Home » Graphic Design School and Career Guide » Preparing for School

How to Get Ready for Graphic Design School

Start graphic design school on the right foot with these five tips.
Search for programs near you
A graphic designer works at his computer with paper sketches

Graphic designers are responsible for producing the layout and artistic elements of a wide variety of products, from food packaging to book covers to road signs. It's not surprising that many of the most successful have a degree either in design or a related field.

Your graphic design school experience will teach you the fundamentals, but getting the most out of it is up to you. How your education shapes your future career is determined by choices you make in school, including which one you choose to attend.

Read on for a list of tips to help you get your education started on the right foot.

Five Ways to Prepare for School

1. Pick Your Passion

It is possible to graduate from graphic design school and not know how you want to specialize your career. However, if you know ahead of time which direction you're headed, you can enroll in classes that will help you maximize your experience.

2. Invest in a Good Computer

Sketching still plays a role in the field, but the bulk of your time will be spent manipulating graphics using software such as Adobe Photoshop® and other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite®. You'll master these programs in graphic design school, but you'll need a fast, updated computer with a lot of memory to create and save large graphic files. A large computer display monitor is also worth the investment, because it will make designing easier. Don't forget to take advantage of student discounts on computers and software.

3. Talk to Graphic Design School Graduates

There is no better way to get a feel for graphic design school than to interview recent graduates. If you don't know anyone who recently attended your school, ask an admissions officer to connect you with someone. You'll find out who the best professors are and learn tricks for getting into popular graphic design courses. You can also research this information on the Web.

4. Prepare Your Portfolio

Graphic designers use portfolios to highlight their talents and showcase their best work. While you may not have a long list of projects under your belt just yet, starting to think about your portfolio can help to guide your best work in graphic design school. With some planning and forethought, you'll be able to use your classroom assignments to help you build a well-rounded graphic design portfolio.

5. Learn Another Language

That is, learn at least the basic elements of computer programming languages such as HTML and JavaScript. With the bulk of graphic design done for online media, rookie graphic designers can't afford to ignore them. A working knowledge of these and other current languages will help you create designs that function in an online atmosphere.

Search for programs near you
Search for programs near you

Graphic Design Degree & Career Guide