Hey there :)

Hey graphic designers, am self taught graphic designer, well not yet, but i’ll be with you help, that’s what i enjoyed this community , to learn from the best :blush:
i started to learn 2 months ago by my self, and God, its not easy at all!!, but am stubborn and will not stop here for sure, :muscle:
if you there are someones here who learned by them self, i’ll really appreciate it if they could give some help, and whats courses / books they read ,


Welcome to the forum!

My advice is to start by learning how to draw. This is a good book to get you started.
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain


Exciting! Don’t give up, you will love this profession. They say it takes 7 years to be a pro.

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Hey Zack!! I can only tell you what I’ve googled as I am not a designer yet. Do you have a particular skill yet or are you (like me) trying to learn it all at once?

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Hi Zack! Welcome Aboard! Best wishes on your learning adventure :taco::pizza::hamburger:


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7 years!? Is that all? :wink:

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7 years with 4 of them spent in a good program. 3 years of working world experience on top of that will put you just above Entry level, given that entry level in Graphic Design is now pretty much a Bachelors Degree plus 2 years of work experience.:wink:

We just hired a junior. Bachelors Degree, 2 internships while in school, 2 years at a beverage shop, 3 years beauty packaging. Including school, just shy of 10 years. :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed::raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

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So, there’s no hope for people like us who are trying to teach ourselves? That doesn’t sound very encouraging.

This article, though old, is a good starting point.

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Nowadays in the US, the design job market is saturated with degreed and non-degreed designers. There are hundreds, maybe thousands like yourself, who decide they want to be a designer every day.

What that means is that hundreds of resumes are submitted for a single job opening, and they are vetted by computers looking for keywords like BA BFA BSc before they ever reach human eyes. Thus the old adage “school doesn’t matter, all that matters is a good portfolio” is no longer useful, since non-degreed candidates are sifted out long before the “see portfolio” stage.

Can some make it? Of course I’m sure some do. It would be interesting to know how many, and in what area of design. I’m guessing as ai/ar/vr/etc. grows, the number of non-degreed designers will also grow as schools have yet to catch up with the technology, never mind teach it.

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When a MA or PhD is required, it’s time for us to unite and start a revolution.

thanks a lot for the article :slight_smile: i did read it before,
did you use it as your starting point?

If you need a tool to use, try Figma.

I looked into Figma last year, it wasn’t long before I binned it for Sketch for wireframing and prototyping. Now Adobe has their version of Sketch called Experience Designer.

Truly though, if you want to learn good design theory, you should worry less about the tools and more about theory. Easiest way to do that is with a pencil and paper.

I won’t say it’s impossible to find a job as a self taught designer if you have a KILLER portfolio. Things like a company’s location, their desperation and who you know could bring a job your way. However, as someone who has hired designers (and made mistakes), I would not hire someone with less than a 3 year design qualification for an entry level role. Even the interns that I’ve had have had 2.5 years design school experience, interview well AND a strong portfolio.

If you think your location might be different, have a look at jobs in your area who are looking for junior design positions. What are they asking for?

It wasn’t my starting point per se because I did do a bit of work for my company and a few others before formally deciding to teach myself design. But yes, I have bookmarked this article and refer to it pretty often. I think you will find all of this information in other places too, but it just made sense to pick one advisor, so to speak, and, stick with her rather than trying to take on multiple methods on board and drive yourself crazy. I have been teaching myself how to draw using the book (You Can Draw in 30 Days) she recommends; I’m finding it easy to follow and am also quite enjoying myself.

@PanToshi, @Buda, I’m not from the US, I live in India, and so the market conditions that you talk about don’t apply to me. In any case what I’m looking for is more a freelance career in design rather than a full-time job. I have other skill-sets too and designing skills is something I want to do in addition to those.

I was interpreting what PrintDriver said as: You can’t acquire skills as a designer without spending four years getting a degree. And that’s personally more disheartening for me, especially because I am trying to acquire this skill-set late in my life and don’t really have four years to spare just going to school.

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ah okay :slight_smile: i already have some basics in drawings, that books wasn’t very helpful for me, but am following what she said in that article like you said

and don’t its never too late to learn something, i already saw your work and liked it, seems that you manage yourself learning so far, am sure you can do more,
just make sure you enjoy it

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Thanks for the encouragement zacki. It’s really appreciated.

A Bachelor of Illustration lead me to do graphic design in the real world. School doesn’t really teach much technical so that’s up to you. These days, youtube and short courses online will get you everything you need if you ask the right questions. Have a mentor or fellow designer besides you always helps to iron out any issues as you go.

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