Graphic design tutorial

Have you ever thought about how cool logos for famous brands are made? Or how websites look so awesome with their colors and fonts? Graphic design is what makes all of that happen. But what exactly is graphic design, and how can you become a part of it? Let’s explore and learn about what graphic design is and how you can start your journey into this exciting world.

What is Graphics Designing?

Graphic Designing is like telling a story using pictures, fonts, and colors. It’s about making things look attractive and clear so that people can understand ideas easily. Imagine a cool concert poster, a memorable company logo, or a website that’s easy to use – all of this is thanks to graphic designers. In simple words, graphic design is the art of making information look awesome and simple to grasp.

What are the different types of graphic design?

Graphic design is a diverse field, and it’s exciting to see how it can cater to various styles and purposes. Here are some different types of graphic design you might find intriguing:

  • Visual Identity and Branding Design: This type focuses on creating the overall look and feel of a brand, including logos, color schemes, typography, and visual elements that make a brand unique. Think of it as the face and personality of a company.
  • Print Design: Print design involves creating visuals for physical materials such as brochures, flyers, business cards, posters, and magazines. The goal is to make these tangible pieces visually appealing and informative.
  • Digital/Web Design: This type revolves around designing for digital platforms like websites, mobile apps, social media graphics, and email newsletters. It’s about creating an engaging online presence and ensuring a seamless user experience.
  • Packaging Design: Packaging design is all about creating attractive and functional packaging for products. It includes the design of product labels, boxes, bottles, and other containers to make products stand out on the shelves.
  • UI/UX Design (User Interface/User Experience): UI design is about designing the interface of websites and apps, ensuring it’s visually appealing and user-friendly. UX design focuses on enhancing the overall experience users have while interacting with a product or service.
  • Illustration and Infographics: This involves creating original artwork and visuals to convey messages or information. It’s often used in books, articles, presentations, or marketing materials to make complex information easy to understand.
  • Motion Graphics and Animation: This type involves designing visuals that move, such as animations, videos, and interactive media. It’s used in advertisements, videos, websites, and social media to engage the audience dynamically.

Understanding these types will help you figure out which area of graphic design excites you the most and where you’d like to focus your skills and creativity.

What are the skills needed to be a graphic designer?

Becoming a graphic designer involves honing a specific set of skills that allow you to create visually appealing and effective designs. Here are the key skills you’ll need:

  • Creativity: Graphic design is essentially a creative field. You need to have a vivid imagination and the ability to think outside the box to come up with unique and innovative design ideas.
  • Communication: Being able to communicate ideas visually and verbally is crucial. You must effectively convey the intended message to the target audience through your designs.
  • Typography: Understanding fonts, their styles, sizes, and how to use them effectively is fundamental. Typography is a significant part of graphic design and impacts the readability and aesthetic of designs.
  • Color Theory: Knowing how colors interact and evoke emotions is essential. Understanding color combinations, contrasts, and how to use them appropriately in design is vital for creating visually appealing works.
  • Layout and Composition: Understanding how to arrange elements on a page or screen is crucial for an effective design. It includes considering balance, alignment, proximity, and hierarchy to guide the viewer’s eye.
  • Software Proficiency: Mastering graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign is a must. These tools are the industry standard for creating and editing design elements
  • Time Management: Graphic designers often work on multiple projects with tight deadlines. Efficient time management and the ability to prioritize tasks are crucial skills to keep up with the demands of the profession.
  • Attention to Detail: The smallest details can make a big difference in design. Being meticulous and paying close attention to every aspect of your work is vital for a polished and professional result.
  • Adaptability and Open-mindedness: The design world is constantly evolving with new trends, technologies, and client preferences. Being open to learning, adapting, and staying updated with industry changes is important.

How to build a graphic design portfolio?

Creating an impressive graphic design portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills, style, and creativity to potential clients or employers. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you build an outstanding graphic design portfolio:

  • Select Your Best Work: Begin by carefully curating your best design projects. Choose pieces that highlight a diverse range of your skills and styles. Quality is more important than quantity.
  • Organize Your Portfolio: Categorize your work to make it easily navigable. Create sections for different types of projects like branding, print design, digital design, web design, etc. This allows viewers to find what they’re looking for quickly.
  • Create a Portfolio Website: Build a professional website to showcase your work. Choose a clean, visually appealing design that complements your work rather than distracting from it. Ensure the site is easy to navigate and loads quickly.
  • Introduce Yourself: Include a brief bio or an “About Me” section that provides insight into who you are as a designer, your design philosophy, and what inspires you. Make it personal and engaging.
  • Project Descriptions: For each project, write a short description explaining the project’s goals, your role, the design process, and any challenges you overcame. Add visuals like sketches, wireframes, or mood boards to illustrate your creative process.
  • High-Quality Images and Videos: Present your work using high-resolution images and, if applicable, videos. Showcase different views or aspects of each project to provide a comprehensive view of your design.
  • Display Process Shots: Include images or videos that depict the evolution of a project. Show the initial concept, drafts, and the final product. This gives viewers an understanding of your design journey.
  • Highlight Achievements and Testimonials: If you have received awards, recognitions, or positive feedback from clients or peers, display them on your portfolio. Testimonials can add credibility and build trust with potential clients.
  • Update Regularly: Keep your portfolio up to date by adding new projects and removing outdated or less relevant work. Regularly showcase your growth and improvement as a designer.
  • Integrate Social Media: Connect your social media profiles to your portfolio. Sharing your design-related activities and engaging with the design community on platforms like Instagram, Behance, or Dribbble can attract more attention to your work.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Ensure your portfolio website is optimized for mobile devices. Many people access websites on their phones, so it’s important that your portfolio looks great and functions well on all devices.
  • Seek Feedback: Before launching your portfolio, seek feedback from fellow designers or mentors. Constructive criticism can help you refine and improve the presentation of your work

Graphic design salary expectations in Nigeria

Salaries in Nigeria can vary based on factors such as location, experience, level of expertise, industry, and the specific organization you work for. Graphic design salaries in Nigeria can range widely. Let’s discuss approximate salary expectations based on experience and expertise:

  • Entry-Level/Junior Graphic Designer: An entry-level or junior graphic designer with 0-2 years of experience can expect to earn around ₦50,000 to ₦150,000 per month, or approximately ₦600,000 to ₦1,800,000 annually.
  • Mid-Level Graphic Designer: A mid-level graphic designer with 2-5 years of experience can earn between ₦150,000 to ₦300,000 per month, or approximately ₦1,800,000 to ₦3,600,000 annually.
  • Senior Graphic Designer: A senior graphic designer with over 5 years of experience and a proven track record can earn upwards of ₦300,000 per month, or approximately ₦3,600,000 or more annually.
  • Freelance/Contractual Work: Freelancers in graphic design may have varying earnings depending on the projects they undertake, client relationships, and the complexity of the work. Rates can range from ₦20,000 to ₦100,000 or more per project.

In closing, we’re genuinely excited for the path you’re embarking on in the world of graphic design, whether you’re just starting out or advancing your already impressive skills. We sincerely hope that the insights we’ve shared here empower you in your graphic design journey. Know that at AfrikBrand, we’re here to cheer you on every step of the way. Your creativity and dedication are what make this field so vibrant, and we can’t wait to see the incredible designs you’ll create and the heights you’ll reach. Keep designing!