Are you interested in pursuing a career path in graphic design? You are definitely not alone. With a lot more creatives starting to rethink their options after a volatile time, currently, there is lots of competition to deal with, but also many opportunities.
There are many different routes that you could pursue to secure a successful career in graphic design, with no ‘one-size-fits-all path’ to follow. It’s more about working hard, seizing opportunities, and taking on each project with determination, passion, and vigour.
If you would like to browse through a few of the most in-demand jobs available in design, visit our dedicated UK Graphic Design jobs board. This site is updated constantly with the top vacancies currently available. It is also a good idea to ensure your portfolio is polished and professional with some of the other popular portfolio sites.
Here are some of the top tips to pursue a career in graphic design:
1. Attain Formal Study
Indeed, a few people are already successful graphic designers without obtaining a degree. But university degrees are still the most reliable and safest way to enter this industry. And it extends further than just securing a job, a grounding that is thorough in design practice and theory is going to give you the skills and experience to do this job well.
2. Update Your Software Skills
Most formal study programmes do not place much emphasis on specific types of software skills for a good reason. Most academic courses involve more of a focus on understanding timeless principles and concepts while developing the skills required to solve broad problems. In contrast, software packages, change frequently, which would make it very difficult or even impossible for the institutions that provide programmes in graphic design to remain updated.
Regardless of how you decide to gain an education in graphic design, you should be able to put everything you have learned from a course or programme into practice. Ensure your portfolio includes one or more worked-up pieces and that you have something concrete you can discuss during interviews.
3. Get Into Freelancing As Soon As Possible
After graduating from your formal studies and finding out as much as you can about the most relevant software, you will be ready to start looking for employment opportunities. While waiting for events recruitment agencies or companies to reply to any applications you put forward, you should start freelancing right away.
When you start to take on ‘real-world projects’ this will help you to solidify all the things you have learned and how to start translating the theoretical skills you learned into more practical and meaningful ones. Freelancing can provide you with more things to discuss in your interviews and can help to provide you with some form of income while you wait for the opportunity to start earning a monthly salary.
4. Pursue An Internship
Placements at in-house departments or well-known design studios often provide an invaluable experience you will be able to benefit from throughout your career in design. You will learn how some of the top organisations operate and gain a far better understanding of workloads and client requests.
5. Start Working For Charities
Another beneficial way to kickstart your network base, get noticed, and add more concrete pieces to your current portfolio is to look for a charity in your local area where you can offer your valuable design skills. Doing this type of work for a great cause is already rewarding, but these projects can also pave the way to work that you will get paid for in for-profit and non-profit sectors.
6. Build Up A Peers Network
Many people often think that peers should be perceived as competition rather than collaborators or supporters. But when it comes to the world of design, it is actually the opposite. In this industry, it is beneficial to nurture your peer network.
For example, a project that someone decides to pass on to you due to a limited budget or busy schedule could be something that suits you perfectly, and also a fantastic piece you can confidently add to your CV. These types of opportunities will open the doors to new ventures and bigger and better opportunities.