10 Truths about being Graphic Design Students

Graphic design students have to be aware of certain truths

Truths about being Graphic Design Students

Ready for 10 truths about being Graphic Design Students?  Studying graphic design is an excellent idea if you are a creative individual and you’re looking for promising career opportunities in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for graphic designers will grow by four percent in the period from 2016 to 2026. As per them in US 11,100 new workplaces will be created. There are multiple career paths for graphic design students – from web design to user experience design and even being an art director for a large company.

The jobs for graphic design students are diversified but before this point is reached, young creative minds will have to go through the educational process. If you’re embarking on this journey, there are certain things to keep in mind. This guide will outline a number of important truths about being a graphic design student.

You, Will, Be Surrounded by Creative People on a Daily Basis

When trying to navigate the complex academic world and wondering how to learn graphic design in the best way possible, you should remember one important thing – you’ll be surrounded by creative individuals on a daily basis.

While some graphic design students find such interactions inspiring, others may eventually start feeling intimidated.

Remember there will always be someone who appears to be more creative and talented than you. Don’t attempt to measure up to the work of others. You will waste a lot of time worrying about whether your projects are original and polished enough. When in doubt, remember that others will feel the same way about your work.

It’s a part of human nature to underestimate our own accomplishments and focus on the beautiful work of others. While natural, such thoughts are completely counterproductive. Let them go.

Coming Up with Original Ideas Will Be Difficult

Graphic design students are often challenged to come up with new ideas

Jobs for graphic design students and professionals do call for a lot of creativity and a fresh approach. You will notice, however, that as the semester goes by, it becomes increasingly difficult to conceptualize something original.

This is probably one of the most important truths you will need to learn.

It’s ok to once in a while produce something that looks nice but that isn’t the most creative idea out there. You will find it challenging to get inspired for each and every assigned project. This is a common mistake many graphic design beginners commit, a mistake that costs them a lot of time and effort.

Inventing the wheel is impossible in this day and age – nearly everything has been done before. Being inspired by someone great and paying tribute to their work is ok, as long as you put in the effort to make the concept your own.

To Be Successful, You Have to Ask Questions

If you learn this while you’re still a graphic design student, you’ll find it much easier to build a career in the future.

Very often, clients will provide ambiguous project descriptions. It’s also possible for clients to be oblivious to the specifics of the work that has to be done. Asking questions and focusing on the parameters that matter the most is the only way to do a good job.

Start practicing while still in school. Get additional feedback from professors as far as projects are concerned. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Even if you feel dumb about asking something, the information you get will make it much easier to complete the assignment successfully.

You, Will, Have to Work with Difficult People

This is another valuable truth for everyone wondering how to learn graphic design.

A bunch of graphic design students will never share the same ideas. Thus, collaboration could be challenging and people may eventually butt heads. Egos will collide. Your ideas may be going to tear apart. The good news is that such interactions can prepare you for the future.

Graphic designers will rarely see eye to eye with colleagues or clients. Learning to work with difficult people and find a compromise is exceptionally important in college. If you manage to become a good team player, building a successful career, later on, will be a much easier task.

Deadlines = Staying Up All Night

Do you believe that you will remain organized throughout graphic design school? Think again!

Most students are deadline artists and graphic design students are certainly far from an exception.

You will have to stay up all night when a project deadline approaches. Being a good graphic designer isn’t about just doing the job when you feel inspired. The client will ask you to complete the project which will make you work more often. The school will prepare you well for this aspect of being a graphic design professional.

Prepare the coffee and the dark chocolate as a deadline approaches. Even if you don’t feel like it, you will need time to finish a complex task. The good thing is that once you manage to accomplish the goal, you will feel amazing and victorious.

Criticism Will Occur – Don’t Take It Personally

Criticism provides graphic design students with growth opportunities

Having your work massacred by a professor or a group of students is going to be painful, especially in the beginning. After all, your creativity will come under attack. In the very beginning, graphic design students find it almost impossible not to take criticism personally.

If you want to build a career in the field, you cannot be sensitive to criticism.

No two people view an idea or its execution in the exact same way. While you may think that your work is brilliant, others will fail to see the freshness and the practical appeal.

Do you think that getting criticized in college is harsh? So, wait till you begin working with actual human beings. Sometimes, you will have to make adjustments that you don’t really feel. In such instances, it’s a good idea to explain your reasoning for the selection of certain elements. If you manage to deliver the message across, chances are that you’ll eventually reach a compromise.

Those Who Find a Niche Will Be Highly Successful

Many Graphic Design students get attracted to a certain niche. Among these, some students have found their talent. Both of these should definitely explore such paths.

The truth of the matter is that niche knowledge will make it easier for you to establish a graphic design career upon your graduation.

Graphic design students who take specialized courses in fields like mobile app design, web design, user interface animation, advertising design, typography, and digital illustration can all expect excellent career prospects.

General courses build a great foundation but the more you dig in a certain direction, the more marketable your skills will become.

So Much More Than Design

Graphic design school isn’t just about being creative and mastering the execution. You will have to deal with many additional things.

On occasions, graphic designers will have to do copywriting for their clients. They’ll need to proofread content that may still feature errors and that could potentially ruin a campaign. Graphic designers will also need to work on user experiences, they’ll need to be excellent communicators, they may have to familiarize themselves with HTML and they may also have to become photographers.

Graphic design is a truly interdisciplinary field. The more skills you manage to acquire in school, the easier it will become to acquire a job or find clients later on.

Internships Are the Key to Success

While in school, you should look for as many internships as you could find. You can go for paid as well as the free internship. Because it does not going to really matter. Gaining experience is incredibly important in a highly competitive world.

A school will give you the theory and the practical skills to begin practicing. You, however, will not have the practical knowledge required to deal with clients, project briefs, and coworkers.

Graphic design internships will result in a well-rounded education. The sooner you begin pursuing such opportunities, the better. There is no such thing as a bad opportunity, a bad employer or an unqualified client. All of the practice you can get will help in a smooth transition to the real world upon graduation.

The Best Designers Take Responsibility for the Work That They Do

Take ownership of your successes. Take ownership of your failures. View them as learning opportunities. If you stand behind your ideas and your work, others will respect you.

Taking responsibility for failure in front of your professors will show your maturity level. In the beginning, it may feel convenient to dodge the bullet and blame the circumstances or somebody else (my dog ate the homework – the cliché lives on!).

Brilliant graphic designers know what they’re doing and they stand 100 percent behind every single decision. Understand that some of your ideas will miss the mark and that’s ok. Don’t distance yourself from the failure, instead look for ways to make things better the next time around.

Being a graphic design student is a lot of fun but it will also become challenging on occasions. Be hungry for knowledge and open to new experiences. Don’t limit yourself to the things you know well – allow yourself to fail every now and then. When you learn these truths, you will improve your experience and make the most of the educational opportunities ahead of you.

 

When you do become a designer, make sure you come back to us for your vinyl banners!

 

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Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is an entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs, an industry leading graphic design, print, and sign business with multiple locations throughout the United States. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into an international printing powerhouse focused on helping businesses improve their marketing and branding with everything from retail signage to packaging, to trade show displays.
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