Every graphic designer dreams of it – a perfect picture that captures a mood in just a few brush strokes or prods on your graphic tablet. But, to create that satisfying mixture of style and feeling takes a lot of skill, talent and finesse.
And, to make it in the graphic design game requires a lot of patience if you’re looking to make a name for yourself. Endless designs, redesigns and a lifetime of honing will be necessary if you want to maintain your status as a relevant force in the ever-changing trends of graphic design.
But, first you’ll have to actually break into the industry, and if you follow some of these top tips you’ll find the process will be as effective as that perfect picture.
Get a degree
There are a great many benefits to procuring a degree if you’re in an industry as competitive as graphic design. With a qualification of such magnitude under your arm, you can confidently approach employers knowing that you have every skill needed to fill a post in your profession.
A few years spent at university, or with one of many online design courses available, can also give you the time to work on that potential goldmine for an employer – a great folio to show off your skills.
And, by the time your graduation comes around, you’ll feel surer of yourself in your field and be able to work on projects on your own steam as well as for an employer.
Give your hobby a professional feel
A part of the real fun of trying for a job in a creative industry is that you’ll get to turn your hobby into your dream job. But, to become a paid-up member of the creative community you’ll have to really give your hobby that professional sheen.
Think of it as though you’re in a band. While your first home recording can be as rough and ready as you like, there’s little to no chance that someone will want to buy your demo tape without a high-fidelity slice of production over the top. People simply prefer their product to have a bit of polish.
So, find out what tools and programs the industry professionals are using and become as well versed in them as you can, making your spare time a rigorous training exercise for your desired profession.
For a look at professional styles, research some of the industry bigwigs that you admire, pore over their work and see what you can take from it. After all, there’s nothing wrong with using others for inspiration as long as you can tailor your style to fit their clothes.
Participate in design marketplaces
Signing up with a design marketplace like DesignHill.com and get active in the community can help you build your credibility. Take on as many projects as possible and let your design showcased to potential clients. Even if they didn’t choose you now, they might contact you later when the opportunity arises.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
The real problem that creative industries suffer from is a lack of new ideas leading to the recycling of old ones.
And, although that can be fine if you’re just looking to keep business ticking over, you’ll find that there’s a thirst for new and innovative styles that can breathe new life into a brand or service.
So, take your ideas, develop them as far as they can go and try to forge an authorial style to get yourself noticed. If you’re onto something that you think is fresh and new, take it, make it your own and, if you’re lucky, you might just find you’re onto a hit.
Use the internet to gain a reputation
The internet is a great pool to play around in for the budding creative professional, with the importance of blogs so prominent that art students are now actively trained on how to utilise them properly at some universities.
Starting with a blog and updating it regularly to showcase your development day-to-day will allow you to show off anything new you’ve learnt , and illustrate to potential clients that you’re not simply coasting on old skills.