Become a Graphic Designer Without Going to SchoolMarch 5th, 2017
A good design school will show you the right way to become a qualified professional designer. But it’s not the only way for you to make your dream come true. Fortunately, if you work hard and meticulously follow the steps that we write below, we believe strongly, you will become a designer in the near future.
1. Learn the design theory
It’s important to learn all about graphic design theory, from how to properly use typography, exploring the depths of colour theory (understanding the basics of colour theory is essential and getting a feel for how to work with colours) to setting your grid, controlling the display, hierarchy of information, and Golden ratio, etc.
Let's take a look at the basic areas you should study to get a solid footing in graphic design. There are plenty of resources available in which you can learn on your own.
2. Finding your specialty
If you choose your specialty soon, you know what’s exact that you must learn, what software best suits each industry and what you are most interested in.
Moreover, figuring out your specialties and greatest strengths as a designer can help you find the keywords necessary to target the right way. It helps you narrow down your job searches and also keeps your portfolio focused you on specialty.
3. Learn how to draw
Drawing is the foundational skill because sketching is the most important step of the graphic design. By spending a short time sketching on paper you can save many hours on the computer. Sketching does a variety of things when it comes to the creative process. It is one of the effective ways of brainstorming for designers because you can create a quick, simple visuals that can be easy to share with teammates or client. You can create as many sketches as you want without a lot of pressure, additional time or cost. Moreover, sketching is not only quick and rough but also cheap and fun.
Sketch by Junoteam.
These are some online courses for newbies:
- I want to draw in Drawing Theory
- Try Learn to Draw and Paint by Paul Priestley
- How to draw by Christopher Hart
4. Learn how to use the software
What can you expect from the software? One of the biggest gripes is not understanding what an application is used for. Without achieving an understanding for what the outcome that an application can produce, you will have a difficult time understanding what the purpose of what application servers.
Before deciding on software, identify a product you wish the application to produce for you. Then locate the software you will need to achieve your goal. As we wrote above, each software suits each industry so you don’t need to learn how to use all the software. Let’s find the tool that you are interested in and learn to become the master of that tool.
Don’t be scared before learning the software because it’s only the tool and the most significance is your idea. This is just the small part of the design journey.
These are some software which is important:
- Adobe illustrator, In Design, Photoshop: Branding identity, book, magazine
- Photoshop, Sketch: UI/UX
- 3D Max, Maya: Game
Go through a few of these tutorial sites every day:
5. Build your portfolio
After meticulously following these steps, what should you do next? The answer is building your portfolio. We have therefore compiled a list essential and useful tips that we hope can help you churn out the perfect portfolio.
A portfolio is a story about you. If you think of your portfolio as a sales tool, you tend to just focus on execution skills or how many pieces of software you can use. A portfolio should instead tell an engaging story about you. It should show, through your projects, where you are in design, your passions, your goals, and your strengths. A good way to start your portfolio story is to have a 2-sentence summary of who and what you are all about.
Keep the number of projects in your portfolio between 8-10. The trick is to pick 8-10 of your very best projects for your portfolio. Any more than 10, it gets too many and most people cannot remember what they have seen. Run with less than 8 projects, and your portfolio content feels a little light.
Junoteam potfolio on Dribbble.
You must keep the style is consistent throughout the project in the industry you chose. One more hint through the project is the published design freebies to share with the community, the future customers or the future managers can test your design skill through that.
Don’t think that the portfolio is just the file or the online website. You can always find a free online portfolio to build yours in the quick and efficient way. Last but not least, don’t skip the community channels, let’s build the consistency between your portfolio and the channels, you should upload all your products on your portfolio and also the social networks.
These are some FREE online portfolios that we want to suggest:
6. Get a job as a designer
Gaining experience is an important step in your design career. Although you attend school or self-taught, or learn on the network, the most important is the practical experience. So after having the basics, you should find a job as a freelancer or an intern of the design company to learn from the feedback’s managers, clients or colleagues, this is the next leap if you want long- term investment in this industry. An internship can provide the opportunity to get hands-on graphic design training, before becoming the real designer.
The designer and intern at Junoteam.
7. Follow the design community channels and famous designers
Social media is not only a great way to promote yourself, it’s also a discovery platform for the ideas, news, and inspiration you need to get ahead and grow. In the design communities, you’ll find lots of great information, freebies, tips and tricks.
Besides, follow the famous designers that give you the most inspiring, interesting and forward creative thinking on the platform, creating everything from pixel art to experimental design.
Following the famous designers help you learn their professional and understand their journey from the start to success as well as feeling their passion through the portfolio. There is a constant change in the design world and these channels keep you update the hot trends, style of the year, etc. It means that you must always constantly learning and updating your knowledge.
These are some famous designers that we think will give you more inspiration and knowledge:
APP ICON DESIGNERS
UI/ UX DESIGNERS
We firmly believe that doing something you love is the way to live life fully- all you need is the passion, desire and that fire on your bellies to pursue. If you work hard and meticulously follow the steps that we write, we believe strongly, you will be succesfull in this carrer. It’s expressly whenever you can confidently believe that you were born to become a designer, you will be a good designer.
It is never too late to start following your dream.