5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Out As A Freelance Graphic Designer


As graphic designers, we are meant to be visual story tellers, am I right? Creating all kinds of visuals is our job, be it print or web, but the main task is telling a story. Through a combination of pictures, illustrations, words, texts, and elements and principles of design, we tell a story, engage with viewers and create a reaction. Graphic design is essential to any company looking to put their foot out in the great big world of marketing to stand out from the competition. As a graphic designer, being creative, educating yourself in the basics, using the right tools and equipment and choosing the right marketing visual is key to success. Here are a few things I wish someone had bothered to mention to me, when I started out as a freelancer.

1. KNOW YOUR BASICS

To become a successful graphic designer, you need to be creative, follow trends and understand your client's requirements. But you also need to know the basics of graphic design. Learning about the elements of design, principles of design, colour theory and psychology, the use and meaning of shapes in graphic design and learning about characters, margins, and the power of words and images are incredibly important. I ended up taking an online graphic design course, which definitely gave me a foundation to build on.

Skillshare, Udemy and Coursera all have interesting graphic design courses that have content that is easy to understand and follow along with. I also watch YouTube videos to educate myself in moments of doubt.

A book I highly recommend which breaks down the basics of every element and principle of graphic design is Design Elements: Understanding the rules and knowing when to break them by Timothy Samara. This is an incredibly powerful book to understand the basics and brings to light the power of graphic design in even the most basic creations.

2. BASIC TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
3. INVEST IN THE RIGHT TOOLS (you won't regret it!)
4. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (and successful!)
5. CREATE AN EXCEPTIONAL PORTFOLIO

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