Tips for Successful Graphic Design Career Preparation
- Training in Graphic Design
Getting into a training school and joining a professional certification in graphic design degree is an outstanding accomplishment. A professional certification training program in India weigh heavily and you will have a much better chance of getting a full-time job with a training in digital design, digital art, graphics or publishing, but there are always exceptions. If you have an extremely strong portfolio, good references and freelancing experience you can still get a great job, but before that a professional training is must. A volunteer work for 3 to 6 months after training is decisive of your future so you must spend this time of orientation in best working environment. The students of B.A./ M.A. (Fine Arts) or B.F.A. are extremely successful in this field after going a professional certification program at School of Multimedia, Publishing and Design (SMPD) under aegis of CCIT.
- Figure out Your Specialization
Many jobs in graphic design tend to be specialized, such as identity design, packaging design, posters, magazine design, print advertisement, outdoor advertisements, glow-signs, signage, newspapers, books, corporate identities like logos and presentations so on. It’s good to find the specialization you like best and work on it, but also make sure you are well rounded and multi-talented designer.
- Plan Your Career Carefully
Planning your career carefully and registering in a training program as soon as possible will help ensure you get the best schedule possible so you can complete your degree quickly and have free time to work and relax. You must take help of counselor or department head at SMPD to make your career plan and execute in for extraordinary successful career. There is a great importance of mentorship and apprenticeship. Your department or school head or counselor at CCIT is the most competitive person to guide you.
- Take Advantage of Your Counselor and Teachers
Your counselor and teachers are incredibly valuable assets while going to school. Get your counselor to help you plan out your training schedule and keep you on the right career track. Ask your teachers for extra help when needed. The trainers at SMPD are available outside of class and will critique your work for taking it to higher level. Your trainers have insight, experience and knowledge of the field so tap into it.
- Take Advantage of Career Counseling, Mentoring and Professional Coaching
Career Counseling, Mentoring and Professional Coaching is either missing or often overlooked resource at most schools. Even students are not aware about the importance of counseling, mentoring and professional coaching available at SMPD or CCIT. If you are struck somewhere or you are looking for a job, projects, career entry, career planning or any help regarding your resume or anything else, immediately consult your department head or counselor at SMPD or CCIT.
- Become Involved in School Events
SMPD have many great events, competitions, workshops and self-development trainings other than classes or lab sessions. You must actively participate in it. When you will look back, you will see that you have taken lot more advantage of them during your training for being a competent and successful professional. There are trips, get-togethers and incredible guest speakers. So if your school has lot many opportunities and you remain alert about them and make sure you don’t pass them up.
- Observe your focused, career cautious and serious classmates and trainers
You are all working towards the same goal, so observing your competent and serious classmates is an excellent idea. Your focused, career cautious and serious classmates and trainers can help each other out to achieve these common goals. Plus most of you will be working in the same field in the future and you never know when a friend could come in handy in a bad situation.
- Get an Internship or Apprenticeship
Internships or apprenticeship experience are very important and SMPD can help you find an internship or apprenticeship. Even if you don’t get to do much design work, it’s a great way to network, get your foot in the door and become comfortable working environment or work place before going to a real employment or job. You must choose a best environment for apprenticeship or internship under excellent mentors, supervisors or gurus.
- Prepare and Appear for International Skill Certifications
Once you have completed your professional certification training program at CCIT, you must prepare and appear for international skill certifications of Adobe or other technologies you have learnt during your course. Getting skill certifications for various software keep you updated or abreast with global standards in your field. Degrees are not significant for skill development. Employer is the beginning is concerned with your skill. You may go for a distance learning degree program once you get stable in your career and needs to develop further. Degrees help in the long run.
- Practice Your Photography
This is a talent you must plan on mastering in the near future. Your love photography helps you to scale high in your life as a graphic designer. Having the ability to shoot your own projects in real life can give you a real edge when it comes to displaying your portfolio. Great product photographs of projects can go a long way and it’s another super skill to throw on your resume.
- Learn HTML, XHTML and CSS
Web design is mixing more and more with the graphic design career. Many graphic design job listings ask the designer to have at least some web design experience and many jobs require you to know how to code a site very well. So this is a great skill to pick up and will help you with your own portfolio site and landing a job in the future.
- Take self development, management and business acumen trainings
Taking self development, management, and business acumen trainings along with your digital design and graphics training can prepare you much better for freelancing and running your own studio if that’s one of your dreams. Trainings for self-expression, time management and leaderships are available and ask your counselor or trainer for that. All knowledge is good but practices on the court helps you to prepare yourself for the business and make you better off financially.
- Create Conducive Environment and Master the Adobe Suite
You must have well organized and managed recourses in computer as well as in physical form in cupboard or rack. You must have well organized different CD/DVD pouches (vault) for different material like software, clipart, images, eBooks’, tutors, e-magazines etc. You must have different shelves in your cupboard for books, magazines and important newspaper clippings related to your profession. You must frequently invest time and money on magazines and books. All the data must be properly stored in a well manages and maintained computer. You must have perfection to have place for everything and everything on place.
As a graphic designer you will be using programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design on a daily basis. Mastering the programs will make you a more productive and creative designer. Most jobs also start you at running speed and don’t have time to teach you how to use the advance features. Be sure to master keyboard shortcuts as well. Schedule your Adobe certifications within the first year of completion of professional certification program.
- Stay in Touch With Your Roots
It’s easy to become totally wrapped up in the computer and lose touch with your roots. You must keep yourself in touch with your institution from where you are getting training. It’s also important to learn drawing and painting which you have learnt during your school time. It’s important to sketch things out on paper once in a while and think outside the computer box. Don’t be afraid to pick up a pencil and use the paper or canvas to explore your imagination.
- Express You’re Creativity
The work of a designer is generally commercial and required to be delivered in restricted time frame, but designers are naturally creative people. This is why it’s good to express and stretch your creativity muscles once in a while. Create personal work, non-profit work or other projects that will allow you more creative freedom so you don’t feel constantly trapped and restricted.
- Create a Portfolio Website
Time is precious and the web is becoming more of an industry standard. This is why you need a web portfolio. Many employers or clients don’t even have time to look at print portfolios and will ask for a website URL or email with a PDF of your work. If you plan on freelancing, your website will be even more important and the sooner you get it up the better off you will be.
- Create a Print Portfolio
Even though a web portfolio is becoming arguably more important, don’t under estimate the power or importance of a print portfolio. In additional to your main portfolio you should have some disposable print portfolios you can hand out to potential employers.
- Create Your Own Personal Identity System
Having your own icon, logo, business card, resume, letterhead and so on will give you a professional edge and show you really care about your career. Spend a lot of time on your identity system because it’s a direct representation or expression of yourself and your skills.
- Create a Resume and Cover Letter
You will need this sooner or later so you might as well start working on it now. A well-written and nicely designed resume is going to be a great ally in your job finding battles.
- Research Job Requirements
Job requirements are changing constantly and every job has unique requirements. Some require more than others so it’s important you have a good idea of what’s expected of you. How can you prepare yourself properly if you don’t know exactly what employers demand skill wise?
- Start Freelancing
Freelancing builds up incredible experience, especially when it comes to dealing with actual clients. You will quickly learn how to deal with clients who have different personalities, how to protect yourself, how to multitask and so on. This is where the business classes come in, but with a little planning and research beforehand there is no reason you can’t jump right in and start freelancing early on.
- Take Advantage of Design Contests
There are tons of design contests on the Internet; many of which offer incredible prizes! This is a great way to gain exposure, build up your portfolio and win some sweet swag and money in your free time! Organize and participate contexts within your school.
- Build up your vault of your work as well as free design resources
The web is filled with an insane amount of free resources including, free fonts, vector artwork, textures, patterns, design elements and so much more. Start downloading, check the usage rights and keep all your graphic design resources organized, because you never know when you might need them.
- Get the Graphic Artist Guild Handbook
This is a fabulous book for any designer that is packed full of great tips and resources; especially for designers interested in starting their own business or freelancing career. They releases a new version every so often, so be sure to get your hands on the latest one.
- Start Networking
Networking may be last on the list, but in terms of priority its probably number one. The more people in the business you know the better off you will be. Keep in touch with your network of contacts. Don’t consider someone in your network if you never communicate. A phone call, business lunch, or email once in a while is required. The people in your network must be productive and contributing to your profession and learning. They must be successful and achievers in their respective field. Help people in your network and they will help your in return. So keep expanding your network of contacts and be sure to keep in touch on a regular basis. You must emerge as a respected, regarded and responsible alumnus in the network of your school who is always contributing and empowering with valuable contexts which adds to the status and respect of the school and trainers.