When you think about graphic design, what do you imagine?
Is it an intense, fast-paced world filled with sketching pencils, coffee pots, and sleepless nights? A tech-heavy profession that requires the use of Photoshop?
Or an artistic field that can never be mastered unless you’re Rob Janoff who designed the iconic Apple logo or Carolyn Davidson who did Nike’s?
Graphic design is one of the most misunderstood creative industries.
But though there are many myths about the industry, don’t let them stop you from designing and getting your message out into the world!
It’s time to clear up some myths about what graphic designers do, so let’s dive right in.
Below, we list and debunk nine common myths about graphic design that might be killing your chance to succeed in your industry.
Myth 1: A degree is necessary
There are plenty of people out there who have entered the graphic design industry without a formal education in the field.
This doesn’t mean they were not qualified to work in it, but rather that they learned on their own time and became successful through self-teaching.
The truth is graphic design is easily one of the most accessible professions out there both with regard to learning about it and entering into it.
There are many courses offered online by top programs at very reasonable prices which can give you an edge over those who don’t know anything about graphic design or Photoshop.
Just because someone hasn’t gone this route doesn’t mean they aren’t competent enough.
After all, it’s not your diploma that employers and clients will look at, but your portfolio.
Myth 2: Graphic designers are only needed if there is something for them to design
One of the most common reasons why people think that becoming a graphic designer would be easy is because they don’t really understand what graphic designers do on a day-to-day basis.
Whenever something needs to be designed, designers are always needed to help, starting from conceptualizing until completing the design solution.
Graphic designers work closely with the marketing team so that they’re in the loop as to what the marketing goals are and how their designs can achieve these goals.
Although some of their time is still spent on creating the actual designs, graphic designers spend part of their day checking out how their designs look on different media like computers, tablets, mobile phones, and print materials.
Myth 3: Graphic designers only do logos, websites, and posters
You will find that some design projects focus on creating one of these three items, but there are many other types of design work that may come your way.
Many companies will need everything from business cards to their entire set of branding materials like box shots, mockups, and magazine covers – depending on how large or small the company is.
These items are important because they help brands connect with their audiences on a deeper level than just logos and websites can provide.
All of these things work together towards the goal of branding the company, which means that designers need to be good at all of these things in order to be successful.
Myth 4: Graphic designers are artists; therefore, they make up their own rules
Many people think that graphic design is exclusively an art form because it’s assumed that you can do whatever you want.
However, just like any other profession, there are some guidelines to follow when designing something new, even if they aren’t always enforced.
You need to understand how certain design features affect the user experience, and ultimately, the way your message is interpreted.
Because at the end of the day, graphic design is communication and the end goal is understanding.
So while it is not a crime to color outside of the lines, you have to consider your audience and if your design effectively communicates your message.
Myth 5: There are no real set rules in graphic design
Every job has its own specific set of instructions designed to ensure high-quality project results.
Yes, even graphic designers follow these guides in order to create effective designs no matter what type they produce!
Whether it’s creating a logo or designing an entire website, there are certain principles that come into play when working on layouts.
For example, grids (lines) can be used to make sure elements like photos or text-align accurately with one another, regardless of the screen size.
And when it comes to typography, rules like “the x-height must be equal to the body text” are there for a reason.
Myth 6: The more colours you use in a design, the better
There’s nothing wrong with using colour. In fact, colours give life and dimension to your design.
But remember that less is always more. While it may seem easier on your eyes if you used every color in the rainbow, this doesn’t mean that your client or customer will see things from your perspective and appreciate your work.
In many cases, good graphic design involves creating something minimalistic and simplistic while still focusing on an important message or image.
But if you do add some color to your graphic design (and there’s nothing wrong with this!), try not to overwhelm the eyes with too much!
Graphic designers are just copycats
Copycatting other people’s work is never okay.
When working on projects for clients, you’re expected to take initiative and come up with original ideas that will help drive their brand forward.
If you’re using someone else’s idea without giving them any credit or receiving payment, then you could be in hot water (not water hot enough to make tea).
Don’t be shy about taking inspiration from others.
But make sure that it doesn’t affect your relationship with them negatively.
Always ask for permission before utilizing other people’s designs!
Myth 8: You should constantly use the latest trends
The old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies here.
Just because the latest trend in social media is to use emojis doesn’t mean that your client will want you to include them on their business cards or website.
There are some cases where clients will ask for trendy designs, but other times they’ll take a more timeless approach (so that the design will last longer).
If your client wants something specific, then by all means go ahead and create it how they’d like. After all, they have the final say—not YOU.
Otherwise, keep up with trends only when you’re already working on personal projects!
Myth 9: You need to learn Photoshop or another tool before you can be a graphic designer
Photoshop is one of the most popular software in the graphic design industry.
However, it is not the only choice for a designer to make when considering which tool they will use to create graphics.
In fact, a lot of graphic designers can work without any software at all. There has been a recent trend where the use of pencil and paper is making a comeback in generating original designs.
There are many alternatives available, and one is ClickDesigns. It’s point-and-click design software that has everything you could possibly need to come up with stunning designs.
As long as your creativity is there, you should never feel limited by the tools you have access to.
If you’ve read this far, I hope that it made sense and helped clear things up about the myths surrounding graphic design.
As you’ll see in my future posts, graphic design is just one part of the creative process when it comes to branding (which is much bigger than logos).
But if you do like designing websites, social media graphics and other marketing materials, make sure to check back soon for tips related to those subjects.
You also need to check out ClickDesigns, the design tool for page builders that requires no technical or creative skills and experience.
I’ve had a test run with it, and it’s giving pro graphic designers a run for their money.
In fact, all the graphics here are all made inside ClickDesigns!