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iammysticyte

Honest Branding/Design Career Question

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Hey Everyone,

 

My brain fought posting this question for a long time for fear of negative reactions or criticism, but I just have to put it out there for peace of mind.  I am really interested in transitioning to a career in the corporate branding/logo design/graphic design world.  I have seen other posts here before, but I think my situation is a bit different, so I would love some feedback.  

 

I just turned 34 and have a very solid corporate job.  I am married and my wife has a good job as well.  We don't have any debt (although we are trying to buy a house) and no kids...yet.  All of that means that I have a decent amount of disposable income to use either for taking classes, doing internships or just trying to start something on my own.  While I have a very good job, I am not a good fit and cannot see myself being there long term.  I have an IT background, but I work more on the database side.  However, I have found it pretty easy to pick up basic Photoshop and Illustrator skills.  

 

I have several areas of interest, but the one I keep coming back to design.  My question is how do I begin this transition?  How do I get more experience and insight into how this industry works?  I am willing to start from square one, but I am not sure exactly what that is.  I have read just to start making projects and that is a good start, but beyond that I want to know how to get into that world.  

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  And please note that this is not some half-cocked, pie eyed idea.  I have been thinking about it and researching it for a very long time, but you can only read so much before acting.

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If you some designs put together already look to outlets like Behance or Dribble to post it. Posting it here will allow you to get some honest critiques of your work as well. I'm still in the newbie stage of design so I trust the opinions of some of the guys here and they are spot on when giving hints on improving your work as well. The first thing though is getting it out in the public eye. 

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1 hour ago, iammysticyte said:

Hey Everyone,

 

My brain fought posting this question for a long time for fear of negative reactions or criticism, but I just have to put it out there for peace of mind.  I am really interested in transitioning to a career in the corporate branding/logo design/graphic design world.  I have seen other posts here before, but I think my situation is a bit different, so I would love some feedback.  

 

I just turned 34 and have a very solid corporate job.  I am married and my wife has a good job as well.  We don't have any debt (although we are trying to buy a house) and no kids...yet.  All of that means that I have a decent amount of disposable income to use either for taking classes, doing internships or just trying to start something on my own.  While I have a very good job, I am not a good fit and cannot see myself being there long term.  I have an IT background, but I work more on the database side.  However, I have found it pretty easy to pick up basic Photoshop and Illustrator skills.  

 

I have several areas of interest, but the one I keep coming back to design.  My question is how do I begin this transition?  How do I get more experience and insight into how this industry works?  I am willing to start from square one, but I am not sure exactly what that is.  I have read just to start making projects and that is a good start, but beyond that I want to know how to get into that world.  

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  And please note that this is not some half-cocked, pie eyed idea.  I have been thinking about it and researching it for a very long time, but you can only read so much before acting.

 

I had a similar experience over a decade ago.  I was working for a highly successful software company and offered to help out the design department with a project they were supposed to be helping me with.  It was a simple design project, but I found that not only did I have an eye for it, I really enjoyed it.  I ended up transitioning from software development to graphic design. 

 

What really helped me out was getting my design degree.  I went back to school, The Art Institute of Seattle, at the age of 34 (married with two kids).  I took night classes at first, easing my way in.  It took four years of night classes and part-time school, but I made it happen.  I'm fortunate to be an "official" graphic designer in a corporate setting. 

 

Schooling can be a great value.  I learned a lot of things I never would have discovered on my own and made a lot of good design industry connections.  Practical application helps, too.  Teaching yourself Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, HTML, reading design books, becoming friendly with sketch pads are an added value.

 

Good luck. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jimmy! said:

 

I had a similar experience over a decade ago.  I was working for a highly successful software company and offered to help out the design department with a project they were supposed to be helping me with.  It was a simple design project, but I found that not only did I have an eye for it, I really enjoyed it.  I ended up transitioning from software development to graphic design. 

 

What really helped me out was getting my design degree.  I went back to school, The Art Institute of Seattle, at the age of 34 (married with two kids).  I took night classes at first, easing my way in.  It took four years of night classes and part-time school, but I made it happen.  I'm fortunate to be an "official" graphic designer in a corporate setting. 

 

Schooling can be a great value.  I learned a lot of things I never would have discovered on my own and made a lot of good design industry connections.  Practical application helps, too.  Teaching yourself Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, HTML, reading design books, becoming friendly with sketch pads are an added value.

 

Good luck. 

 

 

 

Hey Jimmy!,

 

Thank you so much for this advice.  While MJWalker45's specific advice is helpful, this is more what I am looking for.  I know many designers are self-taught, so I wasn't sure what the predominant feeling would be about going back to school.  Night classes would definitely be tough, but I do like that you were able to ease into it a bit.  Also, thank you for the self-directed learning ideas.  Just the fact that I am excited to learn all of these things speaks volumes.

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