In this text, we will try to give you tips and guidelines on how to find a job as a graphic designer. Let’s start with what you need to know about the job of a graphic designer.
The job of a graphic designer is to create a visual concept for the purpose of presenting ideas that inspire, inform, and attract consumers. Certain computer programs are used for this, such as Adobe programs, CorelDraw, and the like. The goal is to create an overall look and design that can be applied to a variety of materials, such as advertisements, brochures, catalogs, logos, posters, etc. In essence, every company needs to have a graphic designer and a team of marketing experts within their business, in order to easily create marketing materials.
Graphic designers combine art and technology to present an idea through an image, for which they use various design elements. For those who are already working in the niche, whether they are beginners or not, it is quite clear what a design job means. But what beginners in graphic design face is how to find jobs/gigs as graphic designers.
Below you will read some of the steps on how to find a job as a graphic designer, but also a lot of tips and guidelines. The purpose of this text is to help beginners in graphic design who still don’t know where to start in finding a job and whose biggest difficulty is the lack of experience in graphic design.
Steps in Finding a Job
Some of the next steps in finding a job as a graphic designer are something you probably already know, but you will certainly find some of the steps that will be useful in your further work and affirmation.
Designers have an additional challenge when creating their own resume – it must not only include compelling content but also look great. The content of the resume should be concise, legible, and clear, and most importantly, tailored to the job you are applying for.
When creating a resume for a particular job, match the keywords in the resume to those used in the job description you are applying for. Keep in mind that communicating ideas in a graphic designer’s job is indispensable as part of a set of skills you should possess. Since this is not a text on how to create an enviable resume, you can find more about this topic on the Internet – there really are a handful of texts and tips about it.
Graphic designers are primarily creative people who give the greatest importance to details and the perception of ideas. A portfolio is a document that highlights the skills, work experience, talent, and creativity of a designer. A portfolio is a basis on which the decision to choose a graphic designer for a particular project or job is based. The portfolio should include work experience, some samples of the designer’s work, as well as testimonials of past clients about the quality of the graphic designer’s work. Of course, it is essential to write a few sentences about yourself, or the brand you represent to clients. It is a way to present your work and sell the service you offer to clients.
Before you create a portfolio, you need to have enough works to display (the collection should consist of at least 20 quality works). The works need to be divided into categories (logos, brochures, online ads…), but also to show the diversity in the subject of the works. It is also advisable to include the recommendations and opinions of the clients you have worked with. The presentation of works should be simple, clear, and harmonious, i.e. eye-catching.
Now comes the most important part: how to create quality works and get inspiration? It is actually simple – practice. No matter how you come to become a graphic designer (course, study, etc.), practice and persistent work on improvement are what will set you apart from the crowd. You can start by creating a logo for yourself or creating a complete visual identity for an imaginary client. There is a site called FakeClients that allows you to practice design based on the requirements of imaginary clients.
Just like designing for imaginary clients, redesigning an existing brand is a great way to gain additional design experience. Redesigning existing brands can be ideal if it is a small brand for which branding can be improved. The more time you invest in graphic design, the easier the design process will be. Each new project teaches you something new, whether it is the use of new keyboard shortcuts or something about color combination and theory.
Free Projects & Cooperation
In addition to the practice, in order to have 20+ quality works, you need inspiration and projects to work on. You can find inspiration for graphic designers on some of the following sites: Pinterest, Dribbble, Behance (full of showcases of designs for betting sites, some of which are quite famous and whose features can be found here), Abduzeedo, Awwwards, and many other sites. Now the question is: how do you come up with the right projects to work on to showcase those works? You can reach clients for whom you will do free graphic design services in several ways: by posting on social networks, sending offers to companies via e-mail, offers to cooperate on projects that fellow designers are already working on, and the like.
In addition, you can contact influencers and offer free photo editing in exchange for a recommendation. All projects in which you participate in any way will enrich your portfolio, introduce you to all aspects of working with clients, bring you recommendations, but also connect you with the community of designers and employers.
Freelancing or part-time work is one of the first tips you will get when you ask any designer for a job. Working on real projects and with clients who give you a concrete briefing is the best possible experience. It will benefit you, not only in terms of skills development but also in direct communication with clients. The best way to find part-time jobs is online, on various networks and platforms.
Some of the more popular platforms where graphic designers work part-time are Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr, 99design, and others.
Online presence is a must for all graphic designers. An Internet platform for displaying works and maintaining communication with people interested in graphic design is essential. You can expose your portfolio to potential clients in different ways:
- via social networks (Facebook pages, LinkedIn profile, Pinterest, Instagram),
- through sites like Behance, Dribbble, and the like,
- through your own website.
Online Groups and Communities of Designers
One of the best ways to stay up to date with news in the field of graphic design, to be informed, and to share experiences is to connect online with the designer community. You can join various Facebook groups in which they offer designers a job, but in which designers also show works, share experiences, and support each other. It is also important to join Behance, Dribble, and similar communities.
In such communities, you can find mentors who can review work samples and offer advice on techniques that will improve the quality of your work. There are many advantages to interacting with people who do similar or the same job.
Influencers and Blogs
In order to improve your skills and knowledge, it is desirable to follow influential individuals from the field in which you work. You can get inspiration from famous graphic designers, learn how to run social profiles, learn new techniques, and most of them are very happy to share their experience and knowledge.
Some of the famous designers are Mike Perry, Jacob Cass, Jennet Liaw, David Airey, Annie Atkins, and many others. In addition to influencers, you can follow blogs dealing with graphic design topics, such as Adobe Creative Magazine, Canva’s Design School, Creative Bloq, Inspiration Grid, and others.
A successful career involves a lifelong education to learn the basics of innovative design. Continuous improvement and work on improving skills mean investing in education, obtaining certificates, participating in competitions, but also improving communication skills, management skills, etc.
On the YouTube platform, many successful graphic designers hold tutorials from different areas that you can follow and thus learn. Reading books on graphic design is another way to hone your knowledge.
Give it One More Try
If you have tried many times to find a job and been rejected, it does not mean that you should give up doing this. Every beginning is difficult, and giving up is not an option. Professional upgrades and constant improvement are a must to be closer to success.
Keep in mind that every designer, no matter how good he or she is, has works behind them that they are not so proud of. You will probably have a certain amount of work that you would not want to put in your portfolio because, in design, your word is not the last but the client you work for. Sometimes clients, contrary to all the directions and advice given by designers choose and modify visuals to the extent that these don’t show all the abilities of a graphic designer.