How to Become a Graphic Designer
The process of how to become a graphic designer is, on the surface, fairly easy: Become extremely familiar with the graphics programs used in the industry, create a portfolio, and seek projects. However, becoming a professional graphic designer with credibility and realistic potential takes a bit more effort, time and dedication as well as in-depth technical and legal knowledge.
Graphic Design Career Training Path
Graphic Design is a highly technical field. Not only must you be comfortable working almost entirely on a computer, you must be able to understand, interpret and translate others’ ideas and suggestions into a visual product.
You must also comply with restrictions and guidelines for construction, design, and materials set by local ordinance. For example, you could have the most innovative design to present, but if the structure will not withstand stress or uses materiel prohibited locally, the design is worthless.
The technicalities and the zoning and restrictions involved are why most successful students know that the first step in how to become a graphic designer is enrolling in an accredited offline or online school and get at least an associate’s degree in graphic design. Note: Many schools will deny entrance if you do not already have a basic course in graphic design completed. Many students take this course in high school.
To be completely honest, however, that two-year degree might be enough to secure you a support position, but your expertise and credentialing won’t be enough to work as an actual graphic designer. You can certainly gain valuable experience and exposure, but it’s highly recommended that you go back to school and gain your baccalaureate degree from a top online college. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, the associate’s degree may suffice for full status.
Your four-year degree, available through many online college courses, teaches you not only the basic software commonly used and basic creative applications but also the technical information that is crux: You will learn about material stress tolerances, basic architecture, principles of design, animation and web site design to name only a few of the important topics you will cover.
So You Want to Be a Graphic Designer?
Once you have your degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design for example, from a campus-based or online school accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, you will be able to find employment. Most employers consider the first three to six months or longer a training period to ensure that you possess not only the knowledge your degree declares but also the capability of fulfilling all entry-level requirements and functions.
The steps in how to become a graphic designer with a degree and then learning to work independently is crucial. A degree is a piece of paper. With your skills, you could design one. Working in a live environment, however, can require additional skills that this learning period can teach or reinforce.
Usually, after one to three years, you may find yourself eligible for promotion or as sole responsible party for a particular design series. Additional education can help you prepare for that time. Returning to school for additional training—earning your online masters degree, for example—enhances your expertise, knowledge basis and advancement and financial potential.
Above are the basic steps in how to become a graphic designer. Now choose your school and study well!