Are you interested in learning about graphic design for kids? Graphic design is all around us. Beyond our computers, design is found everywhere. From logos and fonts on stores, to billboards we drive past, our world as we know it is heavily impacted by the designs of others. Essentially, graphic design is just visual communication. It is how we speak to others and get messages across without actually having to say much.
If this sounds like fun, keep reading as we dig deeper into the world of design. We will discuss the different elements and methods of design and how kids can get started easily.
Create & Learn also offers fun live online graphic design classes. If you know this is something you want to do and cannot wait to jump in, get started with live virtual design classes here (grades 1-7) and art camps, including graphic design with Canva, a fun digital art club, and more.
Explore graphic design for kids
In this post, we will talk about how kids can tap into their creative power and become the best graphic designer they can be. We will cover common questions beginners have and provide resources and activities for anyone interested in the world of design. Continue reading if you want to learn more!
Can a kid be a graphic designer?
Yes, of course a kid can be a graphic designer! Graphic designers draw inspiration in many different ways. From real life experiences to how they view the world around them. Because kids see the world in an innovative and colorful way, there is no doubt that they can be a graphic designer, too!
Some people hear the words “graphic design” and think of it as something very intimidating; however, we are here today to tell you that graphic design is nothing to be afraid of at all! Graphic design is both fun and strategic, and it can be a newfound hobby and even a future career.
What are important techniques of graphic design?
The 6 elements that are important for every graphic designer to keep in mind are legibility, expressiveness, visual hierarchy, consistency, distinction, and intentionality. These techniques are talked about in more detail in Create & Learn’s class called Power of Color, but today we will talk more about the three techniques we think should be prioritized and mastered before the others.
Whether it is a pamphlet with a whole bunch of paragraphs or a poster with nothing but a two word title, it is important that everything you design is legible. Designers are constantly communicating a message, so if something is difficult for people to read or understand, then the designs are not as effective as they should be. Legibility is key to making an effective design!
The order in which people view the content in your designs is super important in being a successful graphic designer. This is especially true in designing websites and apps because designers create the flow for users to navigate on these platforms. If a button is hard to find or if text that should be bold is hidden somewhere on the page, it is really difficult for users to find the information they need.
Visual hierarchy can also be true for print designs such as posters. Imagine seeing a poster about a live music concert, but not being able to see the time of the event on the poster. If hierarchy is executed poorly in a design, people would have to view your designs a handful of times before comprehending it. Great hierarchy avoids this issue!
Every design choice must be intentional- meaning there are not really mistakes in graphic design. Sometimes things we do not plan happen and it ends up looking great- that is a happy accident! We love those! But when we say everything must be intentional, it means that you have thought about every choice and observed the final outcome of your design multiple times before finalizing it.
Choosing a font, a color, the placement of something must all be well thought out. By having intentionality in your designs, it shows people that you really know what you are doing and how to accurately convey your messages in your designs.
What are 3 methods of graphic design?
There are many different methods of graphic design. Graphic design is everywhere we look. Three of the most common methods of graphic design are visual identity graphic design, marketing and advertising graphic design, and user interface graphic design.
Marketing and Advertising
Graphic designers who work in marketing focus on how a company’s target audience sees their brand.
- Postcards, brochures, flyers
- Social media posts
Otherwise known as UI designers, these graphic designers focus on how people interact with an application or device.
- App layouts
- Web page design
- Game interfaces
Graphic designers who work in publication often work with printed materials and work alongside publishers and editors.
- Newspapers, magazines, books
Explore basic graphic design skills
Being a graphic designer, you learn a lot of different skills along the way.
Because a lot of your designs will have a message, your communication skills grow immensely. You will try your best to make designs to speak to your target audience, and will most likely work with people of all different kinds of backgrounds; all of which, communicate differently themselves. Some people will know exactly how to explain their vision, while others have not even the slightest bit idea of what they want or how to say what they want.
Being a graphic designer really helps you learn how to not only communicate a message through your creativity, but how to effectively bring other people’s ideas to life. You will become a better listener, speaker, and even your communication skills through emails, phone calls, and text messages will improve too!
Along with your communication skills, you will also learn time management skills while pursuing graphic design. You will most likely have a lot of deadlines- a time span in which you need to finish a project. You might even have multiple designs to do at the same time.
Even though it may seem overwhelming, this will help you learn how to prioritize what is most important. If you have a project due Friday and today is a Thursday, you will learn how to finish that project before starting another that is due much later. Being on a time crunch really allows for you to know where to put your time and energy, and when to scale back on certain projects.
Last but definitely not least, you will learn how to pay attention to details - an attribute that is admirable in not only graphic design, but in everything that we do. Paying attention to details is important, because it shows that everything you create is intentional. Noticing the tiny things that others might not even notice is very common to all creatives and not just graphic designers. It displays a great sense of organizational skills and clearly proves that you are a very observant individual.
Graphic design activities for kids
A common misconception is that one needs fancy programs in order to design; however, there are many graphic design projects that kids can do with little to no money spent, and all in the comfort of their own home. Here are a few fun graphic design activities for children.
1. Create a mood board
Creating mood boards on Pinterest, or even just finding images out of a magazine and making a collage, helps our creative juices flow. Mood boards made of different images that we like help us see what our style is by examining patterns in the images we choose.
2. Redesign poster
Search images of a poster of a “favorite”. Your favorite cartoon, favorite band, favorite movie. How would this poster look like if you were the one who got to design it? Redesigning a poster with Canva, kids can get the chance to apply their own style to something they love. Have a printer? Try printing it out and see your design go from screen to the physical world!
3. Design a business card
Using an index card and colored pencils, kids can design their very own business card. Not only will they get experience in designing a logo, but they also get the chance to dive deeper into brand design. Kids can come up with their very own company, its brand colors, and even make up its own phone number and address!
Enjoy graphic design resources for kids
Kids can dive deeper into the world of design simply by searching the web.
Canva is a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign. This website makes it easy to create both print and digital materials such as posters, Instagram posts, and much more with the use of various templates.
Pinterest is a website with pictures of all different kinds of styles and aesthetics. This site is perfect for creating mood boards, gathering visual research, and drawing inspiration.
Pexels has millions of stock photos and videos. We can use Pixels to add media in our designs, while still ensuring that we are following licensing guidelines.
4. Color Hunt
Color Hunt is filled with color palettes to inspire and to lend a helping hand whenever we have trouble choosing how to color our designs.
YouTube has a great video selection of tutorials, project suggestions, and documentaries about design.
Discover graphic design courses for kids
Create & Learn offers fun and interactive courses about graphic design that are perfect for curious kids who love to learn! Check out some of the best online art classes for kids here:
This is a great opportunity for students in grades 1-4 to have fun being creative with a variety of interesting digital art projects and mediums. Create pattern designs, stop-motion animation, and even design your own emojis.
Students will gain basic core skills to design effectively in two-dimensional design for screens and print. This class is filled with videos and fun and clever activities about color and logos!
Learn how to define and organize color, and how to combine colors to create moods, effects, understanding, and meaning. With exciting hands-on exercises in each session, we explore how to apply colors in different contexts in the real world, from brand logos to paintings, and apps, games, websites, movies, product design and more.
Learn how to create beautiful graphic designs and videos with beginner-friendly Canva. This course explores examples of great graphic design and video storytelling. Your child will learn to use the intuitive drag-and-drop tool in Canva to create their own design.
In this digital photography class, students learn some of the basics to make their photos more meaningful and valuable. They explore how a camera works, and what goes into composing and capturing a stunning image.
Get the low-down on some of the most useful tools in Photoshop! In the first class, students will learn how to navigate Photoshop and use layers, masks, crops, direct selection, and brushes to combine multiple images into a digital collage. Further sessions will delve deeper into color, adjustments, blending modes, editing tools, text, shapes, and filters.
Join us in creating a well-developed character in this summer camp! Students joining will sharpen their character design knowledge by create a character style sheet filled with expression sheets, costume design, and color designs that they will create a final world in for their second project. They will learn about building character figures from basic shape, gestures, facial expressions, and cartoon stylization.
Joining us in exploring the world of animals in our Animal Kingdom Summer Camp. Come on an adventure inspired by the little, big world of animals! Students joining will sharpen their composition techniques, lighting, and color contrast by exploring the anthropomorphic characterizations of animals. They will learn about the importance of a strong composition, lighting, while designing their story of what their encounter with their favorite animal would be like.
Get started with graphic design for kids
We hope that reading this helped you learn more about graphic design and the many resources out there to get started! We all see the world in a unique way, and we all have the power of being a designer who can someday change the world.
The skills learned from the resources and projects above, plus the classes here at Create & Learn, will equip every kid with the tools they need to showcase their amazing graphic design capabilities.
Written by Marielle Cruz Cabillo, a Create & Learn instructor who has a BS in Visual Communication Design with a Minor in Marketing, and has taught children for 6 years.