Graphic Designer

How to become a Graphic Designer

Are you thinking about starting a career as a Graphic Designer? There are definite skills and qualities you’ll need in order to work as a professional Graphic Designer and build a client base.

Graphic Designers can work in a variety of settings, delivering a range of visual design solutions and services. Depending on your specialisation, your role as a Graphic Designer could include creating print and digital assets, designing icons and infographics, or developing advertising concepts. Read more about the job description of a Graphic Designer.

What technical & professional skills do I need to be a Graphic Designer?

Although having a creative flair is an absolute must for a Graphic Designer, computer experience is also highly recommended.

“For a Graphic Designer, everyday tasks would involve communicating with clients to understand their brief, drawing your ideas and polishing them on the computer,” SEEK Learning Consultant Melinda Potente explains.

It’s also important that Graphic Designers display good judgement around colour, contrast and scale. If you’d like to work on your basic drawing and computer skills and strengthen your understanding of layout and composition, the Diploma of Graphic Design will hone your skills and train you to use graphic design software.

To work as a professional Graphic Designer, employers will often require you to have a qualification specialising in graphic design. A graphic design certification shows prospective employers that you are educated in advanced design techniques and that you are qualified to deliver quality design solutions.

Do I need a portfolio?

When you apply for a job as a Graphic Designer, you’ll need to have a portfolio of work to demonstrate your design capabilities to your employer.

If you’re just starting out in the industry and looking into a graphic design course such as the Diploma of Graphic Design, you will also need to prepare a portfolio for your application. Your portfolio will not only showcase your skills but also help determine if you’re ready to begin the course.

A portfolio can include anything you completed at school, at work or on your own over the last couple of years. Once you begin your course you can start updating your portfolio with your assessment and recent work, so that you have a professional portfolio to show employers and clients after you graduate.

What if I have previous design experience?

If you’re already working in a creative field and want to broaden your expertise to include graphic design, Melinda suggests a degree such as the Bachelor of Communication Design through Billy Blue College of Design (RTO 0269) could be beneficial.

Billy Blue is regarded as one of the best design schools in Australia and is more difficult to gain entry, so it tends to be more suited to people already in the industry who want to build connections and add the credentials to their resume.

Should I become a Graphic Designer?

To be a successful Graphic Designer, you will need to have:

  • advanced design skills
  • an aptitude for crafting images, words, shapes and symbols
  • exceptional attention to detail
  • strong computer skills
  • an ability work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • good communication skills to engage with suppliers and clients

If a 9-5 work day doesn’t appeal to you or you’d prefer the flexibility of working from home, Graphic Designers have the option of doing freelance work or starting their own business.