With so much worry and negativity around amidst the unprecedented health pandemics around the world, we asked a couple of our own graphic design tutors about something more positive like their love and passion for graphic design.
Master Graphic Design Tutor Han Soloman and Senior Graphic Design Tutor Marco Ribeiro voice their opinion on what their best reasons are for working in graphic design?
Han: “ Graphic design is an area I have loved since I was a young child from collecting Marvel comics to then enjoying drawing in 3D. Being able to use my lifetime of creative experiences to help other students by teaching them my own knowledge not only makes me lucky, but I also get to meet great people online, our students come from all over the UK and much further away too and seeing these students grow and make successful businesses themselves is really rewarding.”
Marco: “Over the past six years I gained industry experience working in an agency and then freelancing so that I could enjoy more time with my two children. I loved working in an agency and with clients on their design missions but actually enjoyed the technical elements of graphic design more such as how to manipulate software and do tricks like aligning four images with four similar themes into a grid to create an eye-catching composition. Then line up the horizon line of each photo and adding a distinctive filter across all the images for texture. The best thing of all is being able to pass this on to my students and make them the best graphic designer that I can.
Here are some of our best reasons for becoming a graphic designer
1) You get to create while also getting to understand human psychology.
You can create in a personable way and express your feelings to evoke certain emotions. Graphic designers can express their creativity on a regular basis—there are not many jobs that allow such freedom! As a creative you’ve got plenty of inventive ideas and models you’d like to experiment with, graphic design is a field that enables you the possibility of realising these.
For example, as a student of mine when learning about fonts you will explore the impact fonts have on what we read and the choices that we make. There are theories in graphic design behind font design tackling ideas like why different styles provoke different reactions.
Our graphic design course at Blue Sky Graphics covers this too so it is useful for anyone wanting to understand how to use type design to influence their audience and can be adapted in their own business or their marketing collateral. (Marco)
2) You learn about many types of businesses including how to market your own.
It’s all well and good having talent and we encourage our students to deepen this, but even the very best graphic designers will not be too successful if no one sees their portfolio. In this way, you need to do marketing. I love talking about marketing to my students as it is fun, interesting and making money from great work can be the most fun bit of all. It is important to understand the skill set needed setting up as a freelancer such as how to form a company, dealing with clients, pitching and the mindset needed to be a graphic designer. I encourage my students how to take that first step into being their own boss which we consider business basics. (Han)
3) You learn how to really listen.
Sounds obvious but prior to working for clients, I realised I never really knew how to listen as well as I had to. As a graphic designer, you’ll deal with understanding design goals and business objectives when creating visual material. As you’ll be creating work for people to see, you need to understand how people see things in their own mind. Listen for cues, nuances and what make clients passionate and, in this way, I teach my students to listen when setting them homework and design briefs.
Graphic designers must, therefore, consider meticulously and follow the project or brief that their client instructs them to do because in the end the client will usually have an outline regarding the message or piece of communication they want to achieve. (Marco)
4) A mouse is your paintbrush
Just the very idea that your mouse is essentially your paint brush only with much cooler tools to create all sorts of graphics is one the best reasons for coming into this field. For me, this love of design is a healthy way to communicate your feelings and be relaxed when times are rough especially like when we are told not to go out in times of a national pandemic.
Everything from light, colour and perspective to typography counts when making design and our students are encouraged to think critically about their decisions. It might be true that creating a typeface can be quite laborious, involving hours of homework and numerous phases of tutor constructive criticism and refinement, but I try to mimic what the industry is really like to my students which will prepare them for the real word.
A well-chosen font expresses meaning to the reader on an almost subliminal level and it can make (or break) a design. It is amazing that you get to enjoy your finished result and it makes you take pride in your commitment to your creative endeavour. (Han)
5) You do not need to be qualified for being a Graphic designer
There are many advantages to learning graphic design for some it is a quick fix to a new career or even a side hustle. A graphic designer does not necessarily need to go to college to get qualified. You just need to have a good portfolio and designing skills. Often people ask what qualifications they need, and the truth is they probably don’t unless of course. At Blue Sky Graphics we equip students with a commercially driven portfolio which is essentially the equivalent of a CV in the graphic design world. A portfolio is arguably more important than a degree when it comes to finding work and getting clients in your career. The emphasis is to provide you with a commercially-driven portfolio course which prepares you for working in the graphic design industry. Although are not educationally accredited (usually universities) our in-house certification outlines each module breakdown and the learning outcome. (Noah, BSG Course Coordinator)
6) Examples of graphic design affect our surrounding, everywhere.Look around. Design is everywhere—from your morning cereal preference and plant-based milk carton (almost halfway to vegan here) to a concert or theatrical poster to the process of sending an emoji from your phone. Graphic design is always around us no matter if it’s at the supermarket, bus stop, television, media. at an event, or on the web. It is here to stay and influence and won’t be going anywhere! Good for job prospects too. Design is a very important part of society and we can get evidence of this from history. Many monuments and architecture beautifully build, proving that humans are visual animals. Influencing people visually helps in gaining more advantage for anyone. Examples of design are often shown through merging creativity with strategy, communication with brand identity and visual with reasoning, the design is just about everywhere you turn, and it matters. (Han)
7) You can design your own merchandise, t-shirts and cool memorabilia for any occasion.
From cool to bold typography seen on various products like a printed t-shirt and loud phone cases to those amazing graphics visible on your computer and phone screen, graphic designing is present everywhere around you and offering you creative designs. For me, it makes the world a far more interesting place. Could you imagine a world without colour and composition? (Marco)
8) You get to make amazing logos that you can have a powerful market presence.
One of the most fun things which you can do after learning some graphic design is making logos. Logos are a big deal and we teach students about a little theory before practice when it comes to the logo! A logo is the face of a business, it reflects who the business is, its principles and its ethos, but it should also distinguish you from everybody else. Logos can convey your company’s message better than any text from Starbucks and McDonalds to Apple the world’s leading companies put a lot of thought into their logos. You instantly recognise top brands without needing to see their name. One reason the Nike logo is so successful is the fact that it reflects Nike’s business. The Greek goddess of victory is behind the Nike name, and the swoosh symbolizes the pace and flight-like ability one might have while wearing Nike shoes.
Our logo at Blue Sky Graphics was designed and then re-designed by so that our students see the letters B, S and G allowing the business to be recognised with ease whether it’s in a digital advert on someone’s phone or featured in a magazine. (Han)
9) Every day is unique.
After all graphic design can be used in unique ways to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry. Best of all you’ll never get bored. When it comes to graphic design, there are always new technologies and trends to learn. Style and aesthetic change so quickly in American culture, and technology shifts and evolves just as quickly. If you want to stay relevant, it’s essential to keep up with the times and make sure you’re ready for whatever is up and coming. Having a curious mind and a teachable spirit will take you a long way in this profession. (Marco)
10) Every business needs a graphic designer and you can help companies bring their ideas or even dream to visual reality.
Once trained and working in house, you’ll work in a team as part of a larger project with many ideas that form into a melting pot. In this way creative collaboration and developing designs to work on multiple touchpoints – an exciting prospect. Best of all you get to translate words into visual stories and use your creative abilities and understanding of how to control one’s eye to help the viewer absorb information. This means that businesses need a logo, brand guidelines and a lot of marketing collateral and other important visual materials to support it so there is plenty of opportunities to work for many organisations across a wide variety of industries.
As good graphic design is essentially good visual communication and all (almost all anyway) businesses need messages created. In this way, designs become integral for businesses and can make them a lot of money. At Blue Sky Graphics we teach students how to use scale, texture, composition, colour photography and typography in order to promote an idea. Usually, this idea is conveyed through visual means and this communication of a message depending on the business or organisation can be sponsored, biased, provocative, political, or otherwise loaded with nuances and ideologies. (Han)
11) The best opportunity to try freelancing before commitment (a Brucie bonus).
We are immersed in a new era of work that’s more project-focused and independent than ever before. You can get many freelancing opportunities for providing Graphic design services. You can find employment in any industry as nearly every company in the world needs to promote its brand. One of the best ways to get a taste of freelancing is to do it as a side job whilst still in employment. This will give you a good idea of the work and hours required from you as well as the benefits you can take advantage of. I tell my students that as an employee, you will possibly only get smaller incremental pay rises annually. However, when you are a freelancer, you can demand more especially once you have gained some experience. Of course, you need to have competitive rates but if you establish yourself as an expert in your field you can make more money. What’s more is that as a freelance graphic designer you have the freedom to set your own work hours as well as the freedom to work from anywhere, any time. (Han)
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