how to become a graphic designer

How to Become a Graphic Designer in 10 Simple Steps

How to Become a Graphic Designer in 10 Simple Steps

It’s never been easier to become a graphic designer in the twenty-first century. You don’t need a typical graphic design degree to work as one.

Getting into the area of graphic design is easier than you might think, especially in today’s world.

Designers rely on practical experience to guide them, regardless of their level of schooling. If you’re a true graphic artist, you’ll want to master new skills and push yourself further every day. It’s a fascinating field to enter, yet many aspiring designers get stuck in the early stages.

What Do Graphic Designers Do?

Graphic designers, as previously said, either work full-time or are self-employed. Therefore, you will have to fulfill multiple deadlines weekly or daily, whether you work full-time, part-time, or freelance.

It’s critical as a designer to keep track of your time and schedule, so you don’t miss any deadlines. If you currently have a full-time job and want to take a graphic design course on the side, you can do it, but you’ll need to prepare how you’ll manage your time ahead of time.

If you want to work as a self-employed graphic designer, be prepared to be flexible because you may need to work late at night or even on weekends to fulfill deadlines.

Let’s take a look at what a graphic designer is required to do. You might create a wide range of graphic designs from print publications (brochures, magazines, newspapers) to television and web apps.

Graphic design abilities are also required in a wide range of businesses. But one thing is sure: just as marketing is something that every company or organization needs, graphic designers are needed for various fields.

As a graphic designer, you may be required to master a variety of abilities at once. You do, however, have the option of specializing in a particular field. For example, typography, Logos, Book Design, Product Packaging, Web Design, User Interface Design, and User Experience Design are some of the most common graphic design specialties.

Let’s have a look at our ten steps to becoming a graphic designer today.

Graphic design

Understand and Learn Graphic Design Basics

Before going any further, you must study the design concepts and grasp the design aspects.

Assume you have never attended any classes and have no prior knowledge of graphic design or the design process. In that situation, reading about definitive design history and design concepts and practicing important graphic design abilities is recommended.

There are numerous online resources available to help entry-level designers break into the industry. You can also enroll in online graphic design classes. To assist you, we’ve produced a list of the top ten graphic design courses available online.

You can utilize them to learn more about the field and better understand what it’s like to work as a graphic artist. In addition, some of the courses include a certificate that you can add to your CV or LinkedIn page once you’ve completed them.

Take Online Courses

You can use some of the most excellent online graphic design tools once you’ve learned more about graphic design history and the fundamentals of design philosophy. So whether you’re a seasoned designer or someone just starting, our advice remains the same.

  • As you develop your technical skills, start with free graphic design tools to cut expenditures as much as feasible.
  • Start with Vectornator, which is entirely free and includes features such as:
  • Vector editing software that is industry standard
  • Unsplash provides access to over 1 million royalty-free photos.
  • Over 80,000 icons are available.
  • The Vectornator app includes advanced collaborative options.
  • Auto Trace is a technique for converting pictures into vector shapes.
  • Sync your creations across MacBook, iPad, and iPhone

Setup setup setup

While graphic designers are usually well compensated, beginning your career as a graphic designer can be costly. Unlike writers, who only need a laptop to write, graphic designers need considerably more than that. To begin, you’ll need to find the appropriate graphic software.

If you’re an Adobe lover, you’ll need to pay for Adobe Creative Cloud on a monthly basis, which might be costly if you’re starting. As a result, it’s preferable, to begin with, free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and other Adobe programs before deciding whether or not to upgrade to a commercial version.

You’ll also need a laptop and at least one desktop computer, in addition to the appropriate software. Later on, you might require a Pantone color guide and a pen tablet.

Graphic design

Follow Established Graphic Designers

This step is sometimes ignored, but you must complete it. Before developing their creative approach and being a source of inspiration, everyone obtains design inspiration from somewhere.

Following the work of well-known graphic designers and artists on social media will be beneficial in the long run. You’ll learn how they do what they do and have a deeper understanding of them and their work. In addition, you will develop your graphic design style due to this, which will become apparent once you have created a few graphic design items.

Create an Impressive Portfolio

Your web portfolio will be a must-have whether you want to work as a full-time graphic designer or as a self-employed graphic designer. It will be easier to land an interview, apply for graphic design job openings, and get recruited for graphic design roles by a range of clients if you have an online portfolio.

Behance is a popular platform for graphic designers to showcase their work. Pixpa, FolioHD, Carbonmade, Crevado, PortfolioBox, Coroflot Portfolios, and Krop are some of the additional possibilities you can look into. We’ve put up a guide on how to make a graphic design portfolio, as well as 16 samples to get you started.

It makes no difference if you don’t have much work to present. The most crucial thing is to have a presence on the internet. Begin building your professional portfolio as soon as possible, and add your most recent or greatest items as time goes on. You may make changes at any time, and it will help you stand out. If you don’t have any previous work to offer, an excellent place to start would be to reproduce some well-known logos to demonstrate your abilities.

An online portfolio will assist you in presenting yourself in the most professional manner possible. In addition, potential clients or companies can use your web portfolio to evaluate if your work style matches what they’re searching for.

As a result, think of your online portfolio as a supplement to your resume. For example, graphic designers frequently carry digital versions of their portfolios and keep them on hand if needed during a job interview.

Get Some Work Experience

Now that you’ve completed your portfolio, it’s time to put it on display and gain some experience by applying for entry-level positions. Again, it makes no difference whether it’s a paid job or an internship; the experience you get will be invaluable in the long run, especially if you’re just starting and need someone to vouch for you or give a reference letter.

Even if a degree in graphic design does not necessitate real-world experience or an internship, it is always good to gain some professional experience.

You’ll also be able to upload your new creations to your portfolio this way. You’ll also be a part of the design community and develop professional ties with other graphic designers, art directors, motion designers, creative teams, and design teams.

Learn Professional Copywriting

Many people ignore this phase, although it is an essential talent for a graphic designer to have. Your primary focus as a graphic designer should be on all design aspects. However, the copy you use on your designs has a significant impact on how people view your work.

You can be more “free” to make mistakes if you work in a company where copywriters continuously write and check the text. However, if you’re a freelancer or self-employed, you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively.

You won’t always have the luxury of hiring a copywriter or having someone revise or proofread your text for grammar errors. That is why practicing copywriting skills early on is usually beneficial. Graphic designers that can write well always have an advantage over those who continue to use the “lorem ipsum” placeholder text.


For a graphic designer, excellent copywriting skills do not imply producing short or long-form text. Simply put, it entails crafting succinct explanations, one-liners, calls to action, and headings, among other things. It also involves being extra attentive with typos and language errors, as well as reflecting the voice of any company you’re advertising.

Stay Up to Date with Current Design Trends

Graphic design is an ever-changing industry that develops and evolves year after year. While this is a good thing, it also means that you, as a graphic designer, will need to stay on top of the new trends that emerge each year.

Following well-known graphic designers or paying attention to your fellow graphic designers is a simple method to stay on top of current visual trends. Clients and businesses are always looking for graphic designers who don’t keep to the same style throughout their careers and instead aim to adapt and evolve each year.

Using new and updated graphic design software tools and any other online program is another way to stay current with current visual design trends.

Graphic design

Choose an Area of Specialization

If you want to work for an agency and predict your annual compensation, you should look into a graphic design degree program. Of course, a bachelor’s degree won’t get you a job as a creative director straight immediately, but a visual design education can help you earn more than the average pay.

Although it is not required (many great freelance designers are self-employed), knowing your area of expertise is always beneficial to you and your clients. That isn’t to say you should concentrate just on one aspect of graphic design and ignore the rest.

Said, it involves determining your area of expertise and branding yourself as the best in that field. For example, perhaps you have a knack for logo design, motion graphics, or web design, among other things.

Having a specialty can help you distinguish yourself from other graphic designers and persuade firms or clients to employ you over those that specialize in that field.

Never Stop Learning

Even if you are not currently pursuing a graphic design degree, it is critical to have a “student” mindset and never stop learning. Even if you have a successful graphic design profession, improving your design skills and learning about new trends is beneficial.

Yes, keeping up with the latest trends is always a good idea. But you don’t have to be a follower for the rest of your life. You can also be unique, developing your design concepts in the hopes of inspiring people with your work and changing style.

You can even pursue a graphic design degree at a later date if you so desire. Returning to school is never too late. Your amount of schooling in this profession, on the other hand, should never prevent you from pursuing a career in graphic design. Practical experience will always set you apart from those with formal education but no prior experience in the field of graphic design.

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