In the social distancing era of COVID-19, it seems like everyone is picking up a new skill — baking, gardening, yoga, woodworking, sewing, and anything else to pass the time and stay productive.
But maybe your sourdough turns out flat as a pancake every time, your succulents beg to be put out of their misery, and your downward dog won’t come back up again.
Learning graphic design online might be for you. Here’s how you can tell.
You do judge a book by its cover.
Mis-aligned text on a poster sets your teeth on edge.
Your word processor’s default font isn’t Times New Roman or Calibri.
You cheer for the team with the coolest jerseys.
You have a favorite logo. Like, you’ll seriously fight someone over how great it is.
You’re as obsessed with color theory as some people are with the Enneagram test.
You own a stack of notebooks and stationary that are so beautiful, you can’t bring yourself to write in them.
Seriously, you don’t have to be a trained artist to learn graphic design. All you really need is an appreciation for design, patience, and attention to detail. Many amazing talents come down to a matter of determination and persistence. Likewise, many artists with amazing talent fail for a lack of focus and hard work. In other words, you can do this.
Every industry needs graphic design
Even if you have no ambitions of becoming a famous graphic designer, knowing the basics will come in handy in any job setting, and make you a more well-rounded and perceptive asset to any employer.
In any business, poorly-designed letterhead, brand elements, and other collateral convey the undesirable message that their creators are careless and amateurish — and that impression reflects every bit as poorly on the entire business, by association.
On the other hand, good design communicates a sense of organization, consistency, and thoughtfulness. Good design draws the right kind of attention and, if executed skillfully, captures the interest of a business’ target audience.
That makes a big impact on the people you or your company does business with, because you don’t have to be a designer to spot bad design. Anyone can tell when something just looks…off. But it takes a designer to recognize why, and it takes a designer to fix it. As you learn graphic design, you won’t be able to resist upgrading your company’s business cards, presentations, mailers, and other materials.
If you work in a field that uses any sort of data or reporting (hint: they all do), you can help communicate this complex information through design and infographics. In fact, according to Brain Rules, people are three times more likely to remember something they perceive visually than they are through merely hearing it. You may have heard of a talented–and hard-working–photographer by the name of Ansel Adams. He said that “photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution.” The same is true of graphic design as a whole, and when you get it right, well…it shows.
Once your employer notices an uptick in website and social media traffic thanks to your creations, you might leverage your new skills into asking for a raise.
If you’re searching for a job, you can use your graphic design knowledge to make your resume and cover letter more eye-catching and professional.
Think about it. Most resumes are little more than black-and-white bulleted lists. You could be the most qualified person in the world, but a boring, slipshod resume will make a hiring manager’s eyes glaze over.
Promoting yourself means showcasing your personality. With a few graphic design lessons under your belt, you’ll have a better idea about how to communicate who you are and the value you stand to bring to a position. Plus, you can count graphic design as a valuable skill for your next employer.
Once your friends see your resume, they’ll want you to take a crack at theirs. Why not charge a small fee? Before you know it, you may spin your new graphic design skills into a side hustle, or perhaps even a whole new career.
Find your niche
If quarantine has you feeling isolated, learning graphic design puts you in touch with a ready-made clique of creative individuals like yourself.
The graphic design community is extremely friendly and unique. They love talking about design and giving tips to newbies. Graphic design blogs like Dribbble and Creative Bloq keep you in touch with the latest trends in the industry. Growing your network and gaining exposure to working graphic designers will help you build your design vocabulary and ensure you never run out of fresh ideas and inspiration.
As you learn graphic design online, you might find a particular niche you excel in—like typography, logo design, or hand lettering. Don’t be afraid to focus on what you enjoy creating the most. It’s easy to keep learning through tutorials on YouTube, Instagram, or design blogs.
Getting started is easy
There are tons of programs, certifications, and courses out there that can help you begin your graphic design journey.
At Content Workshop, we created our Graphic Design Certificate to give you a leg up in the job market, whether you’re seeking freelance work, a full-time graphic design position, or merely a new skill you can apply to your current role.
Not to mention, we’ve designed them to be fun and interactive. We’ll teach you the basics of logo design, color theory, typography, and more. We even offer courses on how to grow your graphic design skills into a freelancing business.
When you complete our Graphic Design Course Bundle, you’ll have something to show for it. You’ll come away with a Content Workshop certification that proves you know your stuff, making you more hireable and more valuable.