23 Tips To Help Become A Good Graphic Designer
There is a vast amount of information online on how to become a good designer, so finding the right help may be challenging. Some websites are so full of explanations that you lose the vital information you need.
Becoming a good graphic designer depends on your creativity and work rate, but there are a few tips and tricks to keep you above the rest. From applying colors to your work to choosing the best layout, the understanding of fundamental principles will guide you to becoming successful in graphic designing.
1. Try different colors
After creating your work through any applications you are using, try to export it to Photoshop and play with different colors to see which will be the best for your work. Test things out until you are satisfied with the right color.
2. Never assume everything is fine
You must erase the word ‘assume’ from your vocabulary if you want to be a good designer. Before delivering your work, pre-print to ensure everything is correct and up to standard.
3. Justify your actions
There are times you may want to make a change outside the requirements given to you by your clients. They may not be keen, so you need to be persuasive enough to sell your ideas and get the go ahead.
4. Take regular breaks
Do not become glued to your computer for extended periods. Take regular breaks. Walk around and get some fresh air to give your mind a break. Doing this keeps your mind and body refreshed, and you will discover that it boosts your creativity.
5. Join forums
Most of the best creative designers work from home, but this should not stop you from joining forums. They allow you to meet people from around the world, and share ideas that will take your work to the next level. Collaboration with others is helpful in becoming a good graphic designer. Some useful forums include Designate online, Graphic Design Forum, and Smashing Magazine Forum.
6. Make use of a sketchbook
Never underestimate the power of sketchbook. Whenever a great idea strikes, start by drawing it out in a sketchbook. This allows you to capture the idea and develop it before carrying it out on your computer. Over time, you will see that this enhances your creativity.
7. Get your specs right
Make sure you have the specifications straight before starting to design. All the tools needed for your project should be ready to go, so download all the necessary plugins and applications you will need to complete your design work.
8. Take a refreshing shower
We’re not saying you smell! It’s just that taking a cool shower helps keep your brain active and productive. When you step into a cold shower, your heart rate accelerates, your breathing deepens, and your body will try to keep you warm. This process oxygenates the brain, and the adrenaline rush you experience from the increased heart rate gives you an energy boost. Also, staying relaxed and comfortable can significantly enhance your performance.
9. Draw a map
Highlight phrases and keywords and write them down in your sketchbook. Then, draw lines to link them together and see how they add up. The purpose of this exercise is to put your creativity to work without overthinking it. Pretty soon, you will discover that you have come out with a beautiful design.
10. Read books
For you to be great in any endeavor, you must be a reader. There are thousands of books on graphic design meant to add to your knowledge. You find these books online as well as in bookstores, and they can add significantly to your knowledge. Just look for the ones most relevant to you – and then read them.
11. Maintain web standards
Being 100 percent to web standards gives others the impression that you are serious about your business. All the tools and applications you need to meet the web standards must be up to date. And do invest in other tools that you believe will improve your work standards.
12. Keep yourself abreast with the latest happenings
Graphic design is a fast moving profession that requires you to move with it. Keep informed about the latest developments taking place in the industry. Visit forums to see what people are saying, and get information on the latest software that will improve your work.
13. Save your work at short intervals
There’s nothing worse than losing your hard work, simply because you forgot to save it. This type of mistake can leave you in a frustrating situation. You may be unable to recreate exactly what you lost, and you might miss a major deadline. The stress will affect your creative skills, so save your work constantly to be on the safe side.
14. Collaborate with colleagues
No one knows everything. Meet with others in the same field as you, and share ideas. You can expect to learn something new from every work-related discussion you have with friends, and they will learn things from you.
15. Get it right
Before submitting work to your clients, test it several times to make sure everything is working fine. Your reputation takes a hit if you send a project that doesn’t work when they test it. Always double-check that your finished product works flawlessly.
16. Keep your assets safe
The tools used in your design work are invaluable to you. It is of vital importance that you keep them safe. It is a good idea to create a separate folder for your tools - this way you avoid accidentally deleting something, and you can protect them from viruses and malware.
17. Be as simple as you can
Keeping things simple can be very difficult, particularly in the beginning of your career. As you grow in experience and ideas, you see that it is best to keep your work as simple as possible. Simplicity makes your ideas easier to understand for you, and your client. Avoid using complex themes that will make your work look vague.
18. Get experience
Experience increases your skills and refines them. To be a good designer, spend time every day on learning new techniques and improving problem areas. Doing so keeps your skills sharp and able to move forward. With time, you will become that professional designer you aim to be.
19. Get a new computer
State of the art equipment is needed to make your work go smoothly and efficiently. A computer that is more than 5-years-old needs to be replaced to keep up with design trends and software. Technology advances so quickly, and you don’t want to be using equipment that is incompatible with the latest advances in graphic design. It’s a sure-fire way to be left behind.
20. Add some shading to your work
Enhance your designs by adding some shading to them. When you use this type of contrast, your work looks more realistic and stands out. These touches can give your work a smooth flow, especially if you are working with vectors.
21. Proofread your work
Proofread your work before submitting it to your clients. When you deliver your work free of mistakes and careless errors, it shows your professionalism and attention to detail.
22. Cooperate with your clients
Always be on good terms with your clients. Resolve any issues amicably - as much as possible - so your client relationships stay in good standing. You never know the volume of work that a client might give to you, or who they might pass your name onto in recommendation. The more jobs you complete, the more experience you gain.
23. Be honest
Honesty is the greatest virtue when it comes to business. Don’t sell yourself short, but never oversell yourself or overestimate your abilities in an effort to promote your business. Just be yourself and work will start flowing in before you know it.
Graphic design is an exciting profession to venture into, but you need to be prepared to go through vigorous training to stay on top. Your creative skills and some valuable tips and tricks are what you need to be successful.
Did these tips help you sketch down ideas for becoming a professional designer? Let us know in the comments below.