A lot of people ask me how I got my start in graphic design … I always had a love for design and any chance I got to use that creativity I took , whether it was creating flyer or brochures for my church or for promotional items needed in my job as daycare director. Most of those creations I made in a program called Microsoft Publisher (oh, the horror)! In 2007 I finally took a formal plunge and enrolled in a community college class called The Fundamentals of Adobe CS3 . Although it was a pretty broad class that covered several applications it was a great starting point for me in learning about design and getting my feet wet. Another great thing about taking this course is that I as able to purchase the entire Adobe Suite for under $400 because I was a student.
Here are some basic tips for starting in graphic design:
GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND
As I entered the blogging world in 2009 I became super interested in the whole digital scrapbooking scene and it was because of that interest that I had a real desire to learn Photoshop tips & tricks. For me I learned tons just by “googling” topics that I needed help figuring out….from how to use brush/shape tools to photo editing tricks.
Nowadays the options we have to learn new skills is just at our fingertips. Whether you opt for an in class experience or online class you can learn so much about Graphic design just by searching the internet. Maybe going to an actual class isn’t something you can fit in your schedule and the online option best suits you.
I want to share with you some great online classes you can take to develop your design skills. First off if you’re really serious about design I strongly encourage you to invest in an Adobe Subscription. Photoshop is my best friend, but there is also Illustrator that is so helpful to know as well (You can get a free 30 Day Trial by going to the Adobe website and try it out for yourself).
Skillshare has some great fundamental classes you can start taking and as you progress you can go on to more advanced classes. Here are just a few you may want to look into:
Nicole’s Classes offers online classes in photography, design, and Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. If you go directly to the site you can get a detailed list of the course and what is offered.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
As you get some classes under your belt make sure to take some time to practice your new skills by just creating. There are so many places you can try out your design chops at…places like PicMonkey.com or even Pixlr.com. Another great place you may want to try and explore is…
Canva.com! Great places to practice your skills is by using Canva.com! At Canva you can design for web or print: blog graphics, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, or invitations. I love them because they have awesome templates you can use to base your design off of or you can create a custom design. Canva has a ton of free elements (images & fonts)you can use on your design and the paid images only cost $1 each if you need them for your project. Canva has some design tutorials available as well for you to try. I also want to encourage you to offer to create some design pieces for your local church or other non-profit organization for free. You’re not going to improve your skills without putting your skills to the test and having a project to work on. The more you practice the more you will improve and the greater confidence you will have to create for others.
If you’re wanting to learn some design tips and sharpen your skills I want to let you know about an email course that I offer called the Canva Creative 7-Day Challenge.
Here’s what you’ll learn in my course:
- How to layout your designs for maximum impact
- Using Canva’s Grid tool
- Using Photo Filters to create stunning images
- Basic typography rules
- Create your own template for your social media posts
- Using shapes, borders and icons
- Online tools & resources I use
This course is currently free but will be transitioning to a paid course very soon. You can read more about it here and sign up.
I hope these tips for starting in graphic design were helpful to you! If you have any other place you would recommend for beginning graphic designers please let me know in the comments below!