How to Start with Graphic Design as your career!

Mehedi

Welcome readers. Today’s topic is “How to start with graphic design as your career”. Let me introduce myself to you. I am Mehedi Hasan, who has been working in SJ Innovation for the last 9 years and serving as a graphic designer for the last 7 years. 


Before choosing graphic design as your career, first ask yourself if it is perfect for your career. If yes, why? If not, why? Career is something that we don't change often. Before you start, you need to know what graphic design is. Graphic designers are artists that apply their talents mostly not in pure art, but in communicative purposeful art. Modern graphic design broadly covers all spheres of human life which deal with visual communication, from books and posters to sophisticated mobile applications and 3D animation. The employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Companies are continuing to increase their digital presence, requiring graphic designers to help create visually appealing and effective layouts of websites. So it can be a perfect career for you but consider a few things first before you decide, such as what the requirements and obstacles are. 

Key skills for graphic designers:

Excellent IT skills, especially in design and photo-editing software. Exceptional creativity and innovation. Excellent time management and organizational skills. Accuracy and attention to detail. An understanding of the latest trends and their role within a commercial environment. Professional approach to time, costs, and deadlines.

Those are the skills you will need to build later on but for now, you need a passion for creating something and minimum satisfactory knowledge of computers. You also need the capability of imagination, such as just imagining the output product when just listing the current product. You need long patience, which will help you in a thousand ways. Getting a client to deliver products. You must be able to work under pressure. Under pressure people can work, but for designers, it's not just working. It’s lots of thinking and imagination, which would be very good qualities of a designer. You need the ability to put yourself in between the client and product user, and have an interest in the latest technology and trends.

That’s not it. Here are some situations and think about what you will do.
Situation 1: You are getting married in 2 days or your bf-gf /wife-husband just left you, but the client is not happy with what you have delivered so you need to think of another design from scratch. Can you do it?
Situation 2: You have a baby who is crying and there’s a client meeting in 5 minutes. You need to impress the client to get the work. How will you do it?
Situation 3: You have shared 50 designs yet the client wants changes.

Don’t get afraid, as I was just preparing you mentally for the worst. You can do it, just follow some guidelines and you are good to go. First, choose a subject from the design ocean as there are many options based on your interest and skills set. Let me introduce a few sub categories of graphic designers:

  • Simple Graphic Designer- (Graphic designers create: Visual identity- logos, letterhead, business cards. Marketing materials- brochures, flyers, postcards, posters, Magazines, books, catalogs, Product packaging, Presentations, T-shirt designs, Annual reports, Illustrations)
  • Interactive/Web designer: (Interactive designers create: Websites, landing pages, microsites, web pages, Blog templates and themes, Mobile apps, Banner ads, Social media assets, Email marketing assets)
  • Motion graphics designers: (Motion graphics designers create: Explainer videos, Storyboards, Promotional videos, Animated graphics (for TV shows, for example), Movie title sequences, Product demos, Animated presentations)
  • Animator: (Animators create: Movie special effects, Animated films, Video games)
  • Architectural designers: (Architectural designers create: Technical drawings, Building plans, Documentation, Renderings)
  • Product designer: (Product designers create: Consumer and household items, Cars, bikes, Planes, Consumer hardware and electronics, Appliances, Medical devices, Machinery)
  • Instructional Designer: (Instructional designers create: Training videos, Instructional materials, Courses, and workshops):

Remember that the process to become an advanced Graphic Designer is simple and easy:

Image

The loop (Learn How it works>> Follow the rules/tips>> Work for Future>> Keep Learning)

Most important is learning the basics:

  • Study design theory principles/fundamentals
  • Grid systems/color theory/typography
  • Study under a good mentor
  • Attend a design bootcamp
  • Attend design school
  • Choose an area of specialization
  • Learn how to use the tools of the trade
  • Read some good design books
  • Watch tutorials to get experience

Follow the Rules/Tips:

  • Organize your computer first
  • Maintain web standards
  • Keep yourself abreast with the latest happenings
  • Rename your files properly
  • Keep your assets safe
  • Join forums- talk to other designers
  • Make use of a sketchbook/draw a map
  • Show your designs proudly to the world
  • Be able to take criticism
  • Get out of the comfort zone
  • Be a chameleon
  • Be an ethical designer
  • Constantly looking for inspiration
  • Be as simple as you can
  • Proofread your work- double check that you've ticked everything off the list
  • Cooperate with your clients
  • Educate your client
  • Never assume everything is fine
  • Get your specs right
  • Designing On The Side- make unique designs
  • Take regular breaks
  • Learn Your Tools Inside Out
  • Collaborate With A Better Designer
  • Enter A Graphic Design Competition
  • Do An Internship For A Top Company
  • But join a small company for the first
  • Work On Making Your Portfolio 10 Times Better
  • Hang Out With Other Designers On DeviantArt-a social design group

Work for Future:

  • Save all your old projects
  • Rework An Old Project You Did When You Were Not So Good
  • Set Aside Time To Work On Your Dream Project
  • Experiment

Remember one more thing: “Practice is the key to success”. Think “Big”, and success will come eventually.

I

Author Profile Picture
Mehedi Hasan
Sr. Graphic Designer
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