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10 Things You Need To Know When Starting Graphic Design School

Posted on September 13th, 2016 by Florida Technical College

In a world taken over by social media, with information at the tip of your fingers, career paths that lean towards the digital genre are becoming more appealing, and more popular. We advertise online and on television, we communicate through the touch of a screen, and we buy, sell, and trade all in digital form. For those with a love for technology and a talent in art, a Graphic Design Associate Degree may be a perfect fit for you. Before taking the plunge, here are some things that will help you get on the right track to becoming a successful graphic design school student.   Have A Solid Portfolio Now that you’ve come to a point in your life where you are seriously considering graphic design school, it’s also a good time to make sure you have a rockin’ portfolio. Show prospective schools your talent by compiling your best work. Chances are you were sketching away designs during class in high school anyways. Bring those designs and sketches to life by presenting them in your portfolio. Once you’ve been accepted into a graphic design school, keep going! Graphic design courses will give you the chance to create interesting, unique, and creative work in a variety of mediums. Your time spent learning the skills you’ll need for a successful career in graphic design are the best time to develop your portfolio under the expert direction of your instructors. Attending courses at a technical college for a graphic design associate degree will allow you to stay focused on graphic design and design concepts, making each assignment you do a potential creative piece for your portfolio.   Have An Interest In Business Whether you aspire to work for a firm, or start your own after graphic design school, business knowledge is a must. If you have the opportunity to attend graphic design courses consider adding some business courses to strengthen your skillset. Business knowledge can help you increase the visibility of your products and services while creating a stronger identity for yourself, brand, or future business in the design world. Even the time spent in school working towards your degree can be utilized to start making a name for yourself in the design world.     Clients Will Come First While attending your graphic design courses you’ll be given the freedom to make most of the creative decisions, and while you will always be working toward a deadline or assignment due date, these projects can be completed around your own schedule.  It is important to know that while you will be producing the final product, many designers must work around the schedules and within the timeline of their client’s needs. This often means late nights working on a project with a deadline, and even incorporating some elements that you may not be completely in favor of. Many clients come to designers with a vision, and it is your job to turn that vision into a reality.   Pay Attention In Art Class Getting a graphic design associate degree doesn’t mean everything you learn will be on a screen. Learning how to draw and sketch is an important skill you should continue to perfect while attending graphic design school. Building a visual vocabulary to communicate your ideas is another benefit of attending graphic design classes. While being able to draw your layout plans is essential, knowledge of color coordination and schemes is also important. These fundamentals, along with typography, and layout concept and design are just some of the courses graphic design schools offer. Be Prepared To Invest Not only will you be spending money on books and tuition, but you will also need to invest in a good computer and some sort of software. While sketching still plays a role, most of your time in graphic design classes will be spent using creative software like Adobe Creative Cloud and Serif DrawPlus X8. While your school will provide you with a list of the required software programs and equipment, keep yourself in the know by researching the latest tools being utilized by top designers. Along with investing in software programs, buying yourself a quality computer to work on during graphic design school can make all the difference. Consider a fast computer with plenty of memory space to store creative files, and opting for a larger screen can make designing easier. Most graphic design schools recommend Apple work stations, and students will often create designs using DSLR cameras, HD video cameras, and large-format printers.     Be Prepared For Late Nights, Odd Hours, And Deadlines Design school, like any other schooling, comes with more assignments than you hope for, which means you live your life by a deadline or due date. While you can make your own schedule while working toward a graphic design degree, you should still be prepared to manage your time according to the demands of others. Design projects will come from you, and this means that you will most likely spend late nights awake and hunched over your work striving for perfection. When a final product is a direct representation of ourselves, our creativity, and our talents, we tend to work on it until our eyes run dry, and the sun comes up. Coffee anyone?   Stay Up To Date On Design Trends You don’t have to be a graphic design school graduate to start keeping yourself up-to-date. Expect to continuously discover new trends emerging in aesthetics and design concepts. In today’s ever evolving world, technology is changing at lightning-fast speed, and you’ll need to brush up on your skills every day. Luckily with information at our fingertips this has never been easier. Doing things like attending design conferences like the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Design) conference can benefit your education and you’ll learn about emerging trends and technologies from experts in the field. Even graphic design books and magazines can introduce you to the latest aesthetic and technology trends. Graphic design schools will offer these materials and opportunities, so […]