How Do I Become a Graphic Design Trainee?

Bobby R. Goldsmith

There are several ways available to you to become a graphic design trainee. The most important is to acquire basic knowledge of styles of visual presentation as all graphic design revolves around presenting ideas and concepts visually. You develop a basic familiarity with computer aided design (CAD) as well, which will require you to learn how to use graphic design software. Though a trainee position is an entry level position, acquiring such a position will require you, at least, to demonstrate familiarity with the ideas, tools, and processes of the graphic design trade. You should also enroll in an art, design, or computer graphics modeling program at a community college or a four-year university to qualify to become a graphic design trainee.

Trainees will learn how to master trends in graphic design like infographics.
Trainees will learn how to master trends in graphic design like infographics.

Before you apply for any graphic design internship or trainee position, subscribe to several graphic design trade publications. This will give you a sense of the contemporary tastes and trends in graphic design, topics that may come up in your interviews. To become a graphic design trainee, you should have a way of expressing ideas and concepts visually. Though you do not need to be thoroughly versed in any particular techniques, you may be asked to demonstrate your ability to take written instructions and to demonstrate how you would convey that message visually.

To become a graphic design trainee, you must develop familiarity with computers and with the suite of software used to create designs. The industry standard is the Adobe® Creative Suite®, which includes Adobe® Photoshop®, Illustrator®, InDesign®, Dreamweaver®, Flash® and other programs. For pagination and other layout tasks, you may need to learn QuarkXPress® or the Microsoft Office® suite that contains Microsoft® Publisher. Many community colleges offer introductory courses in these programs, and there are numerous independent seminars that are given by design experts that can help you familiarize yourself with the basics of using them.

Acquire one or two freelance graphic design contracts, and develop a chapbook of your designs. It is perfectly acceptable for this chapbook to be rough and rudimentary, but simply having one will show your initiative and help you rise to the top of the pool of applicants for a graphic design trainee position. Be aware that most trainee and apprenticeship positions do not pay, though some may offer college credit toward the completion of your degree. It is important to be enrolled in a graphic design program while you search for a trainee position so that the employer understands that you are learning a wide variety of skills.

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