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How to Become a Graphic Designer without Going to School

Learn how to become a graphic designer without going to school in this Howcast video featuring UX mobile and web design consultant Chanelle Henry.


So you don't want to necessarily go to school, but you do want to become a designer? One of the biggest things that you need to do is learn exactly what it takes to become a designer, or even what type of designer that you want to be.

There are many different resources out there now, from Smashing Magazine to just looking up on Dribble different designers that are out there, seeing what it is that they're doing. Are you interested in packaging? Are you interested in website design? Mobile application design? Or maybe you have your eyes set on a particular company that you know that you want to work at.

One of the biggest things that helped me when I was coming out of school, and I probably didn't even need school to do it, was to go on informational interviews. It's very easy to ask different creative directors or principals of companies to tell them, "Hey, listen, I'm interested in becoming a web designer," or, "I'm interested in web design". Maybe you have a portfolio and you can show them, and they'll basically let you know through the informational interview what more skills you need to be hired there, if you're not going to be hired there already.

The good thing about that is that not only do you get information as to what you need to secure and land a job, or how much more work that you need to do, but you also gain a contact and a network, and that person knows a lot of people and the people they know know a lot of people. So, a lot of the jobs I received were from word of mouth, because I interviewed with them, or I had a talk with them. They didn't have work for me then, or they followed up with me to make sure that I was growing as a designer while having my portfolio on Behance or Coroflot or Krop, and in doing so kept an eye out on me and then referred me to other people.

So, your best bet is to get out there, know exactly what is is that you want to do, and try to meet as many people as you can, and make as many networks as you can.

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