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Getting into Graphic Design

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by ickibiki, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. ickibiki

    ickibiki New Member


    I graduated in 2008 with a good degree in Media and Cultural Studies.

    Since graduating I have been unable to establish a 'career' going between retail work and temping.

    I initially thought I wanted to work in a marketing/PR environment, but having gained work experience in this area I don't really think it's for me, but I am interested in the more creative side.

    Basically, now I feel I want to work in Graphic Design, although I've read a lot about it being hard work and little pay, I feel I would gain more enjoyment from this kind of role.

    What I am wondering now is what would be the quickest/cheapest/most successful route into graphic design without doing another undergraduate degree?

    I did Art upto A level standard and Graphic Design to GCSE Standard-so I do have some artistic abilities!

    Please help as I really want to get stuck in! I'm quite excited by the prospect! :icon_smile:
  2. New Member

    Research is the key.

    Well here is how I started back in Pakistan and now working as a freelancer in London.

    I started as a junior back in 1999 and was more of an office intern than a junior, making tea, going up to the lithographic plate makers to find out if they have completed the job.(Our office was in a 6 story building and all of the businesses we related to printing. From screen printers, plate makers to ink sellers and die cutting mould makers etc). Worked hard, learned software more than design theory and principles, got better everyday in the CorelDraw, Photoshop and Macromedia Freehand. Later became part of the team as I was a quick learner and understood the printing industry very well, from how the offset machine prints to how to work with a die cutting machine operator as an assistant.

    I had passion and love for the design and creative industry. I landed an internship at a big agency which opened my eyes more to the industry which made me realise its not all about learning the software. So in my next 3 years I worked as a senior designer while finishing my graduation in Arts and one gap year working on understanding and applying design principles on each new work that I created, and then the big break - LONDON.

    Coming here was one of the best things that happened to me, even though I was here for a business degree, (my other passion), I realised I was back to square one. Even though I speak English quite well and have almost no accent with occassional vowel slips etc, I found out that I am facing a completely alien culture to mine, Now I had to learn and understand new jargons, cultural stories, social values past and present historical moments and milestones in creative industry and whole of UK to make me come up to the mark and start looking for a position as a designer and most of all some completely new softwares like Indesign, Quark Express and different sizing conventions. (We follow DS and american paper sizing i.e. letter size instead of A4 etc)So I started a job as a designer at a local printer part-time while holding down another job in pizza shop and as a concierge. It took me another 5 years out of which I did not do any design work for an entire year and that scared me because I though that I would forget everything. In those five years, I never lost hope and never spent any extra time at hand not doing research and teaching myself something new and while back home I was really interested in web design, I learned to use dreamweaver, did some programming and had a good understanding of web and print design principles and best practices.

    The point is, I came a long way and still feel that I am learning everyday, I don't mean to put you off but all I said is because I love this industry and had passion for design and several at occassions I almost wanted to get a non-design full time job and get confortable, but I didn't.

    It took me so long because I had lack of resources and support but I still did it, I will probably take you less than half the time. The only thing I can say is that these are the things that helped me a lot in my journey.
    I would not be here without these people.

    Bad Clients
    (They teach you to see other bad ones so you can avoid them)

    I cannot emphasize how much this helped me. From learning how to clear you cache for unlimited undo's in CorelDraw to using an airbrush in photoshop and how to apply for a visa to London.

    Good luck in your journey.
  3. taklamakan

    taklamakan New Member

    Be positive

    First of all... be positive thinker :) design as much as possible, get better every day, you must show you future employees you are good in designing. Create portfolio website, put some of your stunning graphics in there. You must have some experience in design too: some certificates will help + find a part time/unpaid job as designer (with some experience me as a employer I would look at you with more interest)

    at the moment many people talk rubbish the economy is down... if they are right its very inlikely you can find a job in graphic design as companies look for experienced designers who dont need to be trained (as you dont have a degree)

    if you want to get a job in graphic design industry you must know the designing - preferably some background knowledge like degree at least bachelor is needed

    Stay positive and go where your destiny is.
  4. sttcmghtf

    sttcmghtf Member

  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Right now you'll struggle to get a junior design role as for every position there's a few hundred qualified and experienced designers making applications.

    Perhaps the best route would be to enrol in a course in design and seek an unpaid or minimum wage placement with a design agency?
  6. taklamakan

    taklamakan New Member

    Yes, at the moment it's hard to find a graphic designer job, so try to find a placement or internship. Good luck m8!
  7. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    There isn't one. It's not a quick fix for people who've failed in other areas and just 'fancy being a bit creative.' Get a degree like everyone else.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    The only way you'll have a short-term, easy, quick, cheap way of getting into the design industry, is if you are born with shit hot talent, or you get a serious bit of luck.

    99% of designers havn't had that and have had to work damn hard to get where they are. College courses, uni courses, work placements, unpaid work, low-paid work, regular paid work. Even after all that, some arn't successful.

    If you're simply looking for the shortest, quickest, cheapest route, you don't deserve to be a successful designer. Sorry to be blunt, but that's how it is.

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