When you set out to become a graphic designer it is not always clear which is the best way to learn graphic design.
Some people will advise you to attend graphic design school – as you would do for any other course – while others will provide you with tips to learn graphic design online.
It might be confusing at first especially when one does not have proper mentorship and it will not be clear how one should go about it.
So which is the best way to learn graphic design?
The Best Way To Learn Graphic Design For Beginners
It would seem that despite attending graphic design school, most of the graduates still have to do plenty of practice by themselves.
It is also easy to observe great graphic designer who never attended a single day of graphic design school.
It is therefore easy to draw the conclusion that, the best way to learn graphic design is to teach oneself and with resilience and consistent practice one does not need to attend any learning institution.
Today you can easily find several websites that are offering courses in Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign which are the main tools that are required for graphic design.
Online learning is provided with several options, some you could pay for and others are free. The aspiring designer can develop the skills here and later use these skills to implement their own creative concepts.
It is also important to visit some websites that publish design work by some of the best designers for one to gauge their level of competence while drawing inspiration from some of the works on display. Some of the best sites Dribbble.com, Behance.net, Abduzeedo.com and many more.
The key element of a good designer is one who never stops learning because new ideas are always emerging.
At this early stage of design it is important to display your work to those who are more experienced so you can get feedback.
The process of self-improvement is aided by allowing for criticism of the designers work. This means that the designer must create designs and let others judge their work.
Things To Remember When Learning Graphic Design
For the motivated student, teaching oneself how to design is an adventurous journey.
When you begin you will be full of excitement but after a while the excitement starts to dissipate due to the repetitive nature of learning a new craft. This is a critical stage because when boredom sets in, it can easily lead one to slow down and sometimes stagnate.
It is at this very moment that one must press on remembering that hard work will be rewarded in the end.
One should also set up a clear schedule that will allow for consistent practice so you can progress your design skills. This is very important because discipline will enable you to make progress in a consistent manner.
The internet is full of tips to learn graphic design and some have actual tutorials that give you full scale projects that you can attempt based on your skill level.
When you are considering the various options online to it is important to remember that the best way to learn graphic design must be professional. It is important therefore to choose an online course that has been designed by professionals and imparts the same to the student.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Joining a Design School?
The main drawback to joining a design school is the cost implication.
It will be costly to pay to learn what is available for free online since all you need to do is Google how to self-study graphic design and you are well on your way to becoming a graphic designer.
The time needed to complete graphic design school is four years and when you compare that with online courses, it takes only about 3 months to learn the basics of graphic design.
Many of the top designers in the world such as Karen Cheng did not join design school and they proceeded to have distinguished careers. She stated in her post that all she had to do was go through YouTube tutorials and the rest is history.
3 Major Tips On How To Teach Yourself Graphic Design
- Teach yourself how to draw first which should be at least half an hour every day.
- Learn graphic design theory, this will help you understand the key components in design such as typography, color matching and designing with grids.
- Learn a few basics in user experience such as; The Design of Everyday Things and Don’t Make Me Think.
Some Of The Crucial Aspects In Learning Graphic Design
Before embarking on the long arduous journey of becoming a graphic designer, it is important to know the different aspects that one will be developing.
Some of the aspects which are important are creativity, typography, software and communication skills. These aspects are the key elements of a good designer.
Creativity is a basic element in all arts and one can hone the skill with time.
Typography entails understanding the fonts, heights, and spacing. This helps the designer to more accurately choose fonts that suit the project at hand while being able to appropriately create spacing that achieves visual appeal.
Most of the graphic design today is carried out using a computer and in this industry understanding designing software is very crucial.
Effective communication is very important to a successful career since designs involve listening and conceptualizing the requirements of clients and working to meet these needs.
The Road To Progress
I must say becoming a graphic designer is an easy path but it takes hard work and dedication.
It is important to have an ambition and embarking on a continuous pursuit of excellence is a testament to this. One should always try and come up with a new way to do each project so as to develop a style.
After doing the work for a while, it is also important to join graphic design forums and discussions and make contributions. One should also help others who are starting out since there is immense to be gained by teaching others.
Things to Keep In Mind to Be a Better Designer
- Take on each project seriously as if it were your own.
- Deliver designs you are proud of
- Do not settle for mediocre designs
- Understand the client needs.
It is wise also to embrace new ideas and never stop learning so as to evolve with the trends while avoiding complacency. Experimenting with new ideas is beneficial in allowing you to come up with unique designs that have the potential to impact the market.
The Role of Continuous Improvement in Graphic Design
In the end it all comes down to talent and hard work.
It has been said before that hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. This is especially true when learning graphic design.
Learning how to use design tools is easy and takes a few weeks. But the process of becoming a designer takes longer and experimentation is always important. Being consistent is important for continuous improvement.
It also helps to join online hiring platforms where one can create a brand for oneself and do projects that are challenging.