Making way for fresh new and innovative ideas that cut through the clutter that is today’s society is the challenge for designers of this age. The world we live in today is highly visual, from videos to typography on a website or moving graphics on a computer screen, graphic design has influenced a wide range of industries in today’s world. Being a graphic designer means using art and technology in a creative process to communicate something meaningful.[i]

This career is perfect for anyone who has creative ideas and wishes to express those creative ideas using technology. You will need to have both drawing and IT skills to kick start your career as a graphic designer. Being able to find solutions to problems is also a needed quality. Having excellent communication skills will also be an advantage as you will have to work with many other people on different projects.[ii]

Generating visual concepts as a graphic designer is a complex task and to gain these skills, a designer will have to get a degree in graphic design or other art and design based subjects.  However since we are living in the information age, it is possible for graduates and college students in different career paths to explore their love for design. One can easily learn a few tricks and be able to start a career in design. Online tutorials can help introduce you to the softwares that are used to design. Therefore if you wish to become a designer who is going to make an impact, here is a scoop of the courses, skills and experience you will need to get a head-start with your career.

Courses to consider

Taking up the following courses in college will give you an added advantage in your quest to becoming a graphic designer.

  • Design foundations

In this course you will be introduced to design software and you will learn how to use computers as design tools. This course will leave you with an understanding of desktop publishing and basic design theories.

  • Digital illustration

This course prepares you by familiarizing you with new technologies that are used in the field rather than the usual pencil to paper approach; this course will give you hands on experience in digital illustration. You will also gain skills on story boarding and project preparation.

  • Digital media production

In this course you will be able to learn multimedia applications using authoring software. Basic animation skills can be acquired at this stage to help you produce projects that are interactive.[iii]

Skills needed

Becoming successful in any complicated career requires that one be equipped with valuable skills in that career. In the graphic design industry things are pretty much the same. No matter how much you know about deign theory, developing your skills and ability of idea execution cannot be overlooked.

There are a lot of technical skills needed to become a professional graphic designer. As a designer, the ability to work and create using different design software can be a quality that sets you apart. Developing your skills in these five areas will go a long way in making you a professional designer.

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Dreamweaver

In addition to these skills it is also important to be organized, punctual and disciplined. With this combination of skills and character, it will be impossible not to get work as a graphic designer.

Develop experience

Like many other industries, success in the design industry will be heavily based on the amount of experience gathered together with the networks and connections built with people working in the industry. Volunteering your services as a designer is a sure way of getting to meet and network with others in the industry. You can also design your own work and make some extra money selling your own designs. By putting your skills to work for a real client you will be able to get real feedback while you develop and advance your skills.

So start exploring your journey in the graphic design career path. Take action by collecting the necessary skills toward developing a career in graphic design.