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How Do Graphic Designers Grow?
Are you looking to improve your career prospects for graphic design? Here are some handy tips that will help you find new career opportunities for graphic design.
Do you feel that your graphic design career momentum has stalled? Luckily, there are many ways to kickstart your career in graphic design! From learning some additional skills to exploring new opportunities in the industry, this guide will take you through some strategies that you can start trying out today.
If you follow these graphic design career tips, you should be able to gain some great new experience that will help you strengthen your online design portfolio. Why is that so crucial? Well, having a large portfolio attracts more potential clients and helps you to create more design jobs. That’s why at the end of our graphic design learning course at BSG we focus on creating a strong portfolio for our students.
So, let us get to our tried and tested methods to take your career in graphic design to the next level!
1. Master New Graphic Design Skills
Graphic design is a fast paced industry. Trade tools are always changing and being updated, so it is important to stay on top of the latest developments. This is the only way to ensure that you have the skills that employers are currently looking for.
That is why it is important to invest some time in expanding your list of graphic design skills. This includes developing both hard skills (like knowing how to use the latest software) and soft skills (like time management and client relations). Here are the graphic designer skills you should work on mastering:
Hard Graphics Designer Skills
Hard skills are specific, measurable skills, such as the ability to use specific software programmes. These skills are all things that you can list as qualifications on your portfolio, as they will add to your credibility as a professional graphic designer. These are some of the key graphical design programmes:
Adobe Illustrator CC is known for its steep learning curve, but this graphic design programme is also considered a prime choice when it comes to professional vector graphics. So it’s an important tool for graphic designers to be comfortable with.
CorelDRAW can offer a more user-friendly option than Illustrator and has almost all the same capabilities. It is designed for Windows operating systems, so you can not use it on a Mac without using a boot camp utility as well. But it is worth spending some time learning both programmes because it shows employers that you are flexible.
Adobe InDesign CC excels in creating multi-page layouts and text-heavy designs. Recent updates have added more features to the programme to make it possible to design iPad apps, eBooks, and interactive online documents. So if you have not tried those features yet, it is worth spending some time developing your InDesign skills.
Adobe Photoshop CC is a photo editing tool. But it has also become a favourite among graphic designers as it can be used to create some photo-realistic text, vector art, and illustration effects. So make sure that you understand the ins and outs of Photoshop, including all the latest updates. The latest version offers new features, including a built-in colour wheel, a symmetry mode that lets you make brush strokes in a perfectly symmetric pattern, and the ability to edit text by double-clicking without the need to change tools.
Soft Graphics Designer Skills
Soft skills are less tangible than hard skills, because there is no way to measure them. Some soft graphic design skills include time management, flexibility and the ability to work collaboratively. You should strive to develop these skills and find ways to show them to potential clients (for example, by writing some case studies or blog posts on your portfolio). Employers tend to value these soft skills because they are more difficult to teach than hard skills.
Time management is an important skill for anyone on the career path of graphic design. If you are in a position to complete projects quickly and stay on top of multiple tasks at a time, it will help you land more gigs and be successful. Check out these productivity tips for designers and this time management skills guide that every freelancer must master.
Client relations is another graphic designer skill that is essential to your success in this sector. In addition to helping you get hired for more projects, developing your client relationship management skills will be useful when you explain your ideas to clients and manage the approval process. So take a look at the pointers for managing client relationships!
Many brands use social media to connect with their audiences and go to graphic designers to help create content for their posts. Top graphic designers understand the different social media platforms, what makes them different, and what kind of content excels. Do you need some tools to help you create graphics for them? Our social media graphics app round-up will set you on your way.
The best way to keep abreast of the latest developments in social media is to use a few of the various platforms on a regular basis. Whether you are just messing around with a personal fun account or using social media to promote your design work, this will help keep you from falling behind the curve.
2. Take a Graphic Design Training
While there are many great schools offering graphic design programmes, there are also a tonne of free online graphic design courses to help you develop your skills. So before you decide to take out your school, check out some of the available online resources. They range from InDesign tutorials that will take you through various design tasks and projects step-by-step, to more active online courses like those offered through Blue Sky Graphics. You will use this experience to widen your range of knowledge and take advantage of several new graphic design career routes.
3. Discover New Graphic Design Career Opportunities
There are a number of jobs related to graphic design and, with the arrival of new technologies, the list is growing rapidly. Depending on your skills and interests, a number of different career paths in graphic design could be a good fit for you, including:
Jobs require knowledge of both graphic design and computer programming. It involves creating the look, layout, and features of a website, as well as handling maintenance and additions. To learn more, check out our essential web design tips.
Designer of UX
User experience designers shape the way a website, app, or product feels. They need to be able to identify the needs of users and to apply that information to the design of an enjoyable or compelling experience. Jobs require a mix of creativity, technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. The tasks may include the handling of visual design, content, controls, branding, and user research. Here’s our guide to how to become a UX designer for more info.
Teacher of Graphic Arts
Usually this job requires a decent amount of formal education. Usually, you need a master’s degree to teach at the post-secondary level. Alternatively, you can always host your own workshops or classes online. Responsibilities include providing hands-on instruction using industry-standard software, as well as the basics of typography, colour theory and design principles.