Graphic Design Prerequisites

What to Learn Before Graphic Design

Discover the wide-ranging field of graphic design and the plethora of career opportunities it provides, from designing brand logos to creating memorable advertising campaigns. Learn how to master tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and the best methods to make this learning process easier and more effective.

Key Insights

  • Graphic design is a creative art form used to communicate visually with audiences; it finds application in creating posters, advertisements, logos, merchandise, and many other visual projects.
  • There are no formal prerequisites for learning graphic design, but basic computer literacy is necessary as most tools used are computer-assisted design software programs.
  • Understanding the differences between various graphic design tools, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, can significantly enhance your design efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Learning theories of composition, color theory, and principles of typography can provide valuable insights for making informed design decisions.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive, hands-on graphic design training courses, both individually focused and career-focused, taught by experienced instructors.
  • Apart from mastery in design tools, Noble Desktop also provides one-on-one career mentorship, helping students build a practical portfolio of sample designs for the job market.

Graphic design is blending text, images, colors, and other graphic elements to create images and iconography, which are intended to communicate meaning. This can mean posters, advertisements, magazine or newspaper spreads, and even things like logos or product packaging. You might worry that Graphic Design will be too hard to learn. This guide will help you understand the best methods for learning Graphic Design and what you should study to make the learning process easier. This way, you’ll be successful however you choose to apply your new skills.

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 Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

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 is attempting to communicate visually to an audience, they will benefit from either learning graphic design skills or working closely alongside someone who knows them.

Is Graphic Design Easy to Learn?

Graphic design is a creative process, and while the tools are relatively easy to learn, mastering graphic design skills can be difficult. Learning how to use tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign can be easy for beginners. However, beginners need to constantly practice their skills and work for quite some time to master the important techniques.

What to Know Before Learning Graphic Design

Graphic design training doesn’t have any formal prerequisites. Novices can download the tools necessary and begin experimenting right away. There are a few things that new designers may wish to consider learning before they dive in, however. They should ensure they are familiar with their computers, understand the different tools available to them, and consider brushing up on basic composition theories and techniques.

Computer Literacy

The most common graphic design tools are computer-assisted design software programs. This means that experimenting with graphic design tools will require familiarity with using a computer to navigate multiple files, applications, and folders. The programs are not hardware intensive, but students should know how to use their machines before learning programs like Illustrator.

Differences Between Tools

An important first step to learning graphic design is figuring out which tools you want to use and what each tool is best suited to do. Users who aren’t familiar with the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator, for instance, may attempt to use one of those programs to work on a project better suited to the other. Noble offers a free introductory course in graphic design that will explain to students how these tools differ and when to use each.

Theories of Composition

Since it is a creative skill, anyone hoping to learn graphic design skills will benefit greatly from learning the theories and principles of composition. Learning to use a tool isn’t helpful if you don't know what to do with it. Learning things like color theory or philosophies of typography and composition will give students an understanding to make informed decisions as they build their designs.

Learn Graphic Design with Hands-on Training at 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.

Key Insights

  • Graphic design is the art of communicating with large audiences through visual mediums. Learning graphic design skills will help users build various projects, such as posters, advertisements, flyers, infographics, logos, merchandise, and other visual projects.
  • There are no formal prerequisites for learning graphic design skills, though some users may wish to gain some background knowledge before starting.
  • Graphic design training will mostly focus on computer-assisted design, meaning that students should be familiar with the basics of using computers.
  • Graphic design students should also review the different types of graphic design tools they can learn so they understand when to use one of them over another.
  • Theories of composition are also useful background knowledge for graphic design students, as it will help them make more informed choices when building designs.
  • Users looking to learn more about these tools should check out the graphic design training options available to them through Noble.

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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