Graphics design is one of the famous fields nowadays. Expert let us know how to learn graphic design by self. Describe the steps and techniques to follow in the learning process.
Go to school.
Learn the theory.
Get many internships that teach you real world skills.
Get a job.
Profit. (Eventually. Or not. Depends on how good you are, how lucky you are and how much you want it.)
Learn through the free educational website, top tutorials in YouTube and Use Adobe YouTube Classes. -@LearnTheNew
Go to school. If you’re not sure if school is for you, then have a look at some tutorials online.
I Agreed, there are many tutorials available on YouTube by which a beginner can learn about graphic design.
there are probably just as many videos that will teach you the wrong methods as well. And you won’t even know the difference.
YouTube is not a path to a graphic design career.
(I cannot retire from this industry fast enough.)
Youtube is not a replacement for design school. I suggested it just as a research option. But I’ve seen people go to school and quit shortly after beginning because they had some odd ideas what graphic design actually was.
A lot of good advice already posted about school, but also explore some of the big names
in the field and NEVER stop learning. Things change quickly in this business.
Also learn the basics of composition, color, typography and photography.
Take what you learn and use it to show the world who you are, create something original.
Don’t be afraid to smash the rules once you get them down cold, you really do have to stand out.
Why is our industry not regulated in some way? If you want to be a beautician, a plumber, a tree surgeon, pretty much anything, you need to be qualified to do so. It weeds out the charlatans and assures customers that this person knows what they are doing.
Time after time this question is posed in places like this and a good thirty percent of the answers will be, ‘There are loads of cool videos out there,’ The blind leading the blind. Apologies, I am not meaning to be personally insulting here, but that kind of response immediately exposes the respondent. They are a hugely useful tool when trying to solve a specific problem. You can benefit from other people’s experiene and knowledge of software, in a way that has never been possible before. It is a priceless resource. What it is not is a solid education, built on strong foundations.
Unfortunately, cool Photoshop effects does not make a designer, equipped and able to solve problems and be viusually literate.
For that, you need an proper education. Before that, you need an aptitude and a level of ability, which is why the education system is a wonderful thing. You go for an interview, present a portfolio of work from your school and foundation course. Then a board of people qualified to do so, with years of knowledge and experience, determine whether you have the necessary aptitude to be educated in this particular field.
If you are fortunate enough to achieve a place over the 20 or 30 other people who applied for that slot, you will then spend three or four years learning, visual communication, critical and lateral thinking, problem-solving, along with a base set of practical skills in order to equip you to be able to get your foot on the first rung of the ladder to learning the craft of design and gaining the requisite experience, so that you are able to offer clients a service that will actually benefit them.
You CANNOT do this with a bunch of cool vids. To even attempt to do so is a recipe for disaster. This is exactly why our industry is now flooded with an army of people who don’t even know what they don’t know and think that by just calling themselves a designer qualifies them to offer a viable, effective service to clients.
That said, you do get the odd self-taught, brilliant designer, but that is because they have so much innate talent and aptitude that they can’t help themselves. This is not the norm. Most of us need to be educated – in both the specific and the wider sense. Designer need a very broad knowledge base to be able to draw on when a problem needs solving and you need to come up with brilliant, fresh, original thinking – ear after year after year
If you want a sustained, long-lasting career, you need an education, because you need to know, you know what you are talking about.
I am not trying to put you off doing it, but if you want to do it properly, you need to go about it the right way. It is a long, hard, arduous road to take, but is there anything in life worth having that doesn’t require effort and commitment. You will benefit in the long run if you have the necessary talent. If you don’t, it will help steer you in the right direction to a career that will suit you for the rest of your life.
Sprout, you have my nomination for the forum’s best post ever award.
Which probably is an indication that I totally agree with you. No one can learn graphic design from watching YouTube or, for that matter, the well-made videos at Lynda.com or the other paid video tutorial sites. That’s not to say there aren’t a few good videos out there, and it’s not to say that they can’t help someone learn a trick or two or a new piece of software. And it’s not even to say that they can’t get a talented person interested in becoming a graphic designer.
In the end, though, graphic design is hard work, takes a good deal of talent and requires thousands of hours of dedicated practice, which also requires being taught and mentored by those who know what they’re doing. And in a typical situation — not all, but usually — it takes a four-year college degree, solid internships and a stellar portfolio to even get one’s foot in the door of a halfway descent starting job. At least that’s the situation in most of the so-called developed world.
On this forum, however, things get a bit skewed. We get lots of hobbyists, high school students, interested bystanders and people from, for lack of a better phrase, developing countries trying to make money online by going after lower-paying freelance work.
Online crowdsourcing sites, which I won’t name, have gutted the low- to medium-sized business work that used to be the bread and butter of freelancers and small design studios. These small business owners typically know almost nothing about design, don’t know who to call, then find out that they can pay a few dollars and see a dozen different ideas online from freelancers from around the world who will be their paid hands and try to do whatever is asked of them. This, of course, isn’t design. It’s just low-paying, short-order cook work.
So with all that in mind, it’s difficult to regulate online services. If someone in Texas wants to pay someone in Pakistan to create a $30 dollar logo, it difficult to make laws against that kind of thing or enforce them if they are passed. It’s not possible to crowdsource plumbing, dental work or getting a hair cut overseas, so there is some built-in problems with trying to restrict design services to only licensed designers.
Of course the above paragraph makes a moot point since few countries require designers to be licensed anyway. I think legislators think of designers as artists, which are sort of like musicians, poets or writers in their minds. In other words, no license is needed to create and sell art. Of course legislators know almost nothing about design and they fail to realize that, unlike incompetent design, no company goes broke by hiring a bad poet, no business alienates their customers by reading a bad book, and no business fails to meet their yearly sales quota by listening to awful music. Graphic design, on the other hand, is a profession (not an art) that, when done right, can have a huge positive impact on a client’s bottom line and can easily squander an equal amount if done poorly by amateurs who don’t know what they’re doing.
So why are there no laws? Why isn’t there a lobbying organization fighting for these things in various lawmaking bodies? Why don’t we have the equivalent of the American Medical Association paying visits to congressmen or state bar association members running for legislative positions? I don’t know. It’s a huge failure on our part. Every other profession has people working on behalf of their interests, but we don’t. Honestly, I tend to place the blame squarely at the feet of the professional associations we do have, like the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) or the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) that are in the position to do something, but do little to nothing other than accept dues from anyone who will pay them, then do absolutely nothing other than hold contests, hand out self-congratulatory awards and host networking parties.
The result of this, in addition to huge amounts of bad design, is stagnating design wages that have stayed pretty much frozen for 20 years. One can make nearly as much by working at McDonalds as one can working as a beginning full-time, college-educated designer. Clients have come to expect from the crowdsourcing sites that designers only charge 20 or 30 dollars for a day’s worth of work that they assume will only take them 10 minutes. These misinformed people also tend to assume that a designer’s role isn’t to design anything — they assume a designer’s role is to be their paid hands to implement their vision.
It’s a sad, sick situation at the lower end of this business and the rot is creeping well up into the mid-levels as well. Other than stagnant wages, the whole mentality hasn’t so much affected the better agencies and large in-house situations yet, but I have a feeling it’s coming. Anyone contemplating a career in this business really ought to think twice at this point. And I’m really sorry about this.
What can I say, I’m honoured. Such an accolade for a 3am rant – and I can rant for Britain – especially when I have a stinking cold that means I was wide awake at 3am!
Seriously though, my hope is that, in the end, the whole industry finds its balance and the pendulum swings back again. Much as it did when DTP first happened and almost every bit of business collateral was done by the secretary, even in large companies. Eventually businesses realised it simply didn’t work. The tin pot shops still do it, but serious companies know it doesn’t work, so employ professionals.
I hope the same will happen with the YouTube taught school of design. Eventually, it will be exposed and businesses and organisations will see it for what it is.
A couple of times, potential clients have approached me for work and then when you give them an idea of cost, you get the stock, ‘What! My nephew will do it for £50 and he’s good at art’. They get the stock polite response of ‘Then, go use him and good luck with it all’. I have had a couple come back in the past when things start to fall over. It is so nice to then take that company on and help it grow. Those people are the best advert you can ever have, because they directly see the difference.
I am hoping this will happen generally, but I won’t be holding my breath. In the end, good design needs good clients and you only want the clients that get the plot. I used to get really mad at the have-go-heroes, but now I just leave them to it. They learn the hard way in the end and those with skill get educated and the others used to be a designer.
My sentiments exactly.
I date back to before DTP and remember the situation well. You’re right, most of the standard business collateral materials were produced by secretaries. They would typically do things like cut out clip art from books and set type on IBM Selectric typewriters, then run it off on a copy machine or, before that, a mimeograph.
Even so, there was a difference in quality between the work we did and what they did that was apparent to everyone. Real designers used special tools and worked on special drafting tables and knew arcane things, like how to work with printers, cut amberlith, and use big, weird-looking stat cameras. The distinction between what the secretary did and what we did was sharp and very obvious. When higher-end work needed to be done, we were the only ones who had the tools and the knowhow to make it happen, and most everyone knew it because it was so obvious.
Today is different, everyone has a computer, and that computer is little different from the ones we use. Anyone who wants to can get a copy of the same software we use and print the things they come up with from color printers or send them off to the corner print shop. Anyone can get a copy of Microsoft Publisher and use one of its included templates to produce something that looks, well, reasonably OK.
The primary thing separating us from today’s amateurs is the quality of the end work. And unfortunately, lots of people just can’t see and don’t understand the difference. Fortunately, there are still companies that demand good work and that do understand the difference. But it’s become more akin to the person who understands, appreciates and needs the quality one gets from going to a good tailor as opposed to buying a suit off the rack at the local discount store.
Even this would be OK with me since most people don’t need $2,000 suits (or logos), so those of us with the education, experience and know-how can focus on the higher-end clients. Unfortunately, even this is being undermined — at least here in the U.S. — by the hundreds of small, for-profit design schools that are opening up in nearly every city and pumping out ill-prepared designers by the dozens who will likely never find work and end up leaving the field after three or four disappointing years.
The glut of newly graduated and partially prepared designers has saturated the field and driven down wages. These partially educated designers have also lowered the standards, which has resulted in the proliferation of the crowdsourcing mentality of design being little more than prettying up someone else’s ideas. This whole phenomenon has also reinforced the perception of designers, as a whole, being flakey thinking, barely literate, artsy types with a knack for making things look pretty but who can’t think strategically or be trusted to do much of anything without being watched over and told exactly what to do.
What’s happening with design is actually a symptom of a much wider problem out there right now. The past 10 years have not been kind to some of the Millennial generation, especially the ones that got suckered into for-profit schooling or into low demand degree choices. No jobs, school debt, unaffordable housing, higher cost of living, etc. A lot of people have been forced to do whatever possible to make money. A lot of those have become “makers.” There’s a whole level of “I’ll do that for a dollar” out there, whether it is design, print, sign making, landscape work, car repair, you name it.
Don’t even get me started on the “stores” selling on Amazon. If it seems too cheap, there is a reason for that. Repacking has become a viable source of income (been burned twice, now I “street view” the store address.)
I’m so far off topic here, I’ll stop. I’m sure we come across as “snooty designers” not willing to give the little guy a chance. Anyone is welcome to be a little guy all they want, but if they want to be a professional, do it the professional way. Youtube and Lynda and good books are not options.
Yes we are empowering our youth to accept the fact that because you have a degree you deserve it without putting in the work!!
While that may be the case in some instances (everyone gets a trophy) it isn’t as broad a brush as that.
The pendulum is still swung over to the “gotta get a college education to make it in this world” mentality. And colleges have become for-profit in that they take kids’ parents’ money and don’t prepare them for the real world job. Plus there’s a lot to be said for a trade education right now. Just about any trade pays 2x, 3x, or 4x what a graphic designer gets paid even after 10 years in the business. But there is still a stigma about not going to college.
Totally true. Just this morning I paid the mechanics at a small motorcycle shop $1,100 for, probably, two hour’s work on my bike to get it ready for spring. I realize there’s overhead for a shop like that, but if I could make $400–600 per hour, I’d be one happy guy.