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How Long Does it Take to Learn Graphic Design?

Matic BrozUpdated May 19, 2022

Learning the basics of graphic design takes a few weeks, but mastering it takes years. The actual time required to learn graphic design is determined by your current skill level and the amount of effort you put in.

Graphic design is a skill that requires a lot of practice and patience. In fact, there are thousands of talented designers who make a living with their skills, but none of them learned it overnight.

How long does it take to study graphic design?

Getting a university degree in graphic design usually takes four years. On the other hand, online courses take only a few weeks or months to complete because they prioritize getting working experience over studying theory.

It’s hard to say which of the two is better. Nowadays, most employers place more emphasis on experience, but a solid foundation in the basics of graphic design is still critical to your success.

I recommend that you acquire as much knowledge as possible, both theoretical and practical. This means taking several courses, working as an intern, and getting a degree. Every little advantage you have over other designers will help you get a well-paid job.

How long does a graphic design course take?

Most undergraduate college graphic design courses take four years to complete, while postgraduate courses take two to three years. Online courses are generally shorter, so you can finish them in a matter of weeks.

How long does it take to learn graphic design by yourself?

Learning graphic design on your own is definitely possible, but it takes longer than a proper education. If you want to teach yourself graphic design, it’ll take you, on average, twice as long to reach the same level of knowledge.

It takes several years for graphic designers to establish good relationships with their clients and other designers. New partnerships help you meet prospective clients and land profitable jobs, which can pay up to $100K+ per year.

Is Graphic Design Easy?

Graphic design is easy to learn, but mastering it requires time and dedication, creative thinking, and sometimes working outside your comfort zone. Graphic design encompasses learning the fundamentals of design, learning to use graphic tools, and knowing how to express ideas and emotions visually.

How to Learn Graphic Design Fast?

The fastest way to learn graphic design is to start with the basics and practice as much as you can. Many novice graphic designers jump ahead and build knowledge on shaky foundations, which slows down their learning process. So, make sure you start at the beginning and work your way up.

1. Practice, practice, and practice.

It’s a cliche for a reason. Practice is the most important factor in acquiring any new skill. You’ve probably heard of the 10,000-hour rule before—it states that to become an expert in a field, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice.

2. Get pro vector illustration software.

All your practice is useless if you don’t use good equipment. I recommend you use Adobe Illustrator as it’s the best software for this purpose. Also, most clients and employers require you to use Adobe apps. If you can’t afford paid apps yet, start with free options like Inkscape.

3. Learn from a pro.

You can hire a professional graphic designer to mentor you. If you can’t afford that, you can try offering your help in exchange for lessons; think of it as an internship.

4. Master the theory.

Sitting in front of a thick book and memorizing the entire theory is not only tedious but also ineffective. The best way to learn the theory is to apply it when necessary. Also, make it your nighttime reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is graphic design hard to learn?

Learning graphic design is easy, but it requires a lot of creativity, dedication, and motivation. To get better at graphic design, you need to keep practicing and improving your skills, which takes time and effort.
Graphic designers need to stay up to date with the latest in the creative field, which takes additional time and effort. However, most graphic designers find that the constant need for improvement makes learning more interesting.

Do you need a degree to become a graphic designer?

No, you don’t need a degree to become a graphic designer. Some employers want degrees, but real creative companies seek employees who have plenty of experience and talent.
So it’s crucial you build an impressive resume, such as a portfolio of your previous work, with a short blurb about yourself. And the perfect website builder for this job is Pixpa.

Can I study graphic design if I can’t draw?

Yes, you can study and learn graphic design even if you can’t draw. Nowadays, most of the graphic design work takes place on computers and tablets, so drawing is no longer a prerequisite.

Can I learn graphic designing in 2 months?

Yes, you can grasp the basics of graphic design in 2 months, but it takes several years to master it. In fact, you’ll learn that even decades later you can keep improving your skills.
This is the main reason senior graphic designers are paid more than interns. For one, they have an abundance of experience. Also, they can work a lot faster and they oversee the work of their subordinates.

Can I learn graphic design on my own?

Yes, you can learn graphic design on your own by reading books, watching tutorials online, and taking courses. However, it will take you years to become good at graphic design unless you get formal training.

How do beginners learn graphic design?

Beginners can start learning graphic design with the help of online courses. There are many free resources available on the internet which provide information about graphic design.

What education do you need to become a graphic designer?

To become a graphic designer, you must have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, illustration, fine arts, communications, or related fields. You can get your bachelor’s degree online through distance learning programs.

Can I learn graphic design online?

Yes, there are several great resources available online. You can find free tutorials and courses at sites like Lynda.com, CreativeLive.net, Udemy.com, and Skillshare.com. Check out these websites to get started.

How should I manage my time when learning graphic design?

When you start your career as a designer, it’s important to know how much time you need to spend on each task. You can’t just dive into a project without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. If you don’t have a clear idea about how long a certain task takes, then you’ll get nowhere. Consider how long the project will take and plan accordingly.


Graphic design is a field that requires a lot of creativity and knowledge. It’s not something that just anyone can do overnight. There are many ways to get started with graphic design. While some start with Photoshop, others prefer Illustrator or both together.

The best way to learn graphic design is to practice. So, try to draw and experiment with colors, fonts, and shapes as much as you can. You will gain a better understanding of how graphic design and esthetic work. Then, once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to move on to other aspects of graphic design like typography, web design, and illustrations.

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About the author

Matic Broz profile image

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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