How to become a graphic designer (with pictures)

How to become a graphic designer (with pictures)
How to become a graphic designer (with pictures)

If you like to imagine logos and patterns or if you create them in your leisure time, you should consider working as a graphic designer, also known as a graphic designer. To enter the profession, you can undertake appropriate studies or train on the job. To get work experience, do an internship, or volunteer your services to a charity. You should also make a portfolio that showcases your best work. Then pitch it to advertising or marketing agencies to hire you.


Part 1 of 4: Prepare to become a graphic designer

Become a Graphic Designer Step 1

Step 1. In high school, take computer and art classes

In France, after the third year, you can choose to prepare for a professional baccalaureate (bac pro) crafts and crafts with an option of visual multimedia communication, or a bachelor's degree in design and applied arts sciences and technologies (STD2A). You can also choose a different field, and take optional courses in visual arts, graphics and photography. Also participate in computer courses or workshops on web design, computer graphics or programming. Thus, you will have a solid foundation for your future career as a graphic designer.

Become a Graphic Designer Step 2

Step 2. Learn graphic design on your own

Type "graphic design course descriptions" into an Internet search engine. Download two or three descriptions. Then analyze the learning goals and note the textbooks used to achieve them. The next step is to choose and buy the books you want to use in your learning. Once you have the books in your possession, set aside an hour a day to read them and take notes.

  • Watch online tutorials on YouTube, Hack Design, and other websites to develop the computer skills needed to become a graphic designer.
  • This method is economical, however obtaining a certificate or diploma can be an advantage when looking for a job.
Become a Graphic Designer Step 3

Step 3. Take an introductory graphic design course

Check at a university, art school, or other training institution near you to find out if they offer graphic design courses. If so, ask for a list of those courses, and find out about registration terms and fees. You can also take introductory graphic design courses on the Internet.

  • See if the higher education organization you are addressing issues training certificates for graphic designers.
  • The introductory courses will give you a first theoretical approach to graphic design and basic knowledge of layout, color and typography.
Become a Graphic Designer Step 4

Step 4. Obtain a graphic designer degree in two years

In France, you can take a higher technician's certificate (BTS), graphic design option, or a diploma in graphic arts (DMA), typography option or illustration option. You will prepare for the BTS mainly in high schools, art schools and private training organizations. In Quebec, find out about college diplomas (DEC) that include art and design courses in their curriculum. For example the DEC arts, letters and communication, arts and design option or the DEC in graphic design. For people living in other countries, check with higher education organizations to see if there are similar degrees. During your studies, you will develop and refine your graphic design skills. "BTS graphic design" type training courses allow you to master all the tools, especially computer tools, to create a visual communication product from an order.

  • Mastery of software such as Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop is one of these training courses. Indeed, the profession of graphic designer includes an important digital component.
  • BTS and DMA studies take place over two years, but students generally have to do a refresher year in applied arts (MANAA) before entering these courses.
Become a Graphic Designer Step 5

Step 5. Obtain degrees requiring longer studies

In France, you can prepare for a professional license or a DNA (national art diploma) in three years. From the start of the 2018 school year, the national diploma in crafts and design (DN MADE) should gradually replace the MANAA, as well as the BTS and DMA. This diploma will also take place over three years and will be at the bachelor's level. If you wish, you can then continue your studies and obtain diplomas leading to 4 or 5 years of higher education in the field of graphic design. In Quebec, you can register for the baccalaureate in graphic design. Find out about the long courses available in your country. Throughout these studies, you will acquire all the theoretical and practical knowledge, including computer skills, necessary to be an excellent graphic designer. You can also specialize in the area of ​​graphic design that appeals to you the most.

  • Here are some questions you can explore: editorial design, typography, web design, logo design, advertising and branding or packaging design, desktop publishing (DTP), publishing or production web, the creation of video games or even the design of user experience.
  • By obtaining a higher level license or diploma, you will have an advantage over other applicants when looking for a job.
Become a Graphic Designer Step 6

Step 6. Take additional classes

This involves acquiring business knowledge and drawing and writing lessons. Writing and drawing skills are very useful for a graphic designer. Also, learn how to present your graphic design skills in the best possible way by taking marketing or communication courses. If you plan to become self-employed, also take courses in starting and running a business. You will study some of these subjects while preparing for your chosen degree.

However, you can also take these courses at different training organizations to complete your degree

Part 2 of 4: Gain professional experience

Become a Graphic Designer Step 7

Step 1. Work with a charity or association

By voluntarily creating or editing banner ads, logos, posters or other visual communication objects for nonprofit associations, you will gain hands-on experience during your high school and college years. Connect with charities and nonprofits near you. See if they want to update their logo, or if they have other graphic design needs.

Before offering your services, you must learn to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

Become a Graphic Designer Step 8

Step 2. Find internships during your studies

Just look for marketing or advertising agencies on the Internet. You can also send applications to publishing houses, newspapers, magazines and graphic design studios. Think of big, well-known corporations, but also lesser-known local businesses. Call or email them to find out if they offer internships. If so, make sure the internships match your skills. Submit your application for any internship that suits you, whether paid or unpaid. In France, work placements outside the training course are prohibited. Immersion periods in a professional environment are therefore planned in your course. You will need to find companies that will welcome you for an internship as part of your studies. The duration and number of internships vary depending on the diplomas you are preparing.

Here's an example of email text you can send to businesses. “Hello, I would like to know if your company offers internships in the field of graphic design. If so, I would like to nominate you. Please give me the contact details of the intern recruitment manager so that I can send him my CV. Thank you. "

Become a Graphic Designer Step 9

Step 3. Join a community of graphic designers

You can search for this type of group on the Internet, at a school or university. Once you've joined the community, start networking with other members. Tell them you are looking for work to develop your portfolio. Some of them may be able to put you in touch with an employer.

Be aware that some communities ask their members to pay membership fees

Become a Graphic Designer Step 10

Step 4. Let people know you are looking for a job

Tell your friends and family that you are looking for an internship or a first job. Please feel free to send them a copy of your CV and a link to your online portfolio or social media page. Thus, they can easily transmit all the necessary information to a potential recruiter.

Also let your classmates and social media contacts know that you are looking for opportunities to expand your portfolio

Part 3 of 4: Create a portfolio

Become a Graphic Designer Step 11

Step 1. Select your best achievements

Do not put all your creations in your portfolio. Choose the ones that satisfy you the most. These works should showcase your skills, and show the confidence you have in yourself.

Include work that you have done on your own initiative and orders for certain clients

Become a Graphic Designer Step 12

Step 2. The work presented must be varied

Select projects that showcase the full range of your skills, especially typography, logo design, or web design.

Also select work showing the diversity of your customers

Become a Graphic Designer Step 13

Step 3. Put your work in context

For each achievement presented, write one or two paragraphs describing the client's goals and how your creation meets them. Talk about your creative process and the elements that inspired you when designing the project. In addition, be sure to include all the information on the successes encountered by your productions. Record this information in a Word document.

Say, for example, that your client was happy with your job and offered you a new contract. You can also mention that your work has allowed him to increase his sales

Become a Graphic Designer Step 14

Step 4. Write down your professional skills

Include a CV in your portfolio. It must highlight your know-how and your professional experience. This CV can be on the first or last page of the portfolio, depending on how you organize it. Also indicate any other professional abilities you have, in particular your ability to meet deadlines, work in a team and communicate effectively.

Also, be sure to note your diplomas and certificates on this page

Become a Graphic Designer Step 15

Step 5. Create a website to showcase your work

Use website and portfolio editors, such as Carbonmade, WordPress, Weebly, Portfoliobox, or Squarespace to create a web page showcasing your work. You can also build your site without using these tools. If you are just starting out, choose the first solution. This way, you won't have to build your site from scratch.

A website featuring your best work will make it easy and enjoyable to browse

Part 4 of 4: Working as a graphic designer

Become a Graphic Designer Step 16

Step 1. Promote your work online

Become part of a community of graphic designers. Create your profile, then post your best work on their website. This is a great way to get feedback on your work. So you can improve yourself.

Here are three examples of well-known online communities: Behance, DeviantArt, and Dribble

Become a Graphic Designer Step 17

Step 2. Work as a freelance

If you choose this formula, you have to find customers. Show your portfolio to companies that use freelance workers, such as advertising or marketing agencies. Be sure to follow up with your customers if they don't get back to you after a week.

As a freelance graphic designer, you will need to be able to promote yourself and manage your cash flow and invoices

Become a Graphic Designer Step 18

Step 3. Find New Customers Using Social Media

Create a Facebook or Instagram account dedicated to your work. Publish your most successful works on this site. Also post a link to your website so that interested clients can quickly access your portfolio and CV.

Start by adding your family members, friends and coworkers as "friends". Then, encourage them to share your accomplishments with members of their networks

Become a Graphic Designer Step 19

Step 4. Work for a design firm

Check the websites of design firms, or those of job search sites such as "Indeed" or "LinkedIn" to find vacancies. Choose the positions for which you are qualified. Look for assistant jobs or positions where you will work as part of a team. Showcase your portfolio online or in person by showing that you have the skills required for the job requested.

Usually, it takes a year or two of experience and basic graphic design skills to qualify for an entry-level position

Become a Graphic Designer Step 20

Step 5. Get a bigger position in your business

Always seek to improve your technical skills. Also develop your leadership skills and your ability to get things done. Work hard, advise others, volunteer to lead projects, and most importantly, meet deadlines.

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