Advice for Graphic Design Students

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The 21st century is an exciting time for graphic design. Today’s up and coming graphic designers have a wide range of options available to them that were not even a thing just a short decade ago. From online and freelance options to constantly advancing graphic design software, every day brings new changes and benefits to the graphic design world. Here are four great tips for today’s graphic design students.

Get Paid For Your Homework

Graphic design homework often involves design tasks like designing a logo or graphic involving a specific design element. With online services like Fiverr you can sometimes pick up a client that will pay you to do a project you can also use as your homework. Even if you don’t find a client through an online service, like all artists, budding graphic designers are generally surrounded by people who want them to just “throw something together” for them for free or at a very low cost. You can keep both your instructors and family & friends happy by combining homework projects with projects for family and friends – and make a few bucks in the process.

Start Working With Clients Now

Like all artists, graphic designers have to know far more than just how to use all the tools in the latest versions of InDesign. You have to know how to keep track of your time to figure out what to bill a client, how to deliver a product the client will love – even if you hate it – and what to do when a client doesn’t want to pay. Probably the most important thing of all that you will learn, however, is how to spot a “problem client” you want to avoid at all costs. Going back to those family and friends that want you to “whip something up for them real quick”? Those are now clients.

Don’t Work For Free

Building a business is a lot like dating: if you let people know up front you don’t put out on the first date, you stop getting asked out by people that expect you to put out on the first date. You may barter or trade for services, you may only charge $20 for a $50 job, but don’t work for free. This includes “spec” work! On the same note, don’t think you’re special. Lawyers get asked for free legal advice all the time, plumbers have family members that “just” want a garbage disposal installed “real quick” and doctors – well, you get the picture.

Get a Website, Business Cards And Don’t Tell Anyone You Are A Student

The difference between being a graphic designer and a doctor, lawyer or architect is that you don’t have to be licensed to call yourself one. As soon as you start designing, you are a graphic designer. As soon as you are a graphic designer, you can start building your own graphic design business and charging for your work.

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