Everything You Need to Start a Career as a Creative Designer

Digital designs can be seen everywhere. So, who are the talented beings behind all these designs that we see? Creative Designers of course!

Learn all about a Creative Designer’s career path and how you can start as one. 

If you’re someone with no background in design, is it worth trying the role at all? Keep reading to find out! 

What does a Creative Designer do?

Creative Designers put ideas into action by creating eye-pleasing and easy to understand visuals.

They are usually part of the marketing and advertising team. Some also work as freelancers.

Their work involves creating blueprint for design projects and completing designs using digital illustration software. Creative Designers communicate and work alongside other designers, writers, marketers, advertisers, as well as vendors on projects.

Because of this, becoming a Creative Designer requires a combination of graphic design and multimedia skills.

What does a Creative Designer’s career path look like?

There are 3 types of areas you can pursue as a Creative Designer:

1. Commercial

Create graphics for businesses that need labels, trademarks, advertising campaigns, and packaging materials.

2. Website

Create designs for websites and mobile applications that are user-friendly and visually appealing (also known as user experience design).

3. Publishing

Create designs for books, magazines or other publications. You’ll work closely with writers and editors to create eye-catching covers that will attract your target audience.

When you start a career as a Creative Designer, you will typically start as a Junior Creative Designer. From then on, you’ll be able to progress into a Senior Executive role. Then, as an Art Director and a Creative Director.

If working in a company isn’t for you, you can even choose to freelance. After gaining a few years of experience, many Creative Designers choose to go this route.

Of course, you don’t exactly need to begin working at a company to start freelancing. If the freedom of freelancing sounds attractive to you and you have the funds to get you through the first few months, it’s something worth considering!

Is Creative Design the right job for you?

Creative Designers will always be in-demand, especially now more than ever. Everywhere you go, you’ll see some form of visual design around us all, whether online or offline.

If you’re considering whether this line of work is for you, here’s what you can expect from the role:

1. You’ll learn new things every day.

As a Creative Designer, your work is constantly developing and improving. Every day will offer a new challenge. It’s a never-ending frenzy of creation and discovery.

2. It’ll enhance your problem-solving skills.

Designing comes with a lot of problem-solving. When working with feedback from your clients or team members, you’ll learn to see the bigger picture. What problem will your design solve? What value will it provide? How will it meet a brand’s objectives?

3. It challenges your perspective of the world.

Being a Creative Designer means challenging how you perceive your surrounding. If you’re someone who lives off of inspiration and ideas, you’re perfect for the role!

How do you start a career as a Creative Designer?

Online Courses

This is by far the fastest and most affordable way to learn the fundamentals of design. These fundamentals include understanding colour theory and visual elements like lines, shape, space and texture. These elements impact your design and shape how the audience feels.

Here’s a list of helpful online resources you can use to upskill yourself:

  1. Shillington, Graphic Design Course
    Create a portfolio and be a master in selling your art.
  1. Alison.com, Graphic Design
    Learn all the basic terms and principles that you need.
  1. Canva Design School, How to Learn Creativity
    Learn to develop and draw attention with your designs.
  1. Coursera, Graphic Design
    Tips and tricks on getting started on a project with confidence.
  1. Skillshare, How Posters Work
    Learn to create an effective and emotive poster.


Learning how to use tools can be challenging if you’re doing it alone. Instead, try searching for How-To videos on YouTube and mirror what the professionals are doing. This is the quickest way to pick up skills and it’s free!

Here are a few YouTube channels that you can learn from:

  1. Sketch Together 
    Pablo Stanley has design tutorials, and interviews with design leaders. He also occasionally hosts live design sessions.
  1. Google Design 
    Google Design is a cooperative effort led by designers, writers and developers at Google. They provide insights into their design processes as well as videos of their in-house speakers speaking about developments in the design world.
  1. Will Paterson
    With over 586k subscribers, Will specializes in logo design, calligraphy, and freelancing advice. He provides an in-depth and personal perspective on working in graphic design.
  1. Yes I’m A Designer
    Martin Perhiniak is a Certified Adobe Design Master and Instructor. This channel will teach you design principles, compositional techniques, and best design practices.
  1. The Futur Academy 
    The Futur Academy teaches fundamentals of design through tutorials, demos, and top tips to make you a better designer, creator and storyteller.

Build A Portfolio 

So now that you’re equipped with the skills, how do you showcase them?

By building your portfolio, of course!

It is a must to have a strong portfolio because it’s how you set a good first impression with potential employers and clients. Start by exploring different types of illustrations and see what fits your ‘style’ the most.

When building a portfolio, do some research on company branding identities and try to recreate some work according to their guidelines.

Create a few designs for your desired company and present them during your interview to impress employers.

Remember, it’s quality > quantity. Build your portfolio by joining contests online or by picking up small freelancing projects. Here’s where you can learn how to build a portfolio and some examples of a great portfolio.

Think you’re ready to start your journey? Head over to Hiredly and explore all the exciting job opportunities that companies have to offer now!