How To Become A Better Graphic Designer – While many graphic designers work for companies, in 2010 almost 30% were freelancers. It’s a job you can do in your own home, making it one of the best careers in the world and all the software you need is available for you to buy online. It may have been different in the past, but today, the majority of aspiring graphic designers use their home computers to create their artwork.
Graphic design is more than drawing in Photoshop, and if you pay attention, you’ll see it everywhere you look. Some of your career options are working in advertising, publishing, public relations, media, industrial design, and other industries. You can also choose to design websites, advertisements, movies, book covers. , stationary, video games and product packages.
How To Become A Better Graphic Designer
It goes without saying that in order to build your design skills, you need to have a solid base of knowledge to improve upon. Most graphic designers attend art or design school to further their careers, and upon graduation, they have the foundation to hone the new skills they learned after school. But if you’re starting from scratch, and even if it’s a tough road, you don’t need to get a degree in graphic design to pursue your chosen career.
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Kathleen is a New Jersey blogger with an interest in branding and a passion for graphic design, illustration and social media. She loves to inspire others to find ways to achieve their branding and design goals. Every graphic designer has problems in their design work. Whether you hate character creation or haven’t reviewed your character animations, you’re definitely not alone.
But what do designers do when they encounter these problems and need to overcome them to complete the project and get paid?
For every obstacle or problem point, there is a good design that you can use to implement. Whether you’re just starting out in the world of design – or you have hundreds of finished images under your belt – there’s always room for improvement.
Whether you’re a designer building your skills, or a professional designer working with multiple clients at once, chances are good you’ve dealt with these issues at one time or another:
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And that’s just the beginning. Things like time management, meeting deadlines, maintaining creative control, working through creative blocks or dealing with wild client requests can also present challenges for even the best designers.
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We’ve collected some of the most creative, interesting and engaging tips to help you overcome challenges in everything from logo design and web design to social media worthy content and more.
Whether you’re a student working toward a graphic design degree or a professional creating a client’s visual brand identity, here are some exercises you can use to become a better graphic designer and jumpstart your creative process:
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Remember when we talked about repetitive projects in connection with exhaustion? Yes, it happens to designers more than you might expect.
It’s not hard to feel stuck in a rut when all you do every day is work on designing a logo or drag and drop elements into a web design template.
If you’re struggling or just want to try something you haven’t had a chance to do yet, try graphic design as soon as possible outside of your comfort zone. This will flex your creative muscles and support the skills that make a good designer, well,
. One place you can turn to for such prompts is Sharpen, which has over 15 million graphic challenges.
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Sharpen can even let you set a timer so you can flex your time management skills — or so you don’t get stuck in a workout for longer than you have time. And if you don’t like the first challenge, just hit the new button that really speaks to you to get your creative juices flowing.
If you’re a designer looking to learn a new skill, or you struggle to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest design trends, this guide is for you. Getting inspired by social media is a great way to expose yourself to new design strategies and learn what other professionals in the industry are doing.
Or, if you’re a student in a graphic design program, you might be looking for inspiration you can get, and social media is a great place to turn. This article from Creative Bloq is a great starting point for building your Insta feed with inspiration from the pros.
While social media can give you tips and inspiration for the latest graphic trends, some clients may be looking for a more classic or retro style. In these cases, consider checking out what your local library has to offer in the way of print and other design.
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Some of the designer’s problem points are in fonts and typefaces. This can be a difficult skill to improve, especially when there are so many opinions revolving around the use of fonts (including our own!)
One of the best ways to overcome this type of challenge is to create your own font. You can start by establishing a font based on your own (or someone else’s) handwriting, and go from there. Or, you can design a font that conveys a specific message, or goes with a specific symbol – the choice is yours.
Tools like Calligraphr can help you create fonts based on your handwriting. Or, for something less template-y and more creative, try FontForge, an open-source program that lets you play with font styles, sizes, italic angles, and more.
Like a throwaway shirt, but better. This exercise is something seen everywhere from student graphic projects to refreshing brand identities in the public sphere.
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The basic idea here is to take an existing logo design and turn it on its head, with your own creativity and imagination leading the way. Check out some examples from designer Sara Marshall, who won a student graphic design award with her work.
This type of logo challenge can help you get out of a creative rut, or look at a problematic project from a new perspective. You can also use this type of challenge as an opportunity to try out new design trends or methods that you can’t fit anywhere else. Don’t be afraid to be creative and let yourself go wild.
Creating a brand identity through visual elements can put a lot of pressure on designers. You have to catch the eye to see what the brand is, and work to send this message (or at least suggest it) in the design. That’s a lot to fit into one project.
One way to overcome the struggle of designing a brand identity is to incorporate products used by the brand itself. You can use brand materials directly in your designs, or as inspiration, whichever works best for you. In general, using your company’s own products and materials in your design is a great way to ensure that the image you create truly reflects your company’s identity.
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A great example comes to us from designer Wake Coulter, who has taken the concept of using his own brand of materials in his designs to new heights. For the umbrella urban agriculture company ØsterGRO, Coulter created prints using produce straight from the company’s fields. The result is rustic, beautiful and the perfect way to present the brand’s identity:
This is another challenge that not only helps you get out of your comfort zone, but can also encourage you to practice skills that are important to your design craft, even if they may not be immediately relevant.
Even if you work with an agency that has a dedicated team of copywriting experts (*cough* like!), trying to create written content can be good for you – and good for your design skills.
After all, successful design depends on your ability to convey a message, and approaching this from a writer’s perspective is a great way to practice this skill.
Tips To Improve Your Graphic Design Skills
You can also use your own visual design as a starting point, and write something based on your process. Or, take this to the next level and start a blog that provides design advice to beginners or student graphic designers!
Likewise, practicing photography can help you be more attentive and see visual elements from a new perspective. Challenge yourself to take a walk and take at least 10 photos along the way — you might be surprised at what catches your eye and what new ideas you come up with.
You have the wit, imagination and drive to create amazing things on set
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