What Does it Take to Become a Graphic Designer

by: Ramona Joanne

With the introduction of new technologies, some people may wonder if graphic designers are still necessary. Although AI can produce similar artworks quickly, graphic designers bring something to the table that no technology can replicate: the human touch. Imagine how would an AI designer draft a brand visual that’s described as ethereal, punk, or friendly. With human graphic designers, these abstract concepts are better understood and translated into visual images that effectively resonate with audiences.

This is why even with technological tools, more than 250,000 jobs in the United States are open for graphic designers. Labor statistics also predicted that graphic design employment will grow by 3% from 2020 to 2030, with a median annual wage of $50,710.

If you have the talent and passion for the arts, there’s no reason to stop pursuing this career. Here are four tips and information you need to know to become a graphic designer:

Create An Impressive Portfolio

If you’ve been an artist for quite some time, you likely already have previous artworks that showcase your skill and talent. All you need to do now is compile your best works and create an impressive portfolio to catch the attention of prospective employers or clients. Making an art portfolio is essential because it enables you to build and advertise your brand as an artist. If you have a collection of artworks that exhibits your art style and techniques, this will help clients decide if you’re the right artist for their project. So even if it’s a random artwork you created before, don’t be afraid to include it in your portfolio. It still shows your ability and potential as a graphic designer.

Take Courses and Earn Certifications

Some people can still become graphic designers even without a degree, but having a solid foundation of art theories and techniques will definitely put you at an advantage. This is because the tasks carried out by most graphic designers nowadays are no longer limited to sketching or illustrating designs. They’re also expected to be adept at web design, motion graphics, and photography. So if you want to make yourself more marketable, you should step out of your comfort zone and learn other areas of specialization to broaden your expertise. Other aspiring graphic designers may also choose to obtain certifications to further sharpen their skills in their chosen field. For example, there are several specialization courses on UI/UX development where you can earn a certificate upon completion. With the advent of remote learning, these are even easily accessible and available online. Having these credentials will boost your chances of landing a job in the industry.

Apply For Jobs or Internships

Applying for job experiences will also become indispensable as you pursue a career in graphic design. Apart from helping you learn new skills and build your portfolio, internships or jobs can allow you to meet relevant people working in the same industry. This will become useful if you’re looking for future job opportunities because you will know where and who to look for. Another benefit of getting work experience is that it will help you decide which specialization to pursue. In graphic design, you can work on different expertise, such as brand design, web design, and user experience design. If you have hands-on experience with various types of jobs, you’ll later realize which area of specialization you think you will excel in and enjoy.

Never Stop Learning

One of the most important tips you should keep in mind is to never stop learning. Even if you think you’ve mastered the skills and techniques required in your field, remember that there’s always room for improvement and learning. In our interview with digital artist Liquid GTX, they shared how the online art industry always has something new for you to discover. For instance, the boom of the VTuber community opened new opportunities for them. Liquid GTX explained that they started learning how to create assets for VTubers, such as video overlays, to keep up with this trend. This shows how it’s necessary to remain open to learning new things and seek opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.

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