Graphic design is a communication that uses a combination of art and technology. It is becoming an increasingly popular and essential part of all industries. As the demand for good graphic designers that grows, it is important that those who want to pursue a career in the field understand what steps are required to become one.
The most important qualities a designer should have is an eye for art. Through drawing classes in high school, it is very helpful when it is time to advance your training in the field of graphic design. Drawing, however, is not the only important artistic aspect. The more knowledge a person has about all artistic mediums, the more talented and unique they will be as a designer.
Although some people enter the graphic design industry without any formal training, it is rare. Having a degree in the field shows potential employers that the designer has a basic understanding of the field and the elements it entails. It also shows a certain degree of dedication to a professional career. Having a university degree is usually essential to enter this direction.
To be successful, it is important to go to a college or university with a specialized degree in the field. Most graphic designers will pursue a degree in visual arts, specializing in graphic design or computer art. If you are looking for any school to attend, make sure the programs they offer are tailored for those who want a career in the subject. Some schools offer basic introductory courses but do not have a specific degree program for this specialty.
People who use their computers for graphic design work need computers with different specifications than what will be sufficient for general users. Because hardware configuration plays such an important role in the quality of the final result, most graphic designers go to great lengths to choose their computers. For a long time, Apple was the first and pretty much the only option, and Macs set the standard for graphic design skills that others tried but could never match. Today, companies like HP and Dell have introduced PCs and laptops that can compete with Apple. But the best way to define what makes a computer good for graphics design is not to look at competing brands and models but to define the specifications that make a computer suitable for a graphic designer.
It won’t be cheap
A graphic design computer will be high-end, with many expensive options. While there are a lucky few for whom money is not an issue, for most of us, there will be compromises. These compromises do not have to affect the performance of your computer if you think carefully. For example, a person who designs as a hobby won’t need huge storage and can get by with a smaller hard drive. Those who don’t do high volumes of work might consider a less expensive processor as speed is not a critical area for them. There is only one thing you should never compromise, and that is the graphics card – always get the best you can.
The basic specifications of the graphic design computer
Let’s start with the operating system – you must have the 64-bit version of Windows 7 (unless you go to Apple). Next comes the optical drive – any high-speed DVD RW will do. Blu Ray is an unnecessary expense. As for RAM, you should look for at least 6GB of DDR3. You could enter for less, but as mentioned above, it will slow you down. Don’t make the mistake of looking at the HDD only in terms of capacity. While 500GB is the minimum, you should be thinking of one of the new 10,000 RPM drives rather than the old 7,200 RPM ones. The speed with which you can open files will be a blessing. If you can afford it, go for the new SSDs, which are very reliable and fast. You will need a second storage device, and a 1 TB external drive is the best.
Two critical components are the display and the graphics card. While the screen size depends on personal preference, most designers use at least a 17-inch screen. Of course, it must be a high definition LED screen for you to get the best images of your designs. When it comes to graphics, Nvidia has long been the best in the business, and their Series 2 cards are the best you can get. However, the new ATI cards are also very good and if you buy a computer with ATI installed, make sure it is a brand new 5 series card.
A computer with any of these specifications will cost you around $ 2,000. Take the time to check out the various options available to get the one that best suits your needs. Dell recently introduced the Studio XPS 9000, which is one of the best graphic design computers available today:
VIDEO CARD: Nvidia
A GeForce GTS 240 1024MB
DISPLAY: 22 “Samsung HD LED
HARD DRIVES: 2 x 1TB 7200 RPM SATA
OPTICAL DRIVE: DVD +/- RW 16X Drive
PROCESSOR: Intel i7-920 processor (8MB L3 cache, 2.66 GHz)-
This costs around $ 1,800, about the same as a good Mac. So the choice of a Windows or Apple computer is up to you.
A designer may have three main options for working in the industry.
As a freelance graphic designer, you can search for jobs yourself to find suitable projects and clients. In this situation, you can rent an office or work from home. You can work to identify your niche and specialize in an industry. Another option could be to work as a generalist and have various types of clients from all types of industries.
If you choose to work for a company with a good amount of work, you would be an in-house designer.