How to Introduce Your Kid to Graphic Design

Our world is inherently stylized by graphic designers, from t-shirts and logos to billboards, book covers, and packaging.

A handful of the most famous graphic designers include Milton Glaser, creator of the iconic “I Love NY” branding; Massimo Vignelli, who redesigned the New York City Subway Map as we experience it today; and Susan Kare, the contemporary designer behind well-known icons such as the trash can, the paint bucket tool, and the floppy disk save icon. 

But what exactly is graphic design? Distilled down, graphic design is visual communication. It’s how we connect and convey messages with others in a pictorial way. Graphic designers draw inspiration from various sources: real-life experiences, pop culture, nature, music – the list is endless!

Professionally, companies hire graphic designers to help promote and sell their products or services through advertising, websites, infographics, posters, flyers, and other creative mediums. It’s a way for a business to present sometimes complicated information in an easy, digestible way to their audiences. 

If graphic design sounds fun and is a subject your child would be interested in (or already is interested in), keep reading as we take you through an introductory crash course on graphic design for kids and how they can tap into their creative power!

Intro to Graphic Design for Kids

Graphic design is how we move through the world in images. But graphic designers do more than make pretty pieces of art. Graphic design takes study, innovation, strategy, and proficiency of specific programs to make art come to life.

How to Learn Graphic Design at Home

The first place to start when learning graphic design at home is to dive into the history, the movements, eras, and trendsetting designers who helped pave the way to make graphic design what it is today. We recommend checking out some of the most influential books about graphic design.

Then, we suggest learning about the five principles of design: alignment, repetition, contrast, hierarchy, balance-symmetry, and balance-tension. Some of the most successful designs have followed those principles, which shows just how important they are.

Lastly, typography and the fundamentals of color are central to the ins and outs of great design. Things such as typeface design, typesetting, how color affects moods and portrays personality, and color theory are elements that make up graphic design. 

What Basic Skills Does My Kid Need?

A vivid imagination and passion for visual arts are the foundation of graphic design. Most kids have a keen eye for color and shapes and wild imaginations, so this part should come naturally.

Communication is key. This is not only important later when working with clients but while learning the craft. It will be a huge advantage when your child can listen well, process feedback, and explain different design elements and ideas.

Be curious! Since kids are genuinely curious by nature, this skill should come easily. Graphic designers use the world and everything around them as a source of inspiration. It’s essential that your kid be curious about everything. 

Curiosity will help when it comes time to sit down and bring their ideas to life. You never know where the next great idea could come from.

What Graphic Design Tools Will My Kid Need?

A computer is needed for graphic design, but some applications and programs are required to create a design beyond that. 

Most of the design world uses a set of applications and services through Adobe Creative Cloud. While it’s good for your child to familiarize themselves with Adobe Creative Cloud eventually, many free alternatives exist, such as Canva, Inkscape, and Scribus.

And lastly, but most importantly, ideas, creativity, and inspiration are what a graphic designer needs most. 

Chad Birenbaum, the co-founder of Duckpin Design, explains, “Concepts and ideas need to work on paper first, and then the computer should be used to bring them to life.” In order to get to the result, a great design begins with a singular idea.

Where Can my Kid Learn Graphic Design?

Starting August 3rd, Ivy Camps USA is offering a five-week Design Your Brand: Marketing & Advertising summer camp. During this course, campers will explore the foundations of marketing and advertising and learn about design theory concepts, colors, typography, and more! 

Plus, campers will get to design their very own logo using Canva! 

Ivy League instructors teach all courses from established names such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, etc. That’s how you know your child is getting the best supplemental education designed to widen their path!

Take the Next Step

We hope you enjoyed that intro to graphic design! There are endless possibilities when it comes to graphic design for kids. If your child shows interest in the field, now is the perfect time to get them involved. 

As you keep everything about graphic design for kids in mind, you’ll be able to prepare your child for the limitless creativity and the skills that come with the craft, such as collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking. 

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