Graphic design is an art that demands both creativity and logical thinking. It also requires patience and an eye for detail. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re trying to improve your craft, here are some steps you can take to become an even better designer, says Griffith Littlehale.
1. Show your skills
Your portfolio is a representation of your skills as a graphic designer. It is a display of your design work that shows off your capabilities and your ability to meet client expectations.
Your portfolio should be more than just a collection of your best work. Instead, it should be a visual representation of your career progression, explains Griffith Littlehale. So make sure it showcases the skills you’ve acquired while working at your current firm or during your internships and student placements.
2. Don’t Stop with the Fundamentals
As a beginner, you will find yourself trying to learn everything at once. We know you want to build your skills as quickly as possible, but you have to remember that you can’t do everything at once.
Instead, it’s important to start slowly and work your way up. You have to master the fundamentals and build a solid foundation for yourself. But don’t stop there! Keep up with industry trends and push boundaries with your work.
Many designers do one or the other–what will help you stand out is innovative work that is built on a mastery of the basics, says Griffith Littlehale.
3. Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Design Trends
The best graphic designers are the ones that are up-to-date with the latest design trends. You should be keeping up with what’s popular so that you can incorporate those ideas into your work.
Being up-to-date with the latest design trends will help you create unique designs that are relevant. Remember, graphic design thrives on new concepts and fresh interpretations of the world. The last thing you want is for your designs to be labeled as “dated.”
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
As a beginner, you may find yourself focusing on getting the basics right. Form, color theory, composition – and these are all important- but don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new, says Griffith Littlehale.
If you’re nervous about shaking things up this early in your career, try the 70/30 approach. When you’re creating mockups, let 70% be solid basics based on the client brief. But let 30% be something new, creative, and fun. As your clients are drawn to your more creative offerings, it will give you confidence and allow you to grow a customer base that believes in your vision.
5. Know Your Tools
As a beginner in the design field, it’s important for you to learn about the tools that you work with. You should not just learn the basic tools but also the advanced ones. Knowing your tools inside out will help you create designs that are unique and original.
From software to drawing tablets, dive into the functionality and hacks for every tool that you use, advises Littlehale. You’ll be surprised how learning about the quirks and possibilities in your tools inspires creative and unique work.