Things I wish somebody had told me about studying Graphic Design

A lot of people say they wish someone warned them about certain things before going to college. While I find myself in agreement, I’m  impressed with the amount of things I never realized before I decided to study Graphic Design. Here I’m going to be covering the top six things I believe other people who are considering this field should know before taking the big step.

It’s a career for investors

You’d be surprised how many people show up in their first day for Introduction of Graphic Design without knowing they’re going to be depending on $200.00 worth of design programs. The first thing your professor will let you know is that you need to invest in: a good computer, a good camera, good art materials (such as granite pencils, watercolors and a good sketch book) and professional design programs. That last one really means Adobe only.

Phone bad : P.C. good

No matter how talented you may be on a free program and a touch screen, there’s a big possibility your professors will give you a bad look if you decide to depend on them instead of working from your computer. This is mostly due to the fact that working in the professional world means working with professional programs only.   You need to take into consideration that pixelation works very differently from the small screen of your phone in comparison to a computer monitor. Sometimes a professor will encourage you to use as much mixes media as you can, but in the end they will still ask to see your process in which you’ll need to show them how you used any of the adobe programs necessary for your project. 

It’s a very competitive environment 

Like most careers in the artistic field, Graphic Design is one where you will find yourself surrounded by people who make every move in class a competition. And for the most part: it’s all within reason. It’s not what most freshmen expect from the program and a lot people get stressed about it. However, it is something that you learn to overcome and no matter how competitive of a field it may be, a lot of students are still very cooperative with others in terms of brainstorming for a design or giving advice for working with tools in the programs.

Youtube is your new best friend 

This one took me for surprise my freshman year. Before going to college all I’ve ever worked in terms of design had been done for fun and thanks to free online programs, so naturally I wasn’t skilled at Photoshop or Illustrator, except for everything basic. After entering my first major class and when people asked the professor how to use some of the tools, the answer would always be: “search it up on YouTube”. The idea of having to depend on YouTube wasn’t enjoyable, but with time I saw a perk to it. Because the programs and tools are constantly evolving and more softwares are developed, you’re supposed to keep up with every single one of them. Video tutorials make it easier for designers to be aware of the changes that often come up with updates and also help us discover new ways to use the tools to make the job easier and more productive. 

University ≠ Art School

The education you get regarding Graphic Design will definitely be affected by what kind of school you go to. Many people don’t take this into consideration because often attending an University is looked up as more prestigious than going to an Art School. However,it all depends on what   you are looking forward to achieve by getting a degree in this career. If you’re interested in the commercial side of Graphic Design, universities and community colleges are probably the best option. Many students take elective classes in the Business department in order to get better knowledge on Marketing which helps them when it comes to designing for branding. However,if you wish to dedicate yourself to a more artistic side of this field: art school is the answer. It helps students connect with more art mediums and with their creativity side rather that their commercial one. Also, it’s  a better opportunity for someone who’s looking into working with other mediums in the future or a different artistic career as well. 

The possibilities are endless from now on

I don’t think that many people realize how many career possibilities are out there for whoever decides to study Graphic Design. When you take into consideration the different courses you take in order to gain the degree, you work with enough mediums and techniques to work in almost every other artistic career from the creative field. I used to think that once I graduate, my only options would always be working with digital media or at a print shop. Recently one of my professors sat down with me to discuss the many opportunities in a career that I could choose from. Some good examples would be: Web Design, App Design, Digital Photography, Fashion Design, Ad Design + Publicity, Industrial Design, Video Editing, Animation, Digital Painting, and so many others. 

I don’t regret my decision one bit. Sure, I find that sometimes the journey is hard, but what career path isn’t? If you find yourself unsure of what you wish to do with your upcoming degree: don’t worry, it’s absolutely normal. Take some time to sit down and do research on what is it that you enjoy doing. You may find a career you didn’t know existed but you’d definitely love to work in. You can always plan sometime to have a talk with either a professor or an advisor to help you out in the process and make everything easier to understand for you. What’s important is that whatever you do, you do it right and with love.