> ... Articles

Certificate Spotlight: Graphic Design Fundamentals

Earning a graphic design fundamentals certificate helped Yannick Merino build skills in web design, typography, and audience targeting


Being a talented artist is usually where the desire to become a graphic designer starts, but that wasn’t the case for Yannick Merino. He had the desire but didn't feel he had the artistic ability.

That’s why Yannick decided to continue his education with BYU-Pathway Worldwide . By pursuing a graphic design fundamentals certificate , Yannick was able to take his self-described “rough” talent and turn it into a marketable attribute that has bettered his career and increased his income.

Have faith in yourself and in the Lord

Yannick Merino1.jpg

Originally from Angola and now living in Lisbon, Portugal, Yannick began BYU-Pathway in 2020. Alongside internet problems, pursuing higher education online has come with challenges: taking care of three daughters, working full time, doing homework late at night, and struggling with a stutter when speaking English, his third language.

But Yannick overcame these issues through persistent effort and with the support of his instructors, wife, and peer mentor ; all of whom have been crucial to his success in pursuing his certificates and degree.

Yannick has learned that even if you love what you’re working for or studying, real strength to accomplish school comes from trusting in God. He said, “God will give you strength. Most of the time, I have only slept five to six hours a night, and I’m so tired. I make myself say a prayer and, each time, my body becomes full of power and energy.”

After all his hard work, Yannick completed his graphic design fundamentals certificate in 2021 and started to see immediate blessings.

Immediate improvement

Yannick Merino2.jpeg

Yannick has been amazed at how big a boost his resume has gotten since completing his certificate. He currently works in digital marketing and is now creating better website layouts and interfaces, redesigning websites, and programming faster loading times.

His employers are ecstatic with his progress, and he’s now been assigned to manage four websites. Yannick also was hired to design a mobile app for a client outside of work, and it turned out perfectly.

"This all came from what I learned while getting my certificate!” Yannick said. “The process is not easy and sometimes doubts come, but there’s always the voice of the Spirit saying ‘don’t give up.’”

Passion for digital design and greater opportunities in Portugal for promising graphic design careers have led him to work toward two more certificates, and he is planning on graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2024.

Despite the challenges, Yannick knows other students can see similar blessings and improvement as he did. His advice to fellow graphic designers would be to use time wisely and to not procrastinate.

“Don’t try to be perfect. What you may think is an imperfection might turn out to be your personal touch. When your creativity gets in a rut, take a break and allow yourself to be inspired and in a peaceful place before returning to designing,” he said.

BYU-Pathway’s certificate-first approach to a bachelor’s degree helps students see both immediate and long-lasting changes to their careers. These skills and new opportunities continue to grow. The future is very promising to him and to all who complete a marketable certificate.