Graphic designers are becoming a more common field of interest. They develop advertisements, media, news, print, and much more. Plus, with technology on the rise, the skills of graphic designers are becoming more unique and complex to master. This guide will help you piece together how to get a career in the graphic design industry, along with what you should know before you get started.
- Start in High School
High school is the best time to start getting interested in a career you would like to pursue. Especially when there are so many drawing, graphics, history, and web design classes to choose from. Throughout your four years in high school, you can work on polishing your graphic design skills to better prepare you to obtain a college degree in the industry. Plus, the sooner you get started, the better off you will be.
- Go to College for Graphic Design
Graphic design jobs are getting more competitive, where having a portfolio of your work simply isn’t enough. Employers these days are looking for designers who have some form of a degree from a graphic design school. You should also look into becoming well-rounded and taking a class in business or marketing. Taking these classes may not help your design skills but will help you market yourself in this competitive industry.
- Finish an Internship
Although not all college programs require you to take an internship, they offer a great opportunity to get more experience and meet with industry leaders to further your career in graphic design. Plus, through an internship, you will be able to improve your design portfolio and get necessary feedback to use when you land your first gig.
- Make a Great Portfolio
A good portfolio can make all the difference when it comes time to begin your job search. Though an impressive resume is important, for designers, a portfolio is even more so. This is the best way to show potential employers what you are really capable of.
Before the age of the Internet, portfolios used to made up entirely of newspaper and magazine ads. Nowadays, portfolios are comprised of print advertisements, website graphics, online ads, animation, and even TV commercials. When heading to a job interview, you should bring both a paper and a digital copy of your portfolio with you. Some designers even have their own portfolio websites.
When you are just starting out, the concept of making a portfolio can seem intimidating since you do not have as much experience yet. If you are a student, you should focus on the quality of your work rather than the quantity. Put forth only your best work and arrange your portfolio to meet the needs of your potential employer. Just be sure to keep your portfolio up to date with all of the new work you are completing.
- Stay Up To Date
The exciting field of graphic design is always changing. Designers need to learn how to keep up with new industry trends or risk losing their job altogether. Software for design and computer graphics are becoming a more and more important part of the industry today. Designers must also stay current on all the new technologies that are consistently being updated and improved.
It is especially important for freelancers to remain plugged into the new industry techniques so they can keep their competitive edge. There are organizations that give their members updates on all the new techniques, technology, and software. To learn more, check out the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Graphic Artists Guild. You may also want to get certified in specific design software to grow your credentials and further your career.
- Keep Learning
Even after you have already established your career, it is important to always be improving and learning new things. Some graphic designers choose to boost their skills and knowledge by getting a graduate degree or a post-secondary certificate.
Graphic design is a great field to dive into, especially if you find yourself loving the theory of art and marketing. Keep these six tips in mind when molding your career in graphic design. They can be the difference between landing a well-paying job and burrowing yourself in applications.