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A Guide to Becoming a Great Graphic Designer

Creative people just have it. They are creative full stop. Once poets have inspiration and grab hold of a pen – or a keyboard in many cases – the words just flow out of them. Give a painter a canvas, a brush and paints and they will feel like you set them loose in a playground. All this is fine and good if the poetry and paintings are created to quench an artistic thirst, tell a personal tale or to just create for art’s sake. But what happens when a client enters the picture, when the aim of the creation is more business oriented?

For graphic designers, who complete in an ever-changing creative industry, there are a few factors that they should aim to obtain. These factors, or traits, never really stop increasing in number as professionals blossom in their environment and the environment evolves.

These are just some that will help graphic designers success in their market and also help them perfectly marry their creative side with their business side.

  1. You must be curious – this is a trait that most creative people have in common. If you are to tell a story, you must first have the inner need to look around you, ask questions, wonder why things are the way they are and dig deeper. It is these details that you will take to your design programmes and work with to create a comprehensible and breathtaking story.
  2. Communication is key – before graphic designers can get to work for clients, they must first understand the clients want. The first step is to communicate properly with the client, understand what kind of story their brand wants to tell. Once graphic designers understand this, they must be able to communicate their ideas to the client. Good communication at this stage makes for that wow factor that every creative person craves from their client. Finally, the last stage of communication is the actual design The client’s story and the graphic designers’ ideas should come together to make the message clear to potential customers.
  3. Going out of your comfort zone – creative people are not always open-minded. Some of them stick to their ideas and find it very difficult to wonder from that path. Even if this is the case, in a business situation, graphic designers should be open to new things, to try new things and keep up with the times and trends. The bottom line is that if you do not keep your ear to the ground and move as the market moves, then you will be left behind while others snatch up your clients.
  4. Be reliable and a problem solver – yes, talent is essential, ideas are needed and communication is key, but if you are not reliable, then that is your credibility out the window. Once graphic designers have proven that you are trustworthy, then a good working relationship will easily be built and it will last a long time. Just as you should be reliable, you should also show clients that they can also depend on your problem-solving These skills help graphic designers put all the pieces together to create an end result that will keep the client happy.
  5. Be patient and be able to take criticism – the graphic design muse often needs a break, just like all of us. She isn’t always around when we need her and it could take her a while to nudge us into the direction that we need to go. While she takes her nap, you could try out some new techniques and see which one works, and before you know it, your ability to keep at it will get her onboard. Your muse might be proud of you but clients may not share the same feelings. Be ready to take criticism, to understand it, to let it be a guiding light towards your evolution as a graphic designer and see it as an opportunity to be the best that you can be.