7 Quick Tips to Become a Graphic Designer at Home
However, in the twenty-first century, everything has changed. People are learning and working from home more and more, and Shillington, a global leader in short and intense design courses, is at the forefront of this new way of thinking.
Shillington promptly and effectively switched its services when the world turned upside-down in 2020, enabling students to study online from anywhere in the world. Although it may have looked intimidating at the time, Shillington’s 2021 and 2021 grads are now pursuing successful careers in business. Because, in today’s world, it’s entirely feasible to learn and work as a designer from anywhere. It turns out that the new normal has some surprising advantages.
But how can you go about becoming a professional graphic designer from the comfort of your own home?
1. Start with the basics
People who don’t work in graphic design often believe that it’s just a matter of learning how to use certain software—you’ll hear things like, “Sharon can make the brochure since she knows Photoshop.”
But understanding graphic design isn’t about “knowing Photoshop,” any more than knowing how to use the video camera on your phone qualifies you as a professional film director. It’s more about understanding the history of graphic design, the fundamentals of graphic design theory, and the abilities that underpin your art, such as picking a colour palette, fonts, and grids, among other things.
Studying graphic design, on the other hand, is not about passively absorbing information. It all boils down to putting it into action. As a result, you’ll have to work on your own ideas and learn how to meet professional design standards while you’re learning about the subject.
2. Gather everything you’ll need
Tools and Equipment
Bonnie Eichelberger, a Shillington Melbourne instructor, feels that most creatives will gain from the following: If you’re working with a laptop and a monitor, or if you simply have a laptop, get a nice display. A Wacom tablet or an iPad with an Apple Pencil is required. And a printer; it’s very convenient to print out your own work at home to double-check the size. “
Rachel Broaders, a Shillington Online instructor, shares a couple of her own must-haves. This is a fantastic chair. For music, I use Spotify. Hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drives, hard drivesAnd, since I’m a true granny, I still believe things are only real when they’re written down or sent to me, so I use a good ol ‘day-planner diary thing for organisation! “
A decent bookshelf is essential in any work-from-home environment. It helps you seem excellent on Zoom calls, at the most basic level. The greatest design books, on the other hand, may supply you with ideas, inspiration, and a good way to unwind after a hectic day. If you’re looking for new books to round out your library, Rachel offers a few suggestions.
“Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color is a famous teaching tool and reference text that discusses colour theory,” she explains. Amber Weaver’s Femme Type honours over 40 accomplished women from across the world who work in the type business. And By Eastern Europe is a compilation of work by some of the region’s most brilliant designers, firms, and illustrators, published by Counter-Print.
Rachel also suggests Pantone Swatch Books for colour inspiration, TwoPoints.On Net’s The Road to Variable, which delves into the issue of variable typefaces, and Aimee Hartley’s Breathe Well, which describes breathing techniques you may do throughout the day to improve your health and happiness.
Apps that are useful
It’s important to think about the applications that may save you time, work, and tension in addition to your physical gear. “I find it very beneficial for working remotely on projects,” Rachel says of the online whiteboard application Miro.
Meanwhile, Lovish Saini, a Shillington Manchester teacher, says: “Google Tasks/Notes is wonderful for keeping track of and making yourself checklists and stuff.” It may also be accessible through Gmail, making it twice as useful. In addition, I like using the Forest App to keep track of my time. It helps me stay focused on the vital tasks and prevent procrastination. “
3. Become acquainted with the program
However, software isn’t everything when it comes to being a graphic designer. You’re going to need some more. So, which item should you purchase?
Adobe’s well-known products, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, are still the industry’s gold standard and go-to. In general, Photoshop is used to edit raster pictures like photographs, Illustrator is used to edit vector images like graphics and icons, and InDesign is used to design print and digital layouts. But they all have more capabilities, and they’re increasingly being used together in a single process.
Because they’re the industry leaders, it’s no surprise that they’re also the most costly, needing an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. Other specialised creative software, like After Effects for motion graphics and Premiere Pro for video editing, is also included, although it is somewhat costly. However, if you’re a full-time or part-time student enrolled in a recognised school, you may obtain a substantial discount (over 65 percent at the time of writing).
There are, however, less expensive options if you are not yet enrolled in a course. The Affinity suite, which includes Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Publisher, is a near match for Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and may be purchased for a one-time fee. These tools are becoming more popular among professionals, and your work may still be exported in Adobe formats. Furthermore, if you don’t want to spend anything, free graphic design programmes like Canva, Figma, and Gravit Designer are all wonderful places to start when you’re new to the field.
You’ll also need to learn how to use remote working software. Most of us are familiar with videoconferencing applications like Zoom, but it’s also worth learning Slack, since it’s the primary means through which many design companies connect with one another on a daily basis these days.
4. Establish a home studio
It takes a lot of hours, hard effort, and commitment to learn and train as a graphic designer from home. So you won’t be able to accomplish it while slouched on the couch or perched on a kitchen stool; you’ll need to set up a professional home office. However, you won’t want much room since your major needs will most likely be a desk, a chair, and a laptop.
The main goal is to feel calm and comfortable, so adding a few personal touches like arty posters and a few motivational books is always a good idea. Also, make sure your desk is clean and uncluttered (a neat desk equals a tidy mind), that you drink lots of water, and that you take frequent breaks to move about and exercise. Working in graphic design, particularly at home, may be hazardous to your spine over time, so establish excellent practises early on and you’ll be far more likely to remain healthy throughout your career.
The nicest part about having your own place is that you can arrange it however you like. If you’re a Shillington Online grad like Carolina Lucio Maymón, who now works as a digital marketing and copywriting manager at The Future Farm in London, you would be a fool not to take advantage of that flexibility.
“The most essential thing is to establish a relaxing environment where you can work for extended periods of time,” she explains. “Please provide water, coffee, and tea.” While you’re designing, listen to an audiobook or create a playlist to help you concentrate. “
Rachel feels that comfort is important and describes how she accomplishes it in her London apartment. “Having a few plants around helps me keep calm,” she explains. “I attach my laptop to a huge display and use a wireless mouse.” For those chilly winter nights, a reliable light source is also essential. And, of course, a water bottle with a lid, if you’re as clumsy as I am. “
Comfort is about providing an uncluttered atmosphere that won’t stress you out. It’s partially about these small comforts that make the working day more enjoyable, but it’s also about creating an uncluttered environment that won’t stress you out. Carolina explains that your workstation layout is crucial; having everything organised will help you work more efficiently. As a result, aim to keep your area tidy and just have the essentials on hand.
5. Keep your personal organization in order
However, having the appropriate applications isn’t enough. When you work from home, no one is always peeking over your shoulder and checking up on you. It’s excellent for reducing stress, but it means there’s only one person pressuring you to stay on top of your organisation: you.
To work from home effectively, you’ll need both organisational abilities and a strong resolve. “You need a routine and a schedule,” Bonnie explains. It’s a good idea to start planning your week on Monday and think about what you can and can’t fit into the next five days. Make a list of specific objectives to strive for and take little steps toward them every day. “
Carolina went through this in the year 2021. She remembers that “I needed to be extra-organised since I was combining a Shillington course with studying online for my Masters,” she says. For my assignments, I developed timetables. Then I had my courses, and after each class, I may have worked on the homework for another 30 minutes. Then I’d work on the remainder on Friday afternoon and Sunday. Depending on how many goods I needed to bring, I would also deliver on Monday mornings.
“I separated things into sections for each time and developed a checklist for each project so I wouldn’t miss anything,” she says. “It was critical to take notes on schoolwork and comments since you may lose vital information otherwise.”
However, don’t go too far in being organised and productive, otherwise you’ll exhaust yourself and lose your originality. Missy Dempsey, a Shillington Sydney teacher, says, “Make sure you take a minute to walk outdoors and get some sunshine on your skin.”
6. Create a portfolio
You’ll be confident enough to apply for employment or seek freelancing clients if you’ve spent some time studying graphic design and improving your talents. To do so, you’ll need to construct a portfolio that demonstrates your abilities.
Portfolios used to be huge, paper-based volumes that you carried about with you from one interview to the next. They’re usually digital these days, and they’re either a PDF or a website that allows people to see your greatest work in a short and easy-to-digest format (since employers and clients don’t have a lot of time to spend on this).
Of course, there’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma here when you’re initially starting off. You’ll need a portfolio to acquire a paid job or even an unpaid internship. But what do you put in your portfolio until you have paid work?
You’ll have student projects to add if you’ve taken a course. If you’re self-teaching, another option is to work on a fictitious brief, exactly as if you were working for a real customer. However, before submitting your portfolio, it’s a good idea to share it online on a site like Behance and with anybody you know who works in the business to gain comments. Others will typically have viewpoints you haven’t considered, no matter how excellent you believe yours is. Doing free graphic design work for friends or organisations is another option for building a portfolio.
7. Sign up for a class
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: all of this requires time and work. The good news is that by 2022, anybody can do it; you can do it from home, and a three-year university education is no longer required. The profession has substantially expanded in recent years. Self-taught designers at all levels of the organisation, from entry-level employees to CEOs, are now commonplace, thanks to books, online courses, and YouTube videos.
However, finding learning tools online may be a bit of a scavenger hunt, so for those looking for a more planned and formal approach with proven outcomes, Shillington offers a third option in the shape of a short, intense course.
If you go the latter route, you’ll be able to study and work with actual teachers in real time, from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you are on the globe. Your lecturers will present lectures, demonstrations, and critiques during scheduled class hours, and you’ll be given real-world briefs to work on alone, in pairs, or in groups to put what you’ve learned into practice. You’ll be able to communicate with students from all around the world and begin creating a network that will help you succeed in your profession. You’ll also have an interview-ready portfolio at the conclusion of the graphic design courses in Chandigarh.