How To Become A Graphic Designer - Ad Culture

How to Become a Graphic Designer

6 min read | Sep 6, 2023
 Marta Gongos- Ad Culture By Marta Gongos

So, you want to know how to become a graphic designer in Canada.

We can’t blame you: graphic designers are always in demand. Companies across industries rely on their artistic and tech skills to help build out their brand’s image, from social media content to their logos, colour palettes, and more. 

Get ready to have your questions magically turned into answers as we guide you down the yellow brick road of graphic design. Follow our lead. and you’re sure to become the wizard of Oz visual content in no time!   

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic designers are creative professionals who play a pivotal role in visually communicating ideas, messages, and concepts through various forms of visual media. They are responsible for crafting the visual elements that make up everything from advertisements and websites to logos and product packaging. 

Graphic designers work closely with clients or art directors to understand project objectives, target audiences, and brand identities. They use their expertise to translate these insights into visually engaging designs that convey a clear message or evoke specific emotions.

They’re masters of creative visual communication—interested? 

5 Steps to Becoming a Graphic Designer

1. Practice Creativity

If you’re wondering how to become a graphic designer, you should probably start by exploring and practicing your creativity. Taking some classes in art history, website design, drawing, or graphic arts. You probably already have a creative spark, so now you need to start doing something with those graphic design skills!  

2. Get Formal Education

Whether you complete an entire degree or just take a few courses, getting some kind of formal education in graphic design is a great idea. Having the education to support your career aspirations is always going to give you a leg up. 

You can earn a graphic design degree or complete courses in person or online. You’ll broaden your knowledge, sharpen your skills, and finish better prepared for your dream career. Your knowledge of theory will put you well ahead of others.  

However, don’t let this slow you down: apply regardless of the requirements! Graphic design qualifications will vary depending on the company and role, education is no substitute for hard work or the right attitude. 

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3. Learn Common Design Tools 

The Adobe Creative Suite is a must-know for any aspiring graphic designer. Some of its programs are Photoshop (image editing and manipulation), Illustrator (vector graphics and logo design), and InDesign (print and design layouts). 

Learning these programs will enable you to create stunning visuals, whether it’s designing a logo, retouching photographs, or crafting print materials like brochures and posters. Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite not only makes you a versatile designer, but also opens doors to countless job opportunities, as it’s widely used across various industries.

Additionally, understanding the basics of typography is crucial for graphic designers. Adobe also offers Adobe Typekit and Adobe Fonts, which are integrated with their design software and provide access to a vast library of fonts. Learning how to select and pair fonts effectively can greatly enhance the visual appeal of your designs.

Moreover, familiarity with industry-standard project management and collaboration tools like Adobe XD for user interface and web design prototypes or project management tools like Trello and Slack can be beneficial as a professional graphic designer. 

You’re wondering how to become a graphic designer? Well, becoming proficient in the suite of Adobe Creative Cloud programs is a great way to bolster your resume and demonstrate your readiness to becoming a working pro. 

4. Build a Brilliant Portfolio 

Sure, a solid resume is worth a bunch of points, but nothing speaks more volumes about your talent, personality, and experience than a good old portfolio. As far as graphic designer qualifications go, a portfolio is basically a must-have. 

As you build a professional design portfolio, it should include everything you’ve done in your career thus far. This can mean print ads, website graphics, online ads, TV commercial reels, animated demos—anything that shows off your design skills! 

Many freelance graphic designers carry fully digital versions of their portfolios on a flash drive or DVD. Some opt for the old-fashioned yet timeless hard copy, whereas others maintain their portfolios on their own websites. 

5. Apply To Jobs

This one may seem obvious, but there are a lot of people out there asking “how to become a graphic designer in Canada” without doing the most important part: actually applying for jobs in the field they’re pursuing! Here are a few tips to stand out. 

First, tailor your resume to emphasize relevant education and be sure to include any certifications or specialized training you’ve received. When applying for a graphic design position, carefully read job descriptions and tailor your cover letter to showcase how your skills align with the specific requirements of each job.

Networking is a valuable asset in the graphic design industry, so attend industry events, join online design communities, and connect with professionals in your field whenever possible.
Being proactive will make you a more competitive candidate.

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How Long Does It Take to Become a Graphic Designer? 

The answer to this question primarily depends on how you choose to approach your career. Should you choose to pursue a degree, you’d be in for four years of education before you earn your graphic design degree and start applying for jobs. 

Just remember: honing graphic design skills takes time. It’s better to diligently put in the work than rush into the world unprepared, young grasshopper.

Get Hired as a Graphic Designer

We hope you found this guide on how to become a graphic designer in Canada helpful. Now, the next time on your journey is working with the hiring pros at Ad Culture!

Ad Culture is in the business of connecting genuine talent with esteemed companies in the graphic design industry. If you’re looking to apply for positions at some of the most reputable businesses in the world, we’ve got you covered. 

Submit your resume to get hired!

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