Is Graphic Design Hard?

a student doing graphic design work on a tablet device

If you enjoy sketching or painting and working with computers, then graphic design might be the right career choice for you. Graphic design is both a creative and technical endeavor that requires a balanced mix of inspiration and critical thinking skills. Like any career field, there are aspects of graphic design that can prove challenging. However, if you love what you do, you will find that you can overcome these difficulties. By earning your graphic design degree, you can be well prepared to take on the challenges of this career field.

Earning Your Graphic Design Degree

A graphic design bachelor’s degree is designed to provide a gradual introduction to the subject. As you work through the sequential curriculum, you will build upon your knowledge and skills, becoming more advanced in graphic design principles and practices. The curriculum is sequential, so you will not have to worry about suddenly working on assignments that are completely out of your depth.

However, you’ll need to invest plenty of time and effort into your bachelor’s degree in graphic design program. You will learn about the theories and fundamentals of design, including visual skills such as the use of color, layout, composition and proportion.

How to Gain Practical Experience While Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design

Plan to spend extra time practicing your skills to succeed in your studies. You may want to seek out additional learning opportunities to excel in your field. For example, look for the online portfolios of professional graphic designers and take notes about what works and what doesn’t work. You may also want to listen to podcasts for graphic designers to develop a better understanding of best practices and industry expectations.

Coping With Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that affects professionals across all sectors and industries, including graphic designers. It involves a pattern of thoughts and feelings of self-doubt despite being fully qualified for one’s profession. Imposter syndrome is a common occurrence that most often affects individuals who would describe themselves as perfectionists.

The most effective way to work through imposter syndrome is to consult a psychologist or counselor. However, you can also fight the tendency toward self-doubt by working on becoming more self-aware about your thoughts and feelings. If thoughts of self-doubt arise, remind yourself of everything you have accomplished.

Working With Clients After Earning a Graphic Design Degree

Many graphic designers would say that working with clients is one of the most challenging aspects of this job. However, the same can be true of any profession that requires individuals to work with clientele. In the graphic design field, professionals may encounter the following issues:

  •  Clients who prefer designs that go against the established graphic design principles.
  •  Clients who provide unclear, vague instructions.
  •  Clients who change their mind about their preferences after the project is already completed.

These issues are certainly frustrating. However, there are effective solutions for all of them. It’s important to ask plenty of questions upfront so you can fully understand what the client wants. When a client requests designs that violate established graphic design principles and theories, you may need to remind yourself that the client is always right. Consider providing mockups of a design that meets the client’s specifications as well as one that follows conventional standards. Regarding the last challenge, if you’re a freelance graphic designer, you can include fees for project revisions in your standard pricing structure.

Maintaining Your Creativity and Staying Inspired

Most individuals who pursue a graphic design degree do so because they enjoy expressing their creativity. However, at some point along the way, many graphic designers find themselves experiencing a creative burnout. This can happen when many clients want the same general thing, but also want it to look completely different from every other design out there. The process of design can start to feel mechanical and uninspired.

You can often overcome it simply by remembering what first drew you to graphic design. For example, take time away from your job to enjoy sketching or painting again. Work on your own personal projects and let your creative juices flow. When you return to your clients’ work, you will feel refreshed and reinvigorated.

Blend your passion with purpose and prepare for an exciting career with a graphic design degree from Grand Canyon University. The Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Graphic Design is a hybrid degree program that guides students in developing advanced graphic design skills as well as strong copywriting skills, enabling them to become competitive, well-rounded job applicants. Click on Request Info at the top of your screen to learn more about our comprehensive curriculum.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.