As our everyday life catapults into the innovative future, especially when socio-economic conditions prevail where there is a shift from traditional social contact to more online contact and presence, graphic designers, UX designers and web designers play an increasingly fundamental role in our world online. There are many perks to becoming a graphic designer, not just opportune perks such as a plethora of jobs currently available, but and lots of training materials and learning resources for you to keep up to date.
Graphic design is evolving and it’s easy to forget how essential Clip Art felt in the 1990s. Microsoft’s library of 120,000 cartoon doodles of every imaginable style was the emoji of their day, a means to express oneself graphically in an era when easy drawing apps just didn’t exist.
What are the advantages of working in graphic design?
Graphic designers are commonly described as experts in communication from knowing their ‘baseline’ (baseline in typography describes an imaginary line that text sits on like a ruler line) to creating a ‘brand’ (a brand refers to a compilation of ideologies, identities, concepts, visions, and feelings that encapsulate a business’s values). The field of graphic design is responsible for creating the visual effects and concepts that sell products and inspire consumers.
Examples include logos, packages, websites, signs, book illustrations and brochure covers — basically pretty much all visual communication requires design. Even this page that you are reading was created by a designer. Graphic design work is done by hand in certain industries, but technology over the past 40 years has ushered in a new era of graphic design — one where almost all of the work is done with computers and software.
Graphic designers are not just experts in communication, but being a designer does also requires a certain amount of knowledge in tools, software, an understanding of trends, colour theory and more. A useful and insightful graphic designers dictionary can be found here.
How to keep up to date with trends in graphic design?
Graphic designers, web designers and UX-UI designers all play a large role with an all-hands-on-deck approach in creating well-designed digital products such as websites, apps and online experiences. One major advantage of working in graphic design is the ability to work on briefs that are so different from each other that its difficult to ever get bored. If your smart phone is full of applications that in truth, you hardly use but simply cant bear the thought of losing or deleting—you have a head start in understanding the importance of UX or User Experience design. Businesses use graphic design for multiple reasons from aesthetics, marketing, advertising, PR and communication, but one of those reasons is brand recognition. See more information about graphic design and business here.
Graphic designers can work in a design studio or agency or they can work in-house for a company (everyone from banks and insurance companies to advertising agencies have in-house designers) or they can freelance (common) and work for themselves!
While graphic designers can do different tasks depending on their area of focus, some job duties these workers take on include:
• Using computer software programs to manipulate and design images or concepts
• Suggesting and taking the lead on unique ideas that help their final designs stand out
• Present final graphics to clients for feedback and implementation
• Meet with their clients to discuss the project and the desired end result
• Make design changes based on client feedback
• Meet with art directors and other creative professionals to brainstorm ideas used to build initiatives
• Design the layout for visual representations
• Design logos
• Create visual images for brochures, books, magazines and tabloid newspapers
If you’re a graphic designer who works for an employer, you’ll spend the bulk of your time designing and using your artistic skill, as well as meeting with clients and other workers on your team. If you’re self-employed, on the other hand, you’ll have another layer of tasks to take care of.
Some of the many advantages to graphic design, a career choice that fulfils many people by offering an exciting, fast moving, dynamic, freestyle creative space include being able to work freelance, setting your own rates of pay and networking. Among the common duties and responsibilities for the job role of a Graphic Designer or Web Designer are working for clients and listening to their needs. Listening is an important skill and the saying of “having two ears and one mouth for a reason” is not more apt for this job scenario. You should be aware that for a business or commercial organisation it is very important you understand as their potential designer to gauge fully what the task or brief is about. Ask lots of questions.
At Blue Sky Graphics one common tip we share among our students is to narrate back to the client the brief objectives in the form of a story to capture customers’ attention. In our virtual classroom our student have their own tutor, mentor, client and friend- this is the style of teaching that we adopt. In the industry this is commonly referred to as storytelling. Everyone likes a story, including your clients, but be careful not to confuse storytelling as a plot or scene from one of Shakespeare’s classics. Instead think of it like telling an enchanted Disney inspired story depicting amazing graphics or storyboards while delivering the logistical aims of the business.
Companies and marketing teams commonly end up hiring a graphic designer and spending money if their budget permits so why not take a piece of the pie too? The reality is budgets are generally tight across many businesses especially post Covid-19. Due to this more discerning marketing departments are encouraging new skills with their internal staff and taking formal training to quickly assimilate the skills, knowledge and training required to excel as a graphic designer. At Blue Sky Graphics our 0110 Graphic Design Course offers comprehensive training including storytelling and branding for anyone looking for a career in graphic design. You will understand the power of branding. Branding is more than just a logo—it’s the spirit and idea behind a product or service that consumers connect with. Successful brands create an instant reaction. If you recognise and understand brand loyalty, your inner designer is well at work.
Throughout your graphic design career you will be thinking about branding constantly. Understanding the value of it now is a great start.
Brand recognition is a term that can be more or less described as the extent to which consumers can identify a brand from its visual images and products. This process of ‘recognition’ can be further analysed as an emotional construction or manipulation to enable the viewer or consumer to recognise using colours, fonts, shapes, vectors and general graphic design. This is not to get confused with brand awareness.
What are the biggest advantages to working as a Graphic Designer or Web Designer?
For graphic designers an exciting prospect is making a genuine difference to peoples lives which is a fulfilling prospect for many. There are many advantages to working a web designer or graphic designer.
For many graphic design is more than just a career move, it is a gateway to freedom, flexibility as well as a creative passion. Many freelancers that work in graphic design enjoy the prospects of flexitime, simultaneously looking after children while also being at work or simply the chance to do something most loved.
You will have the freedom to express your imagination. Another advantage of being a being a graphic designer is than you have the liberty to express your imagination and creativity to the fullest. Whatever you imagine and visualize can be put in the form of display for others to appreciate, admire and even criticize.
If you decide to undertake a freelance career another advantage is you will have a huge client base. Some in-house agencies have a limited client base, but almost every business needs a graphic designer. If a business is going to do marketing than someone is going to need to design those marketing materials.
Freelance or In-house graphic design?
Self-employed graphic designers usually find and retain their own clients, along with negotiating with them for pay and other perks. Some of their times is also occupied by keeping account tabs or tracking payments and invoices.
Many people want to become designers but don’t know the basic fundamentals of design at all. It can take a period of time to piece together different ideas to truly begin to understand how great design works. But it doesn’t have to be like that! As long as you have drive, a grasp of design theory, it can seriously streamline your design education. Training up and pursuing a graphic design career path is a big investment in your future, so the first thing you need to do is be sure it’s the right direction for you.
Finally, an important aspect of freelance graphic designer work is getting work and so usually their time is required to do some marketing and advertising of their work.
If you’re a graphic designer who works for an employer, you’ll spend the majority of your time designing and deploying your artistic skill-set as well as meeting with clients and other workers on your team. This role can be dynamic and fast paced. On the other hand if you’re self-employed, you’ll have another layer of tasks to take care of.
Freelancers charge per job so naturally the more you work the more you earn, but the general graphic designer rate card or day rate is around £300 per day. Freelancers can demand costs anywhere from £200-£500 and the top end for London and larger cities like Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The day rate fluctuates depending on how much experience the candidate has and also the quality of their portfolio.
Many graphic designers go freelance once they’ve got a few years’ job experience at a company. But there’s no rule saying you have to go straight into a job, and if you’re attracted by the freedom offered by freelancing (and ideally have some funds to get you through the first few months), it could be worth considering straight after graduation.
Work-at-home graphic designers tend to have more freedom to design their own schedules and work at home, but they earn that freedom with more responsibility.
No matter where you work as a graphic designer (freelance or in-house), you’ll work with some amazing, creative like-minded people. Whether you pursue a career in web design or graphic design you’re guaranteed to meet a new family as soon as you start working.
It is a career than can lead to many paths and as a graphic designer, you’re not just limited to being a sole graphic designer. You could be a UX or UI designer, a motion designer, a marketing assistant, an art worker or a gallery assistant and that is just the beginning. The world is truly your oyster and the freedom to travel and have international clients is an exciting pathway for many. You’re not just limited to the jobs above, here’s some more promising news for you as a graphic designer- in its report, Designing a Future Economy, The Design Council estimates that there are 2.5m people in the UK who employ design skills in their day to day work.
Graphic designers tend to make great money especially when freelancing and for more information on salary expectations as a graphic designer have a look at our salary guide.
An attractive prospect for many is the freedom to work on design briefs from home on flexitime or during your travels or even for a busy mum looking after the kids makes freelancing the ideal situation. For many people the thought of commuting and getting ready for work each day is a tiresome thought. Another pro to working in graphic design is being able to come to work as casual as you like.
Ditch the suit, blazer and formal clothing. Regardless of working from home or working from the office there is (usually) no need for a formal business attire while working in creative industries including graphic design.
Graphic design is a lifetime career. Another advantage of working in graphic design is that the creative industry is around to stay. It is not a high street store waiting to close or automated machine waiting to happen. Since graphic design is creative and requires human-led emotions, intelligence and ideas to respond to trends, tastes, and what has already been before. This for many is an empowering thought when thinking of long term career prospects. As long as businesses keep growing and new ones keep appearing, then graphic artists will always have plenty of work. Because of this, the competition is getting rougher every day, so you will need to work much harder to stand out from the crowd.
At Blue Sky Graphics we have been succeeding in helping make future graphic designers for over 15 years. Not only are we extremely proud to work in a sector which remains at the forefront of developing highly skilled graphic designers for the workforce, but think about it, graphic design is everywhere. It tend to be on every corner, every sign post and every application or website that you open. When was the last time you walked up the road and passed a bus advert, or store window?
Step onto the internet and online and you’ll see not only is graphic design abundant but also and web design, and its almost certain graphic design will never be dead. It is constantly evolving with new trends and new problems to be solved. Graphic design allows a brand to truly progress and develop and how many brands are there in your local supermarket, let alone the entire world?
Looking for a career change into graphic design?
Perhaps after you’ve thought about it, you are unsatisfied with your current career or cannot seen a future in your admin role and now you realise that a career in the graphic design is the way forward for you. Before you commit the effort, training, time and money that it takes to acquire the training and job search; you want to know what your job prospects will look like?
What steps you need to start a career in graphic design?
The first steps you should take to get into graphic design is to train. You can train alone which can be daunting and challenging without expert supervision or enrol in a college or with us at BSG. Although a large number of graphic designers are self-taught, there are various perks to getting a formal education in design.
If you practice enough at home, study art, practice tutorials, read books, navigate the internet and really have a passion for design you can learn on your own, but it is definitely not for everyone! The big benefit of going to school is having teachers to guide you and critique your work, so if you learn yourself you need to be able to gauge what your current skill level is and understand what areas you need improvement in. Since you will definitely need an element of creativity, some proficient knowledge using Photoshop Illustrator and InDesign (these are minimal absolute requirements) to stand out from the crowd, we suggest enrolling onto a course!
You will need a portfolio of your work to become a graphic designer. Remember that your portfolio is super important as all graphic designers must submit a portfolio containing samples of their best work to prospective employers. Illustrators and designers should develop and enhance their portfolios during their training. If you do not yet have a portfolio Blue Sky Graphics equips you with a commercial portfolio and training. Junior graphic designers tend to start with no prior work experience but generally come from a course they’ve taken and have made a commercial portfolio. The portfolio is indeed a crucial element of your success story.
An online school such as Blue Sky Graphics (BSG) or a college will help you to learn to work under a qualified graphic design teacher-usually someone that has worked in the industry and also with others. You will follow directives, take briefs, hand in work on time and meet strict deadlines usually through homework. At BSG we set 4-5 hours of homework each week and you’ll need to learn to take constructive criticism and feedback which will enable you to better as a designer. All of our tutors have worked in the industry so you will learn the techniques, software and skills used in the industry today.
It is highly likely that a good college curriculum requires you to work on various projects and facilitates the ability to make a good commercial portfolio that will maximise your employment opportunities so you learn how real studios and pipelines operate. This helps as you will walk away with a robust portfolio and work experience to show for. Joining an online community or school helps you to expands your network of people and helps you gain exposure.
One to one learning
We think one of the most attractive things about the concept of Blue Sky Graphics is that you can study from anywhere and have your own private tutor! One on one means one-to-one and whatever way you look at it our classes are live, direct and in real-time. Our Online course is interactive and immersive and our online classroom environment is live, direct and in real-time with an expert teacher. We know exactly what our students need to accomplish and learn in order to be a designer, a good one too. Therefore we do tend to set homework (there’s a fair bit of homework too) and we do set our expectations high.
As a Blue Sky Graphics student, you’ll be immersed in total learners experience building not only proficiency in programs including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and UX-UI, but also all the theory and skills that you’ll need to become a practising graphic designer. Our graduates leave us as employable graphic designers with a commercial portfolio and an array of quality pieces of work demonstrating a wealth of professional knowledge ready to embark on a new career. Graphic designers are in high demand.
We adopt a personalised teaching style, where individualised needs are met in an inclusive style. This is possible through one-to-one classes. Our class strategy is to ensure an easy to follow step-by-step, well presented, vigorous teaching experience with the learning style of the student always in mind. Our teaching philosophy encourages you to first build your subject knowledge and creative skills, and then apply these to your design environment.
When you are freelancing you are never short of work. By building a good network with people you can land yourself with lots of projects from clients. Nearly every company in the world needs to promote its brand. This means that they need a logo, brand guidelines and tons of other important visual materials to support it. This means there’s plenty of opportunities to work for clients across a wide variety of industries—one day you may be whipping up a promotional poster for a charity event; the next you could be working on a logo for a healthcare company.
Many artists are moving towards graphic design because it’s easier to make a living as a graphic designer than it is in areas such as fine art.
Another great advantage about working in graphic design or even training to become a graphic designer is that there are few business expenses. If you have a computer and software already then there isn’t much else you need to spend money on apart from training and at BSG we are one of the best-priced schools on the market (we want to make graphic design and web design as accessible as possible).
You may end up having some web expenses such as hosting domain and maybe a marketing budget, but overall costs should be pretty low if your a freelancing, which means more profits for you!
A graphic designer demand especially post Covid-19 is increasing at a very high pace and this is because the world is changing and becoming more digital. They are more focused on computers and in the future, the whole work will be done online. This means every company or business will need a graphic designer.
The things you think are important about your work are not the same things your clients think are important. They are trying to solve a business problem. Understand that problem and use your skills to help them and you will be valuable.
The opportunity to collaborate with other creative and the support from my tutors over the last three years has really helped me to realise my potential
Our courses are some of the most exciting and innovative in the country. Transform your passion into real-world skills with our range of further education, undergraduate and postgraduate courses
Sharpen your creative skills and re-imagine methods of communication through numerous visual platforms and environments. With access to cutting-edge facilities, you’ll work with industry practitioners to explore creative design thinking across a range of briefs. Armed with the best design insight out there, you’ll be ready to pursue a career in graphic design.
Whether you design billboards or brand identities, Photoshop and Illustrator have you covered. Create rich, detailed raster images as well as scalable vector graphics on desktop or iPad and save your designs as cloud documents to access them from any device.
Are graphic designers required to continuously train?
Do graphic designer need to update their training?
Pursuing a graphic design career doesn’t mean you simply learn the rules and then you’re done. Even graduates that leave Blue Sky Graphics continue to learn well after their course. In fact, chances are you will need to be working on improving and evolving your skills and knowledge, throughout your working life.
Graphic designers should continually train to keep on top of the game. If you are new to design prepare to update your training as often as Adobe make system updates. It is therefore assumed that learning will be a daily thing. The other thing to consider is that once you’re a graphic designer, your work will never stop developing or improving. There will always be new hurdles to overcome and new problems that occur which you’ll need to solve.
This is because with time and experiences your style may improve, even in terms of the fundamentals like combining colours, understanding typography using grids, enhancing composition and strengthening your utilisation of tools across graphic design software. With technology evolving and art being a fluid form there is always going to be new techniques and technologies coming out to keep you busy learning. In some ways, it’s a never-ending whirlwind of trial and error, discovery and innovation. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but this is normal so don’t worry.
But is it all worth it?
Now that you’ve read about some of the perks of being a graphic designer, it’s probably just as clear to you as it is to us: This profession has a lot going for it.
There are several ways to increase income through graphic design. In order to make a half-decent living wage designing graphics, there is no doubt you will obviously need to know your stuff. You will unquestionably need an element of creativity, some proficient knowledge using Photoshop Illustrator and InDesign (these are minimal absolute requirements) to stand out from the crowd! That means lots of practice with the software, a good portfolio and a training course to make both of those things easier.
If you have a flair for creativity, artistic skill, and great communication ability, a career in graphic design could be a great and lucrative career. Work-at-home graphic designers tend to have more freedom to design their own schedules and work at home, but they earn that freedom with more responsibility.
Whether you’re contemplating a career as a freelance or salaried designer, you may find that the graphic design career path leads you to an area of specialization and at BSG we will help you reach your creative dreams.
Our teachers hone in on the strengths of their students and if there is an aptitude you have or a real passion albeit using the feather tool or layering on Photoshop we’ll ensure it does not go to waste. Whether you become a packaging designer, digital designer, book cover designer, UX or UI designer, web designer, motion designer, animator, 3D designer, sign painter, illustrator, game designer, mural artist, email marketing designer or anything else that floats your boat at BSG we’ll help you get there.
Be proud of who you are today and all that you have learnt. Make education part of your life for good even after you finish your course and while your working. There are constantly updates with Adobe and we think that to be the best possible graphic designer self-development is both fundamental and helps you keep up with the competition.
Stay current on new graphic design trends by using RSS feeds, commenting on quality blogs, interacting on social media profiles, and interacting in forums of design news outlets. Design galleries that showcase the creative work of designers like Behance, BSG blog and DeviantArt are great places to spend time online.
These perks are all a great start, but earning a graphic design degree and launching a career is a big step that needs careful consideration. If you’re thinking of making that step, consider doing some more research on what to expect in terms of money check out our article, How to Make More Money as a Graphic Designer https://blueskygraphics.co.uk/how-to-make-more-money-as-a-graphic-designer/ to find out more.
Any graphic designer today spends hours and hours online- take a look at our article.