As a competent designer, it’s simple to see when you’re talented. There is no denying that you have an eye for combining items to create a statement, from your clothing to your home’s design.
With a keen eye for design, you’re now considering a career as a graphic designer. What you know about graphic design is limited to the fact that it involves using technology. What is it like to work in the graphic design industry, and what are the many forms of graphic design?
In this article, we want to broaden your conception of what it means to work as a graphic designer. Learn about the history of graphic design, the most current trends, and the many sorts of graphic design you may choose to pursue as a creative profession.
Designing graphics is what it means.
Creating visually appealing pictures is just a small part of what graphic designers do. Information, ideas, and persuasion may all be conveyed via this style of visual communication.
According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, “Design mediates between people and choices; whether subtle or overt, design supports a point of view” (AIGA). What makes graphic design so significant is the capacity to connect with people and deliver a message.
Marketing campaigns, cartoon characters, and useful products may all benefit from the expertise of designers. The visual work of these designers serves as a means of communication for the public.
Here’s a look at how graphic design has changed throughout time.
In fact, the Interaction Design Foundation believes graphic design’s origins reach back to drawings in caves that precede Egyptian hieroglyphics! “Graphic design” was created by the printing industry in the 1920s as a way to express the basics of design such as typography, logos and colour theory.
There have been a lot of changes over the last century, but these basic principles of design have stayed substantially intact. The digital era and new design tools have been two major factors in these changes.
Adobe’s Photoshop® and Illustrator®, two of the most popular design applications of the time, allowed graphic artists to integrate technology into their work. Graphic designers now have more tools at their disposal than ever before because to this shift toward new technologies. Regardless of the style of graphic design they pursue, designers that keep up with the latest developments in design tools will have a leg up on the competition.
Graphite design may be classified into seven different categories.
This is a list of the most common job descriptions in the profession of graphic design, although it’s important to note that many definitions overlap. A graphic designer, like many other professions, may put his or her talents to good use in a number of settings.
Your graphic design skills may be put to use in a variety of settings. To learn more about the many types of graphic design, have a peek around!
There are two ways to design a product:
New goods are developed by product designers, who use their innovative skills to do research, design, and development. Depending on the business they work in, the sorts of items they make might range from toys to tools to technology. For this reason, these designers perform extensive market research to ensure that they aren’t violating the copyrights of their rivals. After that, they’ll build prototypes and early sketches of their concepts.
Product packaging, marketing designs, product graphics, and prototypes are some of the sorts of goods that have been created.
Design of a company logo
The visual identity of a firm or product is at the heart of branding, a branch of corporate design. A brand’s messaging and target audience must be in sync for these designers to be successful in their work. Goals and the overall look and feel of the firm or organisation must be reflected in all aspects of branding design. Developing a visual identity that connects with the target audience and conveys the proper message about a firm is the goal of graphic designers in this field, who put their expertise to work.
Logos, website branding, letterhead, business cards, signage, and corporate brochures are just a few examples of the kind of materials we create.
Competencies required include Adobe Creative Suite, market research, effective communication, and working well in a group.
The look and feel of the website
Every website you visit and app you download has a graphic designer at the helm of its design. To ensure that their sites are as user-friendly as possible on desktops and mobile devices, these designers must have a good understanding of user experience (UX) design. They use all of their abilities to create websites that are pleasant to the eye, simple to use, and in keeping with SEO best practises and the corporate identity of their customers.
Websites and mobile applications are the primary outputs.
Branding, UX design, wireframing, SEO, basic coding, and problem-solving are among the skills that are required.
Layout for printing
There is still a demand for print in the realm of graphic design, despite the rise of the digital era. For these graphic designers, it’s all about the tactile aspect of their work. As a result, these designers are able to convert their computer concepts to the actual world, from billboards to business cards.
This includes everything from brochures and flyers to posters and stickers to t-shirts as well as other goods such as coffee cups and mugs.
Layout design, print design, colour theory, and the Adobe Creative Suite are all required skills.
Creating a publication design
Books and periodicals are the primary focus of graphic designers in the publishing sector. Covers and page layouts are the responsibility of the design team, which includes developing eye-catching designs that are attractive and simple to read to the target audience. They work closely with authors and editors to ensure that a project has the proper appearance, whether it’s creating an eye-catching edgy picture spread for a magazine or picking exactly the perfect typeface for the next blockbuster..
Covers and magazine spreads for books and magazines, ebook layout and design, graphs or other visuals in nonfiction books, and more.
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, market research, and attention to detail are all required skills for this project.
The design of the environment
Signs, maps, and other visual components that help people navigate the environment around them are created by combining fundamental design concepts with aspects of architecture and landscape design. “It incorporates the wider idea of all communication in the built environment,” encompassing graphics like digital text that appears on the outside of buildings, museum exhibit layouts, and the impending creation of “smart cities,” according to the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD).
This includes anything from signs to fountains to sculptures to navigation systems to retail shop design to museum exhibits.
It’s important to have a creative mind, as well as the ability to communicate well with others.
Design for animation
Specialized software is used to produce anything from cartoons to animated social media visuals. Their work may be used to amuse viewers of TV and video games as well as bring attention to a company’s social media accounts or educate viewers via animated movies. Designers of animated films work in groups to get their concepts from the drawing board to the finished product.
These include video games, cartoons and animations for television or films, brand animation for social media channels, and motion graphics for internet videos.
Needed skills include storyboarding and computer-aided design (CAD), video editing, problem-solving, and cooperation.
Which form of graphic design is suitable for you?
It is clear from looking at these examples of graphic design that those interested in becoming designers have a wide range of choices. Whatever part of a creative profession has piqued your curiosity, you’re undoubtedly asking what steps you should take to proceed.
7 Simple Ways to Earn Money as a Graphic Designer
It’s important to realise that there are several ways to generate money online as a graphic designer, whether you’re already one or just starting out.
My goal in writing this essay is to provide advice on how to generate money as a graphic designer.
Graphic design was the field in which I originally worked. At an advertising firm, I was the principal graphic designer.
I had a lot of fun producing graphics and designing stuff. However, after a few months, I decided to leave my job since I was unhappy there.
I had no notion at the time that individuals could make money by working from home. As a result of my lack of education, I was unable to support myself and my family.
Hopefully, you won’t have to travel down the same path that I did. All the suggestions below may help you get started!
First, Provide a Service.
Let’s start with the most apparent approach. Yes, as a graphic designer, freelancing is the finest option to earn money online or even offline.
If you want to become a professional designer, you’ll need more than an online course and some YouTube lessons.
Improve your talents, practise, and establish yourself as an expert.
Finding a specialisation in the design business is critical if you want to be a successful designer.
As an alternative, concentrate your efforts on a certain area of graphic design and study all you can about it.
Instead of declaring yourself a graphic designer and working on a variety of projects, specialise on something specific, such as Twitch emote design.
Design Twitch emotes for gamers and provide a service to do so. You’ll be able to reach a particular group of people with a certain problem. Getting new customers will be a lot simpler.
Selling Graphics Templates
Selling graphic templates is one of the finest and quickest methods to generate money as a designer.
Templates like as logo templates, brochure designs, PowerPoint templates, and flyer templates are all in high demand these days.
Sell your templates on GraphicRiver or Creative Market if they’re of a high enough quality.
Millions of dollars have been made by creatives in this manner.
This, of course, requires some level of expertise. Not all designs are accepted by these platforms. Only the finest designs are accepted after a thorough assessment procedure.
Before trying any of these strategies, you must develop your abilities and practise.
Creating and reselling your own T-shirts is another wonderful method to make a little more dollars.
To sell your custom printed T-shirts, you may either use Shopify to create your own online store.
TeePublic and Redbubble allow you to sell your T-shirt designs without having to deal with inventory, shipping, or taxes.
My sister makes money every month by selling her designs on TPublic. Passive income is a great way to make money.
Become a Course Instructor.
Go to Udemy and see how many graphic design courses have sold over the years.
Even the most basic and generic of courses have generated tens of thousands of sales in some way.
Even if a course costs $12 and Udemy gets a 50% share, selling 1,000 courses each month is all you need to earn a respectable income.
It shouldn’t be too tough, given how often Udemy conducts promotions and promotes courses.
Submitting content to sites like Udemy and Skillshare is constantly open to new authors.
As an alternative to going over the same material that has already been covered many times. Make an effort to come up with a unique subject for a course that caters to a certain market. It’s a certain path to success.
Create Twitch Emoticons to Express Your Feelings
As I indicated in the introduction of this article, there’s a lot of interest these days in visuals linked to Twitch.
More and more gamers are establishing a Twitch broadcasting profession as the gaming business becomes larger than Hollywood.
They often hire graphic designers to create their own emotes, banners, and covers for their Twitch channel.
You may earn a lot of money rapidly by focusing on this market.
Create your own Twitch emotes, join gaming communities, and start interacting with people to spread the word about your product or business.
Create Content for Social Media
Using Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see that companies and businesses often upload their own attractive designs.
This is due to the fact that they employ designers to build custom branding for their many social media platforms.
Pre-made templates are widely used by smaller companies to build their social media posts and stories on Instagram.
These templates might be made by you and sold on the internet.
Larger companies, on the other hand, often employ designers to come up with original material for their online properties. Send them an email letting them know your services include creating engaging material for their feeds.
When you’re ready, don’t be scared to cold email or send a DM with your portfolio.
Create a YouTube or Blog Channel
Alternatively, you might create a blog or a YouTube channel to earn money.
I’m not referring to a personal blog where you post your opinions on a regular basis. I’m referring to a website that makes money for its owners.
Many design marketplaces, such as Creative Market and Envato Elements, offer affiliate schemes.
You may advertise the marketplace’s designs and templates on your blog or YouTube channel if you join an affiliate programme like this. When someone purchases a template via your link, you’ll be paid a percentage of the sale.
Most websites, including this one, rely on this kind of monetization.
However, building a website and attracting enough visitors to make money is something that should be done on the side, not as a full-time job.
A Beginner’s Guide to Designing a Logo
An expert degree of graphic design is required to implement these techniques. So, how can you get started and become a seasoned professional?
You may get started by reading this step-by-step instruction. ‘ Then use the advice in the following paragraphs to ensure that you conduct yourself with professionalism.
Develop Your Capabilities
Honing your abilities is critical, and I cannot emphasise this enough.
The more courses and books you may take, the more you’ll learn about your business and your specialisation.
Make sure to practise your trade every day, as well. As a result of this, you become a more proficient designer.
Decide On A Specialty
Focusing on a certain specialty can help you identify and advertise your products and services more effectively, as previously said.
But don’t be afraid to use your full potential. Go on and study more about a skill if you believe you are excellent at it.
It’s easier to distinguish yourself as a more accomplished designer if you have a background in both graphic design and user experience design.
The Portfolio Is Setup
Designers of all stripes need a visually appealing portfolio to showcase their work.
Create a professional-looking online portfolio of your greatest work if you can locate a low-cost web host.
You may also set up a Behance account to showcase your work. A few drawings I posted on the web for fun resulted in a steady stream of requests from clients.
Put Yourself Out There
Finally, it’s important to build relationships with other designers.
Your letter of admiration for the work of your favourite designer may even lead to assistance in finding job.
Take advantage of what other designers have to offer by joining a few communities.
Don’t Spam or Beg.
For some reason, graphic artists have a poor reputation for spamming their clients and customers. To solicit employment, many designers may send direct messages on Twitter, write comments on other people’s postings on social media, and even send emails with no subject line.
This is a bad strategy for finding a job, and it will make you seem unprofessional in the eyes of potential employers.
Instead, spend some time getting to know individuals, making connections, and discovering common interests before trying to market your products or services.
To sum it up
The following are only recommendations. As a business owner, you must use your imagination and come up with new ideas that will draw in customers.
You can become a successful graphic designer if you put your heart and soul into everything you produce. You never know, you may even get a job with a giant like Adobe.
Never quit up trying!
FAQs about Freelancing If you’re a graphic designer, knowing the answers to these commonly asked questions will help you better understand the field.
What Is the Average Salary of a Graphic Designer?
Depending on the sort of job you’re doing, you may earn a lot of money as a graphic designer. As a designer, you may earn a good living if you focus on a certain market and establish yourself as an expert. You should avoid low-cost marketplaces like Fiverr and instead focus on building a personal brand for your business. Graphic designers, according to Glassdoor, earn around $50,000 a year.
Exactly How Much Money Do Graphic Designers Make?
A graphic designer might be compensated in a variety of ways. While some designers are paid by the hour, others demand a flat amount for each assignment. As a result, it is highly dependent on your working style. Selling your designs, drawings, and templates on marketplaces is a great way to get money without doing any work at all.
Is Graphic Design A High-Priced Job?
In fact, owing to social media marketing, graphic design is still the most sought-after talent. With this comes a fair amount of competitiveness.
Who Hires Freelance Graphic Designers?
As a designer, you have a plethora of options for finding customers. Freelance markets, job boards, and even cold emailing are all viable options for finding new customers. If you have a strong portfolio on platforms like Dribbble and Behance, you can also obtain customers there.
There are four distinct types of careers in graphic design.
Interested in pursuing a career as a graphic designer but not sure whether you have what it takes to be successful in this field? Graphics designers are visual problem solvers who utilise creative thinking and strategic use of colour, font, images, and space to solve difficult problems in the world of visual communications. Designers may work at advertising agencies or in the marketing or creative departments of businesses, where they can work on a wide range of graphic design projects from conception to completion. The following are four of the most prevalent specialisations in graphic design, but there are many more.
Logo and Brand Identity Design
New and established businesses, organisations, goods and services are given new visual identities by graphic designers specialised in brand identification and logos. There are many elements that go into creating a brand identity, including typefaces and colours, but logos are perhaps the most important since they are used almost everywhere, from websites to firm buildings and commercials. Designers may use the new brand identity to develop a wide range of graphic design outputs, such as business cards, letterhead, advertising, and much more.
Secondly, the packaging design
Designing for 3D forms, both inside and outside of packaging, is a passion of package designers. They are responsible for creating designs that protect the goods during shipment, grab the attention of a customer in a store, and then, when examined up close, educate and convince customers.. Creating physical prototypes to test your design from every aspect is an important part of this sort of design process, in addition to the original drawings and computer work. This professional path requires knowledge of packaging materials and their influence on the environment.
The Design of Mobile and Web Apps
Designers may choose to specialise in any of these two areas of graphic design, as long as they are familiar with the standards and best practises of the media for which they are creating. Designers in these jobs work closely with developers to verify the feasibility and correct functioning of their designs for applications and websites. A site’s or app’s navigation, structure, and user experience may all benefit from the usage of flowcharts since they assist to keep everything organised and simple for users to navigate through. There are several benefits to learning the fundamentals of coding. These include user experience design (UX), user interface design (UI), and information architecture (IA).
Print and Layout Design
Designing layouts and print materials that are pleasant to the eye while also being simple to read is a goal for many of the designers who work in the field of layout and print design. As a layout and print graphic designer dealing with vast volumes of text, the placement of images and the selection of font and typeface are of particular interest. To be successful in this field, you’ll also need to be familiar with printing techniques and manufacturing.
Make a plan for your future as a graphic designer
There are many different kinds of software that may be used in the field of graphic design, and you’ll need to know how to use them all to succeed. With our hands-on courses in Graphic and Web Design, you can get started right away. In order to assist you get started in your profession, our programmes were developed by experts in the industry and education. Find a college in your area to discover more about our Graphic and Web Design programmes.
It’s all different in the 2020s. Shillington, a worldwide pioneer in offering short and intense design courses, is leading the way in this shift in mindset. Shillington is a growing trend.
Shillington promptly and effectively shifted its services when the world flipped upside down in 2020, enabling students to study online from all across the world. Graduates of Shillington’s 2021 and 2021 programmes are now pursuing successful careers in the business, despite their initial trepidation. Because in today’s society, it is feasible to both study and work as a designer from home, and this is a fact. It turns out that the new normal has some surprising advantages.
It is possible to work from home as a graphic designer.
Start with the basics.
People who don’t work in graphic design frequently believe that graphic design is merely a matter of learning how to utilise a certain piece of software.
Even if you know how to switch on your phone’s video camera, you aren’t a competent film director just because you “know Photoshop.” Learning the fundamentals of graphic design theory, as well as practical abilities like picking a colour scheme, selecting fonts, establishing a grid, and so on, are more important.
That being said, learning graphic design isn’t just about soaking up information. It’s all about applying what you learn. Because of this, you’ll have to balance your time between researching and working on your own ideas and gaining experience fulfilling design requirements for clients.
Secondly, make sure you have everything you need.
The Use of Equipment and Tools
Most creatives, according to Shillington Melbourne instructor Bonnie Eichelberger, may benefit from the following advice. If you’re solely using a laptop, you’ll need a sturdy laptop stand or a good display. A Wacom tablet or iPad with an Apple Pencil. Printing out your own work at home is a great way to ensure that it is the correct size.
Rachel Broaders, a Shillington Online instructor, offers a couple of her own essentials. What a comfortable chair. Spotify for music. Many hard discs are available for purchase. A day planner journal is what I use for organisation since I’m a true granny and still believe that things are only real when they’re written down or mailed to me!!.”
A decent bookshelf is a need in any work-at-home environment. If nothing else, it enhances your appearance during Zoom calls. As a practical matter, the greatest design books may supply you with inspiration, as well as a good distraction from a hectic day. When it comes to adding to your library, Rachel offers a few suggestions.
Josef Albers’s “Interaction of Color” is a “classic teaching aid and reference text that illustrates colour theory,” she notes. “Femme Type by Amber Weaver honours more than 40 accomplished women from across the world who work in the type design profession. It’s a compilation of the best work from some of the best designers, companies, and illustrators in Eastern Europe.”
On the Road to Variable from TwoPoints.Net is a great resource for learning more about variable fonts, and Breathe Well by Aimee Hartley teaches you how to improve your health and happiness by doing breathing exercises throughout the day.
Apps that are useful
Apps that may save you time, work, and tension should be considered in addition to your physical gear. Using Miro, an online whiteboard, is “very great for working remotely on projects,” says Rachel, who uses it.
Teacher Lovish Saini of Shillington Manchester writes that “Google Tasks / Note is fantastic for keeping track and creating oneself tasks.” It’s much more convenient since it can be accessible through Gmail. In addition, Forest App is one of my favourite tools for keeping track of my time. “It keeps me from procrastinating since it forces me to concentrate on the vital things.”
Third, learn the programme you’re using.
While software isn’t the only way to become a graphic designer, it is an important part of the process. You’ll still need a few. What are you going to purchase next?
Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign from Adobe remain the industry’s gold standard and go-to applications. In general, raster pictures like photographs are edited in Photoshop, vector images like graphics and icons are edited in Illustrator, and layouts for print and digital publications are created in InDesign. But they all have additional features, and they’re increasingly being utilised together in a single process.
The fact that they’re the most costly and need a membership to Adobe Creative Cloud is no accident, given their position as market leaders. However, this contains additional specialised creative tools, such as After Effects for motion graphics and Premiere Pro for video editing, although it is somewhat pricey. In contrast, full-time or part-time students enrolled in a recognised programme might benefit from a substantial discount (over 65 percent at the time of writing).
For those who haven’t started a course, there are more affordable possibilities. The Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Publisher software suites are excellent alternatives to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Your work may still be exported in Adobe formats utilising these tools. Free programmes like Canva, Figma, and Gravit Designer are other wonderful places to start if you don’t want to spend any money at all.
Additionally, you’ll need to learn how to operate remotely. Slack is the primary method through which many design organisations connect with each other on a daily basis, thus it’s important to learn how to utilise Zoom.
Set up a studio at your own house.
To learn and train as a graphic designer from home needs a lot of hours, hard work and perseverance. That means you can’t just work from your couch or the bar stools in the kitchen; you need to set up a dedicated home office space. Having said that, you won’t need a lot of room since your primary needs are most likely to be a desk, a chair, and a laptop laptop computer.
Personal touches like arty posters and a few inspirational books are always welcome additions to a relaxing and comfortable space. As a last piece of advice, keep your desk free of clutter, drink lots of water, and arrange frequent breaks for exercise. As a graphic designer, working from home may put a strain on your spine over time, so it’s important to start developing healthy habits early on in your career.
There is nothing better than being able to organise your own home in the way that best suits you. Carolina Lucio Maymón, a Shillington Online graduate located in London and now working as digital marketing and copywriting manager for The Future Farm, says that you’d be a fool not to take advantage of that flexibility.
Making an environment where you feel at ease and have the ability to work long hours is critical, according to this expert. Water, coffee, tea, please. Make a playlist or listen to an audiobook as you create.
With that in mind, Rachel describes how she makes her London home comfortable. Her mental health depends on having a few plants nearby. An external monitor and a wireless mouse let me connect my laptop to the larger display. In the winter, it’s crucial to have a decent source of light. If you’re like me and easily spill things, you’ll want a bottle with a lid.
Having these small indulgences to brighten your day at work is one component of building a comfortable workspace, but it’s also about avoiding a crowded space that makes you feel stressed. Carolina advises, “Your workplace layout is quite crucial; you’ll work better if you have everything organised. “Therefore, make an effort to have a tidy workspace with just the necessities close at reach.”
Organize your time and activities.
It’s not enough to just have the correct applications. When you work from home, no one is watching your back or stopping by to see how you’re doing at any given time. While it’s fantastic for reducing stress, you’ll have to keep up with your personal organisation all on your own.
To be able to work from home effectively, you’ll need both organisational abilities and a strong sense of self-motivation. “You need a timetable and a routine,” adds Bonnie. Having a clear picture of everything you can and can’t fit into the next five days is a smart idea on Monday. Write down your objectives and take a tiny step toward achieving them every day.
Carolina went through the same thing in 2021. For her, being well-organized was essential since she was taking a Shillington course while also doing coursework for her Master’s degree. “I set out homework timetables. ‘ For a few minutes after each of my courses, I worked on the homework for around 30 minutes to finish it. To finish the remainder, I’d plan to work on Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. It may happen on Monday mornings as well, depending on the number of items I had to deliver.
To ensure that I didn’t miss anything during portfolio time, I separated everything into tasks and made a checklist for each project.” To avoid forgetting vital information, it was critical to take notes on assignments and comments.
To avoid straining yourself and hurting your creativity, be careful not to go overboard with your organisational and productivity efforts. It is highly recommended by Shillington Sydney schoolteacher Missiye Dempsey that students walk outdoors and receive some sunshine on their skin every now and then.
The sixth step is to put together a portfolio
Once you’ve put in the time and effort to learn the fundamentals of graphic design and develop your talents, you’ll be ready to look for employment or freelancing work. To do so, you’ll need to put together a portfolio of your best work.
Portfolios used to be big, paper-based volumes that job candidates took with them from interview to interview to demonstrate their qualifications. Most of the time, they are either a PDF or an online site that allows people to read your greatest work quickly and easily (since employers and clients often don’t have much time to spend on this) in a method that’s convenient for them.
There is, of course, a chicken-and-egg dilemma here when you’re just getting started. You’ll need a portfolio to get a job, whether it paid or unpaid, or even an internship. But what should you include in your portfolio if you haven’t been paid yet?
So if you’ve taken a course, you’ll have student projects to share. Alternatively, if you’re learning on your own, you may try tackling a hypothetical brief in the same way you would if you were working for a real customer. Sharing your portfolio online, on a site like Behance, and personally with everyone you know in the field is a good idea before placing it in your portfolio. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you believe your work is; others will almost always have insights into it that you haven’t considered. If you’re looking to build a portfolio, you can consider performing free design work for friends or charitable organisations.
Take a course
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: this is a lot of work. Fortunately, in 2022, anybody can do it, and you no longer have to spend three years in college to qualify. Recently, the profession has become a lot more receptive to new ideas. These days, self-taught designers may be found working at every level of the company, from entry-level designers to CEOs.
Online learning materials may be difficult to find, so for individuals who prefer an organised and formal approach, Shillington offers short, intense online courses that can be completed in a few weeks.
There are two options for Shillington courses: full-time study for three months or nine months of part-time study for nine months. There are six actual campuses (in the UK, US, and Australia) from which you may choose, or you can take them online from the comfort of your own home.
This second option will provide real-time online tutoring from the comfort of your home or office, no matter where you are in the globe you may be. In addition to lectures, demonstrations, and critiques, you’ll be given real-world briefs to work on solo, in couples, or in groups to put your new skills into practise. You’ll be able to meet people from all over the world and establish a network that will serve you for the rest of your life. You’ll also have a portfolio that’s ready for interviews by the time you finish the programme.