Well hello there, person learning about graphic design. I’m assuming that’s you. Welcome to a world of pixel edits, pencil sketches, and prototypes. Welcome to graphic design 101: The basic basics, the standard design questions, the stuff you want to know before you decide to become a graphic designer. It’s all here. So what are your burning questions about graphic design?

1. What Do Graphic Designers Do?

Graphic designers create digital and printed works of visual communication. Each piece they create utilizes the three C’s of design; components, composition, and concept. This allows designers to create something visual that communicates a message or idea. Graphic designers add beauty, polish, flow, and simplicity to messaging that is created to express to or inform an audience.

2. What Do Graphic Designers Create?

Graphic designers create things like logos and branding identity systems (Guidelines to keep a company’s visuals on-brand). Designers also create marketing collateral like business cards, brochures, sales sheets, as well as website designs, ads, and much more.

3. How Do You Get a Job in Graphic Design?

To get a job in graphic design, you need a great portfolio. That’s really it. Aside from the standard resume/cover letter, you just need to prove that you can create amazing and effective design work. Don’t forget to show your process and detail your concepts in your portfolio. Going to school for design isn’t necessary to be a graphic designer. While it can help you get there faster, there are some extraordinary designers who are entirely self-taught.

4. How Do You Learn Graphic Design

As mentioned above, to learn design, your options are to go to design school or be self-taught. Either option can lead to a successful design career. There are a ton of amazing design schools throughout Canada and the world. If you want to go the self-taught route, there are plenty of fantastic books to learn from, as well as resources online. If your budget is an issue you can learn from free design courses online. Check those out here.

If you want to load up on books to start learning graphic design, start with learning the fundamentals with something like Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton.

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5. How Much Do Graphic Designers Make?

Graphic Designers don’t make a ton of money, but it’s a decent living. In Canada, the average salary for a graphic designer (junior to senior) is about $48,000. Worldwide, there’s a document online you can check out where real designers post their salaries. It’s a list of hundreds of people in media jobs and includes information from all over the world and from all levels of designer, from junior designers to creative directors. Check it out here.

6. Where Do Graphic Designers Work?

Designers can work in a variety of places. Some work in design and marketing agencies where they work with many different clients. Others work in-house doing design work for a single brand. Many other graphic designers work independently on their own. They are typically called freelance designers.

7. What Do You Need To Know To Become A Graphic Designer?

To become a graphic designer, you need to know how to use design software. This consists of image-editing, layout, and vector design programs like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, or the Affinity or Corel suite.

You don’t need to know how to draw to be a designer, but it helps. Knowing how to make rough sketches for logos or layouts, however, is required.

You should be able to communicate and present ideas. Being able to defend your ideas is a good skill to have, and comes from doing thorough research and having a good process. You should also be know when to hold on to an idea, when to get feedback, and when to let it go.

You should also be familiar with the basic principles of design. These are (among others): Alignment, hierarchy, contrast, repetition, proximity, balance, colour, and space.

Questions About Graphic Design – In Summary

Hopefully this has answered some of your more common questions about graphic design. I’ll go into most of these point in later blog posts and continue on with more basic design topics soon.

Reddit Graphic Design – Answering The 17 Best Questions

Are there any other questions about graphic design that should be added to this page? Do you have any burning questions about graphic design you want answered? Let me know in the comments below!

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