How can I start my career in graphic design?


Hi Elbowroom,

I am 20 years old and I’m VERY interested in graphic design. I am looking at starting it as a career. I do have some experience in working with Photoshop — what program do you use for your graphic design? And what advice could you give someone who is interested in starting a career in this? Thanks for your time,


    Hi André,
    That’s awesome that you’re so into Graphic Design — a good choice, if we do say so ourselves. As far as getting a start in your career, knowing Photoshop is an excellent start. We use the entire Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) for our design work. We find that different projects require different software, as you probably know too. Photoshop is great for photo editing, and for preparing images for the web. Illustrator is needed for designing logos, and other vector-based graphics. InDesign is necessary for laying out large amounts of text for books, magazines, brochures and so on. But we find that all Adobe products have a very similar feel, so if you already know Photoshop pretty well, you won’t have much trouble figuring out the other programs.

    As for advice starting your career, we actually have a piece here on Elbowruminations called “How Do I Become a Graphic Designer?” You can check it out here. Our biggest piece of advice is “start practicing.” Just use whatever software you can and start imitating design work that you like, learning the software, learning different techniques, and developing your own style. And don’t give up, either. As designers, we’re always seeing OTHER designers who seem to be way better than us, and it can make us feel really inferior. But every designer has their own style and talent, so keep at it.

    - Elbowroom Design

  • victoria froud

    Hi there, I’ve no real idea what I’m doing but came across this site looking for a way to promote my site as a graphic illustrator,designer and re-toucher. I switched from fine art six years ago and although I have a simple site up and running I have no real idea of where I go from here. Any help and comments, (positive and negative) would be welcome.
    With Thanks Vicky.