out fashion websites, book stores, music labels, even product design packaging.

Research Fonts

AGE_free-abstract-fontsPeople who get into typography are a whole other breed. They agonize over book print, street signs, and movie credits. They have serious opinions about serifs. They mock your Comic Sans. A good graphic designer should understand the importance of typeface, leading, keening, and everything else that goes with creating effective text

 Gather interesting designs

Whether it’s a t-shirt, a pamphlet, a food label, a postcard, or a poster, collect anything and everything that excites and inspires you. Study them, note what you like and don’t like, and tuck them away so that you can use them as references whenever you feel stuck on a project

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