Regardless of whether you are an experienced designer or just out of college there are certain aspects that you should have. Here are some tips to help you become a more effective designer.
Always Define Your Concept-Your designs will not go far without a clear defined concept first. Always have a great concept before starting your design. You can’t design a project if you don’t know why you are designing it. So create a clear concept then design.
Know your audience-Before starting any project you should always do some research on the client. Always be aware of who you are designing for, this will effect the style of your design. You should know who your clients target audience is and design for them. Your message will get lost if you are not addressing the correct audience.
The Computer is a tool for your design-The computer should only be used as a tool for your designs. You shouldn’t depend on a computer and technology for your design work. Newer and better technology doesn’t mean better design. Keep a sketchbook and use it. Your artistic abilities are what will set you apart from the average person with a copy of Photoshop.
Know and Respect Typography- All designers should have a strong knowledge and be comfortable with typography. You should know the differences between web and print type. There are a million resources out there to make you a more comfortable with typography. Always remember some one put in their time and hard work to design these fonts so don’t steal them.
Details Matter. Double-check everything- Graphic design is all about the little details. It’s the small design elements that make good design great. Pay attention to these details and double check all your work. Carefully refine all your work, even if it seems like a small insignificant project.
Surround Yourself with Inspiration- All designers should have an arsenal of books surrounding them at all times for inspiration. There are also tons of excellent design resources online. These resources can act as inspiration when you are stuck in a rut. If you are really stuck, you may want to check out a creative exercise book.
Deal with Criticism- As a designer you are bound to face criticism throughout your career. Don’t take offence by criticism, but use it as a motivator. View it as constructive criticism. Even though it may be unpleasant it will only help you grow as a designer.
Learn how to communicate- Learn how to communicate with your clients and with other designer. The latter should be much easier. When dealing with clients keep your cool, and remember they may not know how to communicate what they want. At times dealing with young or inexperienced designers may be difficult. Be patient, they are your peers; remember we were all young and inexperienced once.
Stay Positive- Whether working on a project you don’t like or just having a bad day, stay positive. A good attitude is what will keep you going as a designer. This really should be a general rule for life not just design.
Prioritize /Multitask/Manage Time- As a designer you are constantly multitasking. You need to be able to prioritize and manage your time wisely. Make a to do list or keep appointments in your phone. Figure out a system that works for you and use it.
Keep Learning- Always be willing to learn. Whether it’s learning from a co-worker, going back to school or doing a tutorial online you should constantly be learning. You should always be seeking new knowledge that will help you be a better designer.
Whether you’re a print designer or designing for the web these tips should be of some use to you. By utilizing some of these tips you will become a more effective designer.