How to Become a Graphic Designer

What is a Graphic Designer?

So, you want to be a graphic designer? Well, before we get into what’s required to become one, let’s talk about what graphic designers actually do.

Graphic designers convey and create inspiring and informative ideas in advertisements, brochures and other marketing communications materials. Some graphic designers work for specialized design firms as part of a collaborative team, while others are self-employed and work independently. Print and digital designers use complex graphics tools to manipulate text, images, animations and color. Most graphic designers work full-time to meet deadlines. 

Self-employed graphic designers must be flexible, as clients sometimes need to meet during evening and weekend hours. As with so many industries, customer service and client satisfaction are keys to success. Additionally, succeeding as a graphic designer includes learning how to bid on contracts, market services and develop an ongoing client base.

A career in Graphic Design is very rewarding! There is so much versatility and your day is never boring. As you constantly develop your ideas, design skills and overall creativity, you open many doors to new opportunities. In addition to a full time job in graphic design, you can also establish a local or worldwide freelance business on the side. Take a look at Etsy. Visitors download templates all of the time - things you've already created that will soon become second nature to you!

There are many careers that require or supplement a graphic design skill set, so research it more to see if it applies to you. If you have creativity and an eagerness to learn and expand your creativity, it is a GREAT option for you! 

Required Education and or Certification

In order to be competitive in the world of graphic design, you have to either have a certificate or a college degree in the field itself. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states, “Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.”

At New Horizons Columbus, we have several Adobe courses you can get certified in.

Explore our Adobe Training

Explore Adobe Products

Photoshop Training Courses

Adobe Photoshop - Adobe Photoshop is an advanced image editing application that lets you enhance, retouch, and manipulate photographs and other images.

InDesign Training Courses

Adobe InDesign - Adobe InDesign is a professional desktop publishing application you can use to create creative print media, e-books and other digital publications.

Illustrator Training Courses

Adobe Illustrator - Adobe Illustrator is the standard for creating vector graphics including Logos-Icons, illustrations and typography. Useful for print, web, video, and mobile platforms.

Captivate Training Courses

Adobe Captivate - Adobe Captivate is the premier program for developing interactive eLearning. Include mages, videos, animations, interactivity, audio narrations, and quizzes.

Dreamweaver Training Courses

Adobe Dreamweaver - Adobe Dreamweaver is an all-in-one visual development tool that allows you to create, publish, and manage websites and mobile content.

Acrobat Training Courses

Adobe Acrobat - Adobe Acrobat has become the universal document creation and management platform for creating, managing, and integrating PDF documents.

Flash Training Courses

Adobe Flash - Adobe Flash is a tool for creating animation and multimedia content that shows consistently across desktops, mobile devices, and different browsers.

Adobe Certified Expert Certification

Adobe Certified Expert Certification (ACE) - Each Adobe product offers a certification called the Adobe Certification Expert (ACE).

You can also Live Chat, email, or call our center 614-798-1000 and learn how we can help you achieve your Graphic Design goals!

The Adobe product line continues to be the standard for professionals, businesses and hobbyists. Even if you have a lot of experience with Adobe products, you will no doubt walk away from our classes with new tips and tricks to make your work more efficient.

Earn your Adobe Certified Expert Certifications (ACE)

After you have trained with New Horizons on Adobe products, pursue another level of excellence by obtaining your Adobe certifications.

Each Adobe product offers an individual certification called Adobe Certified Expert (ACE). Earning your certification is an ideal way to validate your skills to potential employers and gives you the confidence to know that you have mastered the tools of Adobe software.

In addition to the initial certification exams for most Adobe products, Adobe also has ACE recertification exams. Although your individual Adobe certifications do not expire, by taking the Recertification exams, you can remain up to date with each new Adobe product release. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.” Thankfully, our New Horizons testing centers can help with that.

To learn more about Adobe Certifications, please visit the Adobe Certification website.

graphic designer

Skills needed to become a Graphic Designer

These are the 10 essential skills every graphic designer needs to have, if you want to excel in a graphic design career!

  1. Visual Ideation/Creativity
  2. Soft Skills
  3. Problem Solving Skills
  4. Design Software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)
  5. Color Theory
  6. Time Management Skills
  7. Typography
  8. Web Design/Basic HTML & CSS
  9. Layout/Conversion Optimization
  10. Print Design


All of these skills are necessary in order to successfully execute projects, campaigns, or anything your employer or clients request from you. It takes time, perseverance, and determination to master each of these skills. However, at New Horizons, we can help you get your foot in the door.


A Day In The Life Of A Graphic Designer

Work Environment

Graphic designers work in an office or studio space, depending on their employer or, if they are self-employed, can work from home. They usually work with computers and need to be proficient with a range of specialist design software. 

Graphic designers may be required to work long hours if they are on a strict deadline and may be required to produce designs within a quick turnaround period. Graphic designers may either work as part of a larger design team, specializing in one particular aspect of design, or they may work alone, covering all aspects of a design project. As is the case in many creative industries, demand for these designers can vary according to client need.

About New Horizons Columbus

We empower people to succeed through learning.

New Horizons Columbus has been serving businesses and individuals in the community for over 32 years. With convenient locations, we offer a wide range of technical, application and business skills courses. As the world of computer technology continues to evolve at light speed, 

New Horizons helps the world’s workforce stay proficient with the latest technologies and achieve their career goals. It’s what we’ve been doing better than anyone else for years, and what we plan to do well into the future.


What Makes New Horizons Columbus Unique?

As part of the largest independent IT Training Provider, New Horizons Computer Learning Center delivers more courses than any other IT training company. Our various approaches empower students with unprecedented flexibility to tailor their learning schedules and locations by deciding when, where and how they want to learn.

New Horizons has trained employees at all 100 companies listed in Fortune magazine’s ranking of America’s 100 largest corporations and over half of the Global 100. We are ranked in the top 5% of the industry for training quality and customer satisfaction as reported by an independent, third-party learning and quality assurance company, Knowledge Advisors. Training from New Horizons provides measureable results.