A graphic design lecturer usually teaches in a college or other academic setting. This means that a master’s degree in graphic design, good speaking skills and some professional experience are often required to fill such a role. While a college setting is most common, it also is possible to start your own business teaching graphic design and become a lecturer that way.
The first step to become a graphic design lecturer is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a closely related field. A master’s degree is usually required you want to become a graphic design lecturer at the college or university level. College courses typically cover typography, color theory and the basic principles of design — the cornerstones for good graphic designers.
As a graphic design lecturer, you will likely be required to teach various computer software applications used to create designs. An understanding of the history, styles and techniques for graphic design also is required, and it is also important to keep abreast of new techniques and trends, which can change quickly in the graphic design field. Some instructors specialize in certain areas, such as photo retouching, illustrations or web design.
Opportunities for student teaching are sometimes available while you are earning your degree. Student teaching can allow you to learn real-world skills such as creating lesson plans and explaining techniques to students. It also will give you the chance to begin developing your own teaching style.
Good drawing skills are recommended if you want to become a graphic design lecturer. Designers are often required to make sketches of ideas or make quick revisions or sketches for clients. As a lecturer, you may need — or want — to use such sketching in the classroom setting, to help illustrate a point you're making.
Some colleges will require you to have professional experience in the field before you can become a graphic design lecturer. Working with clients through an agency, a corporation or as a freelance designer would all likely be considered appropriate experience. Such experience can give you firsthand knowledge of the graphic design field and better prepare you to answer students' questions about working in the industry.
Before applying for a lecturer position, you should understand the focus of where you would be teaching if you got the job. Some design programs center on production work, while others require strong creative and artistic skills. Graphic designers who specialize in production work often make edits or corrections to existing designs or ready others’ work for print projects or placement on a website. An artistic-based program will require above-average creative and technical skills.
You also can become a graphic design lecturer by starting your own instructional program. This route will probably still require a college degree and experience that demonstrates your expertise in graphic design. Whether you work for a university or yourself, you should be sure to obtain any required licensing needed to teach or start your own business.