Graphic designers influence how we view the world using colors, illustrations, photos and fonts. Look at a book or magazine, go to a coffee shop, or take a drive. When you do, you’ll encounter graphic design. From company logos to road signs to product packaging, design is part of our everyday lives.
Graphic Designer Skills and Traits
These innate traits and skills contribute to a successful graphic design career.
YOU ARE …
- Computer savvy
- Detail oriented
YOU SHOULD HAVE …
- Communication skills
- Knowledge of trends
- Marketing skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Technology skills
What should you look for in a graphic design degree program?
Graphic design school will give you the opportunity to sharpen your skills and build your talent. You’ll learn both technique and technology that you’ll use throughout your career. Art school can also provide a safe environment to give and receive critiques that will improve your work and your ability to think critically about your own designs.
A graphic design degree can also go a long way toward helping you establish credibility in this highly competitive industry. The formal training you will receive in a graphic design degree program will assure both future clients and employers that you have what it takes to produce professional quality designs.
Your Degree Options
Bachelor’s Degrees in Graphic Design: There’s no doubt that a bachelor’s degree in graphic design will look good on your résumé. In addition to graphic design training, you’ll need to complete general studies requirements as part of a bachelor’s-level graphic design degree program. The extra time you spend in school can pay off in the long run. A well-rounded liberal arts background can make you a more attractive job candidate in any career field. It can also provide material for your design work.
Associate’s Degrees in Graphic Design: Associate’s programs in graphic design generally have fewer, if any, general studies requirements. This means that your education will focus more on your area of interest. Generally two years in length, an associate’s degree in graphic design can prepare you for entry-level positions at graphic design firms. It will also prepare you to continue your education in a bachelor’s program.
Graphic Design Certificates and Diplomas: Like associate’s programs, certificate and diploma programs in graphic design are shorter than bachelor’s programs and focus more intensely on graphic design. Certificate and diploma programs vary in length from one semester to two years. These vocational training programs can give you the right tools to start your career; however, you’ll need a strong graphic design portfolio to compete with job candidates with more education.
Online Graphic Design Degrees
You don’t have to rearrange your life to get an education anymore. Online graphic design course programs offer the convenience of learning at home on your own schedule. While some online programs in London do require class participation at scheduled times, others allow you to learn completely on your own time.
If you’re not sure how to balance school with the rest of your life, an online graphic design degree may be an attractive option for you.
Is an Online Graphic Art Degree Right for Me?
Since you’ll spend much of your class time on computers anyway, the correspondence aspect of online programs can be as simple as clicking “send” instead of raising your hand. And graphic markup programs make getting peer feedback quick and easy whether it’s from across the room or across the country.
Here are some characteristics that will help you succeed if you want to get an online graphic art degree:
Be a self-starter: If you are deadline driven and can stick to a syllabus without being held accountable to consistent class attendance and teacher reminders, you’re on your way to online school success.
Get tech-savvy: The more tech-focused your specialty, the more naturally your online education will fit with it.
Stay busy: Online programs are perfect for busy folks who need to fit their studies into an already hectic schedule. Many programs are self-paced and some offer classes designed with working professionals in mind.
Quit your commute: If you want to enhance your career and increase your earning potential without having to relocate, enrolling in a well-known art degree program in graphic design online might be your answer.
Can I Take My Entire Degree Program Online?
You might wonder if a degree program for a career that is as hands-on as graphic design can be completed entirely online. The good news is yes. More and more colleges and universities are offering fully-online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs—mainly because as graphic design as an industry moves more and more to website and interactive media, work is completed on computers and graphic tablets anyway, which make this ideal for first-hand online learning.
Courses You’ll Take
Your studies in graphic design school will likely be comprised of traditional art classes, specialized graphic design courses and a variety of technical training. Each school’s program is different, so if you are especially interested in one area of graphic design, you may want to check course lists or speak to school advisors before enrolling to make sure you will have the opportunity to explore your interests.
Some of the courses you’ll take in an online program are the same as you would in a classroom setting and should include the following:
- 2-D and 3-D design
- Art direction
- Branding and identity
- Building a portfolio
- Color theory
- Critical thinking
- Design theory
- Digital photography
- History of graphic design
- Life drawing
- Motion graphics
- Print and editorial design
- Publishing processes
- Web design and applications