A person engaged in unloved business just for the money is unlikely to succeed in the long term. Everyone has their “critical point”, reaching which they decide to change their life and profession in particular. Well, if this “explosion” occurs in youth, when you have a lot of time and energy, the process of re-education usually goes smoothly and gives tangible results. But if even you’re 30 or 40, you still have to try something new if you feel that’s your original desire. Just don’t be afraid. Fear and inaction are the two main reasons for failure.
I’ve written this philosophical introduction paragraph with the only one goal – to encourage you not to be afraid to master skills of web design from scratch. I’m going to give you some essential advice on how to start your career in design and succeed.
But before I start, I want to say a few words about the thing that goes beyond all that’s written in the paper – the website design contest. It’s just the opportunity you can’t miss. Contest gives you a chance to:
- Improve your designer skills.
- Co-work and compete hand-in-hand with the most experienced professionals.
- Get clientele and win amazing prizes.
- Learn how to present your skills in the best way and fill your portfolio.
So don’t miss the chance when you’ll have it.
And now let’s pass to the qualities you need to become a proficient website designer.
Learn to See
Graphics editors are just tools; they can’t teach you to see things what they are. The ability to print on a computer and knowledge of MS World do not make you a writer – the same as Photoshop won’t make you a designer. You may be able to use every tool in Photoshop, but can’t e them to create something valuable. Please, begin with the basic concepts:
- Balance. Balance is the correspondence between the interacting or opposing forces in a composition. The properly balanced design doesn’t have any part of it dominating over other ones (of course, if you don’t want to highlight some object). Balance can be achieved by using the correct object placement, object size, and color. Balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial.
- Contrast. Contrast is the interaction of opposing elements of the composition, e.g. color, size, texture, etc. Large and small, rough and smooth, thick and thin, black and white – it’s all about the contrast.
- The importance and subordination. This principle involves the allocation of the so-called interest center, on which the viewer’s attention is expected to be focused. The objects must be in the hierarchy of the importance and subordination. If all objects have the same importance, the attention of the user will be too dispersed. In fact, this motion control should attract the visitor’s eyes to the important element of the website.
- Proportions. It’s the ratio of a separate part to the whole design, as well as the ratio of the individual parts to each other. “The rule of thirds” is the principle best describes the principle of composition, based on a simplified golden section rule.
- Scale. The scale is a visible size of the object in relation to other objects.
To learn these basics, you don’t necessarily need formal education with its academic drawing: just use numerous internet free sources, e-books, and any information that can help you.
However, do not neglect the courses that usually last no more than a month – in general, they’re rather cheap but can give you a lot of benefits. At least, they’ll give you fundamental knowledge in the field of graphic design. As an alternative, you can learn online via video lessons.
Learn to Write
Having drawing skills is not enough to become a proficient designer. You need to learn how to write, that is to learn how to communicate with your future colleagues and potential customers. Communication skills is a must since you’ll have to sell you services, especially if you’re going to become a freelance designer. Moreover, any design contains text part. Learn to express your thoughts clearly and concisely and you’ll push yourself to the next level.
You should know about vector and raster graphics – the two main concepts of creating any pictures and images. As for the software, to master raster graphics, you should learn Photoshop; as for the vector – Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw (however, having mastered the basics of working with vector graphics in one of the programs, you’ll easily learn the other one).
Decide on Your Specialization
A designer is not a person knows all that relates to graphics. Being a specialist-generalist is not as good as it may seem. Of course, for the overall development, you must have a minimum understanding in each of the areas. By focusing on one particular segment, you’ll become a better specialist in it and will achieve great results.
Create a Portfolio
Today, not many people are interested in whether you have education – more important is what you actually can do. A portfolio is the best way to present your abilities and potential.
It does not matter whether you have already worked with customers. Learn, practice, create, participate – all these are great chance to improve your skill and gather a material for the portfolio. Sure, it should contain your best designs only.
Get a Job in a Company
Whether you plan to freelance or seek a formal off-line work – you’ll get a lot of benefits working for a large design company for some time. Working remotely or directly with clients, you gain experience and improve your skill fast.
The best advice I can give if not to stop learning whatever happens. Have the courage to live a life you’ve imagined. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Doubts and a sense of “old age” are nothing but fear. And to win this fear, you have to have a good plan – the plan, looking at which you understand the way you should act.
Brian Jens falls in love with web design and blogging. He works at DesignContest – a website which provides the best design result by conducting design contests. Brian loves to present the results of his research to a wide audience.