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How to Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic design is an integral part of how we convey information on a day to day basis. Advertising is dependent on the skills of graphic designers in creating eye-catching and imaginative designs. Web sites are dependent on the graphic design craft as colors and images are molded together in creative and informative imagery. Our world would be colorless and boring without the skills of graphic designers.

Being a graphic designer is an exciting and fulfilling career for the artistic and creative. It's true that many graphic designers are born with an eye for design, but it's also true that great graphic designers are molded and trained into excellence.

The Right Graphic Design School for You

The journey to becoming a graphic designer begins with attending one of the industry's best graphic design schools. Students can find graphic design schools in both the traditional on-site classroom environments as well as online through distance learning. Your choice of schools is important and needs to be made with your own specific goals in mind as well as on the basis of the school's reputation within the industry.

Training from the best graphic design schools involves both form and substance. Instructors provide the overall form of graphic design in the theory of design and how it relates to the cutting-edge technologies and popular applications designers must work with. Expanding a student's horizons both technically and in practical experience is part of the overall educational experience.

Graphic design students also develop a mindset that serves as the launching pad of ideas. The best graphic designers aren't limited to the technical aspects of creativity, but have learned how to create visual experiences that connect to the sensory and emotional depths in other people. Graphic design is art as much as it is technology. High-quality graphic design education, whether taken in the classroom or as an online degree, can take you far beyond the creative abilities you've known so far and develop a whole new outlook and experience for students to draw on.

Starting a Graphic Design Career

Launching into a career in graphic design is an ever-changing and growing process. A graphic design education is never completed as the industry continues to expand into new technological processes and cultural expressions. A static graphic designer is one that remains mediocre at best. It takes effort to excel.

Online training in graphic design is one way to combat the stagnation of professional development. Not only can an ongoing education increase a student's professional credentials, but some of the finest designers in the industry contribute ideas and techniques.

Characteristics of Great Graphic Designers

There are several personal characteristics in successful graphic designers that are worth emulating. By incorporating these characteristics into their own professional development designers can guarantee their success for years to come.

  • Ongoing Education. Spend time with instructors and other students in both formal and informal educational experiences. The benefit of a continuing education is personal development. Being exposed to master designers who have elected to pass their skills along to others in addition to the new ideas uninitiated students bring to the table creates a perfect environment in which to learn.
  • Strive for Excellence. Apply what's been learned to the work world. Avoid the shortcuts and time-savers that come back to haunt the designers who use them. Be willing to put in the time, thought, experimentation, and research that are required to produce the best possible product. Peers and your clients recognize excellence when they see it.
  • Learn to Promote the Product. A skillful presentation to clients and employers is key to selling an idea. Communication skills are critically important to conveying ideas and concepts.
  • Know How to Grow a Business. Even graphic designers who work in agencies have to know how to improve a business or they'll soon be on the unemployment line. Understanding how employers sell graphic designing products is crucial to how designers do their jobs. Targeting clients means creating content and images that clients will buy.
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The Art Institute of Washington
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