Professionalism is the hallmark of every great and successful graphics designer, it is a pride being the top gun in your area of specialization. It is easy to dream, but it takes handwork to make them reality. I do say that the great Mountain Everest of today was once a plain field trampled upon by feet of the early men before it rose to its highest peak. Becoming a professional in graphic design is not all but the starting point, staying relevant and up-to-date in the business is the in thing. If you have a career in graphics design and wants to be a professional, this article will give a good start and essential information which you can build-on to achieve your dreams.
Graphics design can be defined as the methodology of visual communication, problem solving through the use of type, space and image. Graphic designers use various methods to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use a combination of typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce a final result.
Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated. Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), print advertisements, posters, billboards, website graphics and elements, signs and product packaging. Graphic designers use various methods to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages.
Sub-Fields In Graphic Design
Graphics design is a field on its own and it has sub-fields in which one can choose area of interest to concentrate on. This article will provide lists of the common and popular sub-fields in graphic design so you can know more about the field and appreciate the creative work of graphics designers. Sub-fields under the discipline are-
Interface Design: Graphic designers have become involved in interface design, it is an environment commonly referred to as a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This has included web design and software design, when end user interactivity is a design consideration of the layout or interface.
User Experience Design: User experience design considers how a user interacts with and responds to an interface, service or product and adjusts it accordingly.
Experimental Graphic Design: This area of graphic design requires practitioners to possess knowledge of creating large scale physical installations which have to be manufactured and withstand the same sort of environmental conditions as buildings.
Careers In Graphics Design
A number of occupations are commonly classified under the broad term of graphic designer. Graphic design career paths cover all ends of the creative spectrum. Many of these job descriptions overlap heavily.
– Illustrator: Illustrators conceptualize and create illustrations that represent an idea or a story through two-dimensional or three-dimensional images.
– Visual Image Developer: Similar to illustration and other methods of developing images such as photography, 3D modeling, and image editing.
– Multimedia Developers: Multimedia developers may come from a graphic design or illustration background and apply those talents to motion, sound, or interactivity. Multimedia developers may also edit image, edit sound, program, or compose multimedia just as multimedia specialists.
– Content Developer: Content developer is a generic term used for describing illustrators, visual image developers, and multimedia developers in software and web development.
– Package Designer: A package designer or packaging technician may utilize technical skills aside from graphic design.
Steps To Becoming A Professional Graphic Designer
– Learn the basics: lay your hands on graphics design books, audio or video tutorials readily available and learn the rudiments of graphic design.
– Specialize: after going through the fundamentals of graphics design and understanding the basics of graphic design, choose an area or areas of your interest.
– Acquire the essential tools: get all the essential tools you need such as computer, software, reference materials and other peripherals designed for graphic design.
2. Acquire The Skills And Knowledge
Graphic design involves high level of creativity and you must possess the necessary skills that will earn you the professional title you have been longing for. As a graphic designer you must possess the following skills;
– Visual art design: Before any graphic elements may be applied to a design, the graphic elements must be originated by means of visual art skills.
– Typography: Typography is the art, craft and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type.
– Page layout: The page layout aspect of graphic design deals with the arrangement of elements (content) on a page, such as image placement, and text layout and style.
– Printmaking: Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing on paper and other materials or surfaces.
3. Constant Practice
There is a cliche that says, ‘practice makes perfect’, as a graphic designer you must practice constantly either by creating graphic contents of your own or re-designing existing work of other designer. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, in creative world, many mistakes made by some designers have become beautiful designs. Don’t delete your work, rather re-design them often to enhance your design skills.
4. Be Certified
After doing thorough reading and with enough time of practice either by self-tutoring or taking courses in graphic design, the next thing is getting certified. This is a very important part of the whole process, get professional certificates in your area of specialization and boost your profile as a professional.
5. Update And Upgrade
i. Update yourself: always stay up to date on the latest developments and improvements going on in your domain,
join design community to keep you up-to-date.
ii. Update your tools: keep your design tools up to date, and upgrade both hardware and software when due. Be aware of the latest technology and familiarize yourself with the new tools.
6. Have A Mentor
This is the last but not the least, and as a matter of fact it is as important as every other recommended steps above. You should carefully choose a mentor whom you can excel under his guidance. Those who have mentors make minimal number of mistakes, that is because, the mentor is there to help his protege escape common pitfalls other unguided designer will fall into. A mentor serves as extra manual that has success tips hidden from the majority and reduce the number of years it will take you to gather professional experience. So, be very careful when choosing someone to mentor you.