As a Graphic Designer, one has the freedom to lean into your artistic ability and to be creative every single day. For Graphic Designers, no one day looks exactly like another, and getting to express themselves through their work can be a rewarding thing. As a Freelance Graphic Designer, you run every aspect of your business. You will need to perform essential tasks like marketing, sending proposals, and writing invoices. They will then be more likely to hire you again or refer other contacts to you.
Your portfolio can include projects you completed for a course, as well as personal or work projects. Your portfolio is the first impression that potential employers or clients will see, so select work that demonstrates your design skills and interests. Through combining images, words, and graphics, they communicate information and engage audiences.
Are you considering becoming a graphic designer but want to be working online? These are three programs that you will get to know like the back of your hand as you manoeuvre your way through the design world. They’re not the only programs within the Adobe Creative Cloud but they are the ones you will need to master if you are going to become a graphic designer. Not as essential, but a tablet, a good digital camera (even on a phone) and a drawing tablet such as a Wacom will also go a long way if you want to become a graphic designer. Of course, a notebook or sketchbook and your favourite pen or pencil will also come in very handy. In other words, in order to become a graphic designer you should be able to take information and turn it into something visual or graphic.
Become a Graphic Designer Without a Degree
There are many user guides and training resources widely available. To get started, you may want to take a look through Adobe’s series of tutorials. BrainStation’s Graphic Designer career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a career in graphic design. The guide provides an in-depth overview of the graphic design skills you should learn, the best training options, career paths in graphic design, how to become a Graphic Designer, and more.
There are a range of specialties you can explore, such as logo design, web design, typography, and animation. In addition to graphic design work, Freelance Graphic Designers need to devote time to marketing themselves and handling administrative tasks. At times, they will be competing with other Designers to land projects. The pay can also vary greatly depending on the type and amount of work.
However, your level of education in this field should never stop you from building a career in graphic design. Practical experience will always set you apart from those with formal education who lack experience or grit. Prospective clients and employers are always looking for graphic designers who don’t stick to the same style their entire design career but try to adapt and evolve every year.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer?
To break this down further, the information usually comes in the form of a brief from a client and the something visual or graphic can be many things—we’ll break some of these down further now. If the idea of a career that promotes constant growth and skill-building, graphic design is for you. Keep in touch with people you meet in your graphic design program or course and create new connections by joining design organizations.
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Salaries for graphic designers are variable across the country, based on factors including experience, education, type of employer and geographical location. According to the BLS, the median national annual wage for graphic designers in 2014 was $45,900, while the top 10 percent of graphic designers earned over $77,490.
Even if you’re well established in your graphic design career, pushing your design skills and exploring new trends is the best way to stay ahead of the game. Many graphic design programs offer internships as part of the curriculum. An internship completing graphic design projects for real companies gives students hands-on experience that they can use to apply for entry-level positions. In some cases, a graphic design internship can lead to a job offer after graduation, or at least a letter of recommendation for other roles. For most people, it takes at least four years—the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree—to launch a graphic design career. Learn more about the steps required to become a professional graphic designer below.
You do not need a degree in graphic design to become a Graphic Designer. Some companies may require a degree, diploma, or certification for you to be considered for a role, but most employers are more focused on a Designer’s portfolio and skills. Graphic Designers need to always be practicing their craft and working on personal projects to give themselves a leg up on the job market. Bootcamp courses are another great way to learn graphic design quickly. They are typically shorter than traditional degree programs (usually lasting a few weeks or months) and more focused on practical skills.