Are You Ready for a Career in Graphic Design?

Ici - Are You Ready for a Career in Graphic Design

Choosing a career is a bigger decision than just choosing a job or a company to work for. Sure it involves trading time and skills for money, but the overall concept is significantly more important. And that’s why it pays to get it right.

Choosing a career takes some serious thought. First, you must figure out what skills you already have, and then decide how you can build upon those. You need to consider the market, your passions, and what will make you happy. You should look at your interests, your attitude and how you go about upskilling. Will the career hold your interest? Has the career got longevity? Is work readily available? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when considering a new career.

Let’s say you’re considering enrolling in our Graphic Design & Desktop Publishing course. You know a little about colour theory and what graphics software is out there, but have you got what it takes to turn your interest into a full-fledged career?

Let’s take a look…

Life as a graphic designer

  • A graphic design career allows you to express your creativity on a daily basis. You’ll meet and work with like-minded people, and can draw inspiration and ideas from their creativity too. But, there are challenges. Being surrounded by creative people can sometimes be quite hectic, as everyone sees things differently. You’ll need to learn when to be influenced and when to stand by your ideas.
  • A graphic design career allows you to learn on a daily basis. If you get bored easily, then this is a big plus. Because graphic design requires the latest software, you must continually add to your industry knowledge. You may find this hard at first, but if you see the value in continued learning, you’ll love the constant need for updates.
  • A graphic design career allows you to be flexible, and is one of those professions you can easily do from home. As long as you’ve got a computer and good internet connection, you’re good to go. If freedom of choice is something you long for, you’ll love being able to work from anywhere, anytime.
  • A graphic design career allows you to help out friends and family. Every person at some point in their lives requires the assistance of a graphic designer, be it for a fundraising flyer, a new business logo, or creating an effective marketing campaign. There will be times when you need to say no to freebies, but as there are no real overheads in graphic design other than time, you will feel good being able to offer advice or assistance when you choose to.
  • A graphic design career allows you to work on multiple projects and for a varied range of clients. This means work will never be boring, however it also means you’ll need to be organised. Having multiple projects happening at once can get confusing, so you’ll need to set some systems up to stay on top of things.
  • A graphic design career means you will never be short of clients. As long as businesses keep growing and new companies arise, there will always be work. But with graphic designer numbers increasing, competition can be fierce. You’ll need to work hard to stand out from the pack.
  • A graphic design career means endless possibilities. If you’re not ready to run your own studio, you can work for someone else. If you’re worried about your creativity being stifled, you can set up your own venture with very little cost. In-house or freelance, it’s up to you.

Qualities of a graphic designer

To build a successful graphic design career there are certain qualities one should possess. These may include:

Artistic ability

This one is an obvious one. A great graphic designer must have a variety of artistic skills they can apply to different briefs.


When showcasing your work to others, you must always be prepared for critique. You must be receptive and open-minded, and able to separate your work from a personal attack.


The most successful designers are often the ones most willing to take risks. You must push yourself out of your comfort zone every time you design. How else do you learn what you’re capable of?


Having your own personal style is great, but you must be able to think about what is in the client’s best interest. A good graphic designer sees past their own design habits and tendencies and gets in the mind of their client’s audience. In short, they don’t get stuck in one overall style, and they’re capable of seeing the big picture.

Good communication

There will be times as a graphic designer that you will need to work closely with others. If you can’t communicate your ideas clearly, you’re going to struggle to collaborate successfully. You must be willing to be a team player and a good listener, otherwise you’ll have difficulty meeting specifications.


Designers work hard to come up with creative graphics, and it’s morally and ethically wrong to simply steal them and claim them as your own. Repurposing someone else’s design may seem convenient, but it’s plain dishonest.


Graphic design often means you’ll be working on multiple projects that more often than not come with a strict deadline. To effectively satisfy clients, you must manage your work well.


Many graphic designers start out by sourcing their own clients. They build on these clients and improve their skill set with continued learning. If you’re not self-motivated, you will struggle to build up your client base. Doing a course is one thing, but it’s your self motivation that will turn your new knowledge into a career.

How to start

If you’re already a creative soul and you’ve got the qualities listed above, you’re already halfway to becoming a successful graphic designer. Once you learn how to curb that creativity (to satiate the appetites of customers) and apply these qualities, you’re almost there.

Formal training will always be the best way to start a career in graphic design. Sure you may be super talented, but formal training will take your talent to the next level. Our Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing course, for example, teaches you the theory behind the industry and will fast track you into the career of your choice. You’ll learn foundation and theory, tools and workplace organisation, printing, raw materials and prepress, digital illustration, design and typography, desktop publishing, web design, marketing design and more. What better way to establish yourself?

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a graphic designer? Enrol now or call 1300 131 582. The field of graphic design is a fascinating area to study and we’re waiting for you. Don’t miss the next cut off date, and start moving towards a new career dream.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.