One common question asked by anyone wanting to become a graphic designer is: “Do I need good drawing skills?” Graphic designing mostly requires a computer for finishing the project, but since most the results are illustrations, it is natural to think that drawing skill is necessary. However, how high of the drawing skill one needs to have in pursuing a career as a graphic designer? Also, what if the person does not have formal education in the drawing?
Drawing Skills Importance for Graphic Designers
Good drawing skill will help you a lot in creating graphic design projects. However, not all fields of graphic design require extensive drawing skill. The computer does design projects such as photo editing, web design, and print design. These design projects do not require you to have too-extensive drawing skill (although having it will contribute to the process).
The story is different if you focus on logo designs, for example. Creating unique, memorable logo requires you to have drawing skill. It is because clients usually want exceptional designs, something that does not repeat or imitates other designs. If you do not have drawing skill, your creative range will be limited.
Other downsides of not being able to draw are related to communication and pricing. During the process of design, a designer must communicate with clients about the ideas, and it often involves drawing sketches and drafts. Also, if you are unable to create unique artworks, it will be difficult to ask for higher rate.
Elements of Drawing to Understand
Having good drawing skill is a plus point for a graphic designer, but understanding basic elements of drawing is necessary, especially if you never have formal education in drawing or art. Being able to draw “well enough” is good for graphic designers (especially the beginners), but various drawing elements must be applied to design process, to create unique images or illustrations.
Here are drawing elements you must learn to be a good graphic designer:
- Lines and edges.
Lines are the basic forms of drawing. When drawing, you combine various lines into shapes. When you create shapes in their relations with their surroundings, you create edges to emphasize those shapes. Knowing the right balance between thick and thin lines, along with soft and sharp edges, is important to create a convincing design.
- Space perception.
An image consists of positive space (the “actual form”) and negative space (the space around the form). Understanding the balance between the spaces will help you create more accurate image based on the real-life model.
- Light and shadow.
The balance between light and shadow will help to create great depth in your image or design. Also, if your design is based on the realistic model, understanding the balance between light and shadow will make your image more “believable” at a certain point.
- Relations between images (optical illusion).
When you draw an image on any background, the image will create a certain effect on its surrounding. For example, a light-colored object may look brighter when you draw it on a dark background. Understanding about image relation will make your design more balanced.
- Color combination.
A graphic designer must understand well about color palette and perfect color combinations. If you want to be a graphic designer, you can invest in color reference cards. However, you still need to learn the best way to combine certain colors, to create a meaningful image.
- The “Gestalt” of the image.
The “Gestalt” refers to design or artwork as a whole. While you may focus on creating each element of your design perfectly, you must also consider how these elements look like as a whole. It is important because it is basically how your clients and public will see the design.
If you have no time to apply to a school, there are many resources you can find online. Aside from various YouTube drawing channels, you can also get a free course from websites such as Skillshare, Drawing Coach, and Drawspace. You can simply choose between beginner, intermediate, and advanced lessons to adjust your skill set.
A graphic designer does not have to be adept in a high-level drawing to make a livelihood. However, a certain level of drawing skills is necessary, and it can contribute to the quality of your design. Make sure to learn the basic elements of drawing if you want to be a successful graphic designer.