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Starting a Career in Graphic Design

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  • Starting a Career in Graphic Design

    I love Graphic Design, designing anything from software interfaces and skins to posters and logos for the media industry.

    I'm interested in doing this when I leave College, but I don't know the correct way to get started.

    First off, I didn't take Art at school at GCSE level, because I can't draw or paint, but I am good with the software and such. I can do basic drawing, but nothing too detailed or fine.

    What subjects will I need to take at College? I need to change, but what to?

    A lot of Universities ask for a Foundation Degree, but what is this?

    I need to change to Art & Design at my College, but am not sure what else would help in conjunction.

    Thanks for all your time.

    Check out this link and help me, to get what I need:
    Brighton University UCAS Entry Requirements for Graphic Design

  • #2

    Ive been down that road myself.

    a few tips that might help...

    A good idea if you ae 1005 focussed on art and design is to do an advanvced vocationla GNVq type course in art and design. this allows you to fcus fully on design and you dont have to waste time doing 3 a levels, 2 of which you wont need! (and there are no exams!...)

    If you fancy A levels then art is a must.

    even if you arent great at drawing etc that isnt always as important as being able to communicate ideas especially in the world of graphic design.

    Its very important to get familiar with as most of the software used as you can., the earlier you start this the better as it can take a while to get good at using it even if you are a great artist already!

    As for uni , id advise looking for a fairly broad course which has a high level of practical work, projects and that offers a work placement as part of the course.

    In the meantime, try to get as much experience as possible, be it work experience or doing projects at home for freinds etc.

    good luck...
    Richard Lock Artwork for Music and Media DEVOLUTION DESIGNS - CLICK HERE

    Type One Creative, graphic and web design services in the UK TYPE ONE CREATIVE - CLICK HERE


    • #3
      I entered at a late stage in my life after I was made redundant after many years in the NHS.

      I was interested because I liked computer layout and desktop publishing and because I worked in facilities I was involved in the advertising and livery design of a new hospital hopper bus.

      I decided to change careeers, I had no art and design experience at school and all I ever did was sew and make all the ususal things you do for your children at school. I designed dance costumes for semi professional shows too.

      So at the age of 45 in 2000 I took some sketches for an interview with the programme leader for 2 year BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design who took me on and I started the course with 11 other 16-18 year olds.

      This course gave me the portfolio to apply through UCAS route B to university. I went for interview at the University College in Cornwall and they made an unconditional offer. Now I have a 2:1 degree and have been freelancing for 1 year.

      I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of the courses though at first It was such a steep learning curve for me the lecturer thought I was about to implode. What I am trying to say is that you don't have to be a great illustrator though it helps and if you are young learning the software is so much easier. I get there eventually it just take me a little longer.

      The hardest bit is getting employment after graduation but that depends to a large extent on where you want to live and work...Ok i would say if you want the big cities and London in particular. For me I'm staying in this little backwater. I hope to get employed work here as there is still have so much I want to learn from others and I miss the company of young people. My kids have left home and I live alone so working alone is a bit of a pain but hey things could be worse. At least I can pay my bills.

      If you know you want to do graphic design I would go for the National diploma rather than the foundation course. But if you are interested in doing arty farty things concpetual stuff then foundation is what you need.
      The modules on the National diploma are:
      Drawing and Development
      Historical and Contextual Understanding
      Type and Letter Forms
      Ideas and Concepts
      Computers in Art and Design
      Desktop Publishing Computer Applications
      Professional Studio Practice
      Visual Communication
      Design Method
      Words and Images
      Graphic Image Making
      Typographic Design
      Lens Based Image Making
      Mixed Media Image Making
      Narrtative Image Making
      Design for Advertising

      In addition to this I did add on Qulafications ie. ABC Desktop Publishing and City and Guild Photography.

      Well I thinks I've rambled enough but hope I have helped and good luck whatever you choose to do



      • #4
        check out our frequently discussed topics thread, here:
        "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


        • #5
          I'm sure I'm in the monority here, but I do not feel that this field requires a college education. My opinion of course, I'm sure most here disagree.


          • #6
            im totally self taught, including apps for the main part. I left school straight after GCSE's and got an apprenticeship at a silk screen printers. Then after gaining some experience i got a studio job as an artworker, then a creative dept junior, then a junior designer then a designer, and now a senior designer... im sure that i have learnt more this way than going to college but that is only my opinion.

            I think you either have creativity and a flair for design or you dont... you cant learn it. I think you have to try going to art college and see what you make of it, i did and found it wasnt for me and i left after only a short period of time. Other people i know have gone to art college and it has really helped them bring out their creativity... different people benefit from different things.

            if i where you id give art college a go and see what you make of it... if you dont like it there are plenty of places looking for apprentices/juniors etc...






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