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Graphic Design Skills

What are Graphic Design skills?

Graphic design skills are those that are used by designers to create logos, web pages, magazines, apps, presentations, and many others in order to visually communicate content.

As a designer, one will need to visually communicate a concept or idea. For this reason, understanding elements such as shape, form, size, line, color, texture, and space are extremely critical to graphic design.

It is good to note that a career in graphic design does not always require you to have a college degree. Rather, it involves having creative and specific technical skills needed to help a designer achieve their job requirements.

To land a job in this field, your resume should point out the necessary and essentials skills that a creativegraphic designer should have. It may be hard at the beginning, but once you’ve mastered these skills, you could end up getting the most rewarding jobs.

If you are a graphic designer, you should by now know all the important skills without a second thought. However, if you are considering becoming one, knowing the following essential graphic design skills will be valuable.

1) Creativity

Some of the creative skills needed in order to become a successful graphic designer include:

  • Brainstorming
  • Sketching
  • Knowing how to visually present ideas
  • Perceptivity
  • Attention to detail
  • Awareness of current design trends

These are essential in conveying the right information with the use of images and texts. You, as a graphic designer, need to communicate your clients’ missions or products in ways that are unique to them. Simply put, creativity is one of the best skills needed in a graphic design career.

2) Technical skills

Currently, there are several kinds of technologies and tools used in graphic design that need to be mastered. Knowing how to use them can definitely help you land a graphic design job much quicker.

Tools such as InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator are those that graphic designers need to know. With these programs, you will be able to create digital artwork that will be fitting for any type of project. Most designs are executed using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Creative Suite, and HTML.

However, based on studies, InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop were deemed the most useful tools in graphic design jobs. Hence, to succeed in this career, you will need to develop your skills in these main programs.

3) Communication

One should know that the visual form of communication is graphic design. Becoming the best designer involves knowing how to properly illustrate the right kinds of content using visual elements. Both the client and the designer must clearly understand the types of information that need to be executed. With that being said, communication skills will be vital for graphic design jobs.

This skill requires a designer to precisely understand the employers’, clients’, and companies’ needs. This way, appropriate design elements can be implemented to match the message they are going for.

The graphic designer should consult the client before starting a project in order to understand their needs and expectations. This can be done through skype, email, or phone calls. Hence, active listening and collaboration skills will be necessary. Additionally, you must be able to handle constructive criticism about your work as this will ultimately help you produce the best results for your design work.

4) Typography

Typography skills in graphic design involve knowing how fonts work and understanding how to carefully select and effectively use them. It is more than just about using typefaces as a form of expression. Therefore, you should know how to wisely select the best fonts, size, color, and style for the graphic design work at hand.

As a graphic designer, you need to be aware of the steps in developing, creating, or selecting the right typography for your work. To produce an outstanding work of design, you must understand the concepts of sizing, spacing, but also how you can creatively represent figures and modify fonts. Whenever you feel a bit stuck, do not be afraid to ask for help.

A creative designer should have an in-depth knowledge of how to use typography while also making sure that it remains readable. This can be done simply. You can create a typeface or select one that will matches what you are looking for. Typography skills will ultimately make you a competent graphic designer. Knowing how to use and play around with font can put you way ahead of others who don’t.

5) Branding

It is critical to understand the client’s brand in order to meet their demands. Graphic design is fundamental to a business’s branding strategy, therefore one will have to understand the essence of a client’s business to produce work that is fitting to their company.

To stand out in the crowded markets today, branding will be mandatory for any type of business. As a graphic designer, you will have to understand the concept and importance of branding. This way, you will be able to know how you can help your client become a leading business in the market.

Although you cannot solely rely on design for the successes of a business, a great design will definitely play a huge role. Understanding branding can therefore bring you about many opportunities in graphic design. If you have the opportunity, do as much research on the topic as you can.

Consistency in a brand’s visual elements such as styles, fonts, sizing, and logo is needed for businesses to stand out. Once you master the skills of branding, it will help you to get the job done strategically.

A good tip would also be to study other people’s brands to figure out what they are doing right or wrong with their designs. Use iconic brands as inspiration and learn from those that have made mistakes. This will enable you to discover what you can do similarly or differently to create the best work.

6) Delivering Presentations

An expert in graphic design mention that designers should also act as storytellers. Designers must know how to present their work comprehensively as this will be essential for them to communicate and build relationships with clients.

Therefore, make use of presentation skills in order to keep developing yourself as a designer. This skill can make you become a valuable employee within a company while also allowing you to impress customers who come to you for your services.

Strong presentation skills will help increase your credibility. Being able to present your work clearly can help grab your client’s attention. It will also help them better understand the content of your work and why you chose to add or eliminate specific elements within your design.

Once you have excelled in your presentation skills, this is help you get your work approved in a more efficient manner. As a great storyteller, this will really help you rise to the top of your career in graphic design.

7) UI/UX design

User Interface (UI) design generally focuses on how the designs influences functionality and aesthetics of a web page. A graphic designer should know how to effectively make use of tools related to user interface. UI design is somehow related to the User experience (UX) design. However, they must not be mistaken with one another.

UX design focuses on influencing and controlling designs based on the users’ experience. Therefore, graphic designers should be aware of user psychology. There is a need to know the right colors to use based on the fact that people will want to click on such colors. One needs to also be mindful of the time users spend on a web page.

All UX designers need to make use of all the opportunities given in producing designs that end-users enjoy viewing and reading. This will ease users’ experience and remove any obstacles in understanding what has been communicated by design.

Based on this, it is highly recommended that anyone who aspires to become a graphic designer master the UI/UX design skills. These skills are highly needed by companies in this day and age and are a great addition to having the technical skills related to Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Once put on your resume, you could potentially end up in landing a very high paid graphic design job.

8) Responsive Design

This is a current skill needed in graphic design jobs as most mobile websites are not as responsive as they should be. It is a useful skill that will surely add value to your resume because most users have gone from using desktops to doing everything on mobile devices.

The prominent switch to mobiles make the need of understanding responsive designs important in modern day graphic design. Try to do as much research as you can on this skill and use it to get the right jobs related to digital mobile graphic designs.

9) Color Theory

The use of the right color can increase the appeal of your design. Graphic designs need to pay careful attention to selecting the colors that best correspond with a brand’s identity which must later be transferred to the rest of the brand’s visual expression.

Color theory helps designers understand how to effectively use different color palettes to communicate different types of content. This skill can be used to increase attention, stimulate, and excite viewers when looking at such designs.

Conclusion

Employers expect their graphic designers to be able to communicate their business idea effectively through visuals. Hence, to make it in the industry, you should focus on working on the important graphic design skills we mentioned. These skills will help you build your resume in graphic design while also helping you become a valuable player in any creative industry.

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Written by Christiaan

Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world's largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.

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