Graphic Design

Understanding the Basics of Becoming a Graphic Designer. A Beginner's Guide.

Understanding the Basics of Becoming a Graphic Designer. A Beginner's Guide.

Want to start out as a graphic designer? It's not that hard! By understanding the different components of graphic design, anyone can make eye-catching visuals. Read on to discover the basics of becoming a graphic designer.


Graphic design is an art form that mixes tech and ideas. Knowing the basics is essential whether you're a pro or just starting out.

You'll learn to use vibrant colors and fonts, frame an idea in one image, and more. These tricks and techniques will be invaluable for success in digital design. Start applying them today!

Understanding the Basics of Graphic Design

Graphic design is the art of communicating a message through visuals, like typography, images, and colors. It can be a powerful way to get an idea across and connect with an audience. To make an excellent graphic design, you should know the basics. They are contrast, balance, hierarchy, repetition, and unity.

Contrast means making differences stand out. You can use light and dark colors or pair colors that look good together. Balance means making all elements of the design look the same. Hierarchy means deciding what part of the design is most important. Repetition makes the design look unified. Unity ties everything together and makes it look consistent.

Design tools like Photoshop and Canva help you make designs quickly. They also help you choose typography that looks balanced. Knowing your audience size enables you to create designs that will get attention and last.

Choosing the Right Software

Picking software for your graphic design project can be overwhelming. There are loads of paid and free options. Plus, web designs need different software than print designs.

Here are 8 tips for choosing the right one:

  1. Look into software made for graphic design. Read reviews from other users before buying.
  2. Ensure your chosen program has all your needed features (e.g., vector illustrations, photo editing, and typography tools).
  3. Compare free and paid options. Paid subscriptions (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud) can quickly add up. Consider if it's worth investing in professional-level tools.
  4. Check compatibility with other programs and devices. This will save time if something doesn't work.
  5. Look for support and tutorials. This is important if you're new to graphic design.
  6. Listen to other experienced designers. They can provide insight into the best option for you.
  7. Make sure your budget doesn't sacrifice quality.
  8. Factor in upgrades. Technology changes quickly, and new versions come out often.

Learning Color Theory

Color theory is a must-know for graphic design. It helps us understand how colors interact, how they make us feel, and how to use them to create eye-catching designs. Color is one of the most important aspects of a design; if used right, it can make your work stand out.

Learning the basics of color theory before starting to design is essential. Here are 8 tips to help you:

  1. Know the Color Wheel: A color wheel is an essential tool for designers—it helps understand how colors go together and create pretty palettes. The wheel is made of 12 hues and is round, with each shade opposite its complement (e.g., opposite red-green). This relationship creates harmony that can be used in the design.
  2. Experiment With Color Schemes: Using complementary, triadic, tetradic, analogic, or monochromatic color schemes will help make your design more attractive. Experimenting with different combinations will help you find the best one for your project.
  3. Understand Value & Saturation: Value is how light or dark a color is, and saturation is its intensity. Both play an essential role in design.
  4. Consider Contrast & Balance: High contrast creates focus, while low contrast promotes harmony. The balance should be achieved through symmetrical or asymmetrical placement of colors.
  5. Consider Context & Audience: Different cultures have different associations with color. Take this into account when choosing colors for your design. Also, consider age and gender.
  6. Keep It Simple: Too many colors can be overwhelming. Try sticking with just a few hues that work well together. Allow elements on future pages to expand the palette as needed, but keep within a set/family of primary/secondary colors.
  7. Use Texture & Gradients To Add Depth & Interest: Textures and gradients are great tools for adding depth and interest to your designs. They can help create dimensionality—from subtle shading effects, gentle color transitions (when using gradients), or more dramatic textures that draw attention.
  8. Always Check Grey Scale Before Printing Or Publishing: Before printing or publishing any design work, always check what it looks like in black and white. This will ensure that all elements remain visible regardless of the chosen background. It also helps designers identify inconsistencies in colors as well as faded areas.

Understanding Typography

Typography is essential for graphic design. It's the art of arranging type to make it look attractive and easy to read. Keep in mind the message you want to give. Readability and appropriateness are two primary principles.

Font size, line spacing, leading, font shapes, and kerning are components to consider. Learn about serif and sans-serif fonts. Condensed and extended fonts matter too. Combine texts on a page with suitable typefaces. Contrasting weights make a good pairing. Create a palette of 6-8 complementary fonts.

Exploring Layout and Composition

Layout and composition are essential for graphic design. Each element, like text, photos, and artwork, should fit in the layout to make a strong visual.

Keep these 8 tips in mind when it comes to designing Layouts:

  1. Start with a goal: It focuses on designs and gives purpose to each element.
  2. Use grids: They create a pattern that unifies or accentuates elements.
  3. Tell a story: Layouts and compositions should be narrative.
  4. Mix old and new ideas: Create something fresh yet timeless.
  5. Use white space: It creates emphasis and makes reading easier.
  6. Experiment: It's part of the creative process.
  7. Test and adjust: Make sure everything is aligned.
  8. Stay inspired: Let your imagination run free. Keep looking at work from others.

Developing Your Own Style

Developing your own unique style is critical in graphic design. It should give your work an unmistakable flair, setting you apart. You'll need to practice, experiment, and find techniques that express your creative expression.

Taking classes and reading how-to books can help understand elements like color theory, composition, font choices, and content hierarchy.

Your individual style will come together with exploring visuals and putting ideas into action. Get inspired by other artists, but create something new. Try shapes, colors, and images to see what works best for each project. Keep a unified aesthetic that flows throughout all your work.

Aim for an identifiable signature look that people can recognize immediately. That's what makes a successful graphic designer stand out!


Graphic design is a challenging field requiring critical thinking, research skills, and problem-solving abilities. To be successful, you need to learn complex principles, experiment with unique designs, and have a dedication to the craft.

These tips are great for new and experienced designers alike. Brush up on design basics and tool tutorials to become better. Building a good foundation in color theory, typography, layout, and problem-solving will help you create outstanding work.

A great designer finds creative solutions that speak to their audience. Using these hints, you can develop an adaptable skill set to design and express your work through any medium. No matter your client, you can create something special!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best software to use for graphic design?

The best graphic design software depends on your specific needs and preferences. Popular software programs used by graphic designers include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, GIMP, and CorelDRAW.

What are some tips for graphic design beginners?

Here are some tips for graphic design beginners: 1. Start by learning design fundamentals. 2. Get to know the software you're using. 3. Experiment with different design elements. 4. Focus on the details. 5. Use the power of color. 6. Keep it simple. 7. Utilize typography. 8. Take advantage of templates.

What are the best fonts for graphic design?

The best fonts for graphic design depend on your design project. Popular fonts for graphic design include Helvetica, Futura, Gill Sans, Arial, and Garamond.