How To Get Into Graphic Design Careers
Creative people have a lot of options when it comes to finding graphic design careers that you can grow with and love, let’s take a look.
Do you want a creative job with a lot of variety?
Do you have an eye for color and art?
Consider becoming a graphic designer. But make sure you take the right steps so that you can be successful. Here’s what you need to do to get into the graphic design career you actually want.
Consider Different Specialities
When you decide to be a graphic designer, you have multiple options within that field. You can focus on branding for various companies, so you can be the one who comes up with the different colors and fonts that a company uses. Another option to focus on is logo design, which is within the greater specialization of branding. If you like creating websites, you can also focus on designing websites with visual builders. And if you like marketing, you can be a social media graphic designer.
Think about the interests you have in and out of graphic design. While you don’t need to specialize further, doing so can help gain a competitive advantage when you go to look for jobs or clients. Becoming an expert in one particular area with knowledge of other areas provides flexibility in career choice.
Get Some Training
When it comes to graphic design careers – training is important. Now, this can mean going to college for design, or it can mean absorbing graphic design lessons on your own. If you’ve already finished college or don’t want to get a degree, you can take a certification course or another online design course to learn the basics. You can also read books or watch videos on design principles. Teaching yourself graphic design requires a lot of time and discipline, but it can be a cost-effective way to learn the industry.
While you can look for graphic design work, having some training can show potential employers and clients that you’re serious. You can prove that you know more than the average content creator. Plus, you can use your knowledge to help you succeed in your career.
Invest in Design Software
As you start to learn graphic design, you’ll find that free software won’t be enough. You can start with a free program like Canva, but you should be prepared to invest in an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. That way, you can access programs like InDesign and Illustrator. Those programs have more functions and capability than free options, so you can do more with your designs.
Especially if you want to freelance as a designer, you’ll need your own subscription to these tools. Even if you want a traditional job, having your own software means you can practice on projects for fun.
Whenever you learn a new design technique, practice it. Practice doing different types of graphic design to see what you like and what you’re good at. That can help you find a niche to focus on for your design career. Once you settle on a niche, you can practice designs for that specialization. You should dedicate a bit of time to practicing each day so that you can flex your design muscles. Speed is important in this industry.
When you create something you’re especially proud of, you can save it for your graphic design portfolio. Then, you can use that work to help land clients or jobs as a designer. As you practice, consider wearing blue light reading glasses to protect your eyes from all of the time you spend at the computer.
Build Your Portfolio
As a graphic designer, your portfolio is proof that you know how to design. It shows your work and design style, so it can help people decide if they want to work with you. You can use a website to showcase your designs and make it accessible to the public with a link. Or you can keep it more traditional with a physical portfolio where you keep prints of your best designs.
You can also create a digital folder in the cloud so that you can share it with clients. The public can’t access your work, but you won’t have to carry around a big folder. No matter how you do it, focus on your best projects so that you can showcase your strengths and land graphic design work.
Decide on Freelancing or Employment
Careers in graphic design can come in many different forms to find the one that’s right for you, consider what type of work you want.
Freelancing can be a great option if you want a flexible schedule and to work with different people. But others may want the stability of a full-time job working for one company. Consider if you want more stability or if you want to jump from project to project.
Neither option is always better than the other, and you can try both to see which you prefer. You can look for a full-time gig and freelance on the side. Then, you can compare both types of work to see which fits your needs better.
After you decide how you want to work as a graphic designer, apply for full-time jobs or freelance gigs. You can use online job boards, like Indeed or LinkedIn to find both types of positions, and you can search for companies directly. If you want to freelance, you should also set up a website for your design work and include a page that lists your services. Then, you can research potential clients and pitch yourself to them with your website as proof of your experience.
You may need to apply for a ton of jobs or find a ton of clients before you can get enough work. So try to be patient when starting your career. If you don’t want to wait, you can start looking for jobs while you complete a degree or course in graphic design so that you can have a job ready when you finish.
Consider an Internship
If you can’t seem to land a graphic design job, you may want to find an internship. An internship can be a great way to get your foot in the door and get professional experience as a graphic designer. You may not get paid as much, but it can be better than working outside of the industry and only working on graphic design in your free time. After you finish your internship, the company may want to hire you for a full position.
And if they don’t you can use your supervisor as a professional reference. When you apply for other graphic design work, you can use that reference to further prove you have what it takes to be a graphic designer.
Graphic design can be an exciting career field full of different projects each month or week. You can focus on different types of designs, and you can work in a traditional job or as a freelancer. But getting into graphic design takes a lot of training, practice, and applying for work. Eventually, you can land a successful job in your dream field.