Do I Regret Majoring in Graphic Design?

As you all know, I recently graduated from college and majored in Graphic Design. Many people enter their field of study after college and others take a different route. In today’s post I want to spill all the tea about my major, what it was like, what exactly I studied, and how I’m feeling about it now. Do I regret majoring in Graphic Design? My answer: absolutely not, Graphic Design was an excellent choice for me! Below is tons of information you should know if you’re thinking of majoring in Graphic Design and what my perspective was like. I will also mention that I had an Interdisciplinary concentration (basically both Art and Design). I will scatter some examples of my work throughout this post, but if you’d like to check out my full Graphic Design online portfolio, please click here!

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Shopping bags I created for a self-initiated Pop Up Shop project (based off of my personal brand)

Required classes: Throughout my four years at my university, I was required to take a specific amount of units that were special to my major. The classes started with very basic concepts and built on themselves at projects got more difficult and longer term. As a freshman/sophomore I began with 2D Design, 3D Design, Art History I and II, Design History, Drawing I, Web Design I, Introduction to Computer Graphics, Painting I, Graphic Design I and Typography. As a junior/senior, I took Digital Photography, Ceramics, Interactive Web Design, Branding, Life Drawing, Illustration, Graphic Design Portfolio Preparation, and Graphic Design Portfolio Review. My Contemporary Art requirement I completed in Europe through my school’s Euroterm program. Lastly, my major required 1-3 units of internship, which I completed last summer at an environmental Graphic Design firm.

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Mock up of my Creation Care Week poster (wildfires theme)

Study Abroad Opportunities: I was so blessed that my school offered a summer term in Europe! As I mentioned above, I completed the Contemporary Art class and travelled to five different countries in three and a half weeks. We started in London, went to Germany, Paris, Italy, and Greece last. Everyday during our travels, we went to various contemporary art museums and had a lecture every morning. It was so thrilling to learn about pieces of art in the morning and go see them in person that same afternoon. If your university offers a study abroad program (especially in the Art and Design majors) I would really recommend going if you have the means to do so! It honestly enriched my education so much and my time in school would not have been the same. Even if you’re a little nervous to travel, the best things in life make you the most uncomfortable!

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Personal brand business cards (complete with hand painted flowers)

Workload & Critiques: When it comes to Graphic Design, I’m not sure many people understand just how much work goes into this major. I’m not saying that to scare anybody, because I really enjoyed working on all my assignments! While Biology, Chemistry, Accounting, and various other majors spend hours in the library or in a lab, I was spending hours in the Mac Lab or in my dorm making sketches/illustrations for my designs. I absolutely love the process that comes with Graphic Design, so I never minded spending so much time on campus. Nothing felt better than putting all your energy into a piece and getting positive reviews of it during a critique.

Speaking of critiques, what are they? My professors would give us a few weeks at least to finish an assignment. During class time, my professors would come to each student and discuss their progress one on one. After this period of experimentation and quick reviews, we would have critiques that involved the entire class. One by one we went through everyone’s work, discussing composition, design elements, the reason for creating something on the page, and what could be improved. I really loved critique days (they normally lasted about two and a half hours) but they were definitely exhausting! I usually received positive feedback and great advice on what to tweak or change.

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Album Cover I illustrated for a playlist I put together (inspired by the artistic style of illustrator Jesse Ledoux)

Looking Back on my Experience: Overall, I love that I majored in Graphic Design. I wasn’t someone that wanted to sit in a studio all day and create art. It definitely is a passion of mine, but I wanted something more to aspire to than gallery shows. Graphic Design is a perfect mix of hands on art making and modern design techniques (by this, I mean using the computer). I love creating a sketch, scanning it into Illustrator, and turning it into a virtual piece of art that can be used for posters, cards, books, or logos. Even if you do not end up as a full time Graphic Designer, the design principles and skills you learn in this major will be beneficial to any creative career. Being able to draw or work with the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.) will give you that extra edge compared to other job applicants. Understand that if you are in fact applying for a Graphic Design position, you will absolutely need to know how to use these systems. As a Graphic Design major, I ended up graduating with a print portfolio, web portfolio, and a personal brand that consisted of business cards, postcards, a letterhead and more. Totally worth it in my opinion!

Alright, I know this post was super wordy, but I hope it was helpful to some of you! These are some things I wish I would have known going into this major. To be honest, I switched from Visual Arts to Graphic Design my freshman year without knowing quite what it was, lol. However, I’m so glad I took the leap and went into this major. I met so many motivated people that became my close friends and I received tons of support from my family to go into this field. If you’re considering Graphic Design and you’re passionate about art, I say go for it!! See you guys in the next post!

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71 thoughts on “Do I Regret Majoring in Graphic Design?

  1. Congratulations on your degree!!! I have my BFA in Graphic Design/Illustration as well and as of 9 months ago, began working full time as a graphic designer. I’m very happy I got my degree in it! I never dreamt I would end up working in the field but you just never know what opportunities await around the corner! I work primarily in InDesign at my job and I’ve learned a lot. Best of luck! ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. thank you for sharing your perspective! if you don’t mind me asking, how do like being a full time graphic designer? and do you have any tips on how to get a job in a creative field post grad?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I really love being a full time graphic designer! I used to do freelance graphic design work here and there after I graduated, which was great because it added to my portfolio. Even if you don’t get a job in the field right away, it’s still a great idea in my opinion to try freelance work on the side because it keeps your skills active.

        As far as getting a job, definitely do research on the graphic design companies in your area, and it may help a lot if you know someone already in the field that can help you get your foot in the door. I was turned down many times by different places before I was hired where I am now, but I struck gold! Don’t give up and believe in yourself, always! Also, good etiquette like sending a thank you card after an interview really stands out. I found my job through Indeed. Hope that helps!!! 😊

        Liked by 3 people

      2. this is SO helpful! thank you! i’ve actually been doing a bit of freelancing since graduating and using sites like linkedin and indeed to search for jobs. i’m trying to apply for everything that looks interesting because i know it will take some time. thanks so much for the encouragement and tips! xx

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Graphic design always looked fun. Didn’t end up going to college myself but if I would have I probably would’ve picked something in this general field. From my understanding you don’t have a job yet, is that correct?

    Liked by 5 people

      1. i’ve done small freelance projects on the side, but it simply depends on the project. and my work can’t exactly be sold, unless you wanted something like postcards, stickers, or other ephemera like that. my current portfolio were for school projects so i wouldn’t know exactly how to sell them if that makes sense😂 feel free to email me if you have any business inquiries!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. i went to point loma nazarene university! if you scroll down my blog a bit, i have some photos of it😊 and that’s awesome that your mom majored in it, i’m sure she loved it! thank you so much

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such an interesting read, thank you for sharing. I majored in Physiotherapy which is a Bachelor of Sciences so couldn’t be further from Graphic Design but I think I would have loved to study it. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ohymygod i’ve been waffling over which major to choose: business or graphic designing and my God this has to have been a sign from God. Writing and graphic designing are really the very few things that make me not just content, rather happy! I loved reading about your experience and (followed btw haha) I’m super excited to read more whenever you post xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. omg this comment made me SO FREAKING HAPPY! i totally believe it was a sign from God! i can’t tell you how happy i am to have a degree in graphic design. not only does it give me a chance to be creative, but it can totally be made into a business. id also recommend researching if your school has a business minor option. i wish i would’ve done that but i’m looking into a business/marketing degree for grad school! good luck with all of your endeavors, keep me posted, and thanks for the follow! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ahhh i love how interactive you are with your audience! I actually scavenged around on your blog and found which uni you went to because i wanted an idea of what a good program would entail. I’m going to try and ask my counselor if he can use that as a reference but eh sighsighsigh j’know? I’m from Pakistan so finding a uni which has graphic designing that isn’t restricted, might be hard (hence applying abroad). There is also the thing where my brothers feel i should get a degree in marketing/business before doing graphic designing as a course. But, hey, what do i know? I’ll ask my counselor once I’m done with my CIEs. Thanks so much, you’re a sweetie! i adored your blog and thanks for following btw hahaaha x

        Liked by 2 people

      2. thank you so much! i absolutely love my audience and learning more about them personally. doing marketing first is definitely an option, however i’m glad i did graphic design first to really build basic skills as early as possible. like i mentioned before, i’m sure marketing or business is offered as a minor wherever you’re applying, especially in the states. definitely keep speaking with your counselor and get loads of different opinions! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful work Sage! I love your shopping bags and business cards! I may have to inquire with you in regards to making my small Business a logo. I am in no way savvy at such things and really admire how you presented your projects! Best to you!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Congratz on your new skill…no doubts you would keep soaring in your career!! I strongly believe that our consistent elevation in our career , business and financial worth is dependent on our ability to keep upgrading our skill set, knowledge base and network.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks a lot..this post really mean a lot to me…i am just identified my passion towards graphic design and loving each and everyday in my learning process…this post really helps..and ur portfolio simple awesome..thanks for sharing and thanks a lot for this blog !

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so inspirational for a student like me. I am about to start undergraduate degree in Graphics design too and I am so excited. Loves this post so much, your passion is amazing and inspiring. Thank you for this post! Also, please do check out my new site, I am planning on documenting my journey. Feedback would be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw im so glad this post could help you! it honesty makes me feel so good that I could help so many people with this topic. school can be tricky but extremely fun if you’re passionate about your major! good luck and I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time with graphic design! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have found that college really teaches you the discipline and ability to dedicate yourself to learning something over a long but finite period of time. The knowledge that you acquire can be applied in a variety of ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Olivia, Greetings from LA!🇺🇸I am happy for you. I am a graphic design student and I am taking online classes. I like your works and you can also check my works. I am not regret to choose my major as a graphic designer. It is very interesting and rewarding career. Thank you!😊✌️🇺🇸

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have already completed a 4 year degree in Communications from a university. I’ve been graduated or almost two years now and I cannot find a single job I am interested in. My biggest regret is not majoring in graphic design, and now I feel too old, and that I would be too behind (and in crippling debt) if I were to go back to school to get another degree. Plus, I have no idea how to use the programs you listed above which makes me so nervous. Thank you for this post, though! I needed to read it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. honestly you can 100% how do learn these programs through youtube or a similar tutorial site. things like designing take so much practice more than anything else. i truly believe if you put your mind to it you could learn a lot even on your own. everything builds on itself so the more you learn the tools, the easier it will get! it’s never too late!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes i totally agree! I’m almost thinking of teaching myself when I have free time and simply getting some practice in. Maybe I’ll go to a community college and only do an associates degree. Also, what computer do you recommend for starting on those programs? I currently only have a MacBook Pro.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yes! honestly I don’t regret for a minute getting my degree but one of the most important things in design is getting constant practice everyday. and a MacBook pro is perfect! that’s what I use for blogging and even at my professional graphic design job

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for sharing your undergraduate experience and how much you love graphic design.
    I graduated majoring in graphic design, but I never had the growth that you did. I was always afraid to show my work in class and I dreaded critiques. It is even more difficult after I graduated. I don’t want to show my work, but I want to freelance. Do you have any advice on how to push oneself?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. critiques were always a bit scary for me too but exciting! i think when it comes to your work and showing it off you just have to stand behind what you’ve created and be proud of the work you put in. if you love something and are passionate about it you have every right to share it with the world! most people in art or design will be excited with what you have to offer too! don’t be afraid and the more feedback you receive will make you a better designer! we’ve all received constructive criticism before but also tons of praise! you got this!

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my comment and to respond back!
        Somehow your sentiments gave me more courage! I recently shared my self project to a friend and she enjoyed it! I felt very vulnerable, afraid and negative when sending it. But I sent it to her and now I have good feedback!
        I love how you mentioned that “we’ve all received constructive criticism before but also tons of praise.”
        It really hits home because the constructive criticism always led to negativity in my thought process. I always thought I was never good enough. I am starting to change that mindset and to hold onto any praise I receive, too.
        Thank you again for responding! It means a lot to me! (:

        Like

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