- What Type of Work Does a Graphic Designer Do?
- The Path to a Career in Graphic Design
- Educational Route Or Learning On Your Own
- Both Routes
- Taking a Step Back in Time
- The Proliferation of Graphic Design
- A Word on Dimensions
- What Training and Credentials are Required?
- Start Your Own Graphics Design Career
- Learn Graphics Design
Are you intent on a career where you can make full use of your creativity? Could your ability to draw lead to a satisfying and rewarding profession? By developing your drawing skills, you may find many doors open to you in the world of graphic design.
Before you start banking those fat paychecks, you will need expanded education in drawing art.
With this article, we hope to point you in the right direction. The graphic designer is a professional artist who works with a well-developed aesthetic sense, complemented by solid technical knowledge of drawing and painting.
Generally, when one discusses pen and ink drawing, pencil and paper sketch, charcoal drawing or drawing in any medium, drawing technique is invoked, rather than technical knowledge unless you talk about graphic art. Graphics design is also changing. There are lots of software that can create great graphics. You don't necessarily need the drawing skills to become a graphics design, but it can certainly help.
Let us find out now what this job entails and how you could train for it. How could a talent for drawing not be enough to work as an artist? We'll answer that question, and discover everything you ever wanted to know about the profession vaguely labeled graphic designer.
What Type of Work Does a Graphic Designer Do?
So you know how to draw: wonderful! What can you draw a picture of?
Can you draw a cat? Draw a still life? Manga? A chibi?
Can you draw a tree? A human face? The human form?
Have you mastered the skill of blind contour drawing? Yes, yes, yes to all! you reply, maybe a touch impatiently, as you twiddle your stylus over your graphics pad. You are so ready to move on! To take that next step! To become...A graphic designer is a communications professional whose job is to give a visual identity to all types of documents.
In practice, the graphic designer works on:
- images of all types, not only photos or digital painting
- Pictures – family portrait, pencil portraits, all manner of portraiture, as well as other photos
- colour definition; sharpening lines and contrast between colours
- Typeface: font settings and adjustment
- Simple shapes, merging them to create a coherent whole.
- Any graphics digitally
Sounds like we're casting a wide net, doesn't it?
In spite of the far-reaching realm of the graphic designer, s/he operates under specific guidelines. As such an artist, you might be tasked with enhancing and fine-tuning a proposed concept to create a brand-specific image, logo, poster, flier; or design fine art for packaging. The graphic designer works on all print media types and creates online art for the worldwide web.
Designing banners, callouts and adverts; s/he could even be credited with designing and creating the layout of entire sites! With the year's peak shopping season currently at hand, you'd better believe that such artists are working double and triple time to make sure their clients secure the lion's share of this year's holiday spending!
If you are planning your future around this type of lucrative engagement, here is what you will have to be capable of:
- Working under/against a deadline
- Managing stress and pressure from the client (or supervisor) demands
- Working on a team with other artists
- Be willing to scrap all of the work you've done and start anew, if your customer so wills it.
That makes your glorious future career as a graphic designer sound like any other job, doesn't it? The field of graphic design is as yet undefined, limitless in creative and earning potential.
What that means is that the profession is constantly evolving. Doesn't that make it sound more exciting?
And, graphic design is not the only career field you can ply your figure drawing in. Find various drawing lessons for beginners here.
The Path to a Career in Graphic Design
Why would anyone learning how to draw want to do so on a computer? The benefits of drawing in achieving a meditative state are well known - the feel of charcoal on your hand, the smell of oil pastels and pencil shavings; the warm reassurance of a sketchpad across your knee: aren't these expressive of the artist's milieu?
Not necessarily, although your drawing lessons will most likely require you to work with those drawing materials, at the outset. Every idea the contemporary artist embraces as his next subject begins its journey to realisation with a pencil sketch: an unformed idea thrown on paper through a series of random strokes of the pencil.
We'll bet you have filled a sketchbook or two!
From there, your work turns into a powerful message, whether for advertising, brand recognition, entertainment or any other objective. That is why it is vital to know how to draw well by hand, and ply your skill through digital drawing, too.
To do so effectively, you would need to have:
- intimate knowledge of colour and what each shade symbolizes
- for example, pink for girls, blue for boys, red for passion
- a sense of balance in art; of proportion and aesthetics
- ideas for the effective use of space
- even negative space
- a way to achieve textures, for example: through cross-hatching or shading.
The best graphic designers master these fundamentals of art drawing and more, which gives them the artistic intuition to render exactly what their client is looking for. Often, the most successful artists outdo their clients' expectations.
With proper training as an artist, you could be one of them!
Because the profession of graphic design is constantly changing, breaking new ground in visual feasts and treats, the field has been cited as one of the most exciting to work in, in this new millennium. And, because the career field is so hot, new drawing tools to render this cutting edge of art are invented and designed every day. Maybe that could be a career field for you!
If you're searching for art classes in Canada, be sure to check out Superprof for drawing lessons Toronto to Alberta and in between.
Educational Route Or Learning On Your Own
Before learning to become a graphics designer, there are a few skills required. You would need a background in art as well as education in graphic design. You wouldn't even be able to land a graphics design job without having the education behind you, but now times are changing. There is plenty of graphics designer that are self-taught and never had any formal training. Messing around in adobe or photoshop are just some of the ways graphic designers are becoming self-taught. But how do you which route is for you?
Plenty of colleges and universities in Canada offer a graphics designer program. They'll teach you everything you need to know from start to finish. Depending on the school you attend, you'll at least be in a graphic design program for a few years. It's a great way to gain the necessary skills for a career in graphics design and meet like-minded individuals. Enrolling in an east a 2-year program can be a big decision. If you are lacking in the skill department as a graphics designer and want to learn everything you can, the education route may be better suited for you.
A big part of graphics design now is online. You don't necessarily need to have any drawing skills to become a graphics designer, but they certainly help. Most people who are able to become self-taught have a base level of drawing skills. They'll also share a passion for learning about graphics design. Enrolling in a skill you have no choice but to know can be seen as the easier option. Some people aren't able to learn on their own. It would help if you had diligence and be committed to learning. If you feel like learning on your own is the best option, then go for it. Learning on your own also has some benefits. You can focus on the graphics design you want without studying anything extra.
Tutoring and online classes are becoming popular options for learning skills. They can be the best of both worlds when trying to learn graphics design. After all, it's a skill. Just like learning anything else, it's going to take time and effort to become good. There are plenty of graphic design courses that offer an in-depth experience that can still teach you everything you need to know. If you are looking for a graphics design course or tutor, remember to double-check their information. You want to learn from someone that has years of experience and is excellent at what they do. Online courses and tutoring can also be more affordable than enrolling in a complete graphics design program.
If you are looking for a graphics design tutor, Superprof has 100s of tutors all across Canada. They all have the experience and knowledge to teach you everything you need to know from start to finish. Your tutor wants to see you succeed. Any questions you may have or things you want to know, your tutor will have the answers to. Superprof tutors also offer lessons online and in-person, giving you the freedom and flexibility to learn when you want to learn. Find the best method to learn graphics design that works for you.
Taking a Step Back in Time
To get a proper perspective on how far-reaching the scope of graphic design is today, we have to go back in time, just a bit. As applied to layout and typography, the term graphics only came into being in the last sixty years, give or take.
In reference to computers, the word became relevant in 1966. The use of visual communication predates its label by about one hundred years.
The use of graphic art developed apace with the notion of consumer society. Advertisement was, in its infancy, primarily pictorial; to appeal even to those who were not privileged to have learned how to read. To continue that trend, and in addition to adverts, cartoons and caricatures started appearing in newspapers around the middle of the nineteenth century.
The practice expanded – and the art styles evolved in the early twentieth century, with the appearance of advertising posters, some of which are now considered works of art. Surely you know of Toulouse-Lautrec posters? At least the Moulin Rouge one? It was after the Second World War that advertising, a visual feast, exploded!
Economies were desperate to recover from the devastation, and people were hungry for beauty and novelty. Ad agencies delivered. Full-page spreads are hawking the latest kitchen appliance or household convenience. For the gentlemen: how about a sleek new car?
Rosy-cheeked children spooned pudding into their cartoon faces while doting parents looked on... For decades, not much changed, other than the themes of the renderings: women were buying cars more, and working in offices.
For that, entire wardrobes were drawn and marketed. And then, along came the computer; a more advanced way of rendering, and graphic design would never be the same.
Neither would advertising.
The New Frontier for Graphic Design
For today's graphic designer, whether in advertising, web page design or in the exciting and stimulating industry of vector graphics for gaming, the sky is the limit. Software applications from Adobe, Quark and Corel permit graphic designers to reach new dimensions; far beyond the limited perspective drawing required of the illustrator of the past.
The Wacom Tablet and other computer drawing equipment have mostly replaced traditional pencil and paper drawing, but basic drawing mechanics have not changed. Why not discover how online drawing techniques can help you refine your sense of art?
The Proliferation of Graphic Design
According to the site Career Addicts, the world of graphic design is one of the most lucrative and diverse. If you aim to work in any of the following fields, you too will enter that world to seek your fortune.
Here are some blatantly obvious and some not-so-obvious career choices your love of step by step drawing could lead you to:
- Advertising (of course!)
- Television and cinema – special effects, cartoon and other animated features
- Web design
- Comic book artist
- Manga artist
- Video game designer
- Product labelling
- Decoration and furniture design
No matter where you look these days, computer generated imagery is everywhere.
Someone has to design it! Why not you?
A Word on Dimensions
Just now, anyone who can execute flawless 3-dimensional work is in high demand. In fact, if you are any gamer, that is the type of graphics you may wish to specialise in. It requires a good understanding of maths to draw in 3D.
However, we offer this caution: don't forsake every other drawing course to settle on this particular field. It would be far better – more valuable in the long run for you to learn the basics: still lifes and how to draw faces. Once you have established yourself as a graphic designer of some renown, you can always transition into this field that is in flux even as we write this,
Or, you might find that you prefer being a portrait artist!
What Training and Credentials are Required?
It would be nice if, like great masters of the past, you could land an exciting and lucrative position simply because you have nurtured artistic talent all of your life. The fact is that graphic designers today must be highly educated to specialise in their field.
Fortunately, there are plenty of courses for you to certify your drawing skills.
Before you get to that level, you should take all drawing classes available to you to learn:
- one point perspective
- how to draw people
- how to draw hands, an eye, the hair
- contour drawing
- how to accurately draw animals
You will also need to experiment with various media: colored pencils, Conté crayons and pastel oils. Do you know the difference in drawing with a charcoal pencil versus a graphite pencil? Under which condition would you use a kneaded eraser? What about a plain eraser?
It might seem unnecessary, as you envision three dimensional work in your future, still: remember what was said about the mechanics of drawing? I suppose you can render a life drawing realistically, using traditional art materials. In that case, you stand a much better chance at furthering your art education than if you merely draw cartoons or caricature.
If you know how to create sketches that leap off the page – or screen; if you have attended art school and know more than drawing basics, your skill and talent may be eagerly sought after. Does the idea of becoming a graphic designer give you additional motivation to continue learning to draw?
In embracing these different, modern drawing techniques, you will be perfectly prepared for your future artistic assignments. For you, who spend your days doodling and finding subjects that are fun to draw, what could be better?
Start Your Own Graphics Design Career
After gaining the knowledge and skillset to become a graphics designer, we haven't mentioned another career option. You could work for yourself as a graphic design. Companies are always looking to get design work done, especially in this age of technology. You could be creating graphics for their websites, article, social media, and so many other things. Working for yourself isn't for everyone, but we had to mention it for those pursuing a graphics design career.
Working for yourself as a graphics designer can offer a lot of freedom. You'll be able to set your hours and create the schedule you want. As a graphics designer, you can work anywhere in the world. You'll need your laptop and be all set to work. It isn't all perfect when working for yourself. Starting as a graphics designer can be difficult. Here are some things to consider before thinking about becoming a graphics designer for yourself.
Getting Clients - Working with an agency or in-house at a company, you don't have to worry about getting work. They provide all the information needed, and you can start creating. By working for yourself, you'll have to put in the time to find clients and start getting paid. If you cannot find clients working for yourself, you won't be able to continue.
Spend More Time - Working for yourself means you do everything. You sign up clients, handle the accounting, send emails, take phone calls, deal with clients and finally, perform the work. It's a lot to think about. You may spend as much time creating as you're handling everything else. It can cause you to work more.
Unstable - Working for yourself doesn't;t have to seem unstable. After becoming established and getting to know for your graphic design work, you should have a steady flow of clients. In the becoming, it can be very unstable collecting a paycheck every week or even every month. You may not find clients, and clients may quit or take their business elsewhere and so many other things. Working at a company, you can have more comfort knowing you can collect a paycheck at the end of the week.
These three things can be the most prominent issues new graphic designers working for themselves will face. But these three things can be overcome. In fact, there are lots of graphics designers who are self-employed that have great careers. As long as you continue to put in the work and show up every day, you too can make it as a graphics designer.
Learn Graphics Design
Graphics design can be an exciting and rewarding career choice whether you want to work for yourself or work at a company. Having a passion for art and being creative are just some of the great qualities of a good graphics design. Now is the perfect time to start learning how to become a graphics designer. You learn by enrolling in a full graphics design program, be self-taught or take an online course. You can also learn with any of Supeprof's great tutors.
We hope this article has given you the tools to start your graphics design journey. There are lots of different ways to learn. Find the option that works best for you. As you continue to learn as a graphics designer, it's important never to stop learning. Keep practicing your drawing or online software skills. Once you begin working, it can be hard to find the time to learn something new about graphics design. Even practicing for 30 minutes a day can make a difference over a few years. You'll continue to get better and have the skill everyone is after. If you ever considered learning about graphics design, now is the perfect time to learn. Canada has lots of different learning methods for anyone interested in graphics design. Give yourself the option to start learning.