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Is Graphic Design Right for You? Weighing the Pros and Cons. Thoughts from a Designer.



The world of visual communication beckons – are you ready to answer the call? Graphic design offers a unique blend of creativity and problem-solving, but it's not all smooth sailing and happy clients. Before diving headfirst into design software, take a moment to weigh the pros and cons to see if this exciting field aligns with your aspirations.

Pros: Unleash Your Inner Artist

  • Creative Expression: Graphic design allows you to translate ideas into visually compelling messages. If you thrive on bringing concepts to life through imagery and layout, this field offers a fulfilling outlet for your artistic side.

  • Diverse Skillset: The job goes beyond aesthetics. You'll develop skills in communication, typography, color theory, and user experience (UX) design, making you a valuable asset in various industries.

  • See Your Work in Action: Witnessing your designs come to life in print, on websites, or even on billboards can be incredibly rewarding. The tangible impact of your work can be a strong motivator.

Cons: Facing the Realities

  • Subjective Satisfaction: Not everyone will love your designs. Learning to accept and incorporate constructive criticism while staying true to your vision is crucial for success.

  • Client Juggling: Working with clients can be challenging. You might encounter tight deadlines, unclear requests, and revisions. Patience, clear communication, and the ability to manage expectations are key.

  • Sounds More Glamorous than Reality: The truth is that the industry is constantly up or down. There is little security and you may not always have the easiest clients to collaborate with.

  • Competitive Landscape: The graphic design field is competitive. Standing out requires continuous learning, building a strong portfolio, and effectively showcasing your unique talents. Although a formal degree isn't required, it is highly recommended. Art school is expensive, but it helps you develop the skills and talent to make more money and survive this cut-throat business.

  • Less money than you think: You will have to start with the bottom jobs that seasoned designers either don't want or that end up being minimum wage. The design field takes years to develop a full list of clients. And if you work for a company, they will require education and experience.

Beyond the List: Exploring Your Fit

While the pros and cons offer a general framework, consider these additional factors:

  • Your Interests: Do you enjoy visual arts, communication, and keeping up with design trends?

  • Your Skills: Are you comfortable with computers, have an eye for detail, and possess strong problem-solving skills? Can you manage people who don't know what they want, yet want to to show them what they want?

  • Your Personality: Do you thrive in collaborative environments, are patient with critiques, and possess the self-motivation to continuously learn? If you can't handle constant criticism, then run now. You won't thrive in this field.

Ultimately, the decision to become a graphic designer is personal and subjective. By weighing the pros and cons, reflecting on your interests and skills, and exploring the realities of the field, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed choice about your creative journey.

By considering these tips, I hope you find peace in choosing a career in design or ruling it out. Learn more about how I chose design as a passion more than a job on my FAQ page at www.JenaleeDesign.com.


Jenalee Marshall, graphic designer

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