How to Become a Graphic Designer

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The article ‘How to Become a Graphic Designer’ is a step by step guide to aid you in becoming a successful graphic designer. The article emphasizes on importance of graphic arts and design education and career as a graphic designer.

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How to Become a Graphic Designer

  1. 1. How to Become a Graphic DesignerThere are a few careers that need only dedication for you to be successful in them. A soundeducation, willingness to learn and the ability to work hard can lead to reasonable success inthese areas. There are others that you should consider only if you are passionate about them, acase in point being medicine or nursing. Then there are professions that not only need passionand dedication, but a generous dose of talent. All creative professions, including graphic design,fall under this category.For those who dream of becoming a graphic designer, the seeds were probably sown way backin childhood when they got their first A in art class.From drawing pictures in your childhood that still adorn the walls of your home, if you’ve nowreached a stage where your idea of fun involves tinkering with design tools on your computercreating fine works of art, then you’re the perfect candidate for a career in graphic design.Graphic design is defined as visual communication by a combination of text and pictures. In otherwords, graphic design is the visual expression of a message, idea or concept. If a picture is wortha thousand words, then graphic designers are among the most prolific writers we know.So if graphic design is what you want to do for the rest of your life, then it’s time to start theaction. Here’s a three step approach on how to become a graphic designer.Step 1: Get InformedThe first step to becoming a graphic designer is collecting relevant information – and lots of it –about the profession. Some questions you might want to find answers to include:What is the nature of work of a graphic designer?What kind of career opportunities do they have?What is their earning potential?What kind of training is needed to become a graphic designer?Some research on the Internet will yield answers for most of these questions. You can alsointerview industry experts for first-hand insights. Career counselors and admissions consultantsmay also be able to provide helpful information about the profession.Step 2: Get QualifiedThe second step towards becoming a graphic designer is acquiring the necessary qualification forit. There are a few things you must know about this profession before you apply for a suitableprogram. Creativity alone is not enough to succeed in this field. You need to combine it withcomputer skills and business knowledge.Expertise in using different design tools and computer software programs is as important for anew age graphic designer as talent. Since the job of a graphic designer involves understandingclient requirements and the target audience, business knowledge is also desirable.That’s why it’s vital to choose a graphic arts degree that will provide you a solid foundation in webdesign techniques, computer skills, and business principles.Although many professionals are able to get their foot in the door with short-term professionalcertifications in graphic arts, getting a college degree will definitely boost your marketability. Mostcolleges and universities offer two graphic arts programs – an Associate’s degree and aBachelor’s degree in graphic design.
  2. 2. An Associate’s degree qualifies graduates for assistant graphic designer positions from whichthey can work their way up. A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum credential required for mostentry-level and advanced graphic design jobs.Step 3: Get ExperiencedGone are the days when your academic achievements alone could get you plum positions in bigorganizations. Employers these days look for hands-on industry experience along with academiccredentials, especially if you belong to an applied field like graphic arts.Becoming a graphic designer will take more than a degree or a certificate. The sooner you startbuilding a portfolio, the better will be your chances in the job market. Some graphic arts programsmay provide externships for students to get their hands dirty with design while still in college.If your school doesn’t have such a provision, then you can approach a media or softwarecompany for a free intern position. Not only will you get some valuable on the job lessons ingraphic arts, you’ll also be able to make contacts for future use.Once you’re fairly comfortable working independently, try and get some freelance assignmentseven if you’re not paid for them. Having an impressive portfolio of work will do for a graphicartist’s career what getting straight A’s in school cannot!

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