How to Become a Graphic Designer – An Overview

There are a few careers that need only dedication for you to be successful in them. A sound education, willingness to learn and the ability to work hard can lead to reasonable success in these areas. There are others that you should consider only if you are passionate about them, a case in point being medicine or nursing. Then there are professions that not only need passion and dedication, but a generous dose of talent. All creative professions, including graphic design, fall under this category.

For those who dream of becoming a graphic designer, the seeds were probably sown way back in childhood when they got their first A in art class.

From drawing pictures in your childhood that still adorn the walls of your home, if you’ve now reached a stage where your idea of fun involves tinkering with design tools on your computer creating fine works of art, then you’re the perfect candidate for a career in graphic design.

Graphic design is defined as visual communication by a combination of text and pictures. In other words, graphic design is the visual expression of a message, idea or concept. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then graphic designers are among the most prolific writers we know.

So if graphic design is what you want to do for the rest of your life, then it’s time to start the action. Here’s a three step approach on how to become a graphic designer.

Step 1: Get Informed

The first step to becoming a graphic designer is collecting relevant information – and lots of it – about the profession. Some questions you might want to find answers to include:

What is the nature of work?
What kind of career opportunities do they have?
What is their earning potential?
What kind of training is needed?

Some research on the Internet will yield answers for most of these questions. You can also interview industry experts for first-hand insights. Career counselors and admissions consultants may also be able to provide helpful information about the profession.

Step 2: Get Qualified

The second step towards becoming a graphic designer is acquiring the necessary qualification for it. There are a few things you must know about this profession before you apply for a suitable program. Creativity alone is not enough to succeed in this field. You need to combine it with computer skills and business knowledge.

Expertise in using different design tools and computer software programs is as important for a new age graphic designer as talent. Since the job of a graphic designer involves understanding client requirements and the target audience, business knowledge is also desirable.

That’s why it’s vital to choose a graphic arts degree that will provide you a solid foundation in web design techniques, computer skills, and business principles.

Although many professionals are able to get their foot in the door with short-term professional certifications in graphic arts, getting a college degree will definitely boost your marketability. Most colleges and universities offer two graphic arts programs – an Associate’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in graphic arts and design.

An Associate’s degree qualifies graduates for assistant graphic designer positions from which they can work their way up. A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum credential required for most entry-level and advanced graphic design jobs.

Step 3: Get Experienced

Gone are the days when your academic achievements alone could get you plum positions in big organizations. Employers these days look for hands-on industry experience along with academic credentials, especially if you belong to an applied field like graphic arts.

Becoming a graphic designer will take more than a degree or a certificate. The sooner you start building a portfolio, the better will be your chances in the job market. Some graphic arts programs may provide externships for students to get their hands dirty with design while still in college.

If your school doesn’t have such a provision, then you can approach a media or software company for a free intern position. Not only will you get some valuable on the job lessons in graphic arts, you’ll also be able to make contacts for future use. Once you’re fairly comfortable working independently, try and get some freelance assignments even if you’re not paid for them. Having an impressive portfolio of work will do for a graphic artist’s career what getting straight A’s in school cannot!

Frame Your Brand Image With Creative Graphic Designing

We live in a well-visionary culture, where the major challenge faced by a graphic designer is to make it through the mess and pave a way for fresh and innovative concepts. Graphic designing is an artistic process that utilizes design, art and technology to convey a message in a way beyond your expectations.

Basically, every message you see is altered by a graphic designer in some way or the other. Starting from typography that you see on different products to the stunning graphics on a computer screen, graphic design is something that is seen everywhere. In fact, anything is apparently completely incomplete until it has some kind of graphics.

Creative graphic designing involves a variety of media for developing appealing communications. This program actually targets on design outlining: symbol, logo, editorial design, media design, communication design, package design, motion graphics, advertising and experience design. Great designs cannot be created without strong spirit, intelligence and personal dedication, as we all know that there is an enduring relationship between conception of design and creativity. Below we will deliberate the exact meaning of creativity and work towards a possible acceptance of its role in the graphic design process. The actual way of understanding the conception of creativity is clearly being creative, which is a matter of having the capability to create something unique. The creative part of a design lies merely in its creation itself.

Advantages of creative graphic designing:

1- Regardless of the reason, every organization needs to promote itself. Some want the same for extending their product portfolio, while others for having an exceptional client-base across the globe. Whatsoever, the knack to design creative graphics is now valued more than ever. Creative designing implies quality as well as relevance of information, which clients always await to see. Creative designing even takes into consideration the traditional marketing charm factor with a motive to grab the attention of the target audience and leave a more enduring impact than that left by your competitors.

2- A website with nothing more apart from the text is not so appealing, and at the same time, is very difficult and boring for a visitor to follow. Just reading and reading makes it boring for a visitor to go through a website. In comparison to the same, flashy and bright graphics can make the web page look interesting and appealing for the user to follow or to read it. Interactive graphic designing attracts more and more number of users to a website.

3- Graphic designing done in a creative manner not only attracts more visitors, but also converts them into customers. A website with some brilliant and creative graphics helps fetch the highlights easily. The moment a website is designed, it enters into competition with other websites carrying similar class and content. However, good quality content and appealing graphics can assist your website fight that strong competition and may lift it to reach at the top.

Graphic designing is an essential part of web designing which, if done in a creative and effective manner, helps you frame a strong brand image for your organization.

The Best Laptops for Graphic Design

How do you choose the best laptop for graphic design? Pretty easy, I might say, since you need to focus a lot on the laptops hardware, rather than its software. In the laptop industry many people tend to choose Dell or Apple, since their brands have made it clear that when you choose one of their products, you won’t ever regret doing so. They are known almost everywhere as being the top of the line in what they do.

But without having to scare away the competition, here are some key factors you might want to take into consideration when choosing the very best laptop for graphic design:

Actual Screen Resolution

This refers to the actual screen resolution a laptop screen can output. It doesn’t necessarily have to do much with the screen size itself. Some 13 inch screen laptops are capable of resolutions of 1280 by 800, but this doesn’t mean you should choose such a tiny laptop to do graphic design with. Aim for something preferably above 15.4 inches in screen size, since newer laptop models tend to pack a lot of pixels in a tight screen space.

Do an actual resolution test and see what resolution works best for you, and your workflow. Open up several programs, including Photoshop, and try to see how the toolbars fit in, how big is the editing space (the image being edited), and how sharp the actual image is at that particular screen resolution. My guess is that after a few experimentations, you’ll come up with the perfect screen resolution to suit your entire workflow.

If you do find a laptop to your liking but the resolution or screen size is too small, one good idea would be to get a second monitor for your laptop, that way you can store all those toolbars on the monitor and work on editing the image on your laptop screen.

System RAM

The system RAM is a very important aspect to look for when choosing a laptop for graphic design. Graphic design implies using programs which tend to use a lot of RAM, so the more RAM your system has, the better those programs will run, the faster you will get the work done and get the best possible performance out of your laptop.

Graphics designers use Photoshop a lot, along with other vector graphics design programs, and they usually run about 3-4 programs at a time, so the amount of RAM the laptop has is crucial to overall performance. You should start at a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, if you only use one of these programs at a time.

But if you intend to multitask and run several programs at a time, your graphics design laptop should carry at least 8GB of RAM or higher. The highest level you can go with current laptops is the 16GB. When you own a 8GB RAM bearing laptop, you are sure to get everything done in the least amount of time possible.

Since vendors tend to charge extra for RAM upgrades on machines bought from them, it would be wise to purchase a machine with a standard amount of RAM, then buy some extra modules and upgrade the laptop yourself.

Laptop CPU – Processor

The best laptops for graphic design will carry a CPU capable of handling most programs which require a lot of calculations. Vector design, for example, implies a lot of calculations to be done, so a laptop with a strong CPU will be needed. It would be wise to aim for processors with more cores than one. Some models have more than one processing core, so this type of processor will do just fine.

A general rule of thumb – the higher you aim on the processor scale, the better your system will run.

Graphics Card

When choosing the best laptop for graphic design work, you’ll know you’ll never choose one that has a built in graphics card that sucks away available RAM to run. You can lose up to 512 megs of RAM if your laptop doesn’t have a dedicated video card.

The system tends to run much slower overall, since it uses RAM for both the running programs, and sharing with the built in video card. Getting a laptop with a dedicated video card is an important step you should not overlook.

Since the laptop you’re getting will be used for graphics design, you don’t have to concern yourself to get the latest and best graphics card installed on it (only if you will be using the laptop for games as well or 3D modelling). A standard graphics card with a memory of 64-256 MB of memory will do just fine.

You would only need a better graphics card if you wish to install a lot of games or if you intend to do 3D modelling and rendering.

The best laptops for graphic design carry a dedicated graphics card with it’s own separate memory.

Conclusion:

The very best laptops for graphic design have a good native resolution allowing you to squeeze in many toolbars and still have room for the editing area, a generous amount of system RAM and a dedicated video card, and last but not least, a higher level of central processing power, with more than one processing core.