How to Get Your Graphic Design Career Started

Last Updated:
October 10, 2023

How to Get Your Graphic Design Career Started

Becoming a graphic designer is a popular career choice, which means there is also a lot of competition. In fact, this is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future with the US Bureau of Labor only expecting a 3% growth in job openings over the next decade. This means you must stand out if you want to get your graphic design career started.

 First, What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic designers are responsible for creating the eye-catching images businesses use to promote their products, entertain, and capture the interest of potential customers. Graphic designers often are responsible for the following tasks.

  • Logo design
  • Website icon and banner design
  • Conceptualizing and creating visual assets for marketing purposes
  • Printed product designs
  • Images and layouts for visual presentations

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Becoming a graphic designer requires a strong knowledge of design, design tools, and marketing practices. These skills combined are what makes a graphic designer stand out among the competition. Use this guide to get your graphic design career started sooner rather than later.

Take a Course

If you truly want to pursue a career in graphic design, the first thing to do is to take a course. There are many courses available through universities, or online through websites like SkillShare. Try taking an Introduction to Design course online before committing to a full course schedule.

Learn the Basics

Understanding the basics of design and color theory are crucial in graphic design. The basics of design theory can help with the foundational skills you need. Then, understanding how colors work together can help take your designs to the next level. Make sure to spend time practicing different types of design from banners to brochures.

Learn How to Use the Essential Tools

Knowing how to use digital design programs is crucial. Make sure to take the time to master at least one of the programs below:

Adobe Photoshop

This is one of the most common digital design tools. With this, proficient users can create almost anything.

Adobe InDesign

This program is crucial for creating different types of layouts. It has templates for magazines, brochures, books, and more.

Adobe Illustrator

This software is primarily for creating art. With this users can convert drawings to digital vector images and other digital art. These vector images can then resize seamlessly to meet your requirements.


This software allows you to manipulate vector graphics to create additional images.


This tool is important for those creating interface designs. Additionally, the collaboration function makes changing details easy.

Skills to Work on

To become a successful graphic designer, you should have these skills;

  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Coding in HTML
  • Typography knowledge
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Software knowledge
  • Advertising knowledge

Build a Portfolio

To really get your graphic design career started you should have a strong portfolio. Include any work you have previously done or even just the projects you created during your course. These examples show potential clients what you can do, and what they can expect.


Gaining clientele in the graphic design and digital marketing world requires networking. After all, most people will look within the community before hiring outside. Try to attend as many conferences as possible and talk to those already working within the design industry.

Follow the guide above to get your graphic design career started on the right foot. Just remember, it is a competitive industry, therefore, you must make sure your skills are up to par before applying for jobs.

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