Digital occupations have taken off in the last several years and graphic design is seemingly one of the most exciting of these. However, graphic designers are like any profession in that workers learn best on the job and there are a number of insights to pick up as they travel deeper into their careers.
If you’re just starting out in a graphic design job, there are a number of tips and tricks you should know, taken from the mouths of other designers who have been at work for the last few years. Graphic design is a challenging and innovative field, one which takes a plethora of creativity and excellent time management to succeed.
If you want to learn some crucial steps to bolster your career and keep the respect of your clients and colleagues, read-ahead; there are a number of pitfalls and slipups which many graphic designers make early in their careers but you don’t have to be one of them.
Graphic designers are one of the most common and seen professions in the world today. We live in a visual world which greatly needs graphic designers and the skills they provide, but the job is still complex and hard to grasp for many people just starting out in the field. Any job takes getting accustomed to, and there are shortcuts and efficiency tricks in any field, but graphic design demands a fair share of time and experience to truly understand.
On top of this, managers and other professionals in the industry don’t take starting designers as seriously as many designers wish they would. Here are a few knowledge points in the industry professional designers wish they knew when starting in the industry.
Graphic Design Requires Patience and a Budget
Graphic designers create visual art to forward a brand or piece of content which a company wants made. Like any other artistic endeavors, graphic design takes a substantial amount of time and skill to look great, but many companies feel that graphic designers don’t deserve fair compensation or time for their creations.
Graphic designers are often asked if they can “throw something together,” but this completely misses the difficulty and meticulous attention to detail inherent in the job. It’s a tough job with many different facets to look impressive, and designers, in return, expect to be paid fairly for the work they do.
Graphic Design is More Than Simply Sprucing Up an Image
While it’s true that concept creation is a relatively simple and fun part of the job, the experience of individual graphic designers will heavily determine the quality of their projects. Men and women in the profession have been highly prepared, equipped with university training, knowledge of print and digital production, typography, and other skills which help them make incredibly informed decisions on every project they work on.
A great graphic designer won’t simply be revising or amending an existing image but formulating a great and unique concept and executing it from beginning to end. If you’re a beginning graphic designer, understand that your skills are valuable and the ability to create highly individualized, distinct work is a mark of a great designer.
Graphic Design is Not Just a Popularity Contest
Many businesses today are trend-obsessed, chasing the latest craze or push in their fields. While great graphic designers certainly know about trends inside and outside of their industry, they’ll do much more than simply chase what everybody else is doing. Graphic designers’ number one priority is designing content which both fits with your brand’s aesthetic and forwards the value of the product or service you’re advertising.
They’ll make their content personalized and individualized, helping your brand stand out from the crowd. This is another reason why the work takes a considerable amount of effort and time. Crafting something which will engage audiences and set your company apart from the crowd will often be a work of originality and innovation, a design no one has seen before, and many will want to see again. Consider every angle and possibility when starting a new design.
Graphic Designers Need Great Communication Skills
Graphic designers are great at conceptualizing designs based on information your company gives them, but they need proper input from their organization for their creative juices to start flowing. It’s important to develop a clear and concise method of communication with the company you’re designing for, in order to craft a great design which your client will see the value of.
It’s always a smart idea to ask your client for an in-depth brief which states the purpose of the content and the desired reactions from consumers. Of course, it’s great if your client gives you this brief unprompted, but if they don’t, always request one to minimize revisions and aim for a specific target.
Graphic Designers Almost Never Have Final Say in Their Designs
Much like video editors, graphic designers are highly skilled at what they do and will usually have the correct solution to a snag. However, also like editors, the process they’re involved in is collaborative and you are ultimately their boss. Your company will have final say on any peace of content created, and it’s okay to ask to see the design in multiple stages of its creation.
As long as trust exists between you and your designer, they should be fine with showing you their work and detailing exactly what’s gone into the design so far and where it’s currently going. Trust in the creative process of your designer but understand that you have final say over the design.
Graphic design is one of the most important and prolific jobs of the 21st century. There are skills every designer develops along the way in their career, however, which they should be quick to learn and implement as soon as possible. Understand that even when you’re starting out, you need time, some leeway, and an appreciation for the work you’re doing for your client.