One of the most important jobs in the digital sphere is a graphic designer job. Graphic design surrounds us everywhere: on the Internet, and in real life. It includes creating banners, leaflets, presentations, magazine layouts and other graphic materials for advertising and business. The main task of the graphic designer is to transfer some idea, some information through the picture. You should speak with the audience via your portfolio. But how to start?
How to get experience in graphic design? Let us give you some useful tips.
Before we start, here is a comprehensive infographic: “Guide to a successful graphic designer”
Pursue your education
Nowadays it is possible to build a career without the benefit of a formal education. Especially when it goes about graphic designer’s career. And you definitely don’t need it, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need education at all.
There are some books you need to read:
- The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman (explains why do we need a design);
- Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug (don’t treat your users);
- The Art of Color by Johannes Itten (immerses in color theory).
These books are a must but you should remember that modern world develops extremely fast. That’s why what is actual today can become old-fashioned tomorrow. So keep your finger on the pulse and improve your skills all the time.
Besides, here is the list with great movies where you can learn, inspire and probably find some new directions for your creative works.
Copy like an artist
Open websites, where your favorite designers post their works and look, absorb, try to create in the same way. Of course, don’t sell your copied works (plagiarism is a crime), do it for yourself. After you have some good arts copied, you’ll learn some interesting tips. You’ll know not only how to copy, but how to combine.
Take a look at some channels that can inspire you:
When copying, you’ll gain the first work experience for graphic design and will have something to fill your portfolio.
Find your mentor
You need a person who will tell you where your design isn’t OK and why. You can look for an experienced designer on Facebook\Dribbble\Behance\Linkedin or at some industry events. Just write them and ask to become your mentor. Don’t be shy and stop after first or second refusal. Sometimes busy people just don’t have time for mentoring and it doesn’t mean something personal. Keep in mind, that mentoring should be mutually beneficial. For a mentor, this is also growth: an opportunity to share their experience, to help people avoid their mistakes. If you have attended some graphic design courses, you can ask your lecturer to be your mentor. This practice is widespread. Moreover, you can create a specific symbiosis with your teacher, perfect conditions for new ideas and decisions.
Work for charity or how to start your career
Another way how to get experience in graphic design and get noticed, is to fill your portfolio with solid works is to offer your knowledge and skills to charities. Maybe you know some non-profit or volunteer organizations that make this world better, but don’t have large budgets to hire professionals. Of course, it is nice to do something for a wonderful cause, but it can help improve your career as well. Use every opportunity to make your portfolio better. And don’t be afraid of criticism. Remember, it is a criticism of design, not you, as a person. Make sure it is constructive and use “5 Why’s rule” to clarify the situation.
Seek paid/unpaid internships
Some companies are conducting internships, that could be paid or unpaid. They train interns on real projects, and the best ones stay for a permanent contract. Leverage this chance. Even if it is not your dream company, you can get invaluable experience. Keep in mind, that the best companies are not looking for an experienced professional, they are looking for someone who is creative, who thinks outside the box. Target the best agencies or studios that offer internships, prove your passion and make your first steps in graphic design!
Bet on networking
No one will know about you until you tell about yourself. If you want to get work experience for graphic design, you need to tell about that. Tell your family, your friends, social media contacts, colleagues from previous work, alumni, etc. Post your works on Facebook or Behance, ask your friends to share them. If you’re looking for a job, you can even create your own website, using free tools. Don’t leave the universe a chance not to know about you. Send your CV even if you don’t fit this position completely, maybe the company has a vacation just for you. Or at least they will keep you in mind and contact when they have one.
Using this tip, you will not only get the job. You will create your own network of peers. Don’t perceive them as competition, they can be your collaborators or supporters. One designer can’t manage with all the work available, that’s why he can recommend his friend and open new doors for you.
So how to get experience in graphic design? Learn more, try more, communicate more. Stay open to new opportunities and ventures, perceive criticism adequately and be ready for a huge success!