The graphic design field is diverse, leading to careers in technical web design and coding; print media layout, illustration and visual arts – and then some. Whatever your specialty, developing a fruitful career in graphics is no easy feat. Following a few key rules with help you succeed.

The skills to succeed

It pays to consider where you want to be and to specialize. High school and college are great places to explore career adventures, and you really should make the most of every resource available to you. Are there any clubs or extracurricular activities to investigate? Have you visited your guidance counselor? Are there any computer programs, books, or organizations useful to research? Investing the time now will pay dividends for your future career success. If it’s something you’re passionate about, there is no harm in putting out feelers now. Of course, few things will help as much as practice; whether you’re interested in web design, illustration, or the visual arts, get sketching or coding, and develop a portfolio that will really demonstrate your skills.

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There are numerous other things that you could do to advance your career in graphic design: network with similarly minded designers; develop an online presence, create your own design identity, be prepared to work as an intern or freelancer, and never be afraid to approach companies. They will often admire your guts – and you never know until you ask, right? It’s also a great idea to enter competitions, which can be a fantastic introduction to companies and design experts. Even if you don’t win, you can never be quite sure who’s seen your work!

Standing out from the crowd

In a field as desirable as graphic design, it is important to stand out from the crowd; attempting to impress with mediocre photos or a lackluster portfolio seldom works for anyone. It’s a great idea to research what’s out there before pitching to anybody. After all, thinking outside of the box, and developing something new and fresh, is one of the best ways to get noticed.

These days there are numerous websites offering free images and videos for graphic designers’ use, and this can be a great place to start. Whether you wish to practice and develop your skills, build up a portfolio, or venture into the world of commercial projects, it can be a good idea to start small with these professional stock files. Additionally, these fantastic resources can be a great basis of inspiration and will help you to decide upon the angle in which you’re most interested, or even talented. Those who take the time to research their prospects and subject matter are often the people rewarded with the longest, most prosperous, careers.

Although hugely competitive, graphic design is one of the most rewarding fields to work in, providing opportunities for travel, new experiences, and broadened horizons. While majoring in graphic design, choosing a specialization, applying for jobs, and networking are all fantastic ways to start your career; there are few things as effective as a creative, dynamic portfolio. This is the first thing potential employers will review, and it will speak volumes about the type of designer you are. Never be fear being creative, particularly when it comes to making your presence felt in the graphics world, and take the time to think carefully about where you want to be. With a little hard work, dedication, and fresh thinking, a world of opportunities awaits.