How to Become a Graphic Designer Without Going to University
Studying at a university has undeniable benefits. While pursuing a degree from a university can open many doors for you concerning a career, it might not always offer what you are looking for.
Expanding the spectrum of knowledge can be difficult for students who go to a university due to workload.
From your written assignments to working a part-time job, learning a new skill might be difficult.
It is difficult, but surely not impossible.
With that the time that you save, you can learn something new, such as graphic design.
At Writing Metier, we are confident that in this advance world, learning about technology is an important skill set that people should start adopting.
From learning about Excel to Photoshop and, of course, graphic design, these elements, if not all, should be a part of your CV.
While you may not have studied graphic design at school, you can still give this route a shot without the need of going to a university.
With everything available on the Internet and of course, books as well, learning a skill you are passionate about has become quite attainable.
Before we help you know how to become a graphic designer without going to university, you first need to understand what a graphic designer does.
A graphic designer is the one whose responsibility is to design visual concepts by using software or a computer; they need to communicate the ideas graphically that capture the attention of consumers.
The importance of a graphic designer can be gathered from how no business in the world progresses without visual communication; communication which includes fliers, business cards, logos, e-banners, and so on.
So, now that you have an idea, here are some steps for you to follow:
1 – Build the foundation of your understanding
You do not learn how to read without understanding the alphabet, correct?
The same goes for when you have to learn something new, such as graphic design.
Step number 1 would be to learn how to draw.
If you already have a firm grip on drawing, then start practising.
Spend 30 minutes daily towards drawing something.
Master this art and make you’re your final product is something that can be presented in front of huge labels one day.
Once you think you know the basics, move onto step number 2.
Step number 2 is to learn about graphic design theory.
Know what it is like to design with a grid, what colours you need to use, and what is typography.
Now comes step number 3, learn how to write.
Of course, every graphic requires a text; could be their logo or their tagline.
You need to understand your audience and create a suitable text concerning your product and the audience.
With these steps, your understanding and foundation can be said to be strong.
Now come the other essential tasks you need to adopt. Keep yourself motivated. You will surely get to the end and achieve the goal you are looking for.
2 – Master the software
Adobe Illustrator: Before you jump to Adobe Photoshop, you need to begin with Adobe Illustrator. Start by watching tutorials and reading blogs. Go through all the basics, start practising by investing some time in the software.
Adobe Photoshop: Once you master Illustrator, jump to the big gun, being Adobe Photoshop. Again, the Internet is filled with tutorials and blogs. Follow the pages with the best views and reputation.
Understand the tips and the technicalities.
You might find more software on the Internet, and they might be used as alternatives.
However, brands and businesses demand Adobe, given how the software offers ample features.
So, you should better start with the software you will eventually end up learning due to demand.
With graphic designing comes computer applications and software, without which you cannot succeed in this field.
With the world going digital, you need to digitise your drawings for successful graphic design. To do that, you need to learn and master software.
3 – Find your speciality
If you want to become a design guru, you need to find that one area where you can specialise.
Becoming jack-of-all-trades might look good on paper, but when it comes to designing, mastering a specific niche is the right technique.
Choose an area, which holds your utmost interest, define a clear path and take the necessary steps.
Now, what options do you have? We have that narrowed down for you:
Logo design: If you have an interest in logos for brands or think you can do a better job for businesses; this is the right area for you. A logo is more than a symbolic representation of a brand; it was more to do with building the identity of a brand. From the billboards to the walls of the organisation and the ads, the logo would go everywhere with the business.
Hand lettering: Hand lettering has always been in demand and here’s where your role will come as well. People love personalised and handcrafted messages and designs. The human element to the digital world of graphics is still insanely in demand.
Mobile application design: Well, this goes without saying: the need for mobile apps is extremely high, so you would never run out of work. This also means how much competition there is in this industry. So, standing out would require you to have amazing skills.
Web design: The most popular choice for graphic designers to specialise in, web design. Having a strong presence on digital spheres is essential for businesses. Therefore, with the specialisation, many challenges come as well as benefits.
Are you still reading? That means you are getting ready to become a graphic designer.
This is the point when you should also keep a portfolio in mind.
Start working on your art, create a few concepts and play around.
Pitch your ideas to friends who may be interested in displaying or utilising your work.
It’s a given how challenging getting your first clients will be in this challenging field.
So, start from the necessary steps and benefit from all the little opportunities you may get.
4 – Kick start your career without any delays
Before we wrap this piece up, there are still some critical points that need your attention. Of course, these will benefit your graphic career.
Get as much experience as possible: Creativity is the game in graphic design. However, this is something that comes with experience. Brands may or may not hire you without any experience. The added benefit about graphic designing is that you can work on your portfolio without any brands under your sleeves. Utilise your time to educate yourself; learn and create original content. Try different projects, look for tutorials and try to gain experience on your own.
Be good, be exceptional: Be it graphic design or any other field, what separates you from the crowd is your ability to do something outstanding. Build yourself in the chosen niche or generate unique ideas that will instantly get you the eyeballs you are looking for.
Keep sharing your work: Sean McCabe, a graphic designer, specialising in hand lettering posted his work on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Dribble. People noticed his creative work, and he instantly got the attention he was looking for. So, build profiles and share your work. You never know, someone would love it so much they would spread the word.
Learn some business principles: If you feel freelancing is the route you need to start yourself; you need to learn business principles as well. You would need to work on your negotiating skills as well as how you need to meet the deadline.
Bonus point: You saved yourself by not going to design school
Design schools today cost you an arm and a leg, that much we already know.
Maybe that was one of the reasons why you couldn’t go to one in the first place.
Additionally, a design school takes four years.
With the expenses, spending a fortune for a good whole four years might not be feasible for one financially.
Having this said, you might also be working part-time to pay for school and lifestyle.
So, is design school worth all the complexity?
Given that everything is now available over the Internet, from tutorials to software, save yourself the money and invest your time wisely.
So, here’s everything there is to know how to become a graphic designer without going to university.
Educate yourself about the latest trends in graphic design and don’t let anything stop you.
If you have come this far, you can succeed at this as well.
Find your passion, keep yourself motivated, and nothing will stop you from getting close to your dreams.
Author Bio: Vitalii is an avid blogger who is passionate about graphic design. His primary interest lies in web design and has worked with numerous brands in the past. He wishes to educate youngsters and guide them the way he learnt. Aside from being a graphic geek, he is passionate about Digital Marketing.