Real World Advice for Graphic Design Students


Real World Advice for Graphic Design Students

Like most students, graphic design students tend to focus more so on design as opposed to the business side of graphic design. Every business requires a variety of functions in order to truly operate like a business, such as marketing, accounting, time management and a variety of other areas. However, below are some real world tips and advice for graphic design students to implement once they begin their business.

1. Time Management – Unlike taking on a graphic design assignment in school, a graphic design project must have time management control mechanisms in place to ensure that deadlines are met. Such as having a clear understanding of what the client actually wants creatively before you begin the work. Otherwise you’ll find yourself presenting something to the client that he may be completely dissatisfied with. That means that you’ll have to go back and re-create the project. This process can go on and on, unless control mechanisms are put in place.  This can be avoided if the contract spells out that only a certain amount of revisions are allowed or else additional fees will be applied.

2. Asking for an upfront deposit – If you wait until after your project is completed before asking for a payment, you may be surprised to learn that the project can drag on and on if time management control policies are not put in place as indicated in this item number one above. It’s best to provide the client optional payment terms that’s mutually agreeable to the both of you. Such as a 25% upfront payment and the balance at the completion of the project or progress billing where the client is billed in phases.

3. Deferring your creative abilities to the client – Although you have gone to school to become a well-trained graphic designer, since the client who is paying for the design (that will be representing his or her company, ) sometimes you will be required to for your professional expertise to that of the client.  Clients have a tendency to ask for things that maybe outside of what we would normally advise as a design professional, but the goal is to make sure that they’re happy and satisfied with the project. And it’s not until then that you’ve done your job.

4. Must meet deadlines – One of the ways to sabotage your career early on is to miss deadlines. To avoid this, consider linking your scope of work to a timeline that keeps you on schedule. You should allocate so much time to each phase, and make sure to leave room for revisions.

5 Preparing proposals and submitting quotes – Clients may request a quote or a proposal before taking you on as a client. That means that you’re responsible for laying out a work plan in its entirety that the client must agree to. That includes the scope of work, the terms the payment, the amount of the payment and any other information that should go into a proposal. The should be submitted to the client free of grammatical errors and in a timely fashion, otherwise they may not take you seriously and pass the project on to another graphic designer who is more prepared to take on new work.

6. Always be professional – Always be professional when interacting and communicating with clients. They are accustomed to communicating with people via email, Skype, a shared platform or some other means. They will likely expect for you to do the same. You must be able to communicate well and in the manner that your client prefers to communicate.