11 signs you should become a graphic designer

Are you obsessed with fonts, packaging and aesthetics? Well, you might be ready for a career as a designer.
11 signs you should become a graphic designer

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Some people are destined to be designers. They have a knack for aesthetics, notice the finer details and love to learn new things. With Shillington, you can turn your passion for design into a career. Get qualified as a graphic designer in as little as three months full-time, or nine months part-time. 

Graphic designers are employed in a huge range of places, to create everything from album covers and corporate branding through to custom fonts and web design. Here are 11 signs you could be one of them. 


1. You buy things just for the packaging

Does the bottle of wine with the most original label always find its way into your shopping basket? Have you found yourself admiring the take-out bag your food came in while eating lunch? If so, you have a serious appreciation for packaging design and know what it takes to stand out on the shelf. Holly Karlsson, a teacher at Shillington New York, can relate: ‘While working my first job at a grocery store, I requested to work in the wine and spirits department, just so I could appreciate all the beautiful packaging,’ she admits.

2. You recognise fonts have different personalities

Were you the kid who spent more time drawing headings, choosing typeface and fussing about paper stock than doing the actual homework? You know font choice matters. With so many different typefaces available, it’s essential to find the right typeface pairings to complement the design. Designers can quickly tell what works and what doesn’t, so if Comic Sans and Papyrus make you cringe—you’re well on your way to becoming a designer.

3. You know the difference between maroon and marsala

Who knew there were so many colours in the rainbow? You! Do you know what the latest colour trends are? Are your bookshelves coordinated by colour? Colour choice is a big part of design, and it takes a keen eye to perfect. Simply seeing the spectrum is a powerful place to start. Laura Weldon from Shillington Manchester understands. ‘I nearly had a breakdown while choosing a paint colour for my living room. My husband couldn’t believe there were so many options for ‘off-white’.’

4. You spend hours on Pinterest and Instagram

Designers love creating mood boards because visual research can inspire and spark creativity in unpredictable ways. You should definitely consider becoming a graphic designer if you find yourself lusting over stationery on Pinterest or in a deep spiral of #typography tags on Instagram.

5. You download apps just to check out the design

John Fry from Shillington Melbourne hoards weather apps on his phone, not because he’s particularly interested in the weather, but just to check out the interface design. As our everyday life catapults into the innovative future, designers play a big role in creating well-designed digital products. If your phone is full of apps you hardly use but can’t bear to delete—you have a head start in understanding the world of UX (User Experience) design.

6. You care about aesthetics in everyday life

Are the cushions on your sofa organised by size or colour? Are your picture frames perfectly aligned? If so, you understand the importance of visual clarity. Balance, Repetition, Contrast, Alignment, Hierarchy. The five design principles that create the foundation of design education are already forming in your brain.

7. You understand the power of branding

Branding is more than just a logo—it’s the spirit and idea behind a product or service that consumers connect with. Successful brands create an instant reaction. If you recognise and understand brand loyalty, your inner designer is well at work. Shillington New York’s Enza Lettieri gets it. ‘I know branding plays a big part in my everyday life. It’s all about the tiny details—I love that fragrant smell when I enter a T2 store. The brand puts effort into the whole customer experience.’

8. You have a knack for craft and handmade objects

Do you like to get your hands dirty? Do you enjoy the process of crafting as much as the end product? You’re a creative at heart if you spend your weekend undertaking home DIY projects, or even unwinding with an adult colouring book.

9. You know design is more than meets the eye

You see what others don’t, and love wowing friends with the hidden meaning in popular logos. Your favourite party trick? Uncovering the secret arrow in the FedEx logo, pointing out the bear in Toblerone, or identifying the a –> z in Amazon.

10. You collect designs that inspire

If you save your favourite cards and invitations, have a bowl filled with cool old matchbooks, or can’t bear to throw out an empty but beautiful perfume bottle … signs are you’re a creative! Designers love to collect examples that inspire because when something works, it works. Shillington London’s Ali Neilly is a fan of collecting too. She said, ‘I’m a serial collector. I once acquired an elderly woman’s stamp collection from a charity shop and since then have continued to add to it as they’re the perfect addition to a moodboard with their unique patterns and colours.’

11. You love to learn

Have you ever watched a YouTube tutorial to help you perfect a new skill? Our field is ever-evolving, and as designers there’s always more to learn! The team at Shillington know that our creative journey is a life-long one, which is why they’re always finding ways to stay ahead of the curve.

If you’re nodding along to this list, maybe you should become a designer. Kickstart your creative career in just 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington.

Students can choose to study at Shillington in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane as well as overseas in London, Manchester and New York (student visa available). The course is available to everyone with no submission folios or prerequisites.

Shillington is hosting an Info Session for its graphic design course in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on Wednesday 26 April at 6pm.

Private appointments to meet with staff and teachers are available at all campus upon request.

You can see more Shillington student work on Twitter and Instagram.


Friday 7 April, 2017

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