Communication of ideas is essential for businesses to prosper. Everyone wants to show possible customers about their product or service through its purpose. But it cannot be just with words, you must show a design that attracts people, and that is where a graphic designer comes into play.
This career path is known to be one of the most creative since you have to project the customer’s idea into an image or presentation that captivates the audience. It is a job that can be done with or without a team, whether you like to work in an agency or prefer to go freelance.
So, how should you start working as a graphic designer? You could start by learning different tools that can assist you. After that, you have to decide who you want to work for. It can be challenging, but if this is your passion, then you should know how to proceed.
What Can I Do as a Graphic Designer?
The primary purpose of a graphic designer is to create something illustrative with the information given by the client. Nowadays, you have multiple ways to create and design pieces of art and digital or physical images, logos, layouts, and others.
Thanks to many technological advancements, you can work with your electronic devices using different applications that allow you to design easily. The final result can be used for different types of media, from newspapers and magazines to websites and digital applications.
The purpose of the design is requested by the client, so you need to have great artistic abilities and communication skills to produce what your client desires, after all, the illustration will be viewed by everyone.
As we said before, you can work with an agency or by yourself. The former is great because you will get to do different visuals and designs according to the job assigned. While the latter you can specify which type of job you want to do and specialize in.
How much can you earn?
Although it is a job that works with multiple businesses to find better ways to promote their image through beautiful designs, this occupation does not have a lot of candidates throughout the years. The employment of graphic designers is projected to grow just 3 percent from 2021 to 2031.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, “Despite limited employment growth, about 24,800 openings for graphic designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.”
Still, you should expect a reasonable salary from your job. The median annual wage is roughly $50,710 according to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2021.
However, that amount can greatly vary if you decide to work alone. Designers who decide to work as a freelancer or start their own companies will have a rough start. You also would need to establish the prices of each type of visual element and design concepts you have in your catalog.
Bits of Advice About Becoming a Graphic Designer
Putting aside the payment and job outlook of this career option, you should take into consideration some details before you start working. First of all, you need a bachelor’s degree in a field related to graphic design if you plan to work in an agency.
You should also know how the current market holds up with advertising and self-image. In other words, you need to understand what your client desires and how it compares to other businesses and competition.
There are multiple styles for designing a logo, for example, you could choose to go for the minimalistic approach or instead make it as colorful and extravagant as possible. The options are endless, but they must fit the criteria. On top of that, you should also:
Get into a Graphic Design Course and Certification
It is no surprise that you can always learn more about new things. When talking about design, you can find numerous courses online that specialize in different types of art, visuals, and software.
Some courses even provide the installation of the application that you want to learn, like Illustrator or Photoshop.
If your sole purpose is to learn a new thing, then start enrolling in new courses. However, we recommend that you make sure that the online course provides a certificate after its completion. It is beneficial for your curriculum and many employers will be more interested in hiring you.
Prepare a Portfolio Showcasing Your Designs
When you meet with a client, it would help if you showed them your portfolio filled with all the work you have done. This can include logos, layouts, illustrations, photo edits, publications, and other projects that you have finished.
It is crucial that you keep it updated with your recent work, that way you show that you are consistent with your job as a graphic designer. Also, you should opt for doing a physical and an online portfolio; most people go for the latter, but having the former too could be beneficial while looking for a job at an agency.
If you present yourself with a well-made portfolio and high-quality designs, you will have no trouble getting more clients or finding a new job.
Learn About the Newest Applications and Keep Up With the Updates
You might think that with your current digital tool, you are doing fine, but there is always room for improvement. There are other applications that you can download on your PC or tablet that are made for graphic designers.
If you start trying new tools, you might find one that is better for the job. On top of that, pay attention to any updates that your application receives. Some can introduce minor details, while others bring new features that can change your experience.
As we said before, there are online courses that you can be part of to learn how to use these applications, and you will not regret taking them.
Decide if You Want to Specialize in a Type of Design Area
This might be one of your biggest decision during your life as a graphic designer. At an agency, you will get clients with different types of requests. Sometimes it can be a logo or a design for a web page. But if you are better in one area, then you have to choose to pursue it or not.
Doing so can help you to focus more on what you do best. However, you can still explore other areas if you are not satisfied or want to try new things. Working as a freelancer you will have more liberty to choose, and customers will see that you are excelling in the type of design that you create.
Leave Your Mark as a Graphic Designer
Not everyone has the ability to make an image for their business capable of attracting the masses. That is why they seek help from a graphic designer, so people can get to know better of the place, and their work will be recognized by everyone, meaning that they will get more jobs in the future.
This career is difficult at first, but you should not give up. The diversity of things that you can get done with your artistic abilities is infinite. You can completely change how a business is designed knowing the trends and the client’s information; from a simple logo to a big publicity banner.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Graphic Designers. (2023, February 228th). In the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm#tab-4