Graphic design is a great career and one with an exciting future. The world always needs graphic designers! So how do you get started as a graphic designer? What skills do you need under your belt and how do you acquire those skills? Here are some top tips for budding graphic designers:
Simplicity is key. Newbies often think that good design should be conceptual, complex and multifaceted. You've probably seen examples of this. Don’t over-complicate things. Start with simple lines and colours. As a budding designer, the first thing to learn is to do simple tasks well.
A cohesive colour palette is a lifesaver for a beginner. You’ll need to use colour palettes that are pleasing to the eye and easy for users to ‘read’. Most design software allows you to simply click on a colour to find out exactly what it is. You may well find it useful to find a source of third-party assistance when it comes to selecting colours. This will give you more time to work on other design elements.
Choosing the right font to use can be a bit of a headache. The font should embody the character and spirit of the brand you are working with. Fonts also have to work just as well on-screen and on paper. If you are not sure, there are a range of classic font sets that many designers use.
In graphic design, the visual hierarchy is where some elements on the page “stand out” or attract attention more strongly than other elements. There is therefore a hierarchy of importance. Your task as a graphic designer is to structure your text and graphic content so that your audience can easily understand the message you are trying to get across.
As a graphic designer, you will be asked to create plenty of social media content. This can be pretty time-consuming - especially as different platforms require content to be in different formats. This is where templates come in - you will find a wide range of sample templates online. These will save you lots and lots of time!
White space promotes elegance and a better user experience. Nobody wants to look at a cluttered or overly busy screen. There is always a tension between content and space - clients tend to want more content on the page while designers tend to want more clean white space. Your job is to get this balance right.
It might sound obvious but readability is crucial. There are many examples out there of websites that are difficult to read. This doesn’t just mean the text on the page - it means the whole visual appearance of a website. Users don’t have much time (or patience!) so it should be obvious at a glance what your website or piece of design is trying to convey. Test your site on a range of different people - they should all be able to ‘read’ your design quickly and easily.
As a designer, you are an amateur psychologist. Your choice of colour will influence the behaviour of users on your site so you need an understanding of the psychology of colour. Green, for example, is usually seen as positive. It is associated with energy, joy, healthy food etc. Red however can convey danger or aggression. It’s not always as straightforward as that but you get the idea. If you spend a bit of time researching colour and colour theory, it will pay off in your designs.
We hope you have found this quick run-through of essential graphic design skills useful. Being a good designer requires a wide range of skills - both technical and psychological - but if you keep the things we have talked about in mind, you will have made a great start.
by Katerina Urbanskaya | 22 Sep 21
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