Preparing Students for a Career in Graphic Design

Preparing Students for a Career in Graphic Design

Graphic design is an exciting profession that finds its place in any industry today. Whether it’s creating a new logo for an online store or rebranding an actual brick-and-mortar business, graphic design is there to help. But the graphic designing career is not a goal you reach easily. You have to know that learning graphic design means studying for a year or more, especially if you’re in university and this is your major. 


You’ll have to learn the key elements, get some real-life practice, keep up with the novelties in the design world, etc. Since there’s so much, professional help is always at your disposal. Some of these pro essay writers help take the load off other subjects, like English literature, while you focus on your creative skills. But what exactly are these skills? How do you learn graphic designing? Let’s go through the main parts every student needs to know, so they’re prepared for a graphic designing career.


Getting Ready in School: Key Elements of Graphic Design

Going through several years of university is the best way to learn graphic design, i.e., understand all basic principles, software, etc. However, some people choose to go through a course that gives the same knowledge in a much shorter (and more homework-packed) time.


In both cases, the result is the same, a.k.a. you get a graphic design degree. But, having passed graphic designer education is not a surefire way you’ve attained the needed knowledge and know how to start a graphic design career. What we mean by this is that there are three key elements all people have to ensure their school courses teach them.

Design Principles

The principle of designing is the compass. If you don’t know them, you’ll wander, knowing what you want to create but not being able to.


The debate of how many principles are out there is still ongoing. However, 12 are always showing up: 


  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Contrast
  • Rhythm
  • Emphasis
  • Hierarchy
  • Variety
  • Pattern
  • Repetition
  • Movement
  • White Space
  • Unity


Combining those principles allows designers to create visually appealing works their clients (as well as their customers) would like. Usually, schools first teach each principle separately, while slowly working toward using two or three together. 

Mastering Various Design Software

There are many pros and cons of graphic design, but one of the disadvantages is that there are thousands of design software. Graphic design as a career usually asks you to use the newest and best software which will save you time and money. But which one is it?


You learn it in school. A detailed curriculum is sure to have a class in which you’ll go through different design tools and pinpoint the best one. Often, graphic design courses (in uni and out) stick to the all-time favorite: Adobe.


However, there’s nothing wrong with checking out other options. If you don’t learn it in university, then you do it on your own time. Having a plethora of design software will only make the job easier, allowing you to use the best points of each one and combine them to create something marvelous.

Mastering Various Design Software


Developing a Strong Portfolio

University is the best time to build a portfolio. Aside from writing a lot of homework and doing other assignments, you can also find some extracurricular activities connected to graphic design and work on them. There’s the chance for collaborations or freelance gigs, which will only add more to the resume.


Aside from this, some courses teach how to build their portfolios. They cover everything from templates to activities to add. And if the school itself doesn’t offer such a class, then you can always turn to the professors and ask for help.

Practical Experience: The Leg-up

Graphic design education is not all about sitting in class and getting good grades on theory. If you want to be a great graphic designer, you need to go out there, a.k.a. start doing some practical work. How do you do it? Try some ideas below:


  • Internships – Just like any other profession, graphic designers are able to find internships. In most cases, established companies take in students who show potential or have a strong portfolio.
  • Freelance projects – Did you know that 90% of graphic designers work freelance today? In fact, many shops or companies (especially the new ones) accept freelance projects, even from those who are still in school or have just finished. It will also give you a great boost, you can add to the portfolio. Plus, use these projects to increase the rate per hour and find even more clients (maybe even a full-time job).
  • Collaborative Work – Some pros are open to collaborations with students. It helps build up a portfolio and attain knowledge from someone who has gone through the whole uni process years ago, plus a few years of practice. Collaborations are a great way to let other people know about your work as well.

Keeping Up With the Novelties

Becoming a graphic designer also means following all the new things happening in the creative world. If you want to be in the know, you have to follow the latest trends, tech, and design methodologies. 


For example, as we mentioned, new graphic design software shows up almost monthly, confusing new students as to which one they should use. Keeping up with the community and reading up on the new features it offers and how they align with the creative needs of that moment are going to show you whether you need the software. 


Additional Skills to Work On

The things we mentioned so far were leaning more toward hard skills, i.e., learnable skills that are specific to a certain job. But these are not the only ones you have to possess if you want to work in this sphere. 


Namely, this profession requires you to talk to clients, work with others to achieve the best results, and be quick on your feet when a problem arises. All the examples are not graphic designer education requirements per se, but are skills every student who wants to enter the creative industry must possess. 


A step on the “how to become a graphic designer” path is communicating with a lot of people. Regardless of whether you’re working freelance or in a company, you’re bound to talk to clients. And they’ll always have something they want made different. Keeping a cool head and communicating the project with them in detail will save you time and stress, leading to a job well done.



In some cases, you may be asked to work on a team to create a design. If you don’t have cohesion among your teammates, you risk getting a completely off product. For example, if one of you can’t make the deadline but doesn’t share the information, everyone loses the client and the job.


Another good soft skill to have as a graphic designer is the ability to solve issues. It doesn’t have to be occurring problems in a team (like the example above). You might work by yourself and still encounter a hiccup. For example, not meeting the deadline due to some software problems. Embracing innovative approaches helps solve the problems here.


Concluding Words

Is graphic design a good career? Definitely! You let the creative juices flow with the goal of bringing someone’s idea to life. Yes, reaching the moment where you call yourself a graphic designer is not easy, but it is not a reason to quit. So pack a bag, grab the laptop, and follow through the classes. Remember, help is always available when needed.


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Career in Graphic Designhow to get prepared

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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