I’ve heard a lot about how I could start learning graphic design. There are hundreds of thousands of queries circulating in the minds of the starters? “But how do I even start?” There are hundreds of resources out there but it isn’t easy to start with what do you want to learn and ultimately need guidance.
For you people, I will share you How to learn Graphic designing smartly!
Step 1: Prepare yourself
The first thing to do is to understand that it takes a lot of hard work. Graphic design is a skill just like anything else. It takes a lot of time to develop your eye for layout, legibility, juxtaposition, all those other fancy design words. I was using Photoshop almost every day, from my younger age, until I start freelancing.
From my experience, learning from what’s arguably the best art school in the country is the best option. So don’t think that I’m about to give you some magic spell that’s going to make you instantly great at it. Graphicus, designus and voila you are now a graphic designer expert! If you really love graphic design and has a perception of loving colors and nature, then you are on the right track of the graphic design course, you have now crossed the first hurdle. Back to the original question, “Where do you even start?”
Step 2: Learn Typography and other basics
I’d really suggest going to your local library, or book store and reading some books. This is a great introduction to type typography (Lettering art), the history of type, and just some basic things that you should probably know before you start actually doing it. I have jotted the book list at the end of this sub-heading. Just download it and start learning, I promise you’ll never regret reading those awesome books. On top of typography, you might also want to learn about the history of graphic design. This book is a really great one to start with. It has just a really good summary of most of what you’ll need to know. It is a complete mix of pictures to understand from and rich text to understand the concepts. It isn’t hard anyway, it becomes passion afterwards.
Graphic Design Books:
- Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design
- Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design
- Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
- Hand-Lettering Ledger: A Practical Guide to Creating Serif, Script, Illustrated, Ornate, and Other Totally Original Hand-Drawn Styles
- Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills
- 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design
Step 3: Choose a software
So, now that you know what graphic design is, and your fingers are itching to make layouts and modify photos. If you already have Photoshop, Illustrator, and, or inDesign, that’s awesome! If not, a really great starter program is the GIMP. The jimp, the gimp? I don’t know. I’ve never actually used it, but I’ve heard it’s really good, and it’s free so, you know. Or, just work with actual paper and glue. Sometimes, the limitations that actual paper gives you can make you even more creative
Step 3: Practice by Redesigning
A great project is to take a poster or an ad from a magazine, and just redesign it. Make yourself stay to the same size as the original, and use all the same text. Even if there is a lot of it, and it’s hard to fit it all in. Really think about the audience that the ad is trying to appeal to, and other ways that you can present the same information. Or, if you really just need to learn the programs better, then simply recreate the ad, getting it as close to the original as you possibly can. Obviously, that’s not something you could put in your portfolio, but you’ll learn skills that will come in so handy when you’re actually designing your own work.
Also, if you’re like 12 or 13, you’re still so young! So don’t force yourself to do a ton of work that you’re just not interested in. Maybe you really like modifying photos, or maybe you want to learn to layout books, or maybe you want to combine your illustrations with expressive typography. Just keep working at whatever it is you love to do, and give yourselves assignments, as if you were in school.
Restrictions only make you more creative, so try designing a flyer that uses only green and blue, or a flyer that uses one font, or a flyer that uses 10 fonts. Most, well probably all of your early designs will be completely awful, especially looking back at them years later. But don’t get discouraged because you’re learning from each one.
Step 4: College OR Self Study?
As you get more confident in your abilities, try taking a class at a local art store or college. Even if you’re not the most motivated person in the world, that’ll give you the incentive to keep at it week after week. Also, try to make friends with people who are at about the same level design-wise as you are, either IRL in class, or online, on a message board. That way you can give each other encouragement and feedback, and it’ll really get you to stay motivated. Well, that was a lot of information.
Some Great Graphic Design Schools:
- Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
- Yale University, New Haven, CT
- Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
- Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA
Check out the best 25 Graphic Design Universities!
This is it for the college enrolling things. What if you couldn’t afford or don’t want to enroll into any Graphic Design school/university any way. First of all, you are now in a bit trouble and that trouble is Laziness! You know why these Graphic Design schools are the best option? Apart from detailed education of graphic design courses you would also get to learn all these things and you have to go to the Graphic Design school daily otherwise they would terminate or could fail you. Learning graphic design in home never gave a compensation and you have to rely on all yourself.
To become a self taught graphic designer, you have to consult some books, tutorials and blogs. If you think you want to be a self-taught, then subscribe my blog and I will always help you out. Subscriber Here!.
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There are many popular freelance graphic design artists who are making more than the graduates from Graphic Design School. How could you be a self taught Graphic Designer? It’s just hidden a code word: “SLAP” (Search – Learn and Apply)
Start exploring the resources online. There are hundreds of resources free and paid out there. You have a choice to learn whatever you want but first you have to build your basics to understand the upcoming complex concepts.
To build basics, you have no other choice but referring to a books (mentioned above).
After gripping up the core concepts, try searching tutorials of using the software, The 2 most popular are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Good you are now on the right track, now buy or download the software of your choice.
Until now, you have mastered the basics and now you are fully ready to learn the software. To learn the software, best option is to find tutorial text on blogs and watch the videos on YouTube. Learn each and every tool by yourself or just buy an online graphic design course from Lynda or Treehouse.
As you are learning the tools, you will find many things to practice. Just don’t hesitate anymore and just open up your software and start practicing each and every thing. Apply all the knowledge on your software. When you grab the central idea of the Software, go with drawing complex things to solve your graphic design problems.
At this point, you are now able to design different types of graphics but before starting with freelancing, make sure to build up your portfolio by joining online freelance graphic design competitions. This surely helped me a lot to build a nice looking extensive portfolio. Just keep in mind, that quality is what the clients are looking for so just bring out the quality first upon quantity.
Just stop looking at the post and just go and start your first graphic design lesson! God bless you.