Graphic design has become a highly popular sector, with more and more candidates becoming interested in taking it up as their profession. If you are interested in becoming a creative professional in this field, then read this blog for some different routes to kick start your career.
- Undertake an educational qualification: Studying a fashion graphic design course is one of the most reliable routes into the industry. You will gain foundational knowledge in design theory and practice, helping you to land your dream job in the future. Graduating with a BA Hons graphic design degree will provide students with the basic skills needed in today’s design workplace.
- Enhance your software skills: To succeed in the graphic design sector, it is important to continuously develop your software skills and stay up to date with the latest design programmes and tools, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. This practice will ensure you become familiar with the software and increasingly comfortable using it. Additionally, you might also want to take a structured online course on a particular software you may be struggling with.
- Take up an internship: Enrolling for an internship or work experience allows you to learn from more experienced designers, who have already established themselves in the industry. Even before you graduate, you can apply to intern for local companies during your holidays. This helps open a lot of doors for your future career. Furthermore, internships provide you with an insight into the industry in which you would like to work, helping you decide which role to choose when you launch your career.
- Gain experience through freelancing: Starting to freelance at an early stage of your career will increase your odds of finding a new job. It is also a productive way to utilise the time while you await the results of your applications. Getting started as a freelancer right away will allow you to take on real-life projects, giving you an opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge.
- Create a personalised design portfolio: Prioritise on making your design portfolio look professional so you can put it forward to potential clients. An impressive portfolio often leads to a paid job, both in the non-profit and corporate sectors. Furthermore, most employers will request a portfolio as it is perceived as a stand-out resume. Gathering samples of good design concepts can be a great asset to have while you attend job interviews.
- Showcase your creative work on the digital platform: Start with designing your own side projects such as icons, logos or digital themes. This will allow you to self-create career opportunities and open door for you to connect with like-minded people who are willing to explore your skills and creativity. You will be able to grow further as a creative and experimental designer, which might help you secure more work in the industry. Additionally, you will become more familiar with modern technology and emerging trends that can transform you into a desirable asset for your clients.
- Build your professional network: If you are seeking new skills in order to kick start your career, then ask for regular feedback from your mentor or peers. One way to succeed in the graphic design world is to build professional relationships with like-minded professionals. Networking is extremely valuable in any industry and it can therefore be beneficial to join a company whose core operations are related to design. Participating in design organisations will provide a rich understanding of the field, giving you the chance to speak to inspiring people and gain industry knowledge and advice first hand.
- Put your own project up for sale: You can continue to maintain an online platform like a website or an online portfolio to present your creative skills for prospective employers or clients. Additionally, you can submit your work to award shows which can help you build a reputation by acquiring some accolades. Entering design contests can help you reach your goals when applying for a job, as well as learning new tools along the way.
- Be resilient while finding your niche: This can be a difficult task for beginners but understanding your niche can help you develop several specialities within the design field. You will gradually learn new techniques and styles, which will boost your overall performance and efficiency in their field.
Are you a recent graduate looking to progress as a graphic designer? Enrol yourself onto the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course offered by the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA). This undergraduate graphic design course will provide you with industry-relevant skills that help you succeed in your graphic design career.
This article was written by Deblina Dam and edited by Amelia Hayward-Cole.