5 Tips for a new Graphic Design student

So I figured I would try something a bit different on this blog. Given that I have recently graduated university with a degree in Graphic Design, and September has rolled around once again, I thought it would be a good idea to create a general list of the 5 things I personally wish I knew when I first started!

1. Buy an A3 printer! – This was immediately the first thing I thought off. I only bought mine in the last few months of my degree but I definitely wish I had bought it sooner! It became priceless in those final few stages of my degree and it certainly worked out cheaper and less stressful than using the university printers.

2. Books – Dont just invest your money in them, but invest your time in them too and they will help you out so much. There are so many brilliant books on Graphic Design and typography and everything in between out there, but here are just a few I personally found the most helpful or interesting:

  •  The Brand Handbook, Wally Olins
  • Using Type, Mike Harkins
  • Logo Design Love, David Airey
  • Graphic Design Theory, Helen Armstrong
  • How to be a Graphic Design Without Losing Your Soul, Adrian Shaughnessy

3. Don’t just rely on lecturers – Graphic Design is a subject that I believe you have to teach yourself to an extent, and like most things practice at. I think its important to be pro-active, and keep developing your skills and knowledge. I think this is something I probably didn’t do enough off in my first year.

4. Graphic Design is not cheap – You’re going to end up spending A LOT of money in your endless quest to perfect your briefs. If you thought the books were expensive, add on the printing inks, the sketchbooks, the general stationary, the macbook and the Adobe Suit (which we all  obviously pay for),  the price of paper and the countless times you will print and re-print your final outcomes on your university’s printers then you’ll soon realise the true cost of becoming a Graphic Design student. But if you love it like I did, then it’ll all be worth it. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

5. Listen to others – Not just lecturers and professionals, but your course mates as well. Graphic design is such an ecelectic subject that the chances are someone will be more knowledgeable in one area of graphic design but perhaps not so skilled in another. This is where just conversing about design really helped me learn so much, perhaps subconsciously at first.

So there we go, there are my top 5 tips for a new Graphic Design student in my humble opinion! I hope this post has helped, there are a load more I can think off but i think these are 5 pretty decent ones which would have helped me just a little.

Overall I absolutely loved my time studying Graphic Design at university and I hope you guys will too.