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Can I Be A Graphic Designer if I Can’t Draw?

Can I Be A Graphic Designer if I Can’t Draw?
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Graphic design is becoming an increasingly popular field with many people wondering what it is all about. This artistic job is perfect for people who love to create beautiful things that will inspire and start discussions.

Most people have seen the beautiful and breathtaking resumes that graphic designers are submitting to show their talent. Those images are enough to make most people want to learn a little more about what graphic design is. This has many people wondering what it actually takes to be a graphic designer.

This modern job is the focus of many, with countless places offering online degrees and certifications. It’s likely that you have seen ads promising to get you started as a graphic designer quickly.

Within this industry, there is potential to make good money and exercise your creativity at the same time. However, most people are worried about whether or not you can be a graphic designer if you can’t draw.

We are of the opinion that anyone can learn how to draw. Still, we are happy to report that you don’t need to worry about being good at drawing to do this job.

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What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a visual art form that combines different media styles to make something eye-catching. This field is focused around making appealing visuals that will make people want to look. This can look a little different depend on how you are using your skills. However, the overall idea is that you are making design decisions to create something intended to be shared.

This form of art is being used in many places and many ways. A common use of graphic design is within marketing. It might mean designing a logo for a branding campaign.

It could also mean making an infographic to provide customers with important information. The main idea behind in marketing is that it should appeal visually to an audience and likely share important information.

Beyond marketing, graphic design is used in other capacities like web and print layouts. This involves learning where to put everything for a pleasant visual appearance. It also means understanding the way that the information should flow for effectiveness. This might include arranging pictures or designing banners. It’s an incredibly open-ended need.

The important thing to note is that these artists use technology to create stunning designs. Through a combination of computers, design tools, and design knowledge, graphic designers create art that sells. In many instances, the job of the graphic designer involves making sure that the everything looks just right.

They can control the way that a brand appears to a target audience. This is why many people decide to be a graphic designer. It allows them to help companies put their best face forward.

What Are Design Skills?

Design skills involve a concrete understanding of what does and does not go together. This knowledge base spreads across several areas for most graphic designers. It is this core knowledge set that allows them to make such beautiful designs that can appeal to an audience.

Graphic design is built around making aesthetically pleasing presentations. With this in mind, it makes sense why graphics designers need an eye for good design. It is important to recognize that this understanding can be learned and does not need to be innate.

The basis for good design is understanding how things need to be placed for the best presentation. This includes having a concrete understanding of things like color, placement, and tone. Since graphic designers are responsible for making things look nice, they need to understand how they arrange them.

This involves knowing where certain design elements should be positioned. It also means having an understanding of what colors go together and which ones do not. The combination of these factors can create a tone, which is important for sending the right message.

Though there are people who have a good eye for this sort of thing, these things can be learned. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to piece things together, that is okay. The reason why the courses for graphic design exist is because most people still need to learn about good design.

A good design is not something done unintentionally. It requires an understanding of certain elements that come together to make a broader design process. In reality, good designs are done with great intention and dedication.

What Skills Does A Graphic Designer Actually Need?

Though you certainly need design skills to be a good graphic designer, that isn’t the extent of the job. In reality, there are many additional skills that you need in order to be an effective designer.

While designing good content is important, there is more to being a graphic designer than that. If you don’t have the other required skills, you will likely find yourself falling below the curve in the actual industry.

The most important skill that a designer needs to have is the ability to effectively communicate. This is important for two primary reasons. First, you need to be able to engage with customers or management to understand design needs.

It will be your job to determine what your client wants with the actual design. Second, a major part of graphic design is built around how well you can communicate a message. Graphic design is all about conveying a meaning to an audience in a clear and concise way.

Beyond communication skills, you need to be well versed in commonly used graphic design tools. A great place to start with this is the Adobe Creative Suite. Applications like Photoshop and Adobe Spark are a valuable asset in any designer’s toolbox. These are the kinds of tools that will be used when you are working on projects, so the more you know, the better.

Are Designs Drawn by Hand?

Many people operate under the assumption that graphic design involves a lot of freehand drawing. While this is certainly a skill that you can use as a graphic designer, there is more to it. Drawing is a part of design to some extent, but that seldom includes the finished project.

As a graphic designer, you might spend time sketching out ideas. That does not mean that you have to physically draw the finished design elements yourself. In fact, you can rely on other people for that portion of the design process.

Though a designer might end up storyboarding or mocking up pages by hand, this requires very little skill. In reality, these sketches are going to be more focused on getting a general idea of where everything will go. When a graphic designer is finished mocking up a design, they can switch to the appropriate tools.

Graphic design work is conducted using digital tools, which means you can take your sketches and make them designs. In fact, if you aren’t comfortable drawing, you can create mockups in design tools as well. There are plenty of options that do not involve actually drawing.

People tend to assume that graphic designers are a one stop shop when it comes to art. This is what makes so many people consider graphic design to be an overwhelming feat. The reality is that graphic designers work with other artists to get a job done.

They might rely on a calligrapher to make custom typography. They might rely on a photographer to take stunning photos. For drawing, they can rely on an illustrator. These team members are what makes it possible.

What Is the Difference Between A Graphic Designer and An Illustrator?

When it comes to drawing design elements, this does not need to be the work of the graphic designer. In fact, in many instances, graphic designers are responsible for compiling, not composing.

This means that a graphic designer will take the existing design elements from all parties and bring them together. It might mean choosing the right typography to go with a logo or adding a quote to an image. Just like a graphic designer likely won’t take the stock images being used, they don’t need to draw.

For intensive drawing or art, companies are more likely to use an actual illustrator. Illustrators are artists who focus specifically on drawing custom items for a company or brand. These individuals are talented at creating in many forms depending on the need.

For one project, a pencil illustrator might be needed to get the right image. For another project, you might be in need of a watercolor illustrator. These individuals are people who are specifically working on drawing, painting, or creating the art. When they illustrate something for the design, they will pass it on to a graphic designer to incorporate it.

In many cases, graphic designers and illustrators work together to create a finished product. An illustrator will draw design elements, and it is the job of the graphic designer to place them. Graphic designers, at their core, are meant to bring together design elements for a grand presentation.

Will Knowing How to Draw Make Me A Better Graphic Designer?

There are plenty of people who worry that they won’t be a good graphic designer if they can’t draw well. It makes sense to assume that visual art is dependent on drawing, but it simply isn’t true. In this field, drawing is more of a nice to have than anything.

Under no circumstances will an inability to draw ruin your designs. In fact, projects can generally move faster with a standalone illustrator doing the drawing work. This is because a graphic designer will already be too busy pulling it all together.

Drawing is a valuable asset for a graphic designer if it helps your individual process. Some people who like to draw and are designers use this for their design approach. They might be able to mock up a design for an illustrator or make it themselves.

While this can be beneficial in some cases, it is far from necessary. There are instances when it might help a graphic designer to communicate with others. However, being able to draw is not at all a prerequisite to good design. Graphic design relies on the use of digital tools to make strong designs, not on drawing.

For people who are more engaged in multimedia art and are graphic designers, these tools can help. It might feel good to be able to completely draft a design in a way that looks presentable. This can be helpful when it comes to presenting an idea to stakeholders or clients.

However, this is not the only way to make a good mockup. In fact, the tools that are available for mocking up a page like Adobe CC make great products. These mockups look professional and clean, which can be better than a sketch depending on the client.


If you are considering a job in graphic design, don’t let yourself be intimidated. Like other art forms, graphic design is something that can be learned in a class. There will always be things that you learn on the job, but that is okay too. A good graphic designer is not born, but made.

It is easy to assume that something artistic like graphic design requires specific artistic skills. It is important to remember that graphic design is a field by itself. You can be a graphic designer without any other kind of artistic prowess.

When you decide to become a graphic designer, you are committing to graphic design. If the job was illustrator or artist, drawing would be necessary. Graphic design, however, is a standalone field. It is dependent on specific graphic design skills, not just art or drawing.

If you are truly worried about not being able to draw, you can always take the time to learn that skill too. Drawing is a process that can be learned with practice and dedication just like anything else. If you want it, go get it.

Are you more comfortable being in graphic design and not being able to draw after reading this?