How to Get into Graphic Design as a Hobby

Are you interested in graphic design but unsure how to get started? Graphic design is a creative and rewarding hobby that allows you to express your artistic talents while building valuable skills. It’s a great way to express yourself, create unique artwork, and make money.

Whether you’re looking to become a professional graphic designer or just want to learn how to get into graphic design as a hobby, I will guide you.

How to Get into Graphic Design as a Hobby

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is all about combining images, text, and other elements to create visually appealing designs. It requires creativity, technical skill, and an understanding of color theory and composition. And more of it, the typography and layout.

To get started in graphic design as a hobbyist, you’ll need to learn the basics of design principles such as typography, layout, color theory, and more. 

You’ll need the right tools for creating your designs – such as vector editing software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or Canva which is a free online tool.

Check: What are the Benefits of Being a Graphic Designer

Understanding the Basics of Graphic Design

It’s important to understand the principles and tools involved before you immerse yourself in graphic design. 

Graphic design involves creating visual content using typography, images, and other elements. The key principles of graphic design include the following:

1. Composition

Composition refers to the arrangement of elements within a design, including the use of white space, balance, and hierarchy.

2. Color

Color is an essential component of graphic design, conveying mood and emotion. Understanding color theory is important for creating effective designs.

3. Typography

Typography refers to using typefaces, fonts, and text in the design. Choosing the right font and formatting can greatly impact a design’s look and feel.

4. Imagery

Images are often used in graphic design to convey messages and create visual interest. Understanding image resolution and file formats is important for creating high-quality designs.

In addition to understanding these principles, becoming familiar with design software and tools is important. Several design software and tools are available. They include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, and Canva

Each software has unique features and functionalities, so choosing one that best suits your needs and budget is important.

Plenty of online resources are available to learn graphic design basics, including design blogs, YouTube tutorials, and online courses.

Some popular websites to learn graphic design are Skillshare, Udemy, Alison, and Coursera. You can also find free tutorials and articles on websites like Canva and CreativeBloq.

Developing Your Skills and Knowledge

It’s essential to practice regularly to hone your skills. Design challenges, online courses, and tutorials are great ways to learn new skills and techniques. Additionally, seeking feedback from others and finding a mentor can help you improve your skills.

Here are some tips for developing your skills:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

The more you practice, the better you will become. Try creating designs for various projects, such as posters, business cards, or social media graphics. Experiment with different design elements and techniques to find your style.

2. Take Courses and Tutorials

Taking courses and tutorials can greatly improve your design skills. Websites like Udemy, Skillshare, and Lynda offer a variety of online courses and tutorials for graphic design. These resources can teach you new techniques and provide valuable feedback.

3. Seek Feedback and Mentorship

Getting feedback from other designers can help you improve your work. Joining online design communities or seeking mentorship from experienced designers can provide valuable insights and guidance.

4. Developing Your Technical Skills

Developing your technical skills is essential for success as a graphic designer. This includes learning about the latest software and tools used in the industry, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. 

Additionally, it is important to understand the fundamentals of design principles like color theory, typography, composition, and layout. Taking courses or attending workshops can help you gain these skills quickly and efficiently.

5. Developing Your Creative Skills

Creativity is key when it comes to graphic design. It’s important to stay inspired by exploring different art forms such as photography, illustration, painting, sculpture, etc., and keep up with current industry trends. 

Networking with other professionals can provide valuable insight into how they approach their work and can help you learn from their experiences.

Building Your Portfolio 

A portfolio helps to showcase your best work and demonstrate your design skills to potential clients or employers. 

It’s important to create a focused and concise portfolio, highlighting the type of client work you want to do. Here are some tips for building a strong portfolio:

1. Creating Your Portfolio

When creating your portfolio, including high-quality images of your best graphic design projects is important. This could be anything from motion graphics, video, original illustrations, animation, product design, UX design, or ad campaigns. 

You should also include relevant information about the project, such as the process you went through and how the client received it.

2. Showcase Your Best Work

Once you have created your portfolio, you can showcase it online in various ways. Platforms such as Behance and Dribbble are great for displaying your work to potential employers or clients. 

You can also build a website to show off your work in more detail and make it easier for people to contact you directly.

3. Use an Online Platform

An online platform, such as Behance or Dribbble, can make your portfolio easily accessible to potential clients or employers. They help connect with other designers and receive feedback on your work.

4. Provide Context and Explanation

Include a brief explanation of each project in your portfolio, including the design brief and your thought process. This can give potential clients or employers a better understanding of your work and design approach.

Tips for Building Your Portfolio

When building your portfolio, some tips can help ensure success:

  • Choose quality over quantity – only include projects that you’re proud of and that demonstrate the type of work you want to do.
  • Make sure all images are high resolution – this will help them look professional when viewed on different devices.
  • Include relevant information about each project – this will give potential employers or clients an insight into how you approach each job.
  • Keep it up to date – make sure all projects included in your portfolio are recent, so they reflect the current state of your skillset.

Check: How to Get Yourself Into Graphic Design

Finding Opportunities to Apply Your Skills 

Once you have developed your skills and built a portfolio, it’s time to apply your skills to real-world projects. Here are some ways to find opportunities to practice and apply your skills:

1. Exploring Job Opportunities

Graphic design is a field that offers many career opportunities for those with the right skills. With the rise of digital media, graphic designers have become increasingly in demand in many industries. 

From advertising to web design, various job options are available for those specialising in graphic design.

2. Types of Graphic Design Jobs

When exploring job opportunities as a graphic designer, it’s important to understand the different types of jobs available. According to, popular graphic design jobs include photo editor, apparel designer, web designer, and user interface designer. 

Each type of job requires different skills and knowledge, so it’s important to research each before deciding which one is right for you.

3. Finding Graphic Design Jobs in Your Area

Once you’ve identified which type of graphic design job you’d like to pursue, the next step is to find job openings in your area. 

Sites like LinkedIn and Zippia offer listings for open positions in various cities nationwide. Additionally, freelance sites such as Upwork provide remote work opportunities if you want more flexibility or don’t want to be tied down to one location.

4. Applying Your Skills as a Graphic Designer

Finally, once you’ve identified potential job opportunities and applied for them, it’s time to start applying your skills as a graphic designer once you get employed or assigned a task.

This can involve creating logos and branding materials for companies or designing websites and apps that are visually appealing and easy to use. 

No matter the project you’re working on, having an eye for detail and understanding how visuals can convey messages will help make your work stand out from the crowd.

Check: How to Become a Web Designer Without a Degree


In summary, pursuing graphic design as a hobby can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Understanding graphic design basics, practicing regularly, building a strong portfolio, and finding opportunities to apply your skills can help you grow as a designer and achieve your goals.

Remember to have fun, be creative, and never stop learning. Dedication and hard work can turn your passion for graphic design into a successful hobby or career.

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