What can I do if I study Graphic Design?

What do you learn in graphic design?

Most graphic design courses focus on teaching you design software. Taking additional courses that introduce you to the basic principles of design and colour can also be helpful. As a graphic designer you don’t necessarily have to have an artistic background but some understanding and feel for the use of shapes, textures, colours and other visual elements is advantageous to mastering this craft.

Mastering the Adobe Creative suit to design anything, from company logos to websites and layouts for publications, is essential to starting and building a career in graphic design. Most designs are no longer done with pen and paper but designers use programmes to help the design for both print and web.

What transferable skills do graphic designers have?

Graphic design is a creative field and there are many skills that graphic designers pick up through study and practice that will help them in other creative fields. These skills are things like:

  • Creativity
  • Keen eye for detail and aesthetics
  • Computer skills and the ability to master new software
  • Understanding of universal design principles
  • Good understanding of creating for a target audience

What do graphic designers do?

Typically, graphic designers either complete a three-year course or take shorter courses (like Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator) while doing an internship at a company for experience. You would most likely work in a team assisting more senior designers before being allocated your own projects, and if you are lucky, your own clients.

The best graphic designers continually refine their skills, learn new ones to keep up with technological changes and are always on the lookout for fresh ideas to include in their designs.

Being proficient in both print and web design has its benefits, but as the world is becoming increasingly digital, having strong design skills for web platforms are in high demand.

Design for Print

Print design focuses on designing:

  • brochures
  • posters
  • business cards
  • Flyers
  • Banners

Design for Web

Graphic designers create the visuals for a website like:

  • Website graphics
  • Infographics
  • Web banners

Other alternatives/ additions to graphic design

Many people start off as graphic designers and then prefer to expand their skills and take on different roles, others may study graphic design and then directly fall into something different that still utilises the skills they acquired through training.

Examples of alternatives/additions:

Why adding additional skills to design is a good thing

Whether you want to advance your graphic design career or whether you would like to diversify, obtaining new skills is always beneficial. In a fast changing world staying on top of changes and adjusting your skills accordingly – offering your client more than just the ordinary - greatly improves your marketability.

Graphic designers who are able to do more than just design are able to offer a lot more to the company or agency they work for. Expanding your skills is also beneficial when you plan on starting your own business; you will be able to offer your clients a more rounded service.

 College SA offers an Introduction to Graphic Design course as well as a Desktop Publishing course.