Beginners Guide to Graphic Design

Graphic design refers to that technique wherein people use colours, shapes, and forms to communicate ideas. A graphic designer not only makes visual communication, but they also help in making connections.

Well-informed, funny, and artistic visuals help brands in associating with their consumers. Graphic designers are those visual communicators who use images, graphics, movements, and textures to convey their ideas.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn about graphic design. We have also highlighted some skills you’ll need to become a graphic designer.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is the art through which you project your ideas. You do that by utilizing visual images and infographics. A graphic designer takes textual elements and puts them on an image and other types of media.

Graphic design is used to promote a brand. Many brands advertise their products and services through graphic designs.

Elements of graphic designing:

  • Colour
  • Line
  • Form
  • Shape
  • Size

Types of graphic design:

  • UX Design: is used to make a website or an application easy to use.
  • Website Design: for creating interactive web pages for the users.


Why Do We Need Graphic Design?

Businesses don’t need graphic design only because of the creative artwork, they need it for communication. It is through these designs, various brands effectively put out their ideas and stories.

Here’s why graphic designing is important for your brand.

  • To make the first impression: The saying still stands true in many ways. With a highly skilled graphic designer, your brand will have the best first impression. Obviously, this will be a lasting impression too. One of the things a new consumer will see is your designs. You’d want them to be impressed by the brand logo and other designs.
  • To be consistent: To attract more consumers to your social media pages, you need to have consistency. All your posts should follow a similar design. The design should represent your brand image. Plus, it’s a win if such type of creative content helps your audience too.
  • To communicate ideas: There are over 65% of people are visual learners. You can write something in a text format and it won’t have much impact. But, if you include that information in a flier or other infographic, there are chances that many people would pay attention to it.
  • To deliver your message: There’s a reason your brand exists. There is a story behind why you started it. For telling this story to people, you need a graphic designer. You can tell your story to your future customers with a branding guide.


Why is Graphic Design a Good Career?

If you have a love for art and love designing on different platforms, then you can be a graphic designer. It is a good career choice because:

  • Good earnings: You may not earn a lot as an amateur in the field. However, once you get work experience and bigger clients, you’ll earn more. You can expect to earn more in this field with the right set of skills.
  • Creativity and challenges: The work of a graphic designer doesn’t come without challenges. There will be a clash of ideas between you and your colleagues. Many times, a client would refuse a design. But, with a creative mindset, you’ll work through such situations.
  • Working conditions: Many designers work in design studios today. A corporate office would require you to be on time and dress formally. In a design studio, however, there’s freedom and flexibility.
  • Being your own boss: If you’re working as a freelancer, it means that you only answer to yourself. You can do things the way you want to. There are no company rules that you’ve to follow. Plus, you can design your workspace the way you want to.


Is Graphic Designing For Me?

How do you know that you’ll become a good graphic designer? If you think that all you need is your creativity and art, then you’re wrong. There are other aspects of this job and career that you need to understand.

There are many questions for which you’ll have to find answers. Once you know these answers, you’ll know if this is the right career choice for you.

It’s alright if you work as a solo graphic designer. But, there would be a time in your career when you’d work with other people. You’d have to share your thoughts and opinions. Not only that, but you’d also have to understand other individuals’ points of view too. So, if you can communicate with others, you’ll do well.

Communicating with others also means that you’ll have to listen to criticisms too. Not all your designs will be accepted by your employee. They ask you to change the whole design or they may not like the colour schemes in it. As a graphic designer, you should know how to turn negative feedback into something positive.

The job requires you to be creative all the time. But, there are days when you don’t feel too creative. There could be many reasons for such creative blocks. You should know how to resolve this situation.

Most importantly, ask yourself if you really have an interest in designing. Do you know what can entice people, how can get those “Aww” and “Wow” reactions from people? Can you recognize a good design from a bad one?

If you can make such a graphic design and answer all the above questions, then you can become a graphic designer.


Skills Required to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer

There are many skills you need to become a graphic designer. Some of them are as follows:

  • Digital Typography: You should know about the fonts and their sizes. Moreover, you should know how to effectively put them in a design. You know that words have an impact on people. So, use your skills to display the words in a powerful manner.
  • Knowing Your Colours: Do you know how colours can have an effect on people’s moods? As a graphic designer, you should know what colours can go on different types of designs. Know what colours represent happiness, excitement, and joy.
  • Using Design Software: There are many design platforms that you’ll be using as part of your job. You should learn how to use multiple software programs. It is because this software has different and useful features.
  • Branding: As a graphic designer, you should know how to create a brand’s identity. If you’re working as a freelancer, you should know about branding. Plus, you should also pay attention to consumers’ likes and dislikes.
  • Image Editing: You’ll work with many visuals daily. Some days you’ll need to work on colours and on other days you’ll have to adjust layers. 


The Best Graphic Design Courses NZ

There are many colleges in New Zealand that offer graphic design courses. Here are the best schools you can enroll in to get a degree in graphic design.

  • University of Canterbury, Christchurch, South Island: This is a public university. Established in the year 1873, the University of Canterbury has a diverse student population. People from different parts of the world come to this university. The school offers bachelor’s and master’s courses in fine arts.
  • Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, North Island: Victoria University of Wellington is one of the oldest universities in NZ. It also ranks very high among the top universities in the world. The school offers a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s course in design innovation.
  • Media Design School, Auckland, New Zealand: Established in 1998, Media Design School is one of the most popular design schools in NZ. You can learn about 3-dimensional design, animation, visual effects, and graphic design at this school.
  • Yoobee School of Design, Wellington, New Zealand: This is a private college. The college was established in 1997 and is affiliated with Yoobee Colleges. The Yoobee School of Design provides many creative courses to get into the graphic design field. These include a bachelor’s course and four diploma courses.


Graphic Designer Salary NZ

You’ll need a 3-year training period before you become a graphic designer. As a beginner in the field of graphic design, you can expect to earn $42,000-$65,000 per year. Senior or professional graphic designers in New Zealand earn $65,000-$90,000 per year.

Your responsibility as a graphic designer may include:

  • Developing design ideas
  • Creating designs for multiple platforms
  • Showing design ideas to clients and colleagues
  • Discussing the project with clients

You also need some specific skills related to your job, including:

  • Ability to use colours and design creatively
  • Painting, sketching, and drawing skills
  • Ability to use design software programs
  • Knowledge of marketing trends
  • Knowledge of art techniques and materials


Why Use a Graphic Designer?

Best Graphic Designer in Tauranga

Image Credits

There are many benefits of using a graphic designer. You may have many ideas, but it’s a designer who can put them artistically in front of you. You need a graphic designer because of the following reasons:

  • Save Time: You have many responsibilities yourself. You can’t take care of everything. For the artistic needs of your brand, you can hire a graphic designer. They’ll get the job done in a wink of an eye.
  • Save Money: When you get a professional designer to design your logo, posters, and other artwork, you’ll save a lot. It is because they’ll give you a top-quality design that you would use for a long time.
  • Look Professional: When it comes to looks, who’ll you trust if not a graphic designer? They know about colours, imagery, patterns, and shapes. Their knowledge will help you establish a brand identity.
  • More Ideas: You know about your business better than everybody. But you’re not too savvy with graphic design. A graphic designer would bring in more ideas. They’ll get familiar with your brand. Then, they may give you opinions on your design needs.


How to Find a Graphic Designer

To find a good graphic designer, you must know which one you want. There are freelance designers as well as in-house designers.

A freelance designer is somebody who works on a project-to-project basis. They can be hired flexibly to work on designing needs. Whereas an in-house graphic designer would always work with you. They’re familiar with your brand and its identity.

Before you find a designer, you should know what graphic design you want. Decide if you want a logo, flyer, brochure, or catalog. Once you’ve done this, think about what you’re feeling. You can write down your thoughts and ideas. Think of colours, fonts, and images that you want in the design.

When you’re done thinking about all this, you can go to the internet. Nowadays, there are many online platforms where people can find a graphic designer. There are 99designs, which is a freelancing platform. At 99designs you can check portfolios of graphic designers and run design contests. Then, you can find a perfect match for your brand.

There’s also Upwork, Fiverr, and where you can post about a job. You can also browse portfolios and hire a person who looks ideal for the job.


The Best Graphic Design Business in Tauranga

The following are some of the best graphic design firms based in Tauranga.

  • Figment Design: Figment Design is a graphic designing agency based in Tauranga, New Zealand. The designers at Figment Design create designs that everyone imagines. They believe in creating a brand identity for your business. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small or a big business, they deliver what you imagine.
  • Bold Creative: Sadra Saffari established this design firm in NZ 20 years ago. Since then, Bold Creative has been working for many businesses. They make logos, and annual reports, and help in rebranding a company.
  • Inkwell Studio Graphic Design: Inkwell Studio specializes in creative design, typography, and branding. They observe businesses and help them visually communicate with their customers. They design wall art, book covers, t-shirt designs, and more.
  • Nettl Of Tauranga: Nettl of Tauranga is a media agency. They do graphic designing, printing, and marketing for all types of businesses. Nettl creates everything in-house, from business cards to website design, they do it all.


The Takeaway

In general terms, graphic design is the ability to communicate ideas with the help of animation or images. As a graphic designer, you work with a brand to promote its products.

You may design logos, brochures, emails, flyers, and more such things for a brand. Besides having design skills, you must know how to take criticism. You should be able to share ideas with other people.

Many companies use graphic designers to create an everlasting brand image for themselves. Plus, it also helps them in saving time and money.

There are many schools in NZ where you can do a graphic designing course and move ahead in this career.

Graphic Design in Tauranga


Featured Image Credits: Unsplash

About the Author

Shristi Patni

Shristi Patni

Content Writer

Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes and Snazzy Women. When not writing, she can be found reading or trying new recipes.

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