6 Ways to Improve your Graphic Design Skills
Bill Strohacker from Strohacker Design School said, “design is evolving, and we need to adapt across the digital experience and be relevant.” So as a graphic designer, you have to keep up with this evolution. Whatever stage you’re at in your career, you have to avoid getting swept aside by the tide of history. So before you get stuck in a rut and your design begin to look like it’s mass produced, we’ll give you 6 sure-fire ways to improve your graphic design skills!
Study design theories
Having a proper understanding of the fundamentals of the discipline such as grid theory, color theory, typography and golden ratio is vital. It doesn’t matter if you have a degree in graphic design or not but these fundamentals are the most important things you should properly understand.
Get more from feedbacks
Criticisms are the most draining yet essential things you deal with as a graphic designer. Depending on whether you deserve that feedback or not can determine how productive or counterproductive it can be. Positive and deserved feedback don’t really help you with anything related to skills. It can be a great boost to your self-worth or confidence though. Undeserved positive feedback are no better, they can actually hinder you from continued development.
That’s why constructive criticism matters, and much like graphic design itself, getting that feedback is an art. Start by changing the way you ask for feedback, instead of just asking someone what they think, give them the brief first so they have enough background or understanding before giving their opinions. This helps you get more technical or detail specific feedback. But you have to learn how to take in constructive criticism, check out Martin’s way of taking criticisms like a champ.
Do some side projects
When you do the same things everyday it gets pretty boring, not to mention you arsenal getting rusty. Keep your motivation by learning new things! Passion projects can help you learn new skills without the time limit or even self-discipline that comes with form studies. You can go at your own pace or do it your own way. You can even go beyond graphic design and try other mediums.
It’s only when you try, do you know what you are good at or not. This is true in most industries most especially in graphic design. Whether it’s new media, skills or techniques, you can try mixing things up a bit and experiment with something new. The fun thing is you can go wild, go add some crazy font pairings, study digital typography, try new design software, break design rules or just throw “traditional’ and “conventional” out the window and be outrageous.
Everything might not be as you expected it to be, sometimes it’ll be a hot mess or you might hit the jackpot. Regardless, the process of experimenting serves as an outlet and a way to free yourself from the design fatigue and figure out which skills need improving and why.
Talk to other designers
Get out there and chat with other designers! There are no excuses for you to say you can’t, there are a lot of ways how to. Go to events and conferences for graphic design, follow other designers social accounts, check out forums, make friends, ask questions, collaborate on a project and so much more.
Go out of your zone and interact with people whether you have to force yourself or not. You can meet more interesting people and learn more, it’ll be worthwhile.
Read graphic design books
Education is for life, it doesn’t stop in college or the last course you enrolled in online. You should never stop learning. Next time your on a long travel or somehow you find time in your busy schedule, read a book on graphic design. There are plenty of informative and inspiring graphic design books out there.
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