Working as a Graphic Designer can seem like a rather bohemian career choice when at school, but the reality is that this is an industry that requires hard work, discipline and of course a creative ability and flair, if you want to be any good at it of course! A Graphic Designer provides and creates creative design solutions for clients and this can be anything from basic designs and layouts for advertisements, posters, web displays and branding, through to bespoke corporate branding and identity campaigns.You can work as a freelancer, on a temporary contract, or for a small design studio, large design house or inhouse for a large company. Pay can vary, however with a good portfolio and client base, a good freelancer can typically expect to earn between £30 – £50 per hour for their services.
If you decide that you first wish to study Graphic Design before you try to build up experience, there are a plethora of courses available from BTEC, to HND, to degree level for you to study in the UK. Gaining qualifications in Graphic Design and Art related courses can be an advantage, but it certainly isn’t an entry level requirement. Experience and ability trumps qualifications on many occasions in an industry that values experience, ability and skill, over grades and qualifications.
This is a profession where gaining experience and a portfolio of work and clients is key. Talking a good talk stands for very little as even at entry level, most jobs, will ask you to provide examples of your work and work experience. This is where it is extremely advantageous to get any relevant (paid or unpaid) work placements or internships, or even offer out your services to your close family or friends if they own businesses or have family that do. Short term pain, in working for very little or not at all, will be worthwhile if you can build up a strong portfolio of artwork and design examples.
Type of Person
Whilst having creative ability is important, you will need to have the ability to listen and take on board what your clients are looking for, and then use your creativity, if you are to be successful. Attention to detail, discipline and accuracy are just as important, as is patience and the ability to take criticism if the feedback you get on your work is not positive.
Skills to become a Graphic Designer
As the physical creative part to being a Graphic Designer is mostly done on a computer there are some generalist software packages that most Graphic Designers will need to be skilled in using such as Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Quarkxpress.
How to become a Graphic Designer
In essence, the key point to remember is that regardless on whether you have qualifications or not, the most important thing you can do to gain a career as a Graphic Designer is to gain experience and a portfolio of work. Having passion and creativity will certainly help as well.
Of course, we hope that these basic tips will help you along the way too!
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