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!