How to learn graphic design

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Graphic design is one of the most important skills you may need today, and it is required not only in creative industries but also in the IT sector, economics, healthcare, and many more sectors you could never think about.

It is a great skill to have and a very important and exciting job to have, especially when the web has taken over the world.

If you want to find out how to learn graphic design the most straightforward way, read our article because we will discover things like:

  • what are the design principles you need to know
  • what are the best design programs
  • how important are your network and inspiration
  • what will you be able to design

Learn Design Principles

Being creative and having plenty of things on your mind doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be an excellent graphic designer because this is a skill that is much more than that.

Being a graphic designer means that you know how to communicate by combining different tools, designs, illustrations, and colors to communicate a specific message visually.

Even though you can experiment with visual elements as much as you want and create a unique visual design every day, you should still follow some principles of design if you want to become a professional graphic designer.

Some of the most important principles of design are alignment, contrast, color, repetition, space, proximity, balance, hierarchy, and space, and by using them, you will be able to set up a successful graphic design career.

These principles are fundamental to product design and visual design, and you need to combine them if you create a clear and cohesive design.

Those who are professionals in graphic design will also experiment with different typefaces but also play with typography, colors, and their theory, and arrange all of the creations in a unique way that will help people get the message.

Once you can grasp these basic concepts, you will be able to come up with your designs and find a unique way to communicate a certain message through your work.

There are plenty of free graphic design courses that will help you understand these concepts better, and you can teach yourself graphic design and its basics simply by completing these short courses.

You can also exercise your knowledge easily by exploring other graphic design work on the internet and trying to recognize all of those patterns and principles on them.

The principles of design are the basics of graphic design, so make sure you can understand this part of the design theory before you get into the real design process and start working with clients.

Learn About Typography

Typography is an essential design element, and it is the way your copy text is formatted and implemented into the layout of the design.

This means that you can experiment with typefaces, kerning, line and letter spacing, point sizes, and many more things that will allow you to get a better knowledge of the fonts and of the ways you can pair them or customize them to get a unique design.

When it comes to building digital design for brands, big platforms, or e-commerce websites, typography can be a gamechanger because it can determine the brand’s future and its performance.

While some graphic designers prefer to use pre-made fonts and letterings, some of them decide to come up with their ones out of the design resources and create 100% unique typography that will be easily recognized.

You will also be able to handle typesetting, which will determine how your text will appear in the layout, and it is mainly used when you need to deal with a large amount of text.

Most people tend to avoid learning about typography, but whichever graphic design software you may be using, you will experience problems with it if you have no idea how to handle it or create it.

I would recommend you to experiment with it and see what are the things you can do because it can enhance the user interface you are creating and help you start graphic designs that are worth it.

Learn About Colors

Color is one of the most important components of design, and it is one of the first design tools you should master when you start doing online graphic design courses and enhancing your knowledge in this field.

Even though you can get some traditional education about it and explore the color theory to the finest details, you will benefit a lot more from exploring the art of other creators, their vector graphics, and the way they do visual communication.

Color will impact the emotions your viewers and users experience when they open the platform, so it is crucial to be aware of what color produces emotions and user experience.

When you are trying to create a brand identity and build an interface design that is unique and communicative, you need to pay attention to the colors you are introducing to the logo design because they can be a real gamechanger.

Whenever you are starting design projects, colors are one of the first things you should be thinking about, and make sure the whole team agrees with you on this one because even if you know how to design graphics, it doesn’t mean anything if you have no idea how to choose the right colors and do good branding.

Learn Design Programs

Whatever sort of graphic design jobs you may be looking for, you will need to know how to graphic design in all of those different programs.

How to start graphic design learning is something most people tend to ask themselves, and I believe that studying graphic design is the best in specialized software that is made just for this purpose.

Even though you will come across hundreds of online courses on platforms like Udemy or Coursera, they often tend to be too broad and don’t focus on the real programs you need to know.

If you strive to become a graphic designer, you will need to learn how to use design software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Sketch.

One of the most important and basic programs is Adobe Illustrator, which will allow you to draw with a unique pen tool and create shapes and different artwork, which means you can build your illustrations.

Since it is vector-based, it also means that every one of your illustrations can be expanded to whichever size you want and that they can be reproduced an unlimited number of times.

Adobe Photoshop is the other graphic design software you will need to use, whether you are a graphic designer or a web developer who wants to improve some elements of their websites.

This is probably the software you have already heard about thousands of times, and even though it is mainly used for photo editing and during design school, it is also one of the skills and programs a graphic designer must know.

It is one of the most powerful programs for graphic design that is used by all professionals, and although it requires some specialization in this niche, you will be able to learn it by yourself; all you will need to do is experiment with a bit of bit in the program and try out some Udemy or Skillshare courses.

With Adobe Photoshop, you will be able to manipulate all the photos you can find, retouch them, create special compositions and completely manipulate them.

This tends to be one of the best skills for all graphic designers working with brands and trying to create the original visual representation.

Even though it is not graphic design for dummies, with enough practice and a little bit of will, you will be able to master the art of Photoshop and become one of the best graphic designs out there.

Adobe InDesign is also one the crucial design software, and there are hundreds of graphic design classes on it that will help you understand how the platform works and how you can use it to your advantage.

This is primarily a layout tool, and it can be used for print too, so it is a good option for graphic designers creating paperback ads and flyers.

If you are a graphic design beginner and you are still not that experienced in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, then InDesign is the right place to start with, and it will allow you to create multiple pages of different styles and layouts in different colors and with various fonts.

This makes InDesign one of the leading platforms when it comes not only to website creation but also to creating magazines, ads in newspapers, brochures, and flyers.

It is also much more simple to use, so even those who weren’t working with these tools before will be able to come up with good creations; all you need to do is try out all the features and experiment with filters.

The best thing about all Adobe software for designing is that they come with an Adobe creative cloud which will store all of your designs in one place and keep them there for as long as you need them.

The sketch is also one of the options for those of you who are starting in web design and want to combine basic design with some vectors.

If you spend enough time in it, you can create great things for your design portfolio and develop some intuitive designs that can be reproduced later on.

These are some of the most complicated and most valuable programs for those who want to learn how to do graphic design, but if you’re going to become a professional graphic designer, you will need to master their art.

However, some more accessible alternatives don’t require you to take long tutorials, and even though they will not allow you to create some exquisite designs, they will be good options if you need to create invitations, business cards, and similar things.

Canva is a great place where you can get a good skill set, and it is the best option for those of you who are just starting in graphic design and don’t know too much about it.

Even though it is not something you can rely on as a full-time graphic designer, it will provide you with great templates and designs when you need to create social media posts, ads, or CVs.

It has a large offer of different designs, and you can even use it to create infographics which tend to be a struggle for those working in Adobe programs.

I would always recommend Adobe software over any other graphic design program, but you will need to be ready to pay the pricing for it.

If you are still at the beginning of your career, you can rely on alternatives like Canva, but eventually, you will need to switch to these programs and try something more complicated.

Network With Other Graphic Designers

Most people are not aware of how important it is to get in touch with other people in your field, especially graphic designers.

This is the type of profession that always has a lot of meetups, seminars, and events where you can learn new things and meet people who have a lot of experience in this field and can provide you with a lot of insight into the industry.

When you are meeting people who are also in the field of graphic design, you will gain a lot of valuable insight into the industry and find out what are the things you should pay attention to.

The key to success in any industry is talking with people who have a lot of experience in it and seeing what the most valuable skills you need to know if you want to prosper in the industry are.

They will tell you what the best boot camps or seminars to attend if you want to improve your skills and also tell you what the programs and features you need to pay attention to are.

Also, as in every other industry, when you gain great relationships in the field, you will quickly get new jobs and clients, so make sure you always have a few friends who have experience and can help you out in your career.

How to learn design is relatively easy, but keeping up with the latest trends and news in the industry will help you get ahead in your career.

They will also provide you with some great tips and tricks which will make your designs a lot better and more enjoyable, so make sure you pay attention to what they are telling you because those who have a lot of experience certainly know some amazing things that will help you too.

You should also join graphic design platforms like Behance or Dribbble, where you will be able to interact with other graphic designers and see what they are up to.

It is also a great way to promote your work, so I recommend you create an excellent portfolio there.

Collect Inspiration

If you want to become a successful graphic designer, you need to have some creativity and think and create new solutions.

Whatever field of graphic design you are getting into, whether you are just focusing on creating websites or working a bit more creative job.

If you are starting, you should begin gathering your inspiration from other graphic designers, exploring those creating in a similar field, and seeing what techniques they frequently use.

This doesn’t mean that you should replicate everything they are designing, but rather explore the popular techniques, colors, animations, and combinations so you can start coming up with your designs.

Even though most people believe that you are not able to do anything this way, the best way you can become a good graphic designer is by collecting inspiration from other people in your field.

Save the fonts, color combinations, animations, and typefaces on other people’s designs, and then try to experiment with them in your programs.

You can also lookup some creatives on Instagram and see what they are up to and what UI or UX design they prefer and tend to use the most.

Some types of designs are constantly repeated on websites and apps, and they also tend to be the most popular with buyers, so if you master them and learn how to add different designs, color combinations, and animations to them, you will quickly learn graphic design and compete well on the market.

You should also explore platforms like Behance, Instagram, or Pinterest because you can come across some fantastic design ideas and aesthetics you can integrate.

Most people tend to overlook them, but they can be a great source of inspiration for UI design, and they also have a lot of recommendations and resources provided to you by other graphic designers, so definitely take a look.

There are also some newsletters and websites aimed at future graphic designs and have a lot of useful articles.

Adobe creates 99U, and it has thousands of unique articles on all things about graphic design, Adobe software, and tips on personal branding, visual aesthetics, and the overall development of websites.

It is entirely free, and it is an excellent source of information for all of you who are still asking how to get started in graphic design.

Wix Creative is also a great place for all creatives; it has articles from some of the most successful people in the graphic design field, and it can help you find your design style and build a portfolio with ease.

You can also check out The inspiration Grid and Its Nice That because there are also some great articles on building your graphic design brand and where I can learn graphic design.

As you can see, if you are struggling with creativity or you have no idea what the things you can create with your design programs, then these are some of the places you should take a look at.

Find Your Passion

The key to any creative job is having a lot of passion for it and being sure that this is the thing you want to keep on doing for the rest of your life.

If there is a certain type of web design you like, fonts you prefer, or color combinations that could become your signature, persist in them.

Most people try to fit in, and they keep reproducing the designs and layouts others have created without experimenting too much, making them just one out of a thousand graphic designers.

If there is a specific style or color you like, I would recommend you experiment with them but always persist in your style because it will make you stand out among other designers and draw plenty of amazing clients.

This is a great way to learn about everything graphic design can create and explore all the possibilities of this work and come up with some great passionate collaborations that can, later on, provide you with recognition in the sector.

Have some fun, explore all the possibilities, and maybe you can turn your passion into your primary source of income!

What Will I Be Able To Design?

If you decide to become a graphic designer, you will be able to choose among plenty of different careers, mostly in web development.

You can become a UI or UX designer, VR designer, Typeface, Product, Editorial or Packaging designer, and many more.

Depending on your preferences, you can build websites, e-commerce platforms, social media, and interactive parts of the websites and create everything needed for a functional website.

On the other hand, you can be a bit more creative and get into the Animator sector, become a VR designer, and work on cartoons, movies, or video games which seems to be the most frequent option.

However, some of the careers that tend to be the most perspective is being a Product or Packaging designer because there are millions of different businesses and ideas these days, and it seems like every company needs a graphic designer who will make their ideas come true.

This is also where advertising and marketing designers are needed because you need to know what is the best way to present a product if you want it to be successful.

You can also be an editorial designer, and this career mostly has to deal with newspapers and magazines, which seem to decline in popularity these days but are still well-paid.

There are also typeface designers who are integrating different typographic designs, coming up with new fonts, and creating typefaces that are crucial to any website.

In case you are still not quite sure what your career should be, you can always start out as a freelancer, explore the sector and then make the decision on which career will be most enjoyable for you.

As you can see, being a graphic designer is an exciting and creative job, so you can choose to be pretty much whatever you want!

FAQ

Can I learn graphic design on my own?

Graphic design is something you can decide to learn on your own, through university, or some graphic design courses online.

While you can learn all the graphic design skills on your own, you can also decide to purchase courses or degrees where you will be guided through the whole process by professionals.

How do you start learning graphic design?

How you will start learning graphic design for beginners depends on your preferences, so you can do that through some courses, graphic design books, or by watching other graphic designers on the internet.

This is a creative field, and you dont need to go to university to gain knowledge about it, so there are plenty of ways you can explore graphic design and learn about it.

Is graphic designing hard to learn?

Graphic design is a pretty creative field, and whether it will be hard for you to learn it or not depends on the skills you already have in this sector and your knowledge of design programs.

If you have never experimented with graphic design, it may be a bit harder for you to learn it, but in general, all you need to do to become a graphic designer is a lot of practice and creativity.

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