How Does Learning Graphic Design Compare with Other Skills?

Explore the vast field of graphic design and how it can open doors to various creative endeavours such as web design, motion graphics design, and visual design. Discover how learning graphic design skills can lead to an array of interesting and diverse career opportunities, from traditional print mediums to digital projects.

Key Insights

  • Graphic design is a broad field of creative arts that encompasses diverse disciplines from traditional print mediums to digital projects, offering a wide array of career opportunities.
  • Related training options to graphic design include visual design, web design, motion graphics design, and video editing, each offering specific tools and skills for various industries.
  • Visual design focuses on developing designs for digital design projects, such as webpages and mobile applications, utilizing tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe XD, Figma, or Sketch.
  • Web design incorporates a stronger element of computer science with programming languages such as HTML/CSS and JavaScript, alongside the visual and interactive design elements.
  • Motion graphics design, utilizing applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, allows designers to animate their static designs, creating projects from simple 2D animated logos to complex 3D digital effects.
  • Video editing focuses more on technical aspects of design, using programs like Adobe Premiere Pro, and doesn't necessarily require prior visual and graphic design training.
  • Noble Desktop offers a wide selection of courses and comprehensive training options for graphic design and its related fields, both in-person and online, with the option to retake the course for free within a year.

One of the important factors that go into deciding to learn a new skill is researching complementary and related skills. Doing so will help you make more informed decisions about what you want to learn and it will help you decide whether or not learning a specific skill is the right decision for you. You will also learn what kind of skills you may want to learn to complement your training later on. Read on to learn more about related graphic design training options such as learning visual design, web design, motion graphics design, or even 2d and 3d animation.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a field of creative arts that focuses on projecting visual communication, often built of combinations of text, images, photographs, and other visual elements, with specific goals. Graphic design covers a wide array of different artistic disciplines and endeavors. Still, at its core, it is the act of using visual imagery to communicate with audiences and convey feelings and ideas that language alone wouldn’t be able to express. As a subset of the fine arts, graphic design skills are used in virtually every industry, but they are particularly prominent in advertising and branding. Advertisements, product packaging, logos, branded merchandise, and other promotional materials all demonstrate graphic design skills. Any business or organization looking to reach an audience will want to hire those skilled in graphic design.

Since graphic design covers a wide range of artistic disciplines, no two Graphic Designers will be working with the same toolset or on the same kinds of projects. Some will work in traditional print mediums, such as the publishing or magazine industry. Some will work on designing logos and branded merchandise for companies to place on billboards, hats, and other promotional materials. Some will work on digital projects, building webpages and mobile application assets. Others will design infographics, posters, and signage for activist organizations or non-profits. Graphic design is a wide-open field of diverse artistic endeavors, and learning graphic design skills will open many doors for creatives.

Read more about what graphic design is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Graphic Design?

Graphic design represents a wide-ranging field of visual expression, which means there is virtually no limit to the kinds of images that sufficiently skilled creatives can create. As the field of graphic design is so expensive, creatives can make use of their skills in both professional and personal contexts. As professional Graphic Designers, creatives will be tasked with building imagery that is both evocative and communicates complex persuasive ideas to their audience of consumers. Graphic Designers will build the iconography of companies and brands, build the images that audiences come to associate with those companies, and help construct memorable advertising campaigns, promotional material, and product packaging.

Graphic design skills are also useful for non-professionals who want to persuade large audiences. Small business owners, start-up entrepreneurs, or even creatives working in marketplaces like Etsy may wish to learn more about graphic design to build their brand identities and set themselves apart from their competitors. Activists and organizers can learn graphic design skills to build more visually appealing and persuasive designs for flyers and infographics. Politicians will hire graphic designers to build campaign materials. As long as someone attempts to communicate visually to an audience, they will benefit from either learning graphic design skills or working closely alongside someone who knows them.

Skills Related to Graphic Design

Graphic design is a broad and expansive skill set, referring to almost any creative work that involves visual communication to a mass audience. Owing to this expansiveness, most skills that complement graphic design training will add a few new tools to your repertoire that allow you to work in specific subfields or industries. Read on to learn more about the various options available to complement or guide your graphic design training.

Visual Design

One of the most common uses for graphic design training is in the field of visual design. Visual design refers to developing designs and assets for the user interfaces and other interactive elements of digital design projects, such as webpages and mobile applications. This field takes the work of the Graphic Designer and translates into a purely digital space. Visual Designers will still use tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create assets for their digital layouts, but they will also use tools like Adobe XD, Figma, or Sketch to create wireframe layouts and interactive prototypes for their designs. These tools each have their own affordances and deficiencies and choosing the right one to learn is a key part of the visual design training process. To help you learn more about the differences between these tools, Nobles provides students with a free primer on the major differences between Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD

Like graphic design, visual design is primarily utilized in industries with a heavy consumer-facing element, since these industries care the most about their digital presence. Also, because visual design and graphic design are so closely related to one another, many career-focused training programs, such as Noble’s UI Design Certificate program will teach applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign with a specific emphasis on how they are used in the field of visual design, making these training programs a good way to learn two different in-demand skill sets at the same time.

Web Design

Like visual design, web design focuses on how designers build and implement the visual and interactive design elements that make up a digital interface or webpage. The primary difference between web design training and visual design training is that Web Designers will be expected to have a solid background understanding in computer science as to let them program the web application’s functionality. Visual design strictly handles the look and feel of a digital application and all of the programming tasks are offloaded onto a Web Developer. Web Designers, on the other hand, will be trained in programming languages such as HTML/CSS and JavaScript, allowing them to build and implement these designs.

The primary difference in terms of training is straightforward. Web design training will spend about half of the lesson time (or more) teaching you how to code in HTML/CSS and JavaScript. These lessons will help students understand what can be designed in a digital space and how those limitations will inform their graphic design training. Many of these classes, such as Noble’s Web Design Certificate program, will bypass the graphic design training entirely, meaning that students looking to also build the digital assets that go into a web design will need to learn Photoshop and Illustrator in other contexts.

Motion Graphics Design

For students looking to carry their graphic design training forward, a common path is learning motion graphics design applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. These tools let you take your static designs, including those built-in programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, and bring them to life through animation. Learning these tools will teach students how to add weight, motion, and fluidity to their designs and let them build everything from simple 2D animated logos all the way to complex 3D digital effects for video post-production. These are advanced graphic design skills that will require significant additional training, but they are also incredibly versatile skills that allow creatives to add an extra dimension to their work. Learning motion graphics applications can help you find work in the field of online content creation or in the film and television industry, which is a career goal held by a large number of creatives.

Motion graphics training programs, such as Noble’s Motion Graphics Design Certificate program, emphasize the advanced skills required to use programs like After Effects and Premiere Pro. They won’t include training in skills like Photoshop and Illustrator, even though knowledge of those programs is a requirement to make use of the advanced motion graphics design features of these applications. You’ll want to check on the specific curriculums of each training program before you enroll in a motion graphics course.

Video Editing

Some designers may find that they are more interested in the technical aspects of the design than the visually evocative ones but they aren’t particularly invested in learning to code. One path to consider for these students is learning video editing techniques using programs like Adobe Premiere Pro. Video editing is somewhat distinct from the other creative fields you can enter into for a few reasons. Most notably, video editing training doesn’t necessarily build heavily on previous visual and graphic design training, so you enter into a training program without much prerequisite knowledge in skills like Photoshop or Illustrator. This can make learning video editing techniques ideal for students who aren’t particularly interested in the specific graphic design career path that starts with 2D traditional design work. In addition, video editing is more of a technical artistic process than some other graphic design skills, since video editing theory is as much about ensuring that a video project works on a technical level as it does on a creative level. The tasks of a Video Editor include responsibilities like clearing up audio files, maintaining continuity between shots, adding digital effects with greenscreen compositing technologies, and removing unwanted artifacts from a shot.

Video editing training programs, like the Video Editing Certificate program offered through Noble Desktop, tend to emphasize the technical aspects of video editing with a focus on using tools like Premiere Pro and After Effects to make necessary cuts and edits to a video file. One of the results of this process is that these classes tend to prioritize teaching you how to make edits with less attention paid to the question of why certain edits get made. That isn’t to say that career-certificate programs will include no training in theories of editing but you will likely need to do work outside of these classes to learn the field's history.

Learn Graphic Design Skills with Noble Desktop

Interested in learning graphic design? There are a few different options available. It’s possible to either study individual graphic design tools in accelerated bootcamps or learn complementary graphic design skills in more career-focused training programs. Both graphic design training courses are available to students through Noble Desktop, both in-person and online. These courses are taught by experienced instructors who can teach students important graphic design techniques and give them vital feedback on their designs. Even online, Noble strives to keep class sizes small, ensuring that students can interface directly with their instructors. Plus, all of Noble’s courses have the option to retake the course for free within a year. This allows students to hone their skills, cover material that may have given them difficulty, or just get more hands-on practice and feedback on their designs.

For students looking to learn the programs most commonly associated with professional graphic design, Noble offers a wide selection of bootcamps. These include training courses in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, all of which are industry-standard tools. These courses will provide students with hands-on training in the advanced techniques to manipulate and edit photos, build vector graphic illustrations, or construct layout designs. Each of these courses will guide students through practical exercises replicating the kinds of projects built by professional Graphic Designers. Each of these courses will teach an individual tool, but because they are all part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, learning one tool will ease future training and greatly expand how creatives can use multiple programs simultaneously.

Students looking to build a career in graphic design may wish to consider Noble’s Graphic Design Certificate program. This accelerated training program will teach students all three major 2D graphic design tools. Students will learn Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign work separately, then they will learn how these programs complement one another, introducing students to new and expansive ways to build graphic designs. Since this is a career-focused bootcamp, students will receive one-on-one career mentorship. The final portion of the course is dedicated to helping students build a practical portfolio of sample design that they can take onto the job market. For students looking to turn a passion for graphic design into a career, Noble’s certificate programs are an ideal place to receive the necessary skills training. You can also browse the full list of schools for graphic design classes on the Noble website.

Key Takeaway

  • Since graphic design is such an expansive field of study, there are a lot of comparable, related paths that you can go down to learn both intermediate and advanced graphic design skills.
  • Graphic designs students who are interested in taking their work in the digital world may want to consider visual design training or web design training. Web Designers will need to learn how to code.
  • Students interested in more advanced graphic design training may want to consider learning motion graphics design in order to add the appearance of weight and depth to their projects through animation.
  • Video editing is not directly related to graphic design, but it is an ideal alternative field to explore for students who enjoy the technical side of design projects but are less keen on learning computer programming.
  • No matter who route you choose to go with your graphic design training, Noble Desktop offers comprehensive training options to fit your needs, available in person or online.

How to Learn Graphic Design

Master graphic design with hands-on training. Graphic design is the production of digital and print media that follows certain conventions of style, color, and typography in order to evoke a positive reaction from its viewers.

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