33 Tips for Graphic Designers


33 Tips for Graphic Designers

Graphic design is one very lucrative job space that has numerous opportunities. The work of designing in itself is a lot of fun but is equally demanding. Just like any office job, there are a number of values and work ethics that you have to observe in order to be a top notch professional with an enviable reputation. Today, we are looking at how to survive your graphic design jobs and we are providing 33 tips for freelance designers;

*these are both general professional tips and niche specific tips to help you succeed in design

Build a simple clean website-As a designer, it is important to have a website on which you can showcase your work. Keep it clean and simple.

Have clear cut goals and objectives- What do you intend to achieve in the next 5 years? What are your short term goals? Clear cut goals will help you move forward.

Create a quality portfolio-Come up with a quality portfolio that clearly defines and covers all the areas you are comfortable working in as a graphic designer.

Think about building your own brand-As freelancers, we always focus too much on helping clients succeed that we forget building our own brands. Build your reputation slowly on the side. You will need the reputation one day.

Observe datelines-Always observe the datelines for clients’ jobs. Never ever let the timer beat you to any job.

Update your portfolio always-Aim to curate your portfolio by constantly editing it and making adjustments that guarantee to make it look and sounder better than it was.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication tool-Keep your design work simple and easy to interpret. Simplicity always wins in design.

Never work for free-As a freelancer, you will come across clients who might want you to do a small project for free in the name of adding to your experience. Ask to be paid for every task you accomplish.

No job is too small or too big-Take up any job opportunity that comes your way. However minute a task may look, it goes a long in adding to your experience.

Be patient-patience pays. Always be calm and don’t rush things in a bid to get quick results and easy money. Rome wasn’t built in a day, your brand is no different.

Seek clarifications-Whenever you are not sure about anything, just ask questions and seek clarifications. Designers think that it is dumb asking questions when in real sense the reverse is true.

Take positive criticism-whenever you get criticised for a mistake or a shortcoming in your work, take it positively. It helps a lot.

Networks as much as possible- Keep in touch with former classmates, former employers and even tutors. A large working network will help you land opportunities.

Make a good first impression-Always strive to do it right the first time of asking. A good first impression is very important in design.

Invest in technology-Save some cash and buy the latest computer or laptop for your work. It is a worthy investment in the end.

Join designers’ forums- There are numerous online forums where graphic designers congregate to discuss issues. Dive into one and share your thoughts on different issues.

Keep a library of prior work-Never discard any work that you do. Even after submitting it to a client, keep it. You might need to refer to the work for inspiration and guidance in future.

Be unique-Never ever copy work and edit it to fit the description of your client’s job. Just be unique and start fresh work always.

Creativity is key to success-very many clients will be looking for fresh, unique and creative ideas from designers. Creativity is not taught, it is up to you to be a broad-thinker and come up with great stuff.

Organize your work immaculately- Right from naming files on your computer to organizing a client’s work properly, always be thorough in your work.

Sketch first before you design-Start with a pen and paper. Design a rough copy and edit it before you can finally draw the real thing.

Negotiate prices always-If you feel a client is not paying as well, feel free to ask for a pay rise but in a decent manner. Don’t suffer in silence just to please the client.

Get plug-ins for better work-There are numerous plug-ins that are available that can help make the software work better. There are very many Adobe Photoshop plug-ins that you can use to make the final piece of work look astonishingly good.

Take a break- Don’t strain too much. Learn to take breaks to take a walk or grab a refreshment and then resume with work. It is never that serious.

Seek inspiration from mentors- Ensure you have a mentor who guides you whenever you are stuck. It could be your workmate, a former classmate or even a tutor.

Never instruct yourself-Never add aspects to a client’s work if he/she never gave you the permission to add your own thinking to the work. Follow instructions and only add things after consulting with the clients.

The devil lies in the details-Never omit anything. The devil lies in the smallest of details.

Identify and nurture your strongholds-If you are a good illustrator, then work to improve in that area to perfection. Don’t try to dabble to other areas just to increase areas of speciality.

Never take anything for granted-Assuming things will be detrimental. You might end up omitting important details that can cost you big time.

Texture your work-Make your work feel more organic by adding texture to the work. Just a little texturing will be the icing on the cake.