Some Advice For Budding Graphic Designers

by threesocks - 04-11-2020, 02:13 PM
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#1
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Posted: 04-11-2020, 02:13 PM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2020, 02:13 PM by threesocks.)
As a somewhat veteran Graphic Designer, who has been around the block more times than I'd like to count, I wanted to share, what I would consider, vital knowledge for budding Graphic Designers. Consider this my "Wear Sunscreen" advice.


  • Software and practical skills are only half of the battle. The most important skill for a graphic designer is a knowledge and understanding of space. This is usually what is meant when people say "an eye for graphic design". Both can be learned.

  • Understand that your elements need to breathe. Give everything a no-no zone. Elements can, and should overlap (more below), but make sure that element has intentional and definite space around it.

  • Play with layering. Remember that a background element can protrude into the foreground. You're designing in 2D, but you should be thinking in 3D. If a design is "flat", it should be intentionally flat.

  • If you do this professionally, you're designing for the audience, not for your client, and definitely not for yourself. Put yourself in the target audience's shoes - and don't be afraid to remind your client that what they like, might not be what their audience likes.

  • Don't be afraid to walk away from a job. Don't work for free. Don't work for 'exposure'. Have firm prices in your head and don't deviate unless its life or death. You will get challenged - but don't cave. You're worth as much as you say you are.

  • There's always going to be someone cheaper than you. You'll never win by trying to undercut prices - you should win by offering something unique.

  • Be friendly towards your clients. Word of mouth from one small business can lead to big things with large businesses.

  • Make friends with web developers, printers, software engineers etc. Share your clients and expand your network.

  • Read. Read into colour theory. Read about successful and failed re-brands. There's patterns and science behind design. Expand your knowledge.

  • Understand why Comic Sans isn't a bad font.

  • You will get better. You develop as a designer. You won't recognise work that you did two years ago. If you don't like something, don't dwell on it.

Hope this helps some people who are struggling, just starting out, or have been in the game a while.
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#2
Posted: 20-11-2020, 02:15 AM
I really like the point about not undercutting prices and proving your worth through the quality of your work. I have recently gotten into selling merchandise I design and handmake and although my competitors can offer cheaper price per unit since they get them made overseas, the quality of the things I make and the uniqueness of the designs have allowed me to still be successful despite being 1-3$ more expensive than the competition. I hope people in all fields can learn to value themselves and their work properly and just have confidence.
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#3
Posted: 21-11-2020, 01:03 AM
This is all really great advice and just as applicable to my field (video) in a lot of ways. The point about not dwelling on things is very good though, its hard to forget that even though you like what you're doing now (or you dont it doesnt matter) its not gonna be the same down the road so dont stress too much if your work isnt what you think it could be today.

But I wanna hear more about the point on why Comic Sans isnt a bad font lol
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