Modern graphic design is more than having a good artistic sense and knowing how to draw or illustrate. It is a compilation of valuable skills, each geared toward shaping or implementing an aspect of visual communication. In today’s business world, graphic design is a highly sought skill set and with the growing availability of online resources and digital content, it is faster and easier than ever to learn.
There are a number of online design schools and boot camp-style programs that can teach you the fundamentals of graphic design in as little as a few months. There are also online courses covering specific elements of graphic design, many of which can be completed in a matter of weeks or even days.
Using a graphic design tool with customizable templates is the fastest way to create professional designs as a graphic design beginner. We recommend Placeit.net for this because it has 90,000+ pre-made templates to choose from, comes with full commercial usage rights (both fonts and graphics), auto-suggests colors to use together, and we personally use it ourselves and highly recommend it!
As it turns out, the fundamentals of graphic design can be picked up in a surprisingly short period of time. Whether you plan to enroll in a formal graphic design program or aspire to become a self-taught graphic designer, there are different paths you can take. Read on to learn how to get started and the unique approach required by each.
This is How Fast You Can Learn Graphic Design
Earning an undergraduate degree in graphic design from a university or major design college is at minimum a four-year commitment. For many people, particularly those who have already embarked on a career in a different field or who lack sufficient time or financial resources, pursuing a full-fledged graphic design education is simply not a viable option.
Fortunately, there are faster ways to learn the fundamentals of graphic design, including programs that drill down to the nitty-gritty of graphic design using an intensive, boot camp approach that expeditiously prepares students to take their newfound graphic design skills into the working world. Some design schools, for instance, offer full-time programs that can be completed in as little as three months while providing:
- Comprehensive instruction in graphic design theory
- Extensive training in graphic design programs including those on the Adobe and Figma platforms
- Immersive classroom environments with close interaction with instructors and mentors
- Collaborative peer projects that allow students to showcase their talents
- Nearly 600 hours of intensive coursework and study
If attending a full-time program is not feasible due to work or personal obligations, then there are also part-time programs that take less than one year to complete. For those seeking instruction and training in specific graphic design subjects, there are specialized courses that can be taken, many of which are available online or on-demand. Courses cover a broad range of topics that are relevant to modern graphic designers, including:
- Key graphic design principles, including color, composition, and typography
- Logo design
- Branding principles
- UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design
- Photography theory
- Layout theory
- Adobe Suite workshops (Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign)
Whatever your ambitions, there are graphic design schools, programs, and courses that can fit your schedule and enable you to learn graphic design at a pace that suits your needs. If you are looking to jump on a fast track to a graphic design career, then a full-time program can get you there in a few months.
But if you need to budget your time between different obligations, then a part-time graphic design program is your best option and in as short as nine months’ time, you can join the ranks of professional graphic designers. Alternatively, you can take specific graphic design courses addressing particular topics and each can usually be completed in a matter of days.
Learning Graphic Design on Your Own
For motivated individuals who are adept at keeping themselves on task, the wealth of online graphic design instructional resources (many of which are free of charge) makes becoming a self-taught graphic designer a viable option. While this path will afford the greatest flexibility in terms of deciding which areas of study to focus on, it also requires a lot of forethought.
These are the key steps to learning graphic design on your own:
- Master the fundamentals of graphic design
- Become proficient in graphic design software
- Never stop building your body of work
- Put your talents on display
- Cultivate peer relationships
- Seize any opportunity to demonstrate your skills
When it comes to learning graphic design on your own, determination and persistence will be instrumental to achieving your goal of becoming a professional graphic designer. But most importantly, having an actionable game plan will allow you to track your progress and make sure that you are heading down the right path.
Inspiration can be found in the success stories of self-taught graphic designers who learned graphic design on their own in as short as six months by:
- Starting with the most basic of design skills – drawing, understanding graphic design theory, and learning how to become an effective writer
- Mastering Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
- Dabbling in specific graphic design fields like web design, mobile app design, and logo design
- Finding creative ways to build a marketable portfolio of projects, ideas, and concepts
Learning graphic design on your own adds another challenging layer to the pursuit of becoming a professional designer. While certainly not suitable for everyone seeking a career in graphic design, for those who choose this path and successfully reach their goal, it does add to the overall sense of accomplishment.
Putting it all Together – Building Your Portfolio
What better way not only to practice your newfound graphic design skills but also to put your talents on full display than creating design projects on Placeit. Not only does this platform enable graphic designers of all experience levels to test their competencies on real-world applications, but it also affords them an opportunity to develop the most important asset for getting hired – their portfolio.
Here are some examples of the types of graphic design projects that can be created on Placeit:
- Place logos that you design on items like clothing, mugs, and album covers
- Design business cards, letterhead, and other corporate branding collateral
- Create videos and social media posts
- Use the power of digital mockups to transform graphic design concepts into powerful visual demonstrations of your talent and skill
To aid in the composition of custom design pieces and projects, Placeit offers a number of specially curated templates that streamline the creation process.
As more and more businesses and organizations seek to increase their online presence and digital visibility, graphic designers are being called upon to lend their expertise in the ever-expanding visual communication space. Thanks to a wealth of educational and vocational resources, you can learn the fundamentals of graphic design in a matter of months and pick up specific skills even faster than that.