Graphic Design/Project List
A great way to learn to do design is to stretch your graphic design muscles. That is, push up your shirtsleeves and get down to doing some projects. Don't worry if the stuff turns out bad or people hate it, it's all a process of learning.
Business card design
Every professional needs a business card. The US standard is 2" x 3.5" (89 mm x 51 mm). Use a .125" (3.175 mm) margin on all sides.
Using a desktop publishing program, such as Scribus, make a business card for yourself, with typography and graphic elements. Plan layout with an eye for hierarchy.
Using Adobe Illustrator or a similar vector-graphics tool, design a stylized icon or symbol representing an animal, taking care to communicate the socially perceived emotional connotations of this animal. The icon should be scalable to the point that it can be used on office stationary as well as blown up to billboard size. The symbol should employ limited colors so as to be easily and inexpensively printable.
Compact disc design
Find an existing or imagined compact disc recording and design a complete package for it, including all copy appropriate for a disc to be sold in a store (song list, copyright information, etc.) You may use photography that you take yourself or any drawings or other computer art, etc. that you create yourself or commission for the project. Design the inside and outside of the CD case as well as the disc itself, keeping yourself open to the possibilities of non-traditional CD cases (transparent, etc.)
Design a complete alphabet with special characters of your own, original font. You may choose a serif or sans-serif font, or a decorative font. Give samples of bold, extra bold, and italic versions of some letters.
Design, using appropriate tools, an entire webpage devoted to a social or political cause of your choosing. Use colors, images, and a style that conforms to the page's message. Importantly don't forget - that the page you are designing for the Visitors only. So first classify your visitors, and use the color schemes which they impress most. And try to design a user friendly navigation system with a low flashy images.
Design a novel toy, optimized for maximum "fun-ness" for an audience of your choosing, and its complete packaging. Include suggestions for a marketing campaign promoting the toy.
Design a project that personally touches you. Whether it be a collage or a poster for something you believe in, it is important to perform your skills for your own use as well as for your clients. Combine tools (Adobe with Macromedia with ink, pencil, highlighters and your trusty scanner). Have fun.