How to Become a Self-Taught Graphic Designer


In the current digital age, graphic design has emerged as a highly sought-after skill. From creating engaging social media posts to designing eye-catching logos, the demand for talented graphic designers is on the rise. This comprehensive guide will take you through the process of how to become a self-taught designer, even if you are starting from scratch.

How to Become a Self-Taught Graphic Designer

Image by Freepik

Introduction to Becoming a Self-Taught Graphic Designer

The journey of becoming a self-taught graphic designer is a road of self-discovery, creativity, and endless learning. This path requires a commitment to developing your craft, learning the tools of the trade, building a portfolio, and networking within the industry. By teaching yourself graphic design, you have the freedom to learn at your own pace, focus on the areas that interest you most, and save money on expensive design programs.

However, it's crucial to remember that being a successful self-taught designer isn't just about mastering the technical aspects of design. It's also about developing your artistic eye, understanding the principles of design, and keeping up with the latest trends in the industry.

Understanding the Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Before you dive into the process of learning how to become a self-taught designer, it's essential to understand the fundamentals of graphic design. These are the building blocks that will form the foundation of your design knowledge and skills.

Learning the fundamentals of graphic design involves understanding elements such as line, shape, color, texture, and typography. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in creating a visually appealing and effective design. Alongside these elements, you also need to learn about the principles of design, which include balance, contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. These principles guide how you use the design elements to create a cohesive and engaging design.

How to Become a Self-Taught Graphic Designer

Image by Freepik

Step by Step Guide to Becoming a Self-Taught Designer

Starting your journey to become a self-taught designer can feel overwhelming, but breaking it down into manageable steps can make the process much more straightforward.

The first step in your journey is to learn the fundamentals of design, as mentioned above. Once you have a solid understanding of these, you can start experimenting with different design projects to put your knowledge into practice. Next, choose a graphic design software and learn how to use it effectively. There are numerous online tutorials and resources available to help you master these tools.

After you've gained a basic understanding of design principles and tools, it's time to start building your portfolio. Create different types of design projects to showcase your skills and versatility as a designer. And finally, start networking with other designers and potential clients.

Investing in the Right Tools for Graphic Design

Investing in the right tools is a crucial part of learning how to become a self-taught designer.

There are a variety of graphic design software available, both free and paid, that you can use to create your designs. Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are industry standards and offer a wide range of tools and features. However, they can be expensive, so alternatives like Canva or Affinity Designer might be more suitable if you're just starting out.

Building a Body of Work as a Self-Taught Designer

Building a body of work is a critical step in becoming a self-taught designer.

Begin by taking on a variety of projects to develop your skills and explore different areas of graphic design. You might choose to design logos, social media graphics, posters, or any other type of design that interests you. As you create these designs, be sure to document your process and reflect on what you've learned from each project.

Networking with Other Graphic Designers

Networking is an essential part of becoming a successful self-taught designer.

Connect with other graphic designers online through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Joining online design communities like Behance or Dribbble can also provide opportunities to connect with other designers, share your work, and gain inspiration.

How to Become a Self-Taught Graphic Designer

Image by Freepik

Showcasing Your Work with Portfoliobox

Showcasing your work online is crucial for a self-taught designer.

Portfoliobox is an excellent platform for this purpose. It allows you to create a professional-looking online portfolio to display your work. Having an online portfolio not only helps you attract potential clients but also gives you a platform to show off your skills and progress as a designer.

Staying Updated with the Latest Graphic Design Trends

Staying updated with the latest graphic design trends is essential for any designer.

Follow design blogs, magazines, and social media accounts to keep up with the latest trends and updates in the industry. This will not only keep your work relevant and fresh, but it will also provide you with a constant source of inspiration.

Different Ways to Make Money as a Graphic Designer

There are numerous ways to make money as a graphic designer.

You could work as a freelance designer, taking on individual projects from various clients. Alternatively, you could work in-house for a company, designing their marketing materials. You could also sell your designs on platforms like Etsy or Redbubble, or you could teach graphic design online.


Becoming a self-taught graphic designer is a journey filled with learning, creativity, and growth. It requires dedication, patience, and passion for the craft. However, with the right tools, a solid understanding of the fundamentals of design, and a commitment to continuous learning, you can successfully navigate this journey and build a fulfilling career in graphic design.

Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy the process and stay motivated. Happy designing!

An online portfolio made for Creatives

With all the tools a professional needs

  • Dynamic Grid
  • Even Rows
  • Golden Ratio
  • Square Ratio
  • Align Center
  • Puzzle
  • Random
  • Horizontal
  • Horizontal 2
  • Horizontal 3
  • Vertical
  • Two-One
  • Three-One

Get started for free

Create your online portfolio website now

Build your own portfolio
For a limited time only, get 20% off on all plans. ×