Have you ever wondered if you need formal studies for graphic design?

April 2, 2021

I’m Nelett.
The Designer of the Graphic Designers' Playbook. I help heart-led clients and designers show up with style and grace: a total Magazine, pizza and water addict. I am always striving for wholesome, mindful and soul-led living. 
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If you’re interested in pursuing a career in graphic design, you might wonder whether you need formal studies. While there’s no definitive answer to this question, many employers and professionals in the industry suggest that having at least some form of training in graphic design is beneficial.

Traditional studies in graphic design typically include coursework in design principles, typography, colour theory, and software applications like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. These courses can provide you with a solid foundation in the technical and artistic aspects of the field and the opportunity to work on projects and receive feedback from experienced instructors.

However, it’s worth noting that many successful graphic designers have pursued alternative routes to their careers. Some have developed their skills through self-study, online courses, or mentorship programs. Others have backgrounds in related fields like fine art or web development.

One great advantage of pursuing formal studies in graphic design is that it can give you a comprehensive understanding of the field. You’ll have the opportunity to study design theory and history, learn the technical skills needed to create compelling designs and work on projects that will help you build your portfolio. Additionally, you’ll have access to experienced instructors who can provide guidance and feedback as you develop your skills. Pursuing formal studies can also give you credibility when applying for a job.

Graphic Design is a skill like any other and requires time and practice.

In my personal experience, I have worked with a few self-taught designers who excel at this trade. When someone has the talent to be creative and learn, they tend to develop better as graphic designers because they must figure it all out by themselves. This skill developed tenacity, endurance and problem-solving abilities which are great habits to have in this industry. Indirectly, their desire to do great work grew their ability to listen and understand briefs better. And if these individuals invest time in having a mentor, they will go far!

Some tools that are excellent whether you are a seasoned designer or a student wanting to know the real-life experience of the trade:

The Graphic Designers’ Playbook
• Youtube is always a winner, with many tutorials.
The Adobe Suit tutorials 
• The Varsity where I studied has a wide variety of courses
• Udemy has a great course

Ultimately, whether or not to pursue formal studies in graphic design depends on your goals, interests, and learning style. If you thrive in a structured classroom environment and want a comprehensive understanding of the field, formal training may be your best option. However, suppose you prefer a more flexible approach and are willing to invest time and effort into self-directed learning. In that case, many resources are available to help you develop your skills and build a successful career in graphic design.

Just like any other skill, Graphic design does need some form of education and practice for you to be successful. And if the desire is printed onto your heart to make this profession your career – follow it and let it guide you in the direction that works for you.

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