Last updated on February 13th, 2020
Using intelligence and creative vision to create the right visuals that drive customer engagement and sales is precisely what graphic design is all about. Being a graphic designer is therefore mostly about using creative ideas to make a living. As more and more business owners seek out help with website design and application development projects, the demand for great graphic designers has grown leaps and bounds.
For most newcomers finding a way to edge out the fierce competition is a priority. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is by honing your existing skills and learning new ones with time. A successful graphic designer is always a few steps ahead and always pays attention to future-proofing his job. With the right new skills, attracting new clients is much easier.
The Following Are Some Of The Skills You Will Need To Develop Over The Next Five Years To Continue Being Successful As A Graphic Designer
01. Expanding Your Knowledge Of Business
As a graphic designer, you will work with business owners on a regular basis. Your main goal when dealing with an entrepreneur is learning how to appeal to their sensibilities. During your initial meeting with a business owner, take some time to address the concerns. They may have concerns regarding the price and the time it will take to complete a project.
Over the years, you need to expand your understanding of the business so that you can easily communicate with your current or potential clients. For instance, if you are familiar with business marketing and budgeting practices, you can show a new client what a great investment website can be.
Providing them with data regarding the return on investment they can have from a new website can help you even seal a deal. The more data you can provide a business owner regarding the benefits of what you can provide. It will be easier for you to keep landing new clients on a regular basis.
02. Increasing Creativity Is Vital
The main job you have as a graphic designer is making a client’s website or app look appealing and functional. A successful graphic designer has a very creative mind and is able to pull great ideas for even those projects he works on out of thin air. Ideally, you want to provide each client with a unique and creative idea for the project they need to be completed.
Getting a reputation for being “one-trick pony” can hurt your career and make it hard to land new clients. The best way to increase your ability to create new and exciting designs is by honing your skills.
Keeping a sketchbook handy can help you write down your ideas in a hurry. Turning these ideas into physical portfolio pieces can help you decorate the walls of your office with your work.
03. Work On Your Problem-Solving Skills
Having an adequate plan in place when taking on a new website or application design project is crucial. While a detailed plan can help you and your team stay on track, it will not prevent problems altogether.
Some new graphic designers have a tendency to fall apart when they are confronted with problems during the progression of a new project. Losing your head and throwing in the towel will only lead to you being unable to attract new clients.
This is why working on your problem-solving skills is crucial. While this may sound like a relatively easy and straightforward process. Instead of instantly panicking when confronted with problems, a graphic designer needs to look at the issue objectively. Often at times, thinking outside the box is necessary when trying to address a common graphic design problem.
Having a mentor you can bounce ideas off of is crucial. Getting this unique perspective of your problem can help you figure out a solution in a hurry. Generally, a graphic designer will be too tied to the project to see where the mistakes are. This is why seeking out help from another graphic designer can always prove beneficial.
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04. Knowledge Of Typography Can Be Helpful
The first and main element a person might notice about a website is the font. This is why choosing the right font is so important when trying to make a new website engaging for consumers. As most experienced graphic designers realize, there are tons of fonts in the market.
In some cases, misusing fonts on a website building project can lead to the finished result being an eyesore. Rather than dealing with the problems that choosing the wrong font can cause, you need to work on expanding your knowledge of typography.
Expanding your knowledge of things like tracking, kerning or leading is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to typography. A truly great graphic designer will be able to think outside the box and use fonts in a way that creates a balance between readability and creativity. The best way to expand your knowledge of fonts and how to use them is by building vast amounts of practice websites.
Once you have built the design of a website, ask other technology professionals to work with you to take a look at them. Take the feedback you receive and use it to expand the readability of your websites.
05. In-Depth Software Knowledge
There are currently over 266,000 graphic designers in the United States. But most new graphic designers fail to realize just how many different software tools are available for them to use. Failing to take advantage of this technology can lead to your designs becoming outdated or glitchy. While most graphic designers are familiar with designing tools, but they are not as familiar with things like Azure logging tools.
The more you know about the technical side of your designs and how they interact with cloud-based servers, the easier it will be to perfect your website. With the right logging tools, you can find website errors and fix them before it is released for mass consumption. If you can offer both web design and tech optimization services for your clients, they will be loyal and grateful.
You need to realize that expanding your knowledge of coding and tech stacks will take time and a lot of effort. The work you put into learning about these subjects will definitely pay off in the long run.
06. Social Media And Networking
Most graphic designers work as freelancers. This means they are always looking for new clients. The last thing you need to do when trying to expand your client base is ignored the power of both networking and social media. Most of the clients you want to attract will use social media on a regular basis.
This is why creating a presence on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is crucial for your long-term success as a graphic designer. Therefore, it’s required to leverage social media as graphic designers to gain potential clients.
Not only will you need to focus on keeping potential clients engaged on social media, you also need a functional and appealing portfolio website. With this website, you can show business owners exactly what type of work you have done in the past.
Be sure that you upload up to date work samples regularly. By keeping this information updated, you can show potential clients that other companies are using your skills.
Taking advantage of networking events is also a great idea. If your area hosts an expo for small business owners, then setting up a booth at this event is a great idea. Investing in business cards and other printed materials to hand out at these events is crucial.
By doing this, you can attract more local businesses without having to spend a lot of money. You also need to network with other graphic designers. Building these relationships can come in handy if you take on large scale projects and need a few people to assist you.
07. The Basics Of CSS And HTML
As previously mentioned, expanding your knowledge of how websites are constructed using programming languages is important. If you are looking for a jumping-off point when trying to learn more about this topic, then brushing up on your CSS and HTML knowledge is a great idea. These programming languages were used to build some of the most popular and functional websites on the Internet.
With basic HTML and CSS knowledge, you can publish your own graphics. Knowledge of these programming languages also provides you with the ability to change around page formats and other factors that will add more flexibility and versatility to your web designs.
Luckily, both CSS and HTML have large online communities. This means you should have no problem finding answers to any problems you are confronted with. As time goes by, you may want to learn more about other popular programming languages like Java and Python. With some time and motivation, learning the basics of these programming languages will be a breeze. Various eLearning programs can help you to understand the programming languages and excel in your skills.
08. Project Management Skills
Building a large group of loyal clients should be your main objective as a graphic designer. The more clients you acquire, the more you will have to focus on keeping the design and delivery process on track.
The last thing you want is for important deadlines to be missed due to a lack of organization. This is why expanding your knowledge of project management is so important for your long-term success as a graphic designer.
Hiring help is sometimes necessary when taking on larger projects. If you are using remote workers to help you design or program a particular website or application, utilizing the power of cloud-based project management software is essential. This software allows you to do everything from chat with remote employees, delegate responsibilities and track progress.
Using remote employees to help with larger web development jobs is a good idea, but it will require you to learn more about how to manage a team. Constant communication is the key to successfully using remote workers to your advantage.
With the right cloud-based project management tools, completing a large development project on or ahead of schedule will be achievable. Learning from your project management mistakes is the only way to get better as both the owner of small business and graphic designer.
09. Focus On Learning About Marketing And Conversions
While building an appealing and functional website is important, you also need to make sure the website offers high conversion rates. Properly structuring elements like content pages and sitemaps can help you provide a client with the tools they need to be successful. When designing a website, you need to put the user experience at the top of your list of priorities.
Websites that are difficult to navigate will receive a lower rank on the Google search engine result pages. The more you know about how Google analyzes websites, the easier it will be to create successful tools for your clientele.
If you want to make your graphic or logo design business irresistible to small business owners, then pairing with a digital marketing professional is a good idea. Offering clients with all-in-one website solution is a great idea. The fewer people a business owner has to hire to get a new website in place and produce leads, the better off they will ultimately be.
Pricing these services reasonably can help you attract more business and keep your customers loyal. Before pairing with a marketing agency, be sure to assess their reputation in the industry. Working with a company that has a reputation for being good at what they do will only benefit you and your customers.
Don’t Let The Future Of Graphic Design Pass You By
Ignoring the need to grow as the graphic design industry changes can lead to the inability to attract new customers. Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to web design technology will serve you well in the future. Resting on your laurels is a bad idea for graphic designers. Constantly expanding your skills can help you achieve the success you are after.