Design skills are need to be improved with time if you are going to compete in the market. I wrote an article on 1stWebDesigner some days ago where I tried to focus on the main skills that a designer should have in himself and many people commented that those skills are needed to be in a freelance designer. The reason behind that was because a professional graphic designer works in a team where his design skills are supported with the other team members and thus the work is distributed which does not need him to be a super-designer. I am not going to start the debate of a freelancer being a ‘Professional’ or not for we will discuss that later sometime. So, I was saying that today’s post will be based on a freelancer graphic designer because he has to do all the work himself and so he needs to improve his design skills.
I have been talking about ‘improving’ your design skills in the last paragraph but I should have rather used the word ‘Update’ because of the development going on in the media and thus an updated designer has much improved design skills which helps him grow easily. There should be eagerness and willingness inside you to improve your skills because it won’t even impress your clients but will help you attract more clients in future too. Today I will try to share some ways with you in which you can be an updated designer and improve your design skills.
Initiate Your Own Projects
There can be times when you don’t have any clients and you might get little demotivated too but in that phase you should try to initiate your own projects and work on them. This won’t even motivate you but will help you sharpen your skills and express your creativity. I suggest everytime you don’t have a client, you should start working on a fake company and make its logos, websites, posters and brochures etc. You can then use these as samples in your portfolio even. In short, keep doing what you usually do.
A designer mostly is in front of his PC or Mac and working day and night but sometimes for the peace of mind, we should explore new things in the outside world too. Exploring new things will help us open up and find out what’s more in their inside us. It might be possible that for example we can be good with guitar and learn it easily ending up making some tunes. This will not only freshen up your mind but also boost your confidence to work.
I talked about making your own projects in the absence of clients above but you can also utilize that time in correcting things in your previous designs or maybe grab someone else’s work and work on that. This will also sharpen up your skills helping you create something different out of what you or other designers made before.
Most of the professionals out their in the market get inspiration from someone else’s work to create something new of their own. This is the case in every field whether its designing, music, writing or other art. So whenever you are browsing through some designs anywhere and you get amaze of one of them, try to keep it saved for inspiration later when you run out of ideas.
Sketching is what always is going on in our mind when we are thinking of something creative. The images we try to make in our mind comes in their for a moment and I would suggest you sketch them down because that would help you find out where your mind maps stand in the world of designers. You would then improve your thinking skills regarding new designs. Sketching can also be helpful in explaining clients what you are going to make as it would take a bit of time to show them the first sample you make for them so its better you do sketching regularly to furnish your drawing skills and be able to draw your design in front of your client at the moment of the contract.
There are plenty of design communities online which could help you answer your queries, stay updated, ask for criticism on your designs and talk about the strategies of other designers who are on the top. There can be times during your design project when you stuck at a point and you could ask for help on the communities from someone too.
A writer in his first stages read books from other writers for inspiration and to learn the way one should write. Books are said to be the real best friends of a human for they ask nothing in return and lets you learn lots from them. Apart from saving designs from other designers out there, you should also keep a collection of books based on design. These can be educational and inspirational helping you come up with new ideas.
There are lots of companies around the world based on very different ideas and thus their design projects too would be based on very different ideas. To keep yourself up to the mark and be able to come up with an idea for any type of a client, you need to have looked into different designs from designers around the world. I already suggested you saving designs from other design projects but that might not be enough and even that sometimes you face a design out of your PC or a book and you can’t save it but by taking its picture. Photography is a great source of inspiration when it comes to art and you should take a picture of anything that inspires you out there whether its related to animals, plants, architecture or anything. More pictures will surely help you come up with more ideas.
Attend Seminers & Convocations
Apart from the certificate that you will receive for attending such convocations and then add it to your portfolio, you will also get to meet new people and increase your network’s size. This will help you increase your knowledge and get some tips to generate new ideas for design projects.
Make Designer Friends
There maybe some designers living nearby who just started their design career just like you or maybe have some experience already. You should try to connect with them, get to know them, ask them for advices wherever you stuck in your field. You should arrange get-together and share ideas with each other which might also result in some professional advices when you are in need of one.
There might be a college nearby who enrols students for a design related studies and if you can afford one, you should try to get enrolled in there. This will help you learn new things and as the time goes by you will certainly be improving your skills as you would be studying updated things from teachers already having experience in the field.
Lastly, I would suggest you do something which is very common now-days. There are lots of designers out there who have their own blogs and they write about their own experience, about some tutorials, about resources they found helpful and even answer queries from newbies. When you make a blog of your own, you will easily express yourself and come to know what other designers+bloggers think about you. You can also read other designer’s blogs to identify the best resource out there as well as get a grip over your design skills by trying out some tutorials they have posted on their blogs.
As you can see, it is not really hard to improve your design skills. All you need is the willingness, the effort and the time to do these things. Bear in mind that it is you who will greatly benefit from this improvement. So, give your best and be the best graphic designer!
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