12 Graphic Design Experts Provide Some Very Insightful Tips
Good ole’ graphic design. As a beginner, how many times have you gotten yourself all worked up to create the next epic design. Your all fired up and open your favorite design software, and then all progress stops! “Where do I start?”, “What do I do?”, “What would experts do?”.
Well luckily we reached out to some of the best graphic designers out there and got their expert advice.
The questions we asked them: What is 1 or 2 of the most important things that newcomers to graphic design should learn?
The responses were nothing short of insightful, check them out.
Meet the Graphic Design Experts
Art is a never ending quest of expression
Geoff is freelance graphic designer in the music and sports industries. Some of his clients insist of The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Bob Marley.
Portfolio: Geoff May
Do not overthink, be diverse and focus on one thing at a time.
Designer for all your favorite bands. He owns 2 brands, Electric Zombie and Grave Takers. Avid Baker, food eater, and collector of toys.
Brand: The ElectricZ ombie
Don’t study your peers and inspirations too closely. Know what they are doing and look at what they do as a source of inspiration and not so much a blueprint for what you do and can offer.
Explore making your own textures and taking your own photos on down time. And lastly, fonts, you can never have too many fonts. (Make sure you download font explorer while you’re at it, it’s a life saver)
Never give up, show respect and don’t stop learning.
Freelance designer based out of Germany. He’s worked with some well known bands like NOFX, Fall Out Boy and Train.
Facebook: Killer Art Worx
- Never give up.
If you’ve got a vision and are willing to work hard – nothing can stop you if you stick to it.
- Respect. Be nice to other designers and people in the industry. Respect each other and each others work the way you and your work want to be respected too.
- Don’t stop learning.
If you’re asking for feedback, take it seriously, not personally. If you want to improve, learn from feedback. Don’t be a bitch thinking everyone is just out to harm you. links to number 1 again.
Declutter your life, cut out distractions
Over the past 11 years, Jeff has worked professionally as a graphic designer, business owner, and conference organizer.
Newcomers should realize you don’t need college to be a graphic designer. You are better investing a few years of your early career consistently doing work every day. Make stuff. Practice by copying what’s trendy, copying what is nostalgic, blending different styles together, and seeing what you like.
The second thing is that what you show off in your portfolio dictates the type of work that you get. If you are solid in knowing the type of work you desire to create, fill your portfolio with examples of that type. If you don’t have paying clients, do mockups and fake projects.
Here are five tips for manifesting the life of a great graphic designer:
- Declutter your life. Cut out distractions and negative influences.
- Decide exactly what you want. Be CLEAR and CERTAIN.
- Surround yourself with positivity, friends, and inspiration.
- Take INSPIRED action. When you are buzzing on a good idea, do it NOW.
- Be open to receive the type of success you want. Be aware when you receive it. And be grateful.
Repeat this process every day.
Don’t fear to make mistakes, learn from them
My job is my passion and I can’t see myself doing any other thing for a living. I use this passion to communicate with others in a way words can’t reach.
Portfolio: Mathiole Portfolio
Embrace failure and accept your limitations. You have to understand that failure is an important and necessary path to evolution (not only in design, but on everything), so don’t fear to make mistakes, learn from them. But also understand that everybody has their own limitations, knowing which ones you have may direct you to the right path =)
The best professionals are still learning
A self-taught graphic artist specializing in design and art direction encompassing the areas of apparel and branding.
Facebook: Cameron Latham Design
I’d say one of the most important things that a newcomer should learn is that you’re not going to be great in a day.
A lot of people look at graphic design (especially in terms of the music industry) and think they can get away with torrenting Photoshop, watching a few tutorials, and creating a “____ Design” Facebook page.
It takes a good few years to really get to a professional skill level, in my opinion. On that same thought, all the best professionals are still learning; they’re learning new styles and techniques every time they sit down to work.
So I suppose the “too long; didn’t read” of it would be, at the risk of sounding too cliché, “never stop learning”.
Find what area you are good and start right now
A freelancer from Indonesia, he loves typography and graphic design.
Portfolio: Mart Graphic
Instagram: Mart Graphic
First you should be able to handle and get used to work with vector case,
you have to get familiar with Adobe Illustrations or Corel
Draw, which is probably the best application possible, all graphic
designers should be able to learn it.
Second, what skills are are you most capable in, the logo? identity? typography? or illustration? and others.
If you are really a beginner and do not know how to get started,
it should start at right now.
You need to check many websites that have tons of graphics work or projects
such as Behance, Dribbble, Creative Market, Mintees etc. after you see
all of it. You might start to have something in mind how graphic
designers do and how does it work and make money from the revenue.
Treat everything like an opportunity
- Always have personal projects.
- Focus on the work and the rest will take care of itself.
- Join an online community.
- Post your work online.
- Particularly for illustrators, put your name on your personal pieces. This lets potential clients find their way back to you once your work starts travelling around the internet.
- Say ‘yes’ a lot.
- Treat everything like an opportunity.
- Make and showcase the kind of work you want to receive.
- Name your layers.
Networking is gold
Sarah has worked in entrepreneurship, videography, photography, and painting. She finds these experiences invaluable as she designs websites, logos, and creatives for our clients.
Networking is gold. The best way to show off your design and collaboration skills in real-time is to participate in design competitions. If you win awards, that’s even better, because it really gets your name out there. Competitions are also great talking points for interviews if you don’t have a lot of experience right off the bat.
Think about what makes you stand out
Josh runs Go Ape Shirts, a shop that has been featuring work by talented artists from around the world since 2006.
Shop: Go Ape store envy
Have a unique perspective
People are watching you
Eric is a freelance artist born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I’m grateful to have been surrounded by art since my brain can remember.
What I think is the most important thing for newcomers to graphic design to learn is:
Learn to not quit. Don’t stop creating. Don’t stop learning. Love the work you make but hate it enough to make it better. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, people are watching you and your work. Keep creating and the jobs will come with it.
This is some amazing information directly from the pros. I would like to personally thank each one of them for taking the time to contribute to this awesome post.
Let us know if you have any additional advice in the comments below and don’t forget to share.