How to Get a Junior Graphic Design Job Right Out of School

Landing your first junior graphic design job is an important turning point in your career as a graphic designer. Most of us know the industry can be tough when you’re just starting out. It can be hard to believe that you can make a living from a career in graphic design that is compelling and satisfying. Finding your first job in graphic design is important, not only because it’s your first “real” job, but because it’s a great continuation of the learning process that begins even after you graduate. Looking for that “big break” might not be so difficult if you put in the effort.

Preparation

Even before you start searching for a position, you’re going to want to do some soul-searching. A few questions you should be asking yourself is what motivates you, what kind of environment do you want to be working in, what type of work you want to do, etc. These are important questions because although you want to worry more about the learning opportunity your first junior graphic designer provides, you want to make sure you’ll be happy and productive at your job. Write down answers to the follow questions on a piece of paper to help clarify your goals:

-A little about yourself – What are your strengths, weaknesses and motivations? (What will make you perform at your best?)

-The type of work – What kind of projects do you want to work on most? (Business cards, branding, logo design, web design, etc.)

-Understanding the job market – Is your job in high demand? Is there lots of competition for your spot? (What sets you apart if there is a high level of competition?)

-Doing your research even before you start to begin your journey will be very beneficial in solidifying your goals as a junior graphic designer. If you do the right research, you can find yourself in a better position to catch the attention of sough-after employers.

Find Agencies You Want to Work For

By making a list of graphic design agencies you’d like to work for, you can use the process of elimination and finalize which agencies you’re going to contact. If you rank them based on the above criteria, it will be easier to make a decision about where you’d like to work. The size of graphic design agency is an important factor you’re going to want to consider. Normally, larger agencies we have you working on more “intern-like” duties or small jobs such as editing photos, colors, etc. but you will have access to understanding how a large agency functions as well as the feedback and support of many other seasoned co-workers. A smaller agency will be able to provide you with more responsibility on tasks and projects because of the smaller size. Although this is great, you may receive smaller compensation than a larger firm.

When seeking agencies to work for, remember to choose the one that fits you best and where you will learn the most. As a junior graphic designer, the skills you learn at your first job will prove to be invaluable – it teaches you how the graphic design industry really works in the real world (when real money is involved), it will sharpen and build confidence in your skills and improve your ability to communicate with other designers and clients. If you choose the agency that allows you to work at your full potential, you’re more likely to have complete job satisfaction.

Resume

Your resume will give your possible employer an idea of whether or not you are worth looking at further. It is important to make your resume clear and easy to read with appropriate typography choices. Your resume should reflect your design style and skill. Along with your resume, you’re also going to want to make sure you have a proper e-mail or cover letter that formally introduces yourself, what your goals are and why you’re interested in working for that specific design agency. Some important things to include in that letter include:

-Who are you
-What graphic design school you are attending and what you are taking there
-Why you are contacting this graphic design agency
-What you are hoping of getting out of working for them and why you think you’re a worthy candidate
-Any extra curricular activities you’ve participated in
-All contact information

Portfolio

Your portfolio is very important to landing your first job. If you attending design school, you should have some work pieces you can place in your portfolio. Remember to only select your best work to display – this will show your true potential and abilities. Many graphic designers who own agencies come across hundreds, if not thousands, of applications from junior graphic designers. They want to see portfolios and resumes that are original and stand out from the crowd. Any generic portfolios will usually not even be glanced at. If you have any special talents or specializations, be sure to focus on that!

Follow Up

After a week or so, contact the firm again. If you haven’t heard back from there, don’t worry. Sometimes they get busy and are unable to respond promptly. Sending them a remind not only thanks them for taking the time to look at your graphic design portfolio, but it shows you are passionate about getting a job with their business. If you’re offered a position – congratulations! If you’re offered multiple positions, be choosy about where you select. Don’t always pick the graphic design firm that will give you the most money. Sometimes these positions aren’t a good fit for you.

Getting a job right out of school as a junior designer is very doable if you do your homework and research before you start applying. Don’t lose the drive and passion you have when searching for a job. If you get turned down, don’t worry and keep applying at other places. Put a lot of effort into your portfolio and resume and you’ll reap the benefits in your first graphic design job!

Home Decor Ideas – Give Your House a New Look

We all think about home decor at one point of time. Probably, you have just moved into a new place, or want to completely change the look of your current home. Even if you are satisfied with your home decor, you may want to make a few small changes to give your home a fresh look. You don’t need to be a professional interior designer to decorate your home the way you like, but a few home decor ideas may be helpful.

If you have always relied on the basic furniture and draperies and never really bothered to change the color of your walls, your house most probably looks boring and impersonal. With little creativity you can decorate your home so that it looks as if it could be featured in a magazine. If you lack home decor ideas, there are a few of them you can use even if you have never considered yourself gifted with creativity.

Home Decor Ideas for the Wall Color

The first step in changing the look of a home with home decor ideas is to change the wall color. Perhaps you have noticed that by making the color of a large room darker, it is given the appearance of being smaller. By making the color of a small room lighter, it is given the appearance of being larger.

Now, whichever color you choose to paint your room, do paint it. Wallpaper has become rather outdated, and if not done by a professional, can really look awful and start to peel. It may seem ridiculous, but if you were good at coloring inside the lines as a child, then you can certainly paint a room.

All you need is a good brand of paint, a roller, a pan, one large brush, and a smaller brush for painting the corners. It is a good idea to only paint a smaller room by yourself though, as larger rooms can prove harder and require ladders.

Home Decor Ideas for Color Coordination

One of the most important things to consider in home decor is how colors match with each other. For example, a room entirely decorated in various shades of a single color will most likely look too monotonous. Color balance can liven up the appearance of any room. For example, if you like pastel colors, decorate the entire room in no more than four completely different kinds of pastel colors, otherwise it could be a bit overwhelming.

Sources to Get More Home Decor Ideas

There are plenty of sources to get easy home decor ideas. Home decor magazines should be your first choice. You can also visit a local home improvement center and ask a sales associate for some ideas. And, of course, the Internet is a great provider of various home decor ideas. So, even if you lack your own home decor ideas, it should not stop you from decorating your home whatever style you wish.

Free Home Decorating Ideas – 5 Ways to Transform Your Home for Free

It’s cool to be frugal. Not only does it save you money; it also tickles your creative talents and adds fun and a unique flair to your home. Here are some free home decorating ideas to get you started – you’ll be on a roll before you know it.

Free Home Decorating Idea #1
Mix, don’t match. Gone are the days of the three-piece suite and the co-ordinated cushions and curtains. It’s much more interesting to use what’s already there in your home and combine it in new, unexpected ways. Try an old-fashioned embroidered cushion on a simple modern chair. Or fill plain milk bottles with sweets in colorful wrappers and use them instead of flower vases. Take things and play them off against each other: serious and witty, dark and light, old and new, shiny and matte, antique and modern, sleek and rustic, finished and frayed. Take your time and experiment until things ‘click’; at some point it will look just right.

Free Home Decorating Idea #2
Pick some flowers. If there aren’t any in bloom, pick foliage and grasses instead. Make a green bouquet from the side of the road! If there isn’t any greenery, or the picking of it is strictly verboten, you could find some nice looking pebbles (or shells and driftwood from the beach) and arrange them into a still life or in tall glass vessels.

Free Home Decorating Idea #3
Decorate with food. Fruit makes wonderful displays (and you can still have the health benefits!). Apples and bananas, or oranges and lemons in a bowl look great and provide a boost of visual ‘sunshine’. Fruit preserves in glass containers make gorgeous decorating accents, too (and jellies look great against the light)!

Free Home Decorating Idea #4
Recycle. Take a small purse or bag that you’re not using any more, fill it with little pebbles and turn it into a doorstop. Cover tin cans in fabric or giftwrap and give them a new job in the storage department. Or turn simple drinking glasses into candleholders by filling them halfway up with sand – stick inexpensive white household candles into the sand, and line them up on a windowsill or mantelpiece or cluster them together on the table. The more, the merrier (well, okay, within reason!).

Free Home Decorating Idea #5
Make your own art. Some of those Picassos are so hard to live with! So why not arrange your own treasures in box frames: an antique mocha cup, a small heirloom, a letter from your great-grandmother to your great-grandfather. Make a background from old fabric or crumpled tissue paper. Add scrapbook-style hand-written tags, photos, and other nice things from your hidden treasure troves. The advantage of a shadowbox over a scrapbook is that you can really utilize the 3D to full effect, and you get to see your prized possessions every day!

There you are … once you start getting creative with what’s already in your home, you’ll find that you come up with more and more free home decorating ideas of your own. You can definitely have a gorgeous, stylish home on a shoestring!