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How to Start Career as a Graphic Designer

There are plenty of people who are looking to start a career in graphic design, but aren’t sure where to start. Most of them get to learn the game very late. However, a positive aspect of becoming a graphic designer is that you can start a career in it at any stage of your life.

Today, the graphic design has become a crucial factor for every visual thing, like websites, movies, advertisements, games, and even the packaging on products.

If you like designing the graphics and are passionate about it, then all you need to do is follow a number of steps that will help you gain gratification, recognition, and build a successful career in designing.
Having said that, following is the cheat sheet to set yourself on a path to become a graphic designer.


1. Understand the basics of graphic design

The first step is to clearly understand what graphic design actually is. It is not all about how the things look. You need to learn the roles of a designer, types of graphic designs, and find out the expertise you want to gain about. For example, graphic design includes User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), visual interaction, motion, research, etc. It’s not easy to become expert in all of them.

What you need to do is understand what these things are and what is one thing that drives you, and then work on it. Research properly and clear all the basics of graphic design.


2. Build your skills

When it comes to graphic design, you need to be creative and pursue everything with a mindset of learning. To build your design skills, you can join classes to learn and practice graphic arts, drawing, and website design. Work on software and tools and learn to use them with fluency. It will develop your practical skills. For example, you should learn Adobe Photoshop, Canva, etc. The more you practice, better it will be for you.

There are other resources available out there, like Design Tuts+, Gibbon, and Hello Designer, which cover every aspect of designs. Invest your time and utilize these resources for your benefit.


3. Join design institutes and volunteer events

If you are young, then go for earning a degree in designing. This will provide you more chances to get the best out of your skills, learn and explore things, and sharpen your work. Having a degree or certificate can increase your chances of getting hired at big organizations.

Nowadays, many organizations conduct events related to designers and developers. You can gain benefit from such events by attending or volunteering there. There will be many people like you and the ones who have spent several years in designing industry. You can get a rich understanding from them which can work as a motivation for you.
Also, such events are right places to network with fellow designers and interact with them. You can put your thoughts before them and learn what they think. You can get advices and suggestions from them and move ahead in your career.


3. Complete internships

Internships can help you to kickstart your career in graphic design if you have no experience in the field. Join a well-known design studio or an organization for internship to gain that valuable initial experience.

You might have done a lot of practice in design, but internship will put your practice into work. There will be real work to do and you will face new challenges. You will also learn how organizations work when it comes to design, what clients expect and more things.

If you give your best, observe things, and make the most out of the internship, you might get lucky to land a job at the organization you are doing internship at.


4. Research and observe

In your leisure, spend time in researching about the projects in your field. Search for modern web designs, trending graphics, new tools, and more things to keep yourself updated. Look at the websites that are known for their designs, and observe what those designers have done differently to stand apart from the crowd. If you understand their mindset, identify the main interaction flow and patterns, you are well-set for a good career.


5. Implement your ideas and observation

After research and observation, you should implement your thoughts. You can start with building a website using easy-to-use content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. When you apply your thoughts and ideas, you will understand what can be improved and what you need to learn new.

Implementing the ideas can be scary, but you can’t learn until you do it. You can also ask other people or your friends who are looking for graphic designers, and work for them. Even if you don’t make money from these projects, it’s okay as long as you learn and get over your fear.

You can also work for charities and NGOs to design a logo, prototype their website or design posters for them.


6. Establish your online presence

Now that you have worked on projects, done internships, and learnt a lot, it’s time for you to choose from web hosting options and present yourself in the online world. It’s time for you to showcase your work, attract people and projects and start making money.

Leverage social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to share your designs. While being a graphic designer, you can also explore your other skills like photography and writing to add them to your designs. You don’t have to be expert in other skills. If you click good photos, you can use your own photos in graphic designs.
To stand apart from the competition and attract clients, you should try submitting your work to awards for getting recognized. If your work gets selected, it can earn you recognition.


Wrapping up:

Following these steps can accelerate your journey as a graphic designer. One thing you should always remember is to keep moving forward, sharpen your skills, and learn from rejections constantly over the time.

What else according to you can help a person in becoming a successful graphic designer? Let us know in the comments below.