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Is Graphic Design Hard?

by Taylor Slattery | September 15, 2023



“Is graphic design hard?” — this is a common question that many aspiring designers ask. The answer is both yes and no. The level of difficulty in graphic design varies depending on various factors, including your ability to break down complex processes into simple, manageable steps. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve collaborated with our partners at Sessions College to further delve into what makes graphic design challenging at times, how to overcome the most common hurdles, and how to become a graphic designer.

Breaking Down the Complexity of Graphic Design

Understanding the Basics

There’s a sort of intangible, almost magical quality about graphic design that attracts many to the field. The process of looking at a blank white canvas or artboard, and then through sheer time and effort alone making something out of nothing is not only satisfying, but borderline addicting.

At the core, graphic design is about communicating messages visually. Learning the foundational elements like typography, color theory, and layout design is crucial. When you work as a professional graphic designer, this isn’t an option. You need to have systems in place to arrive at a predictable outcome in a predictable amount of time.

The basics might seem overwhelming at first, but with the right educational resources, such as a certificate program in graphic design, you’ll find it becomes second nature in no time.

Skill Development

Once you understand the basics, the next main hurdle is learning to master the common tools and softwares used in the industry.

Adobe Creative Suite, for example, has a steep learning curve but is absolutely key for most graphic design jobs in today’s market.


Is Graphic Design Hard to Learn?

The difficulty of learning graphic design is relative to your dedication and the resources available to you.

If you’ve ever done graphic design work for a client or had the opportunity to rub elbows with some truly talented designers, then you’ll know—it’s not technical proficiency that makes you a designer great.

In fact, some of the world’s most talented, living designers came up in a time when the process was much more analog than it is today and would be completely lost if they had to try and find their way around tools like Photoshop or Illustrator themselves. Design is more about thought and ingenuity than it is about technical mastery.

Learning how to navigate these interactions is just like any other part of the design process—it takes many iterations and even more revisions. And perhaps most important of all: humility, a willingness to learn, and practice, practice, practice!

Thankfully, Sessions College offers a variety of online graphic design courses to help make the graphic design learning process flexible and convenient for students of all backgrounds and experience levels. With expert instructors and a hands-on approach, you’ll find that learning graphic design is only “hard” subjectively when you lack the proper guidance and professional experience to help you grow.

Simple Steps to Become a Graphic Designer

Wondering how to become a graphic designer? The pathway is simpler than you might think:

  1. Educational Background: A degree in graphic design or related field is generally preferred but not mandatory. Various online courses and bootcamps can also suffice.
  2. Portfolio Building: Your portfolio showcases your skills and is vital for securing clients or employment.
  3. Networking: Connections in the industry can provide opportunities and guidance.


Conclusion: Is Graphic Design Really Hard?

In the graphic design world, trends and tools come and go at breakneck speeds. It can feel like just once you’ve started to hit your stride, the rug is pulled out from under you and you’re left scratching your head wondering what happened.

While continuing to work as a designer means changing with the times to meet client demands and fit into an evolving visual landscape, it can be tough to know when and where to draw the line.

So, is graphic design hard? The answer will vary from person to person. With the right mindset and resources, like the courses available at Sessions College, tackling the challenges of graphic design becomes more manageable.

Take the Next Step with Sessions College

Ready to dive deeper into the world of graphic design? Explore our range of online courses and take the first step towards a rewarding career in graphic design today.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


If you are interested in developing your graphic design skills, Sessions College offers a range of graphic design courses for students at all levels. Contact Admissions for more information.

This blog is powered by Sessions College, the leading online school of visual arts.

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