Hello. I know nothing. Please treat me kindly

Hi all you people. I recently became interested in graphic design and web development as a career.
I already work from home making okay money for myself. But, I don’t really like the work that I do. And I still want to make more money.
I’ve started trying to learn about it online, but I thought that the information would stick better if I ask questions in a forum rather conducting google searches.
Of course, it’s also nice to chat with humans. I like humans. Looking forward to talking with some of you.

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Welcome to the forum and ask away, Mel. You’ll find no shortage of opinions here. :wink:

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@Just-B Thanks. ^^

Hiya Mel!! Welcome Aboard! :slight_smile: We have quite a few student members on here so don’t feel alone. As Just-B said … ask away. Someone usually knows the answer :slight_smile:

welcomebounce

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@RedKittieKat Thanks for the warm welcome. :slight_smile: I’m glad I’m not the only one learning.

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Welcome to the forum! some really knowledgable people on here who have helped me out a good few times.

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That’s good. I know I’ll need so much help. x)
Are you a student?

I am, yes. I have just started my masters degree. I was a member of this forum during my undergraduate degree as well and found this forum a useful resource during that time.

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I’ve heard so many people talk about the fact that you don’t have to attend school for this field. But I think there are probably benefits to doing so, like having access to people who are very knowledgeable who can tell you if you’re doing something wrong or right and answer any questions. Plus, they’ll tell you what you should learn, whereas online, you have to figure out for yourself which information is important. Among other things…
But if you don’t mind me asking, why did you decide to study in school rather than learning on your own?

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But if you prefer not to answer, I understand. I don’t want you to feel like you need to defend your decision, I’m truly just curious.

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Hello
Welcome i am also new here and i have a crazz for an Graphic Designer and A artist

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They’re simply mistaken, ostensibly due to a lack of understanding with regard to the real nature of graphic design work. There are some here who’d say graphic designers should not only be educated, but should also have to carry some form of license to practice.

It could depend on where you are; currently in the United States, a career in graphic design can be nearly impossible to get off the ground without a college degree. I came into design when it was made part of a seemingly unrelated job over 30 years ago, and it became a career of sorts despite my having mostly self-trained. That initial progression lasted quite a while, but when it came to an end several years back, I was unemployed for the first time in my life. But I expected I could continue my career, considering I had over 2 decades of experience. Not so. Without a degree, I struggled even to get an interview for entry-level graphic design jobs. When I did get some interest, they’d ultimately decide I was overqualified, or just offer me far too little money.

So, when anyone in America posts here pondering whether they should study formally, my answer is always the same: I’ve had a long career in graphic design without a formal education . . . you won’t. Go to school.

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It’s true, it is not completely necessary to go to school/university in order to become a designer. I know of some very good, and successful designers who never underwent formal training. In fact the most successful designer I know personally, doesn’t have a degree. If you are able to build up a strong portfolio of work, then that’s what really counts.

However, I would think that learning alone would be a lot harder, and would take longer. Personally, I am a big advocate of formal education, I believe in the process.

My undergraduate degree was not in graphic design, but had some modules which involved graphics and web design, so I kind of stumbled into it. Knowing what I know now, and in your position, I personally would attend university and study graphic design if the option was available to me.

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Probably not true anymore; when I started 30-odd years ago there were no college courses. I started with version 1 of the software which was very simple, and with each upgrade I learned a bit more. It helped that I had been a printer before, and done some hot metal typesetting.

If I was to start out now I would definitely be looking for a good college course and doing as much as I could on my own time to learn everything.

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20-odd years ago I was in the camp of “if you have a good portfolio, you don’t need the degree.”
Not any more.
In fact, not only do I feel a designer should have a degree, I am one of those that believes they should be required to obtain a license, available only to those with a certain amount of education AND a certain amount of verifiable apprenticeship in the field.
The argument these days is always, “it isn’t possible for designers to get apprenticeships, there aren’t enough openings.”
EXACTLY.
But considering a designer literally holds a client’s vested monetary interest in the work they do, and especially if dealing with branding and logos, possibly the very success of their clients’ business ventures, it seems, at the very least, a form of malpractice insurance should be required.

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But I’m in the USA, too.
Your mileage may vary.

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You definitely need to get a degree in graphic design to be on to the top of the competition. I started in 95 and it was tough back then to get a job. I finally got a job in an ad agency it was the bottom mechanical paste-up which is gone like the dinosaurs but I learned. Then an in-house job with a major corporation and my niche became financial services. This paid good money I climbed up the ladder in different corporations and was making a nice salary in no time 5+ years I was 6 figures in NYC. Graphic design stereotypes in many fields it is hard to go from financial services to healthcare etc. If I didn’t do this path: 1. school, 2. get a job and learn from experienced staff and 3. start my own business. I wouldn’t be able to do my work so smoothly and enjoy it as much if I didn’t go this path. Because you learn so from others in the beginning and you need it for future guidance. Very hard to do graphic design without any training. How do you know if its right or wrong? Some people just want cheap work and don’t care then they wonder why their business failed or doing badly. We are the first impression to a customer with our visual knowledge to get the ultimate lead/sale and make our clients more money.

Welcome to the forum, mel! I am also new to this website, and I have already found lots of valuable information & opinions from others.

Formal education? Or self-education + selected courses? I struggled with the same question when I was considering graphic design as a career. There were those who said all you needed was a portfolio, and those who advocated for formal education. I ended up enrolling in design school and found it extraordinarily valuable, the best thing I’ve done for myself professionally, not to mention that it was extremely satisfying (although hard).

With self-education, you simply don’t know what you don’t know, and could end up with skill/knowledge gaps. Besides, a good instructor will challenge you to bring out your best design thinking in every assignment, in a supportive environment. You will also learn from class critiques. Additionally, a design school that’s worth its salt will also teach the ethics of design, and hopefully some art history for context and inspiration. Finally, in the age of degree inflation, a design degree is often necessary to even get your foot in the door.

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Yes!

When teaching oneself, it’s important to remember that you, the teacher, do not know any more about what needs to be taught than you, the student. Consequently, a self-directed program might head off in a less-than-good direction focusing on the wrong things while ignoring other, more important things. Also, people tend to focus on things they like and that come easy, whereas they really should be focusing on those things they find more difficult. In a formal program, those harder things can’t be as easily set aside.

Class critiques are where most of the learning takes place in a formal program. There’s nothing like widespread disapproval of one’s work in a classroom to motivate a student to switch gears and do things differently. Likewise, there’s nothing like the approval of finally getting things right. Learning and betterment of one’s abilities kick into high gear in these situations, and I’ve never yet found a way to learn design that works as well.

I’ve mentioned this before, but like many other employers, we do not hire designers who lack relevant bachelor’s degree. With dozens of applicants, it makes sense to impose rough cutoffs, and we’ve found that insisting on the degree helps ensure higher quality candidates. Yes, it eliminates some great people without degrees, but in general (not always) that degree is a guarantee, of sorts, of a certain level of commitment, a more comprehensive education and of having passed the tests necessary to obtain that degree.

Also keep in mind that when looking for work, a person without a degree will be competing with those who do for a relatively small number of jobs. There are far more designer wannabes than there are design jobs, and the good jobs tend to go to those with a combination of education, experience and a great portfolio.

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I have seen this happen, especially with design students who were good at illustration, or even, ahem, not so good. They would inevitably start out with an illustration-based concept, until challenged by the professor to try other approaches. Myself, I always defaulted to design heavily based on type, but one of my senior design classes helped me branch out into illustration- or photography-based concepts.

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