Graphic Design for Beginners

It had been hours since I last saw my friend. She couldn't make it to dinner with the rest of us because she was swamped with work for her project, but it was getting really late. We lived next to each other in the dorm, but she was nowhere to be found. So I went looking.

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed and out of your comfort zone that you just...freeze?

When I finally found my friend, that's what had happened. I'll never forget how she looked up at me - with utter desperation. And exhaustion. She had been laboring away for hours yet had come to give up hope of ever sleeping that night.

It turned out her project required a visual presentation. Just even thinking about creating a visual aid makes most people cringe! If you ask any average person, they know what they like when they see it, and they know what they don't like when they see it.

But how do you create something you like? Well, that's a different question entirely.

My friend was killer in her major all those years ago, and, as expected, she easily transitioned into her profession and has been killing it ever since. Praises from clients. Raving reviews from supervisors. Quick promotions and increased responsibilities.

But her problem with creating great visuals is not unique to her, to college students, or to people in her field. I constantly encounter people who are tasked with essentially the same thing: deliver your awesome content in a professional, engaging, visual way.

It doesn't matter if it's a research report, PowerPoint, flyer, letter of recommendation, training video, project proposal, website, sales pitch, social media post, or anything else. The fact is that regular people who are excelling in all professions are being asked to do the same thing - with no one showing them how to actually do it.

And this has always driven me crazy.

Maybe it's because the image of my friend's desperate face is burned into memory. Maybe it's because I've spent countless hours of my own time helping a coworker look like they know what they're doing.

Whatever the reason, I want to help you take your life back. I want to help free you from the hours of frustration that I know you have been pouring into that one, tiny, measly project that also happens to be critically important. You know the one. The project that took you 30 minutes to create amazing content and 3 hours to make it look mediocre in Word.

Over the next few days, I'll be posting a four part series to kickstart your skills in creating great looking, professional projects. I'm not expecting you to become a graphic designer, master Photoshop, and quit your day job. However, I will give you tips and examples that you can start applying right away to your current and future projects, no matter what they are, and instantly look more credible and professional.

Feel free to pass along to friends and coworkers, and please comment or email with questions!