Learn the basics
The first step is to choose the area of expertise you want to develop. You can choose between various forms of graphic design such as advertising, print design, multimedia (TV), web design, or animation. Graphic designing for print or online mediums have a number of differences in technique. You can be good at both, but it is better to choose one.
Get the tools
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the usual applications in the industry. These applications are easy to use but since they have numerous features, you might need some time and a lot of effort to master them. You can start with less expensive or free alternatives which are quite sufficient for you as a beginner.
You can buy textbooks that provide instruction in design fundamentals and study them seriously. If you take a graphic design course, you can learn how to use designing software and develop a marketable designing sense.
Get a degree
Getting a college degree or an associate degree will give you a head start and you can then start your career as a qualified graphic designer. The associate degree is usually a two-year program that you can do at a community college, while the bachelor's degree is typically four years and you would have to attend a college or a university.
Develop a style
Do different kinds of design projects that you enjoy. These could be ornate designs, florid script and bright colors, or clean well-balanced lines, simple colors and powerful graphics, but whatever you choose, focus on developing that as your design style. Read books about graphic designing for speedy learning. Your aim has to be that people will recognize your work simply by the unique style.
Study the professionals
Go through newspapers and magazines, the internet and anything else that inspires you. You can look at product labels, architectural work, fashion websites, music labels; all these are the outcome of good designs and could be your inspiration for your next project.
Typography is a complete field in itself and if you are good at your job, you must develop a sound understanding about the importance of typeface, kerning and leading, and all the things that create effective text.
Collect interesting designs
T-shirts, food labels, pamphlets, posters or post cards, collect everything that you find exciting or inspiring. Study these things to find what you like or do not like and use them for references if and when you need help.
Save your projects
Never throw away any of your projects, even when you hate them. Review them some time later to see that was wrong, how you have improved or if your style has matured.
Create your portfolio
You'll need a portfolio when you start looking for work maybe for a graphic design company so start putting together a portfolio that challenges you to review your own work critically. You can also showcase your portfolio digitally on a website.