How to Become a Graphic Designer

What is a Graphic Designer?

Graphic designers are visual communicators who create concepts by hand or by using specialized graphic design software.


How to become a Graphic Designer?

You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a design related subject like graphic design, art and design, communication design, or illustration.

Getting work experience during your course will give you an advantage. Talk to your university careers service about work experience, internship and year placement opportunities as well as any support offered to help you build a portfolio.

For the entry requirements, you’ll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

You could also take a college course like a Level 2 Technical Award in Graphic Design or A level Graphic Communication, and use this to join a company as a design assistant.

You would need a good portfolio to showcase your skills to employers.

For the entry requirements, you may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course


Graphic Designer duties

Graphic Designer duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Schedule projects and define budget constraints
  • Conceptualize visuals based on requirements
  • Prepare rough drafts and present ideas
  • Develop illustrations, logos and other designs using software or by hand
  • Use the appropriate colors and layouts for each graphic
  • Contributing to team efforts by accomplishing tasks as needed.
  • Communicating with clients about layout and design.
  • Creating a wide range of graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and websites with software such as photoshop.
  • Reviewing final layouts and suggesting improvements when necessary
  • Present the design to clients or the art director
  • Incorporate changes recommended by the clients into the final design
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them


Graphic Designer Skills

To be an effective Graphic Designer, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work methodically and meet deadlines
  • A strong eye for visual composition
  • Effective time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Able to give and receive constructive criticism

How to apply for Graphic Designer jobs:

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the Graphic Designer jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for Graphic Designer jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs


What does a Graphic Designer do?

The job of a Graphic Designer varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of Graphic Designer job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a Graphic Designer include;

  • discuss the client’s requirements and come up with creative ideas
  • work out budgets and deadlines
  • produce rough drafts and present your ideas
  • prepare designs using specialist software
  • make presentations to clients for feedback and approval
  • produce a final layout
  • explain requirements to other design professionals
  • keep up with design trends and developments in software tools

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