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Ashworth College Blog

What does a graphic designer do?

Written by Ashworth College on Tuesday, 13 November 2018. Posted in Career, Online College

What does a graphic designer do?

The easier question to answer would be, “What doesn’t a graphic designer do?”

Graphic designers touch nearly everything in our lives–from products to packaging, advertisements to apps, road signs to wrapping paper. By combining their talents in visual arts with technical skills in layout, typography, print production, image editing, computer coding, and more, graphic designers help the world communicate information succinctly and ideas beautifully.

To get a better idea of just how much graphic design affects our daily lives, let’s talk about breakfast. Did you eat cereal today? Graphic designers made that cereal box happen. Not only did one or more design the box, they designed the cereal manufacturer’s brand logo, the cereal’s nameplate, the nutrition label, and even the bar code on the bottom. If you visited the drive-thru for a pumpkin spice latte instead, you relied on the work of graphic designers there, too. Everything from the beverage menu, shop signage, and coffee cup to your debit card and your payment app were created by graphic designers. Without their efforts, all of those communications would have been quite chaotic–if they existed at all.

What skills do you need to become a graphic designer?

If you’re thinking about a career in graphic design, you’ll need to start out with (or develop) some specific skills:

  • Artistic ability is key to success in becoming a professional graphic designer. That doesn’t mean the doodles on your notebook have to be worth framing, but you should be naturally creative and able to produce designs that people find pleasing, interesting, intriguing, or disruptive.
  • Computer skills are non-negotiable in the 21st century, even in the creative world. Many times, graphic designers are able to specialize in areas of interest but whether you choose to work primarily as a designer for print materials, web pages, or something else all together, it’s guaranteed you’ll be doing the work with a computer application.
  • Communication skills not only help you interact with art directors and co-workers, they will be the essence of why you create. Graphic design informs, sells, instructs, warns, and entertains. Understanding how visuals communicate is as important as understanding your boss and your co-workers when you work in graphic design.

How can you get graphic design training?

Graphic design training comes in many forms. Some professionals studied the arts in college and turned to graphic design as a more practical source of income. Others earned 2- and 4-year college degrees in graphic design specifically, but a degree won’t make or break your opportunities–especially if you’re aiming to be self-employed. Graphic design skills are proven through portfolios, not grades or resumes.

If you’re a naturally artistic and computer-savvy, you can learn the tools of the trade and get to work. A guided online training course like our Graphic Design Career Diploma program may be all that you need to get started. It provides you with access to web-based design applications from Adobe and teaches you how to use them. You can study at your own pace and create a portfolio of your own work while you earn your diploma.

Questions about our graphic design or other programs?

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