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Hi, where should i start??

Hi, I'm Ian...27 from London.

I currently work as a Personal Trainer and while I enjoy it and make good money from it, it's not something I want to do for ever. In fact I don't really want to do it past 35.

So I'm thinking ahead trying to work out what I want to do when I retire from the world of lifting weights and jogging round the park with clients and the only thing that really interests me is Graphic and Web design. The problem is I know very little on either subject so I was hoping you guys could point me in the right direction and answer a few questions and maybe give me some suggestions where to start.


Should I look at getting any qualifications? If so what...

Once I get a grasp of graphic design is there a big leap to learn web design?

What programmes should I be thinking about learning?

Are there some good blogs to read? Or tutorials about?

Anything else I should be asking?

Also slightly off topic but I will need a new website early next year. I'm currently writing the content and I have a photo shoot lined up for early Jan so will have plenty of images I'd like use. If anyone could point me in the direction of a good web developer it would be much appreciated.

Thanks for taking your time to read this.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Ian. :up:


Well-Known Member
There are a quite few paths to graphic design, but many find that these days a good course of formal education helps a lot. Preferably to degree level. Your core programs would probably be Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Quark.

As for finding a web developer, I know there are quite a few people here who can help you out. Head for the jobs/tenders section.
Thanks JimLad, if i was to go down the degree route do you know anywhere i could study online as going off to uni is not really an option at this stage.


Active Member
Hey Ian,

My mate is in exactly the same profession as you and has been doing it since 17, now 31 and he is looking for a career change, so I can relate and understand your position very well, although my mate is not looking to get into design.

To answer your questions however...

I wouldn't bother with pursuing formal qualification, time you have studied and paid your monies the technology you have been taught will be 7 years to old.

Graphic design is a massive massive subject, yet so many areas cross over from one discipline to another, if you want to specialise in the web side of the game, I would recommend reading up on typography, branding and colour theory to start with.

Software ranges from area to area as well, but id suggest photoshop and a good text editor will see you through 90% of everything design / web.

As for further reading ... the net is full of it! :)

google top 100 web design blogs
job done.

As for asking question never stop! ask ask and ask again, one of us will sure to have the answers, some of us have several :) hehehe

Finally, If your serious about hiring a web developer then I would recommend posting in the Jobs/Tenders board on the forums, looking at my bookings however I have some free space coming up, I can move a couple of projects around to fit you in if you wish. (depending on your project size)

just drop me a line, all my info in my Sig.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but in my opinion in this current climate its going to be very very hard to achieve your aim of getting a job in the graphic design industry.

Bad points are: your age - at 27 with no real 'understanding of graphic design' you have a lot to learn. And thus have no qualifications in the field, you will be up against young hungry graduates for every position that comes up, and recently redundent designers too.

Learning how to use photoshop is a good thing but it doesnt make you a designer. I can kick a ball, but im not going to play in the football league, especially at 27 years old. There's more to being a designer than knowing the software.

If i was in your shoes i'd think and approach this differently, maybe get pally with a few fat designers and offer them free training and fitness classes in return for you to shadow them in their job for a short while. You might spend ages doing all of these Open University courses and find out you havent got what it takes or its just not right for you.

That's my take on it.

Good luck.
Geoff thanks for your help and advice i'll take it on board and also I will get in touch with you in the new year about the web design.

Also thanks Ross, I'd be happy to train people in return for design lessons etc...As for going for a job with a company that was never really my plan, I'd like to go freelance, working for other people has never really appealed to me.