7 Tips for Getting Into Graphic Design School

by . December 9th, 2008

Going to be applying to a graphic design school soon? Well you should start preparing as soon as possible, because this can be a very stressful process and nothing is worse than rushing something so important! The sooner and better prepared you are, the higher your chances will be of getting into a graphic design school you will be happy attending. Below are some tips to get you started on your journey of applying to design schools.

Graphic Design School Tips

1. Have a Versatile, but Focused Portfolio

As a graphic designer it is important to have a versatile Graphic Design portfolio, at least early one. The point of design school is to figure out what area of design you like best, such as web design, magazine design, print design and so on, but when applying it can be better to show a general portfolio. You should always show what you do best, just don’t have all website designs or all magazine spreads. Mix it up and show you are multi-talented and not a one trick design pony!

2. Show Basic Art Skills

When applying to art school its important to have some fine art in your portfolio, even if you are a designer, because it shows you have a solid foundation in art. Drawings are the most common item featured in graphic design portfolios, followed by paintings. Just make sure they are actually good drawings and paintings and don’t add too many. Remember design is what you are there for, but its good to show you have solid basic art skills.

3. Practice Your Interviewing

Practicing your interviewing skills can go a long way. You don’t have to go crazy, but get comfortable responding to interview type questions and communicating about your work with other people. You don’t want to appear nervous or unconfident about yourself, what you want and your work. Be relaxed and sure of yourself!

4. Dress Appropriately

You may be a free spirit, but you should dress properly for your interview. Its not like you have to wear a suite and tie, but you should look neat and well dressed. A dress shirt and nice jeans or pants or a blazer and nice jeans would probably do the trick. Just make sure you shower, shave and brush your teeth too!

5. Know Your Projects

Nothing is worse than not being able to talk about your projects. Is there a concept behind your work? Who was it done for? Why did you pick those colors? What style were you going for? Make a list of a bunch of questions such as these and make sure you can answer them easily for all the projects in your portfolio.

6. Have Goals

This may seem silly, but surprisingly a lot of people have no long or short term goals in life. What are you thinking about specializing in? What skills would you like to improve? Do you have any other hobbies such as photography you would like to take classes on? What do you think you would like to do after college? At least have some sort of idea of what you plan on doing with your life!

7. Learn About the School and Program

Applying to a school you know nothing about is an easy way to push yourself into a trap. Many interviewers will ask you some basic questions about the school such as: Why do you want to apply here? What classes were you thinking of taking and so on. Research the schools programs as much as possible and try and learn some general background information about the school. Is it know as a fine arts school? What will be your major? What classes are you looking forward to? Do you know any teachers or people who go to the school?

Hope you enjoyed these tips and I wish you all the best of luck!


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