How to become a graphic designer without going to college

Are you passionate about graphic design, but don’t want to go to college? Here are some ways you can learn how to become a graphic designer without paying thousands of dollars. If this sounds like you, then follow the steps below and start designing! There are many different types of jobs that require graphic design skills, from print to web to motion graphics and even product design. No matter what type of job you want to do, you’ll need the same basic knowledge and skills to make your designs really shine. Let’s look at how you can get those skills on your own.

What Do Graphic Designers Do?

Working as a graphic designer involves creating designs that communicate a message. You might be tasked with creating ads, brochures, presentations, website layouts, and logos. In other words: pretty much anything visual for an organization is fair game.

Can I Really I Just Learn this Stuff on My Own?

You can—but there’s a good chance you won’t. In order to get good at graphic design, it helps to take real-world classes from someone who’s doing it well already. The problem with the college route is that you pay a lot of money for art classes while simultaneously racking up debt, something that doesn’t make much sense if you plan on becoming a freelance designer.

Even if you only have a little experience you could start doing inexpensive logos for small businesses in your local area. As you do so, you’ll learn more skills. 

What are the Alternative Education Pathways for Becoming a Graphic Designer?

Don’t have a degree in graphic design? That’s okay. There are plenty of alternative pathways to becoming a designer—you just need a strong portfolio and some experience. These alternative education opportunities will help you move closer to your dream job as a graphic designer, but they won’t guarantee it—yet they are excellent stepping stones in that direction.

I highly recommend these courses, which are affordable (or even free) and online!

Ultimately it depends how you learn. I like taking a course and then playing around with what I learned for a week or two, and then finding a course to learn something new. Some people do learn better in classrooms, but you may even be able to take a less expensive class locally from someone already successfully doing what you want to do. 

AGI training offers practical classes here in Orlando:

How can I be Good at Digital Illustration?

I’ve made so many rookie mistakes as an illustrator. Many of them were simple tasks that could have easily been figured out if I had only taken 10 minutes to research what I was doing. 

First and foremost you have to practice, and if you know you aren’t doing something as well as you could find a mentor or google that specific skill to find a good video or course on getting better. YouTube is a fount of information.