A Better Way To Learn Graphic Design

Hi, my name is Ruben. I’m a digital media professor, graphic designer, and web developer. I’ve helped hundreds of students learn graphic design faster and more effectively.

My Story

I got my Ph.D. in Communication in 2007, right at the beginning of the financial crisis. 

Applying to more than 30 positions, I realized that job descriptions were increasingly requiring digital skills along with academic expertise, which was rare at the time. 

I had excellent credentials, yet it became incredibly difficult to find a job in academia. 

The harsh realization was that I had no practical skills in digital media. 

I finally landed a post-doc position at Georgia Tech, which required all fellows to have a personal homepage.  

Instead of paying someone, like some of my colleagues, I decided to build the website myself. So I taught myself how to create a basic homepage using HTML and CSS. 

I was hooked, so I continued learning web development and graphic design on my own. 

As a new professor faced with the need to update my theoretical background to find a job, I became obsessed with graphic design and web development.

Fast forward to today: 

  • I teach graphic design at the college level
  • Co-designed a platform that won a prestigious entrepreneurship award
  • Develop websites for fun and profit
  • Enjoy designing for myself and the communities I’m involved with

The thing is, I discovered that graphic design can be learned on your own, if you know how. 

Now, my passion is to teach graphic design in the simplest, most effective way possible and get you started as quickly as possible in your journey. 

My Approach

You might be asking:

How can you learn graphic design on your own? 

In my case, having studied for so many years has taught me how to learn anything. 

So I started devouring books and helpful resources on graphic design and web development. I took on personal projects and started practicing at the first opportunity.

But something was key:

Getting the fundamentals first. That is, understanding design theory from the outset. 

This is crucial to becoming a graphic designer in the shortest amount of time. However, it’s something that most beginner graphic designers neglect. 

They get hung-up on using the software instead of really understanding how to create visually. 

Like I say to my students, people become too focused on “pushing buttons” instead of acquiring an understanding of design principles, composition, color, and layout. 

Believe me when I say that, once you understand what it is you need to do visually, you will learn how to use the software one project at a time. 

This is why my approach focuses on teaching the fundamental aspects of design theory first, in the simplest way with tons of visual examples. 

Once you grasp design principles and how they manifest around us, you can’t “unsee” them. This will ensure your career as a graphic designer. 

About Self-Made Designer

I’ve taken all that I’ve learned in the classroom for almost a decade and have developed a system for teaching the fundamentals of graphic design in a way that makes sense and is sustainable. 

I’ve been compiling materials, lessons, articles, resources, and methods for helping my students learn faster and more efficiently. 

My objective is to make graphic design easily understandable to beginners, and to help you acquire a solid base to help you succeed in your graphic design journey.  

I create all my content with the self-taught designer in mind. 

If you want to learn graphic design on your own, you can start with these helpful guides: 

Say Hello

Thank you for stopping by. 

Drop me a line for questions, feedback or just to say hi. I respond to all my emails.

[email protected]