At Shillington, we believe some people are destined for a graphic design career. Designers are creative people who have a knack for aesthetics, notice the finer details and love to learn new things. They just move through the world differently!

At all six of our campuses around the world, our students—most without any previous graphic design training—recognise their eye for design and decide to turn their passion into a creative career.Should you pursue a graphic design career? We’re here to help you find out.

Here’s our round-up of 11 signs you should go after a career in design—echoed by stories from Shillington teachers.

1. You buy things just for the packaging.

shillington shares career in design tips about packaging

Does the bottle of wine with the most unique label always find its way into your shopping basket? Have you found yourself admiring the take-out bag your food came in while eating lunch? If so, you have a serious appreciation for packaging design and know what it takes to stand out on the shelf.

Shillington New York’s Holly Karlsson can relate. “While working my first job at a grocery store, I requested to work in the wine and spirits department just so I could appreciate all the beautiful packaging!”

2. You recognise fonts have different personalities.

shillington shares career in design tips about fonts

You know font choice matters. With so many different typefaces available, it’s essential to find the right typeface pairings to complement the design. Designers can quickly tell what works and what doesn’t, so if Comic Sans and Papyrus make you cringe—you’re well on your way to establishing your career in design!

Shillington London’s Corrie Anderson loves typography too. “At school I would spend so much more time drawing out the headings on my homework, or choosing a typeface, or even choosing what paper it was on rather than writing out the actual work. Oops.”

3. You know the difference between maroon and marsala.

shillington shares career in design tips about colors

Who knew there were so many colours in the rainbow? You! Do you know what the latest colour trends are? Are your bookshelves coordinated by colour? Colour choice is a big part of design, and it takes a keen eye to perfect. Simply seeing the spectrum is a powerful place to start.

Shillington Manchester’s Laura Weldon understands. “I nearly had a breakdown while choosing a paint colour for my living room. My husband couldn’t believe there were so many options for ‘off-white’.”

4. You spend hours on Pinterest and Instagram.

shillington shares career in design tips about social media


We all know how addictive social media can be. Designers love creating mood boards because visual research can inspire and spark creativity in unpredictable ways. You should definitely consider a career in design if you find yourself lusting over stationery on Pinterest or in a deep spiral of #typography tags on Instagram.

Shillington Brisbane’s Shanti Sparrow knows the joy of Pinterest. Check out her epic collection of design boards.

5. You download apps just to check out the design.

shillington shares career in design tips about apps

As our everyday life catapults into the innovative future, designers play a big role in creating well-designed digital products. If your phone is full of apps you hardly use but can’t bear to delete—you have a head start in understanding the world of UX aka User Experience design.

Shillington Melbourne’s John Fry knows how you feel. “I have stacks of weather apps on my phone, not because I’m particularly interested in the weather, but just to check out the interface design.”

6. You care about aesthetics in everyday life.

Are the cushions on your sofa organised by size or colour? Are your picture frames perfectly aligned? If so, you understand the importance of visual clarity. Balance, Repetition, Contrast, Alignment, Hierarchy. The five design principles that create the foundation of design education are already forming in your brain.

Shillington Sydney’s Jason Cooper knows your obsession. “When I’m plating up dinner, I’m always looking at the aesthetic quality and perfecting the colour, balance, etc. The design principles are always at work!”

7. You understand the power of branding.

Branding is more than just a logo—it’s the spirit and idea behind a product or service that consumers connect with. Successful brands create an instant reaction. If you recognise and understand brand loyalty, your inner designer is well at work.

Shillington New York’s Enza Lettieri gets it. “I know branding plays a big part in my everyday life. It’s all about the tiny details—I love that fragrant smell when I enter a T2 store. The brand puts effort into the whole customer experience.”

8. You have a knack for craft and handmade.

shillington shares career in design tips about crafts

Do you like to get your hands dirty? Do you enjoy the process of crafting as much as the end product? If you’re a creative at heart if you spend your weekend undertaking home DIY projects, or even unwinding with an adult colouring book, a graphic design career could be the right path for you.

Shillington London’s Alyson Pearson loves to get crafty too. “Rather than buying birthday cards, I make them.”

9. You know design is more than meets the eye.

shillington shares career in design tips about design meeting the eye

You see what others don’t, and love wowing friends with the hidden meaning in popular logos. Your favourite party trick? Uncovering the the secret arrow in the FedEx logo, pointing out the bear in Toblerone, or identifying the a –> z in Amazon.

Shillington Sydney’s Sara Mazzoni knows what you’re talking about. “My jaw dropped when I realised that the Roxy logo was an extension of the Rip Curl logo!”

10. You collect designs that inspire.

shillington shares career in design tips about inspiration

If you save your favourite cards and invitations, have a bowl filled with cool old matchbooks, or can’t bear to throw out an empty but beautiful perfume bottle … signs are you’re a creative! Both the casual graphic artist and those with a graphic design career love to collect examples that inspire because when something works, it works.

Shillington London’s Ali Neilly is a fan of collecting too. “I’m a serial collector. I once acquired an elderly woman’s stamp collection from a charity shop and since then have continued to add to it as they’re the perfect addition to a moodboard with their unique patterns and colours.”

11. You love to learn.

shillington shares career in design tips about learning

Have you ever watched a YouTube tutorial to help you perfect a new skill? Our field is ever-evolving, and as designers there’s always more to learn! Graphic design is a hands on career for creative minds. At Shillington, we know that our creative journey is a life-long one, which is why we’re always finding ways to stay ahead of the curve.

Shillington New York’s Stephanie Munoz has always been a self-educator. “In high school I would stay up until 5:00 am watching endless Photoshop tutorials through our free school Lynda account.”


If you’re nodding along to this list, maybe you should become a designer! Kickstart your graphic design career in just 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington –>

Top Image by Shillington New York’s Enza Lettieri. Check out her new type blog Typerie!