The market demand for graphic designers is increasing steadily, though the number of graphic designers looking for jobs has skyrocketed. Something about the merger of art and science draws a lot of people into the field of graphic design, and while opportunities abound it can be difficult to get ahead of the competitions. Learn about
Before you get into any of the technical areas of graphic design, you need to understand the basics of layout and page composition, both for print and digital designs. Your school will teach you all about the visual aspects of graphic design, such as use of colors and contrast, lines to draw the eye and balance to create a complete-looking image. Even though art may be instinctual to you, it pays to have a thorough understanding of exactly why certain elements work.
One of the biggest difficulties faced by someone who wants to self-teach is learning to use the programs required for graphic design. Even if you are a master on a computer, just having access to these programs can be problematic. Buying Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Acrobat just so you can have something to learn on is expensive. One of the benefits of attending a school is that they can provide you access to all of these programs as well as instruction on how to use them.
Whether you plan on freelancing or working for a firm, a lot of your jobs will involve designing advertisements or branding. This requires a specific approach to your work, one that it helps to be taught. There are a number of rules for designing ads, from color combinations that work in logos to the best placement of text. Not to mention understanding how to tie a client's brand identity into your design.
To get your image from conception to completion, you need to know how to turn the design into an appropriate file for printing. This is easier said than done, and you're likely to run into a few roadblocks in this stage of the process. It's worthwhile to be prepared and a design school will definitely teach you what to expect.
Designing in the Real World
Some of the most beneficial things you'll learn in school for graphic design are in the area of professional development. A good graphic design school will teach you about common industry practices to prepare you to enter the job market. You will also be introduced to professional within the industry and given opportunities to intern and work within the field while you study, thanks to the connections of your instructors and the school.
Finally, you'll end your schooling with a portfolio of work taken from your assignments. A strong portfolio is critical when it comes to getting your first job, and will cause you to stand out as a candidate. Designers who did not go to school may find it difficult to break into the industry without a ready portfolio. A good school of design will help you put together a professional portfolio.