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Why you do not need a degree in Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a field like very few that attracts many sorts of people from many sorts of backgrounds. Common to misconception is that graphic designers come from an arts background or needed to have taken a degree in graphic design at university. Much more to the truth is that universities are in fact not nearly as popular as they once were for anyone thinking of studying graphic design as not only is arguably an unnecessary expense but there are many courses and alternative ways of studying. If you think about it from the eyes of the employer what would you want to see from a graphic design candidate? A degree? Perhaps another candidate that has managed to keep a job (any job) and managed to be flexible enough to not only work but facilitate part-time study around the clock taking a good course in Graphic Design and making a portfolio that shows off and clearly demonstrates their work. Most employers we asked across 16 Graphic Design Studios in London and Bristol would hire the latter candidate over the degree student.

According to the UKs biggest recruitment organisation Reed.co.uk for anyone considering graphic design while a degree is good “a good portfolio of your designs and some experience using specific design-based programs (Photoshop, for example) may be enough to help you find an entry level role.

In summary, with a good dose of independent study, online courses such as Blue Sky Graphics very own course diligence and patience, there is a world of information at your fingertips for those considering not going to university. From online tutorials, short courses, training videos, to one to one classes, you can guide yourself into the profession easily and sparing the expense of costly and somewhat lengthy university terms.

A good starting place to studying independently would be to research an online course and also read this guide, as it helps orientate students with a background and foundation of graphic design history, some important theory and its practicality.

So just what type of job roles are there out there after you have learnt Graphic Design?

There are many roles with names as interesting and exotic as a recent trip I took to in the Caribbean, but the reality is they tend to fall into several categories.

This is a non-exhaustive list with some common roles. These are as follows:

Senior Front-End Developer
Web Developer with Graphic Design
Digital Marketing Intern
NET Web Developer – Remote working and Non-Remote working
Creative Video and Motion Designer
Junior Designer
Web Designer
Photography Junior Retoucher
Corporate UX Designer
Graphic Designer
Junior Graphic Designer
Creative Artworker
3D Designer
Art Director – Games, Media, Digital, Offline
Digital Marketing Specialist
UX/UI Designer
Web Developer with Graphic Design
Junior VFX Artist
Graphic Fashion Designer

Whether you want to be a Digital Marketing Specialist, UX/UI Designer, a Web Developer with Graphic Design or even a Junior VFX Artist it is true to say that all graphic designers may do some or all the following:

  • prepare and draw sketches and make planned layouts
  • create designs across different media channels including web, digital, print and adverts
  • suggest production methods, materials to use and expenses
  • show a selection of options for design ideas to their clients
  • receive client feedback and alter their design accordingly to match the client’s needs
  • discuss the project with co-workers if there is a team working on a brief
  • research and collating information for preliminary research purposes ahead of the project

You’ll usually need to work to a brief agreed with the client, Creative Director or someone else like a Liaison Manager or Account Manager and will develop appropriate creative ideas and concepts for the client’s all-important aims and project goals. There are some important skills and attributes that will enable you to do this and that will generally help with these roles and it is widely accepted that Graphic Designers need to have:

  • knowledge of art materials and techniques
  • the ability to use Photoshop Illustrator and InDesign
  • Knowledge of how and when to use colour and design effectively
  • artistic ability, including decent to good sketching, or using a computer to do this
  • background knowledge in production methods including printer
  • knowledge of advertising and marketing, and how people think and react to visual images
  • awareness of current market trends and what competitors are doing
  • the ability to make their work stand out

Get in touch with us

If you are looking to become a Graphic Designer, then get in touch with us at Blue Sky Graphics and find out how we can help you on your way through a creative educational journey. We offer course online and they are all one to one so ensuring you have the full and undivided attention of your very own graphic design tutor.

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