As a business student, I do everything that I can to use my design skills to my advantage when applying for internships. Creative skills are becoming more and more relevant not just for graphic designers but for business students to have as well. After applying to many marketing internships, I realized I saw “knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud programs” listed as a preferred skill across many job descriptions. My personal advice would be to always look at those “preferred” skills as the ones that will boost you up the line. If you know those skills, they will be your golden ticket to landing that internship. But why would a business student need to know design? Well, sometimes you need to design a social media graphic, a PowerPoint, a report, or other types of graphic material for that business. Design is important because it can help you communicate a message to an audience in a compelling way. To help you learn about design, here are some skills you should know to add “basic graphic design skills” to your resume!
01. Learn Adobe Design Programs
No one said it would be easy. So put in the work!
A good program to start learning would be Illustrator or Photoshop. Photoshop would be best to learn first because most companies want students who know how to make graphics for web. Photoshop works in pixels unlike Adobe Illustrator that works with vectors. How do you get started? Purchase Adobe Creative Cloud! Adobe CC is discounted for students and you will get access to all creative programs. This is perfect because you can practice with the other programs as well! Adobe actually has a page dedicated to Photoshop tutorials that you can check out here.
02. Understand Color Theory
Do not be that person who uses two neon colors for a background and yellow text on a project.
Color is very important! There is a whole psychology to color and how it makes a person feel. Learning color theory will give you a better idea on how to design graphics to attract your audience. For example, the color for a call-to-action button can motivate a customer to click it or not. It has a major impact! Here is a video explaining what color theory is. Watch it and apply it to your next project!
03. Learn About File Formats
Exporting your work in CMYK or RBG in a JPEG or PNG file will look totally different. Do you know why?
How do I know when to export my file in CMYK or RGB colors?
Your computer screen is made up of 3 colors: red, green, and blue. When exporting images for a website, always do it in RGB. CMYK on the other hand stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). Look in your printer. What color are the cartridges? Yes! They are CMYK. If you are going to print from an Adobe program, export it in CMYK. If you do not, you may end up with funky colors that do not match what you intended the image to look like.
Here are the 2 major file formats you need to know:
PNG: Stands for Portable Network Graphics. This file format is the best to use for detailed images and provides the transparent background for graphics. This transparency is perfect for overlaying your images on a website or other designs. Use this format for images with text that will be used for web.
Pros: Transparency support & great for text
Cons: Larger file size
JPG/JPEG: Stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which is the name of the group that created the format. This format is best for photography and other images. The only problem with this format is the image is compressed and looses some of its quality in the process of being saved. Do not export photographs with text in this format because your will notice the loss in quality in the "pixely" letters.
Pros: Small file size
Cons: Loss of quality