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A question for you lovely ladies :)


Forum: Graphic and Web Design

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  #1  
July 10th, 2008, 10:45 AM
princesskate's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: huddersfield, west yorkshire
Posts: 22,139
I was wondering how you first got into graphic design? Did you do a course, or just gradually gain work by gaining experience if that makes sense?

I am interested in doing some sort of graphic design, and now i have just done my first paid 'job' I am keener than ever to do more work Also, where do you get your clients from, or do you work for a company. I hope what I am asking makes sense
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  #2  
July 10th, 2008, 11:36 AM
rabbitranch's Avatar est. 2000
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: central FL
Posts: 13,655
Makes perfect sense, and I think you'll get all sorts of different answers.

Personally, I got started in graphic design by way of websites, by way of pencil and paper artwork. I was an artist to begin with, and DH was art directing a magazine that desperately needed a new website. I didn't have a clue about Photoshop or designing websites but it sounded neat and like a good outlet for my creativity. DH brought home Photoshop and GoLive from work and I bought a book on using GoLive. DH worked on the layout but I figured out all the how-to. After it was up I maintained the site which included putting all of DH's magazine ads online. It was really interesting to me and I really wanted to try it for myself! A couple of years later, I started doing web design for horse farms - already my clientele and very familiar since I was an equine artist. It took a lot of trial and error on my part but the more I did websites, the more familiar I was with creating graphics. Eventually I was offering both. This year I decided to take a break from website design - it gets frustrating sometimes when the updates never end! Graphic design is much more fulfilling for me. I do miss getting to show people all the sites I designed though

As far as who to work for and getting business, I've typically worked as my own business. I did do some contract work for another web designer for awhile, doing site updates at an hourly rate. That was actually kind of fun. DH has been in the graphic design biz for 25 years and most of his jobs were full-time with companies but he has also done freelance. In the past he's sent his resume to people all over the country who are hiring full-time workers and offered to contract jobs until they find their new designer. You'd be surprised who takes up on the offer!

And definitely an online portfolio is a MUST!
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  #3  
July 13th, 2008, 09:54 PM
lovinglife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 7,060
I went to Arts School, started out working in a Kinko's designing Business Cards, Letterheads, Invitations and Fliers. In the mid 90's I made the transition to web design and have been doing it ever since. I went back to school to refine my skills and moved into Information Architecture and Usability. I haven't undertaken much graphic design in the past five years but I still do some coding.

My personal opinion is work experience can only take you so far. There are a lot of designers that can make pretty sites but making pretty sites that are functional to all users is the real challenge.

I have picked up most work through word of mouth but have also had a lot of success getting short term project based projects through recruitment agencies. Good luck!
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