how to get started in graphic design

Begin Graphic Design: Essential Starter Tips

Graphic design is a creative practice that combines visual elements, typography, and images to effectively communicate messages. If you’re interested in getting started in graphic design, this article will provide you with some essential tips for beginners.

First and foremost, it’s important to learn the fundamental principles of graphic design. Understanding concepts such as hierarchy, alignment, contrast, space, color, proximity, repetition, and balance will help you create cohesive and impactful designs. These principles ensure that your designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also clear in communicating your desired message.

Another important step in your journey to becoming a graphic designer is enrolling in a graphic design course. There are numerous online resources available, such as General Assembly, Vectornator Academy, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera, that offer comprehensive courses covering various aspects of graphic design. These courses will provide you with a deeper understanding of the discipline, its history, and the tools available.

To excel in graphic design, it’s essential to master a design program of your choosing, such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, or Sketch. These software programs are the industry standard and will allow you to create various design assets.

Networking with fellow designers is also crucial. Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn provide opportunities to connect with other professionals in the field. Additionally, attending meetups and events, and seeking constructive feedback will help you grow as a designer.

Lastly, practice regularly, follow design influencers and industry leaders for inspiration, and embrace negative space to enhance your designs. Undertaking passion projects and starting small will help you gain valuable experience and improve your skills over time. Remember, getting started is the first step, and with dedication and perseverance, you can embark on a fulfilling journey in the world of graphic design.

Learn Fundamental Design Principles

Fundamental design principles form the bedrock of effective graphic design. By understanding and incorporating these principles into your designs, you can create cohesive and visually appealing compositions that effectively convey your message. Let’s explore the key design principles that every graphic designer should master:


Hierarchy refers to the arrangement and organization of elements in a design to create a visual order and guide the viewer’s attention. By giving certain elements more prominence, such as using larger fonts or bolder colors, you can establish a clear hierarchy that helps viewers navigate the design.


Alignment is crucial for maintaining order and balance in a design. Ensuring that elements are properly positioned and aligned creates a visually harmonious composition. Consistent alignment helps establish visual connections between different elements and enhances the overall readability and aesthetics of the design.


Contrast adds interest and emphasis to a design by utilizing differences in color, size, shape, or texture. It helps highlight important elements and creates a visual separation between different components. By effectively using contrast, you can draw attention to key elements and create visual impact.


Space, also known as whitespace or negative space, refers to the empty areas between and around design elements. It helps create a sense of balance, clarity, and breathing room within a composition. Properly utilizing space can enhance readability, draw attention to focal points, and evoke a sense of elegance and sophistication.


Color plays a crucial role in graphic design as it evokes emotions and communicates messages. Understanding color theory and effectively using colors can help convey the desired mood, create visual interest, and establish a cohesive visual identity. A well-chosen color palette can significantly impact the overall aesthetic appeal and effectiveness of a design.


Proximity involves grouping related elements together within a design. By placing related elements in close proximity, you can create visual associations and improve the overall organization and readability of the composition. Proximity helps viewers quickly understand the relationships between different elements.


Repetition involves the consistent use of visual elements or patterns throughout a design. Repetition creates a sense of unity, consistency, and strengthens the overall visual identity. It helps establish visual rhythm and reinforces key design elements. Thoughtful repetition provides a cohesive and memorable experience for the viewer.


Balance refers to the distribution of visual weight within a design. By evenly distributing elements, you can create a sense of equilibrium and harmony. Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, depending on the design’s requirements. Achieving balance ensures that no single element overpowers the overall composition.

By learning and implementing these fundamental design principles, you can create visually engaging and effective designs that leave a lasting impression. Let’s put these principles into practice and explore the importance of enrolling in a graphic design course in the next section.

Enroll in a Graphic Design Course

Enrolling in a graphic design course can provide you with comprehensive knowledge and skills in the field. Whether you are a beginner or looking to enhance your existing skills, there are abundant online resources offering graphic design courses. Some reputable platforms to consider include:

  1. General Assembly: Known for its intensive and immersive courses, General Assembly offers a wide range of graphic design programs that cover various topics, from design fundamentals to advanced techniques. Their courses are taught by industry professionals.
  2. Vectornator Academy: Vectornator Academy provides free courses that focus on vector graphic design using their powerful design software. These courses cater to beginners and advanced designers, offering insights into creating stunning vector-based illustrations.
  3. Skillshare: Skillshare is a popular platform with a vast library of graphic design courses. They offer both beginner and advanced level programs taught by industry experts. Skillshare courses provide hands-on projects to help you apply what you’ve learned.
  4. LinkedIn Learning: Formerly known as, LinkedIn Learning offers a wide range of high-quality graphic design courses. Their courses cover topics such as layout design, typography, user experience (UX) design, and more. LinkedIn Learning also offers certificates upon course completion.
  5. Udemy: Udemy is another popular online learning platform with a diverse range of graphic design courses. Their courses are created by independent instructors, providing a wide variety of perspectives and teaching styles. Udemy offers lifetime access to course materials.
  6. Coursera: Coursera partners with top universities and institutions to offer specialized graphic design courses. These courses typically follow a structured curriculum and include assignments and quizzes. Coursera also offers the option to earn certificates upon completion.

Be sure to choose a course that aligns with your learning style and goals. Dedicate time and effort to complete the course, and actively engage in the learning materials and assignments. Remember, learning graphic design is an ongoing process, so continue exploring and expanding your knowledge even after completing a course.


Getting started in graphic design is an exciting journey for beginners, offering endless opportunities for creativity and exploration. By following essential tips, learning fundamental design principles, enrolling in graphic design courses, and networking with fellow designers, you can develop your skills and create impactful designs.

When designing, always prioritize clarity and impact. Consider your target audience and the purpose of your design to ensure your message is effectively communicated. Continuous learning and adaptation are crucial in the constantly evolving field of graphic design, so stay up to date with the latest trends and techniques.

Remember, developing your skills does not happen overnight. Practice regularly, seek inspiration from design influencers, and build an inspiration catalog for reference. Embrace the design process, from ideation to execution, and let your passion drive you towards success in your graphic design journey.


How can I get started in graphic design?

To get started in graphic design, you can follow essential starter tips such as learning fundamental design principles, enrolling in graphic design courses, networking with fellow designers, practicing regularly, seeking inspiration from design influencers, building an inspiration catalog, and embracing the design process.

What are the fundamental design principles?

The fundamental design principles in graphic design include hierarchy, alignment, contrast, space, color, proximity, repetition, and balance. Understanding and applying these principles will help you create cohesive and visually appealing designs.

Where can I find graphic design courses?

There are many reputable online resources where you can find graphic design courses, including General Assembly, Vectornator Academy, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera. These courses cover various topics and provide in-depth knowledge and skills in the field of graphic design.

How do I choose the right graphic design course?

When choosing a graphic design course, consider your learning style and goals. Look for courses that cover the topics and tools you are interested in. Read reviews and testimonials to gauge the quality and effectiveness of the course. Dedicate time and effort to complete the course and continue to explore and expand your knowledge even after completing it.

What should I focus on when designing in graphic design?

When designing in graphic design, it is important to focus on designing for clarity and impact. Consider the target audience and the purpose of your design. Continuously learn and adapt to stay current in the ever-evolving field of graphic design.

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