What are essentials a beginner in graphic design must know?


jongkuvrouw

New Member
I am learning graphic design and i want to create a curriculum for myself so i have a more structured way of learning graphic design and sticking to it. So far I have: Communication design, lettering, typography, advertising, history of design, Identity design, principles of design and color & sketching. Is there anything else you would recommend I add to the list of essential skills i need ?

Thank you in advance.
 

Polytheist

New Member
Admirable... How about your illustration skills?
Meanwhile its necessary to learn some basic coding skills (HTML/CSS and PHP)
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
Admirable... How about your illustration skills?
Meanwhile its necessary to learn some basic coding skills (HTML/CSS and PHP)
Illustration is a different skillset really. I'm a designer that can't illustrate. I know illustrators that can't design, and I know both designers and illustrators that can do both. Drawing/sketching skills are certainly useful, but I wouldn't worry if you're not a natural at it.

As for coding skills, yes, if you want to get into web/app/digital design, knowing how to put together digital content is very useful, but certainly not a requirement if you're just learning.

I personally wouldn't worry about advertising, it's a different field of work entirely. If you want to design, focus on the basics of hierachy, typography and grids/layouts, and you can expand your knowledge to design for most formats. There's a lot of overlap in the things you've posted, and often different skills and fields cover many things. For example, 'communication design' might be considered the same as 'graphic design', graphic design just being a broader, all-encompassing term. Same with colour theory. Colour is certainly very important, but there's a reason designs start on paper in black and white (and why we advise logo designers to work in a single colour). If a design works in black and white then it most likely will work with colour added, but 99% of the time a design should not be reliant on colour to work. There should be enough inherant contrast and spacing between elements that the design works with just those on a page.
 

Polytheist

New Member
Illustration is a different skillset really. I'm a designer that can't illustrate.
totally right. graphic design and illustration are two separate creative fields and therefore illustration is not a duty of a graphic designer however some agencies recruit graphic designers who have basic knowledge of illustration. i once applied for a graphic design job in china, then they asked me to show some of my illustration work samples, along with my graphic design portfolios before they recruited me.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
As part of my Graphic Design course we were expected to do and be good at illustration.
We were taught technical illustration, marker visuals, flat gouache, architectural two point perspective, hand lettering amongst other styles.

I guess times have changed. ;)
 

Polytheist

New Member
I guess times have changed. ;)
You know? some agencies expect too much from a candidate who has always worked as a simple graphic designer. During the interviews they ask the candidate many irrelevant questions like "Are you familiar with 3d-max or Maya?"
Looks like they dont care about your abilities. They just wanna find a weakness in you.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I was taught traditionally and art/illustration skills were key to getting on the course.
I guess we were taught what was considered key at the time I guess.

There seems to be a lot of mixed messages now and it depends where you look.
A lot of job ad's ask for the moon on a stick and pretty much want everything to an almost undeliverable level.
There's no way you can know everything and be good at it all.
Maybe that's a lot to do with many of them using recruiters who just copy + paste a skill set?

Then you see on a lot of design portals/blogs telling people to specialise, find a niche and stick to it.

Personally, I think people should do what they are good at and enjoy for the biggest part be it a generalist or a specialist.
 

shubhamtdt

New Member
Hello,
Glad that you are learning Graphic Designing and there is a good future in it.
As you are a beginner so you must look at these following tips-
1.Get a design course through interactive tutorials.
2.You can follow blogs and can read different blogs related to graphic designing to get knowledge on it.
3.Participate in Designing Communities.
4. Remix or Remake your fav. Design.
5.Follow and discover designers and photographers on Instagram.


Hope these above tips might help you out.

You can also check my blog for Website Design and Rebranding ideas.
 
As part of my Graphic Design course we were expected to do and be good at illustration.
We were taught technical illustration, marker visuals, flat gouache, architectural two point perspective, hand lettering amongst other styles.

I guess times have changed. ;)
me too, we must be ancient! :p
 

sprout

Member
Hand-rendering 10pt Bembo seemed the most ridiculously pointless exercise at the time, when we had a couple of mac iici s. A few years later, I understood it. It really helped nurture a life-long love of letterforms.
 

AdrianG001

New Member
I am learning graphic design and i want to create a curriculum for myself so i have a more structured way of learning graphic design and sticking to it. So far I have: Communication design, lettering, typography, advertising, history of design, Identity design, principles of design and color & sketching. Is there anything else you would recommend I add to the list of essential skills i need ?

Thank you in advance.
Read books, watch free tutorials on youtube, invest in online education on Lynda and skillshare.
Apply the knowledge and do real-world projects even for free to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt.
It’s important to learn about logo principles, how to sell your idea, color theory, and how to generate ideas. That’s just the beginning however you don’t have to go to college to learn there are plenty of resources online to help you get started.
 
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