Want to Learn Graphic Design? 9 Easy First Steps for Beginners

Updated: Aug 5

If you are thinking about teaching yourself graphic design, then this article is for you!

In this post, we will cover nine of the most important first steps you need to take as a beginner so that in the end you are raring to go and can become a successful graphic designer:

  1. Find your motivation

  2. Get passionate about design

  3. Learn the principles of design

  4. Get started with graphic design software

  5. Find and study design resources

  6. Look for design inspiration

  7. Start working on a project

  8. Differentiate talent from practice

  9. Be patient and consistent

Tips from Snapied 🤩


Below, I detail the steps I took to become self-taught in graphic design. This can be helpful for you if you are trying to break into the field of graphic design and need some direction.


Let's begin!


Step #1 - Find your motivation


Graphic design can be a fun and creative way to express yourself. However, it can also be frustrating if you don't know where to start. If you're feeling stuck, it might help to find your motivation for learning graphic design.


Find your motivation
Find your motivation

Team illustrations by Storyset


Think about what you want to achieve with your graphic design skills. There are different reasons for getting into graphic design.


Maybe you want to-

  • Create a logo for your website

  • Create a fancy website

  • Express yourself and be creative

  • Learn a new skill

  • Learn to use complex software

  • Make a career change

  • Make money online

  • Master design programs

The reasons can be endless, but the objective will still be the same:


To become proficient at graphic design, you must be motivated enough to keep yourself focused on the goal.

You have to have a strong motivation to learn graphic design if you really want to succeed. This means you must keep your eyes on your goals and stay focused.


Once you know what you want to do, you can start finding resources that will help you learn.


Step #2 - Get passionate about design


One of the best ways to get started in graphic design is to simply get passionate about it. Start by looking at design everywhere you go and appreciating the work that goes into it.

Get passionate about design - snapied
Get passionate about design

Team illustrations by Storyset


A lot of people want to become graphic designers, but few stick with it to make a career out of it.


What is it that makes someone keep learning and practicing? What leads people to become professionals in their field?


It’s passion. Not all graphic designers are passionate.


The capability to learn the necessary skills to become a graphic designer comes from passion: persistence, discipline, and the courage to put yourself out there.


Graphic design is all around us, so there’s plenty of inspiration to be found. Once you start really noticing and appreciating good design, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great designer yourself.


To become proficient at graphic design, you must be motivated enough to keep yourself focused on the goal. – Jon Bon Jovi

Step #3 - Learn the principles of design


Design principles are time-proven and tested concepts that guide us in terms of what works and what doesn’t, visually speaking.

Learn the principles of design
Learn the principles of design

Team illustrations by Storyset


The principles of design are the basic guidelines for creating any sort of design. These principles include things like:

  1. Unity

  2. Totality or Gestalt

  3. Dominance

  4. Space

  5. Hierarchy

  6. Balance

Learning these principles will help you to create designs that are stylish and effective.


There are many ways to learn the principles of design. You can take a class, read a book, or even just do some research online. Once you have a good understanding of the principles, you can start experimenting with them in your own work.


Try different combinations of elements to see what looks best. With a little practice, you'll be creating amazing designs in no time!


Step #4 - Get Started with Graphic Design Software


The first step to becoming a graphic designer is to familiarize yourself with the software. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are industry standards when it comes to design software. However, there are other programs available as well. Some of these include Snapied, Sketch, Inkscape, and GIMP.

Get Started with Graphic Design Software
Get Started with Graphic Design Software

Team illustrations by Storyset


Each program has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, all of them can be used to create stunning visual graphics. If you're just starting out, it's important to choose one program and stick with it. That way, you can learn all of its features and become proficient in using it. Once you're comfortable with one program, you can then start to explore the others.


Well, one thing you should definitely know is how to use Adobe Photoshop. It's the industry standard for graphic design. Unfortunately, learning how to use Photoshop is costly and time consuming. It can take years before you can master it.


Even if you do learn how to use it, it's expensive as hell. So even if you're getting value out of it, the cost means something has to give.


Don't spend any more of your precious time using a complicated program that's going to take your design game to the next level. Snapied is a super-simple online graphic designer that allows you to drag and drop text and images with the help of our simple design templates and intuitive point-and-click feature. It's mainly for non-graphic designers.


There are plenty of resources available online to help you learn the different features of each graphic design program. YouTube tutorials, online courses, and books are all great places to start. Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you.


There's no right or wrong way to design something - it's all about creativity and experimentation.


Step #5 - Find and Study Graphic Design Resources


If you want to learn graphic design, there are a few easy first steps you can take. One of the best things you can do is find and study graphic design resources, tutorials, and free courses. There are a variety of ways to find these resources. You can search for them online, or look for books or magazines at your local library.

Find and Study Graphic Design Resources
Find and Study Graphic Design Resources

Team illustrations by Storyset


Here are the top online resources for graphic design courses:


So, get yourself an introduction to the design book, download free vector, and pixel software, and start following some good tutorials on YouTube(and it's 100% FREE). You will find that the amazing thing about this approach is that you will begin right away, focused on what matters the most to you.


Once you have found some good resources, take some time to study them. Pay attention to the techniques that the designers use and try to imitate them in your own work. Practice makes perfect, so the more you practice, the better you will become at graphic design.


In addition to studying resources and practicing your skills, another great way to learn graphic design is to take a class from a local college, or university.


Many schools offer graphic design courses that can help you develop your skills. Taking a class can be a great way to meet other designers and get feedback on your work.


Step #6 - Look for design Inspiration


If you're interested in learning graphic design, one of the steps is to start looking for inspiration. There are a lot of great sources of inspiration out there, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find what you're looking for.


Look for design Inspiration
Look for design Inspiration

Team illustrations by Storyset


Some of the best places to look for inspiration are:

1: High-quality graphic design Instagram accounts

2: Specific hashtags on social media (such as #snapied #vectorgraphics,

#logodesign, or #designinspiration)

3: Group boards on Pinterest.

4: You can also follow graphic design social media sites like Behance or

Dribble.

5: Do some searches on Google Images for keywords like "logo inspirations" or

"best website designs" to see what comes up.


Once you've found some sources of inspiration that you like, start exploring them and seeing what sorts of things catch your eye. Pay attention to the techniques that are used in the designs that you like, and start thinking about how you could use those techniques in your own work.


Don't be afraid to experiment, and don't worry if your early efforts aren't perfect. Learning graphic design is all about trial and error, so just keep exploring and practicing until you start getting the hang of it.

Step #7 - Find Yourself a Project to Work On


It can be tough whenever you’re starting anything new. That first step is always the hardest. But once you get started, it becomes much easier. The same is true for graphic design.


Find Yourself a Project to Work On
Find Yourself a Project to Work On

Team illustrations by Storyset


One of the best ways to learn graphic design is by finding yourself a project to work on. It doesn’t matter what the project is, as long as you’re passionate about it. Once you find a project, it’s time to start working on it. Then, once you finish that project, find another one and keep going. The more projects you work on, the better you’ll become at graphic design.


Of course, you can’t just work on any old project. You need to make sure that the projects you choose are challenging enough to push your skills further. But at the same time, they shouldn’t be so challenging that you get discouraged and give up. It’s all about finding that balance.


So if you’re looking to learn graphic design, find yourself a project or two (or three) and get started. The more projects you work on, the better you’ll become.


If opportunity