Good question this. Realistically, I think this may take a few blog posts to give a comprehensive answer to this very broad question. So Part 1 it is, not sure how many parts it will take...
I'm going to assume here that you are at school or college. I do not know may toddlers who have expressed an interest in graphic design, my three year old son will occasionally crayon on the wall, but I see this as tagging rather than any other form of typographic inclination. So let's assume you are at school and thinking a job in graphic design might be for you.
What is graphic design?
Nowadays, schools teach a drop of graphic design, in some form or other. I've not had a huge amount of experience of the current curriculum, but I have seen a fair few poster designs from work experience candidates that we get in our office, who are soaking up as much work experience as possible during their summer holidays.
I don't know what Miss Potts (my old teacher) would say graphic design is, but I'll have a go at defining it.
Graphic Design is the visual communication of a message, idea, brand or dissemination of information using a combination of typography, layout and images, to solve a communication problem.
That's my stab anyway.
Every cereal box, every poster, every opening screen to your favourite TV show, every logo or magazine is created by a graphic designer. We are commercial artists with a purpose.
So, if you are interested in what you see, how it is made, designed and you think you might have an opinion on how it could be better or how brilliant it is, then you are heading towards the first step to being a graphic designer.
Graphic designers tend to be a certain 'breed'. It’s more than just a job. Almost every graphic designer I know not only does their job day in and day out, but they also carry their creativity into other areas of their lives. Graphic designers tend to have personal projects that they run, just for the love of it, whether it is designing their own typeface, dabbling in illustration or other artistic pursuits.
When a (good) graphic designer takes on a project they tend to push the boundaries and put in that extra effort. They don't simply do the job and clock off. It means more than that.
What I'm thinking these blog posts might cover is listed below:
- Choosing a university and getting accepted
- How to get the most from university
- What if you don't want to go to university?
- Work experience and internships
- Apply for a job in graphic design
- Being the best you can be