A Guide to Graphic Design


While I’ve been on YouTube I’ve gotten a ton of questions about graphic design.

+ What is graphic design?
+ Should I take graphic design?
+ Do I need to know how to draw to be a graphic designer?
+ What’s life after college like?

I’ve finally sat down and filmed a video talking about every aspect of design that I commonly get asked about on YouTube. I go over those questions mentioned above as well as what majoring in graphic design is like, how to get internships, and what a day in the life of a graphic designer looks like. I’ll link that video here.

After I filmed, I was still getting questions about graphic designs that I didn’t get to go over in the video. I decided that this post will be an ongoing updated post for those who’s questions didn’t get to be answered in my full video. I hope this is helpful for those of you curious or interested in graphic design! Here we go…


When and what age did you know you wanted to do graphic design?

I knew when I was in the 6th grade which I feel like is very early on. That stressed my sister out because I knew what I wanted to do at that young of an age and actually followed through with it. I feel like that only happened because I’ve always had a very strong passion for art and design, even as a little kid. But I’ve known people who only decided to major in graphic design their last year of high school and they’re now very successful!

Do you really need a degree in graphic design to work in the field if you have experience?

This honestly depends on the company and the circumstances. There are a lot of people I’ve seen online that don’t have any graphic design experience that are getting a lot of freelance work. You’re likely to get freelance work without a degree more easily than a full time job. I haven’t come across anyone in my experience that has gotten a full time design job with no degree in design (at a legit job, that is). If graphic design is your passion and are looking for a job with steady income, I would highly suggest getting a degree. Getting a livable income from freelance is possible but it takes a lot of time and dedication to get a consistent flow of clients.

What tools/programs do you use for graphic design? And what Softwares would you recommend for a beginner in the graphic design field?

There are different areas of graphic design that branch off into using different programs that I haven’t even touched yet but I would say the core programs every designer uses are Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. I personally use Illustrator (useful for creating digital elements) and Photoshop (useful for editing and manipulating images) the most. InDesign is great for laying out books and brochures but I don’t use it too much in the job I currently have. If you’re a student, Adobe offers discounts on specific programs and the creative suite which is great!

Since you went to college for graphic design, did you have to submit an art portfolio?


I personally didn’t have to submit an art portfolio to get into the Art Institute but I know other colleges do require one. That being said, I’m definitely not an expert on what to do in that area but if I were required to submit one, I would have included my drawings from my high school art classes and the few freelance projects I did for friends. It depends on the college but I don’t think they were looking for our realistic portrait and still life drawings because it isn’t needed much in our field. Those are amazing skills to have but I don’t actually know too many graphic designers that are fantastic artists on paper. Double check with the college you’re applying for and see if they require a portfolio. If so, try to get in contact with someone in the office who can maybe give you some inside tips!


If you have any questions that didn’t get answered in the video or in this blog post, please feel free to ask them and I’ll update this blog post!


14 comments on “A Guide to Graphic Design”

  1. Hi, Jasmine!
    What tools/programs, do you use for graphic designing? And what Softwares would you recommend for a beginner in the graphic design field?

    1. Hey Mareli, thanks for your question! I’ve updated the blog post with your question for you and everyone to see 🙂

    2. Yes please, I would really love to know as well. Thank you for making that video also! It was really helpful, and now I want to go to Graphic Design School!

  2. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing all of your experiences with graphic design – they’ve really helped me! I still have one question, though: since you went to college for graphic design, did you have to submit an art portfolio? If you did, what did you include in it? How do I get started with mine? I know that colleges look for realistic portrait and still life drawings, but I’ve never really have experiences with those, nor do I know how to get started! I’m still curious if there are college graphic design programs that don’t require a portfolio… Anyway, any advice is appreciated!

    1. Hey Vanessa, thanks for your question! I actually didn’t have to submit a portfolio to get into the Art Institute but I’ve updated the blog post with your question and my little advice on the subject! ALSO, I know Lindsey Rem on YouTube had to submit a portfolio to get into Chapman University and I believe she did a video on it. I’m sorry I can’t give personal advice on that topic but hopefully this helps!

  3. Hi, Im in grade 8 and i’ve just chosen my gcse options and did not submit graphics as one of my options although I am taking either Computer science/ art. Will I need to change my option to graphics or will I be able to do a degree without a gcse in it?

  4. Hello miss jasmine. I was wondering, what name of course is graphic designing? Since I was in grade 7, I early planned that I will be a graphic designer in my college or after graduating haha 😍😊 I love drawing, editing pictures, videos or stuffs by imagining and designing. Thankyou

  5. Hi Jasmine,
    I naturally have always been good at many aspects of Graphic design, or generally ‘Design Communication’ (which happens to be the name of the bachelors degree I’m aiming for once I get to uni), but I was wondering how do you gain confidence in yourself and your work? I’ve always had an eye for design and am decent at illustrating but I worry that I won’t have anything special to offer once I’m in the real world. It’s one thing being top off the class but the thought of confidently interacting and designing things for others makes me nervous- despite being an extrovert.

    Did you battle with anything similar when you were younger? And if so do you have any suggestions?

  6. Hey 😀 So I am deciding on a major and I am looking into GD. I like to edit YouTube videos, make surreal artworks in Photoshop, and make graphics & layouts for websites. So far I have just been playing around. I want to get into branding for YouTubers and/or Instagrammers. Do you think Graphic Design would be a good major for what I want to achieve?

  7. Hi Jasmine, I love your videos! thank you foe sharing. I wanted to know, can you make a video on how you incorporate your brush lettering onto your videos or web pages?

  8. Hey Jasmine, I would really appreciate it if you could answers some of these questions for me.

    What are a few skills that are necessities in being able to be an efficient graphic designer?

    What is the average wage/salary you make as a graphic designer?

    How do you know if a company is truly interested in working with you?

    Do you have any advice for a student that wants to pursue a career in graphic design as a logo designer or photographer but doesn’t know how to start?

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