Do you need to know how to draw in Graphic Design?

Is drawing essential to becoming a graphic designer

If you are thinking about studying graphic design you might be worried that your lack of drawing skills will be harmful to your career. The good news is that being able to draw is not a requirement anymore. Technology and design programmes like the Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop has made it easy for graphic designers to create designs without having to draw.

Few employers will insist that you are able to draw but there are some benefits to being able to understanding the basic principles of drawing and being able to make a rough sketch. In a competitive industry it is important that you stand out and you find ways that stimulate and enhance your creativity.

What do you learn in a drawing course that is beneficial to you as a graphic designer?

Even just an introductory drawing course may be very helpful to understand what influences design and what sets a great design apart from a mediocre one.

What do you learn in a drawing course?

A drawing course will generally introduce you to the following:

  • Colour
  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Light and Shadow
  • Angle
  • Dimension
  • Depth
  • Planning your layout

You will learn how to use these concepts to drawing basic sketches. You do not have to be a brilliant sketcher but having a good understanding of the basic principles and some application will influence your graphic designs. You will also be introduced to many artistic terms that are often used in graphic design. You may also be introduced to art history, otherwise, it will be a good idea to read up about the history of art; not only does it introduce you to some artistic masters but it also widens your frame of reference.

How do concepts of drawing translate to graphic design?

The software programmes you will use as a graphic designer are based on the principles and elements of visual arts, like drawing. The terminology and concepts used in the visual arts are similar to that of graphic design.

Exploring your creativity and learning a skill like drawing builds as foundation which allows you to expand and explore different mediums of visual expression. Understanding the basic principles gives you the ability to draw from your own creativity when creating designs for clients; you have a broader understanding of what will work and which designs will best work for the purposes of your client. Only knowing a computer programme sets limitations to what you can do and many graphic designers find that their creativity and ability to solve design problems is sometimes limited by software programmes.

Taking a basic drawing course or other visual art course helps you to see things differently -or perhaps more truly as they are. You are able to solve problems and create better design when you have a wider frame of reference to draw from.

Aside from the fact that a drawing course may broaden your view and help you creatively, it is also a good way of quickly communicating ideas to your boss or your client; you are able to sketch your ideas so that they are able to get on board with your vision – sometimes the clients visions together with your creativity and unique insight makes for the best designs.

College SA offers Introduction to Graphic Design and short drawing courses.