Is it hard to learn graphic design by yourself?


This is easy but not perfect !!

Condition – If you have already learned and want to improve then there are bunch of resources that I can tell you. Still you can try to learn if you haven’t learned but have got creative thinking and interest.

Graphic designing now-a-days is not just a limited work or to work with limited software/tools, rather it has become a wide career scope with so various profile and specialization.

Graphic designing is an art of expressing the concept with the help of visuals, graphics, content and design aesthetics. We can say graphic design has become an essential part of today’s branding and marketing. One can have a big scope in this industry with command over technical skills, sketching, creativity and basics of design.

You can learn graphic design by yourself. But I don’t think you’ll ever be great at it. Especially if you don’t work in a place surrounded by other graphic designers. I look at most of the people I idolize in graphic design most have have a degree or significant amount of education devoted to it. Even the one who didn’t either studied a related discipline or made up for it by spending a great many years at a job where they acquired the experience over time.

Design is a fundamentally interactive process. Having other people to collaborate with or offer feedback is critical. In the classroom you see others solve the same problems you do but in ways you never dreamed of. The experience of your instructor and a well-structured syllabus provide information in a logical progression. If taught properly you understand not only how to do something but historically why it’s done a certain way. You learn theory, methodology and process.

I do know a lot of people who did climb to the top without going to Blue Sky graphic design school but their path was far from learning by themselves. Some had jobs where they started out as assistants and had the benefit of working for a company that encouraged on the job learning.

I don’t know of anyone who decided to buy a computer, Adobe Creative Cloud and set out to learn graphic design at home. In fact, when I look at student portfolios I can tell immediately how good their education was.

A few years ago I was part of a panel that reviewed student’s portfolios for AIGA. These were all students that had one or two semesters left before they graduated so theoretically there was still plenty of time for the critiques to help the students strengthen their portfolios. Some came from universities, some came from community colleges, and some came institutes that focused on graphic design. The students from community colleges had, by far, the worst portfolios. The students from the beleaguered Art Institutes were not much better. The ones I saw with the best portfolios were the ones from state universities (which ironically had lower tuition rates than the Art Institutes).

Now I’m not going to say that only the students from the universities will ever be good at graphic design. There’s a lot more to graphic design than theory and school work. But they are the ones who will land their first jobs at places where they have the best opportunity for growth.

A university education offers much more than theory, exercises and feedback. If done properly you’ll have context and history too. You’ll get to see the evolution of graphic design and how it affects and is affected by culture and events. You’ll learn how technology has changed things but still be able to pick out the root themes in graphic design that separate the faddish from the classic.

To be a self-taught designer, follow these points –

  • Very first clear your mind and what is graphic designing.
  • Find out latest and trending software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, CorelDRAW, Sketching etc.
  • Nothing can beat a professional training so must go for it.
  • When you are one with software knowledge and clear your concepts, you must go for internship as it is the best way to work on live projects to sharpen up skills.
  • Read design books and understand – basic theory, design principles, typography, design aesthetics and Visual grammar etc.
  • Knowledge of colors is the most important factor.
  • Watch video tutorials for practical knowledge as well as you can go to few fee portals who are providing topic wise videos.
  • Learn to play with pictures, illustrations, fonts, icons etc.
  • Practice free design tools as well such as – canva, GIMP, Gravit designer, pencil etc.
  • To understand these points clearly, you should read this elaborated answer Divya Jyoti Mishra’s answer to What are the top graphic designing online free courses for beginners?
  • To become a good designer one needs inspiration too –
  • When you are working on different projects, meanwhile you need to get good references and make your online presence too. you can easily get inspired by the creative and wonderful work on Behance, Dribble, Ficture, Httpster and Microcopy Inspiration etc.

You should know various profiles and scopes available –

  • Desktop publishing designer
  • Creative illustration artist
  • Advertising and marketing designer
  • User interface designer
  • Motion graphic designer
  • Visual identity designer
  • Packaging and branding designer
  • Outdoor designer
  • Freelance graphic designer (the only independent option available as a designer)
  • Learn More
By Arslan Shah

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