What Can You Do with Graphic Design Skills?

Learn about the art of creating vibrant and evocative visual compositions through graphic design training, enabling you to leverage a unique range of creative opportunities in both your professional and personal life. Discover how learning graphic design skills can open up a myriad of career opportunities and personal uses with tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

Key Insights

  • Graphic design is a potent tool for creating compelling visual communication, extensively used in industries like advertising and branding.
  • The versatility of graphic design covers a broad spectrum of artistic disciplines, from traditional print mediums to digital projects, making it a promising career field with over 25,000 new jobs predicted in the next decade.
  • Mastering tools like Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop can establish a versatile skill set, pivotal in various professional contexts such as layout design, vector illustrations, and photo manipulation.
  • Graphic design skills can also cater to personal needs, such as building personal brand designs, visual advocacy for campaigns, and enhancing artistic endeavors.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive graphic design training courses and bootcamps, both in-person and online, taught by experienced instructors that can guide students in learning crucial graphic design techniques.
  • The median wage for graphic designers is $53,380 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $93,440, making it a lucrative career choice.

Graphic design is the art of creating vibrant and evocative visual compositions using design software and other creative tools. Graphic design training will give you access to many unique creative opportunities in your profession and personal life. Using tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, creatives can take advantage of digital tools that will significantly expand the canvas upon which they can work. If you are unsure that learning graphic design is right for you, consider reading on to learn more about the myriad uses of graphic design tools and techniques. Not only will learning graphic design open up a number of new career opportunities, but it also has a lot of potential personal uses.

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 are Some Professional Uses for Graphic Design?

Since graphic design is an important part of mass visual communication, these skills are employed in several different professional contexts. Learning to use tools like Photoshop and Illustrator will give you a versatile skill set that you can leverage in several different professional contexts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country is set to add more than 25,000 new Graphic Designer jobs in the next decade, making this a growing career field to consider entering.

Layout Design

One of the most commonly used professional graphic design tools is Adobe InDesign, the industry-standard tool for building page layouts. Many design professionals, particularly those working with print media, will be responsible for using these tools to create and edit page layouts that will be populated by other visual assets in preparation for completing a project. This work will include designing single-page layouts for print advertisements, multiple-page layouts for brochures, magazines, or newspapers, and multi-hundred-page layouts for book projects or other large print projects. In addition to working in print media, InDesign is frequently employed to design the layout for things like billboard advertisements or business cards, making it a versatile tool across industries.

To learn more about the professional uses for layout design tools like Adobe InDesign or to find out further information about learning these skills, please visit Noble’s Learn InDesign resources.

Building Vector Illustrations

Another commonly used graphic design tool in the professional world is Adobe Illustrator, which is the most commonly used vector graphics design application available for consumer use. Vector graphics are used to build illustrations and images out of lines, curves, points, and polygons, as opposed to pixels. The end result is an illustration that can be infinitely reproduced and re-sized to fit on almost any surface, unlike pixel-based images that become visible blocky when resized. Vector illustrations are incredibly common in commercial product design since almost all forms of branding, merchandising, and product packaging are designed using tools like Adobe Illustrator. Learning how to use vector graphics software will let you work closely on brand management and brand identity projects that are becoming increasingly relevant in the modern commercial marketplace.

To find out more about options for learning Adobe InDesign or learning more about the professional uses for the tool, consider consulting Noble’s Learn Illustrator articles. 


The final major professional graphic design tool within the Adobe Creative Cloud is their pixel design and editing tool, Photoshop. While Photoshop is most commonly used for editing and manipulating photographic images, it has a broader function in the graphic design field. Photoshop can be used to manipulate or create any pixelated digital image, and this offers users a great deal of fine control over what kinds of edits are made and how an image is altered. While vector images can be resized, raster images (images made of pixels) can be more finely altered, particularly around the edges and places where images begin to overlap. Photoshop is used heavily in fields such as digital and traditional advertising and it is commonly utilized in projects that involve photographs of people, places, and objects. These skills are used to subtly alter the appearance of an image and learning the tool offers creative opportunities to Graphic Designers who want to create more deliberate and subtle alterations to their work.

Anyone interested in learning more about the uses of Photoshop or how to start learning the program should consider visiting some of the articles on Noble’s Learn Photoshop resources page.

What are Some Personal Uses for Graphic Design?

Even if you aren’t considering a career in graphic design, there are a great variety of reasons that a creative or a new designer might want to consider learning graphic design tools. Whether you are interested in building your own personal brand, designing art for an organization or advocacy campaign, or simply expanding the canvas upon which you can work, there are a lot of good, non-professional reasons to pick up skills like Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.

Building Your Own Designs

Many individuals who work or regularly participate in creative fields or in professional settings may find that they occasionally need the services of a Graphic Designer. Whether you are starting your own business and need to design your first logo, trying to design iconography to get your band noticed online, or self-publishing your own creative work, there are a lot of different contexts in which you might need to employ a Graphic Designer. While hiring freelancers may be an ideal choice for anyone who thinks that they will only need to do this once or twice, anyone who thinks that they may regularly need to build posters, graphics, logos, or other modes of visual communication may want to consider learning how to use these tools for their own purposes. This will save you time and money in the long run, since you won’t have to hire freelancers and it will give you even more control over the work that is produced. 

Visual Advocacy

The primary use of visual communication is rhetorical. It is meant to convince an audience to take a course of action or to believe something, which is why it is so commonly associated with advertising and brand identity. However, this persuasive power extends beyond the commercial, and anyone hoping to utilize mass communication channels in order to persuade a large group of people would stand to benefit from learning graphic design skills. Whether you are working on an advocacy campaign to try and bring awareness to an issue, working on a political campaign to try and advance an agenda, or just looking to create visual graphics in support of someone or something, learning graphic design tools is likely the best way to ensure that those designs are thoughtful and persuasive. This will require additional training since simply knowing how to use a graphic design tool like Photoshop isn’t a substitute for knowing the theories of design that teach you why certain visual designs are more persuasive than others, but it is an important skill to pick up.

Artistic Endeavors

At the end of the day, all graphic design tools are tools to help enable and enhance creative projects. While many have become designed with commercial uses in mind, they are still excellent tools for aspiring artists and creatives. The digital canvas provided by tools like Photoshop and Illustrator can greatly enhance personal creative projects since they are designed to make artistic and creative work easier and more streamlined. Learning how to use Illustrator, for instance, will assist creatives looking to build a portfolio of digital drawings and will open the door to learning animation and motion graphics applications. Learning how to use Photoshop can help users build their own impressive, creative visual designs and help them learn how to manipulate minor aspects of their designs on a digital device. This can be incredibly beneficial for artists looking to edit or modify their own work. Finally, learning these tools is the first step towards learning how to expand your work onto a fully digital canvas, which will give artists access to creative tools that were unheard of a decade ago.

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 crucial 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 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

  • Whether you are looking for work in a creative field or you want to learn new creative skills for personal projects, there are several different reasons to learn graphic design skills.
  • Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop are all commonly used tools in a number of professional industries, particularly ones that have a significant consumer-facing component, since these tools are vital for advertising, merchandising, and brand identity.
  • These are also excellent skills to learn for creatives, artists, advocates, and entrepreneurs looking to enhance their personal projects and brand identities.
  • No matter why you are looking to learn graphic design skills, Noble Desktop has you covered with comprehensive training classes, available both in person and 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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