I am currently studying computer sciences and I don't have any design school here to go to after I complete my degree and going abroad can take some time.

I am very interested in learning and adopting graphic design as a career. I think many of other people face this issue too.

I have been in this field for 3 years and its has been a continuous process of learning & practicing graphic design while studying but I am still unsure whether I will be able to excel in this field without a proper academic background.

What do you suggest us to do in order to overcome our lack of academic education in this area?

Plus, Are there any successful and renowned graphic designers who didn't get in a design school?

I think some personal experiences will be helpful too. Thankyou for your time and help,It means a lot!

  • @Matt, Bakabaka and Scott, I have edited the question, Can you please mark it as "not duplicate"? Much thanks.
    – Simaar
    Jul 15, 2014 at 13:18
  • Simaar, what exact question do you have that isn't already answered? Because nowhere in the question we've linked you does it tell you to go to Design School.
    – Ryan
    Jul 15, 2014 at 13:27
  • this is still a duplicate but in regards to what designers dont have an education isnt really a question that fits the scope of GD. Also, asking for suggestions produces an opinion based answers which is not in the scope.
    – user9447
    Jul 15, 2014 at 13:27
  • 1
    The biggest problem is that there are hard subjects that are nearly impossible to learn outside academia in sane timeframes. Fortunately most people squander their opportunity by taking easy subjects. But atleast on the highest tier this is indispensible leg ahead. Problem as i see it that some countries have gone bezerk on the cost of academic education that does not pay off, where i am all university level efucation is free of charge. Anyway find a good mentor be it in academia or not this can teach you in a month more than you could learn in a year even 2 if you care to listen.
    – joojaa
    Jul 15, 2014 at 13:36
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    Hard to say as im not a graphics designer, but one of the things you miss is feedback from peers and instructors. At sane timeframes, friends and family are not good at this. Looking at my curicculum pretty useful stuff for graphics design were visual storytelling, human perception, cognitive psychology, network theory, usability and usability measurements, color measurements and print lab courses. And offcourse personal contacts. But Im a mechanical engineer dont take my word on this.
    – joojaa
    Jul 16, 2014 at 9:00

1 Answer 1


Actually this is something that's becoming more and more frequent so if I were you I would feel positive.

The graphic design industry, much like the programming one is not all together wound up on the academic side of things. Most companies would prefer to see a solid portfolio of work over a qualification from a school. (I'm not saying the attending design school doesn't help your chances and equip you to make a great portfolio, it just doesn't seem as essential anymore).

In any case if you are dedicated you will not need the structure of academia to achieve your own excellent portfolio.

There are great tips here for starting out and it might be worth your while sifting through them.

As for an example of a designer who didn't attend a design school, here ya go though there are indeed many more!

This topic is often explored and there are lots of opinions on it;(Is school still necessary, how to become a designer without school, do designers need formal ed. though in short I think that if you have the focus to learn the software, practice daily, find what area of graphic design most interests you and build a portfolio of work that you love! (If your portfolio consists of the kind of work that interests you, that is your best chance of getting the job that interests you). There are so many resources on and offline that provide tips tricks and tutorials that actually the information and tools are available to you if you dedicate yourself to the task.

Most importantly though try and try again, if you are dedicated you will succeed, best of luck!

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