Pursuing a Career in Graphic Design

What does it take to become a visual designer or graphic designer and what is the difference? Both play an essential role in tech companies. Learn what technical and soft skills you need to get hired and succeed in this career.
By Peggy Ugochukwu | Sep 20, 2022
Pursuing a Career in Graphic Design
Photo by Timothy Exodus on Unsplash
  • Share:

Visual Designer vs. Graphic Designer

First, you need to determine whether you want to be a graphic designer or visual designer. While there are similarities in skill sets, understanding the difference between graphic design and visual design will help you build a career that best suits your talents and interests.

Graphic designers are responsible for using text and images to communicate a specific message. Logos, print advertisements, and brochures are all examples of projects completed by graphic design professionals. 

Visual designers are responsible for building brands on digital media. Although they use some of the same skills as graphic designers, their goal is to create a consistent brand image across multiple digital platforms such as websites, apps, social media, etc. 

Graphic Designer 

As a new graphic designer, you're about to embark on an exciting adventure. Whether you're applying for graphic design jobs at an agency or want to venture into the world of freelancing, you'll be getting paid to use your natural creative talents. To distinguish yourself from other graphic designers in the job pool, you need just the right combination of graphic designer skills. In this guide, you'll learn what technical and soft skills you need to get hired and succeed in your career.

Skills needed to be a graphic designer

Graphic designer skills can be classified as technical skills or soft skills. Technical skills are specific to your job, while soft skills are the skills and personality traits that allow you to succeed in any role. For a graphic designer, one of the most important technical skills is the ability to use Adobe Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator) to complete design projects.

Technical skills for graphic designers

Employers look for versatile graphic designers who have the technical abilities needed to hit the ground running. These are some of the most desirable technical skills for a graphic designer:

  • Typography skills: As a graphic designer, you must be able to arrange words and letters in a visually appealing way.
  • Font selection: Font type, size and weight all affect the appearance of your designs and may influence the way people perceive your message, so you must be able to choose an appropriate font for each project.
  • Ability to follow branding guidelines: Branding guidelines are standards used to determine how a brand will be presented to audience members. To succeed in the industry, you must be able to follow these guidelines closely.
  • Design principles: Successful graphic designers know how to use white space, color, hierarchy and other principles to compose well-balanced designs.
  • RGB and CMYK: You must be able to choose the right color set for each project. CMYK is ideal for print projects, while RGB is typically used for digital designs.
  • UX design: Skilled graphic designers understand how to create simple designs that are useful and meet established accessibility guidelines.
  • Digital technology (HTML, CSS, JS): Technology skills are especially helpful if you plan to design websites or work as a visual designer.
  • Picture skills (photography)/photo editing: You may have to incorporate photos into your graphic design projects, so it's important to know how to edit stock photos or take high-quality photos of your own.

You can read more here: https://dribbble.com/resources/graphic-designer-skills

| Updated: Sep 20, 2022 - 17:16
Peggy Ugochukwu
Peggy Ugochukwu is a trained Psychologist and counsellor. In her free time, Peggy enjoys reading, exploring new travel locations, and spending time with her friends.