5 ways to improve your graphic design skills

Whether graphic design is the main focus of your job or just another string on your bow, it’s always a good idea to keep improving your graphic design skills if you can. Many companies rely on graphic designers to provide creativity and ideas – from logos to videos to everything in between. Demand for such skills is ever increasing so whether you are looking for a graphic design role or want to boost your business’ creative edge, there are several things you can do to continue improving in this area.  We’ve put together a handy guide with 5 simple steps you can take to better your graphic design skills.

Study design theory

One of the best ways to improve your graphic design skills is as simple as going back to the basics of design theory. Any graphic designer will know that good design is about more than just combining elements together and seeing what looks good, there are fundamentals that you must understand. Whether you studied graphic design or are self-taught, it can be useful to refresh or familiarise yourself with aspects such as colour theory, design ratios and typographies. These provide a great base to grow your skills around and continue developing.

Ask for feedback

Feedback is a common aspect of many jobs and can be essential in order to progress. The same goes for graphic design. If you want to improve on your skills, ask other designers for their feedback and constructive criticism as they will most likely pick up on things that you may not have noticed. Ask other colleagues for their opinions as well as an outside perspective can often come in handy. Rather than asking them if they like a piece of work, ask things like if they think you have fulfilled the brief as this will get you more specific and constructive feedback. This feedback will help you to continue improving and make sure that the graphics you are creating continue to be fresh and innovative, be it for a website, social media or print advertising.

Experiment

Now it’s time to experiment! If you’re stuck in a design rut, experimentation is a great way to loosen up and find your groove again. Playing around with aspects such as fonts, colours and layouts will take you out of your comfort zone and give you a creativity boost. Why not try out some new techniques that you haven’t used before or go old-school and get the pen and paper out rather than relying on software. You may not want to experiment too much with very specific briefs or tasks but doing things out of the ordinary will broaden your designs and make you more adaptable as a graphic designer.

Talk to fellow designers

Talking to other graphic designers can have a number of benefits that you may not have realised. Not only can talking to fellow designers help you to discuss industry challenges and developments, but it can also help you to expand your network. You may not work with other graphic designers so think about attending events or conferences in order to gain industry insight that you normally wouldn’t. Again, you can gain feedback from the other designers you meet and use their comments to continue honing your skills. You could even reach out to designers you admire on social media and ask for some tips.

Change software

Finally, the type of software you use of course has a massive impact on your graphic design skills. No matter how talented you may be, the wrong software can really hold you back. If you are trying to improve your skills, whether on a freelance basis or for a company, you may want to consider changing or updating your software. Such changes can dramatically improve your workload, particularly if your current software is very slow and limiting. This will also help you to be more creative as you can translate the ideas you have in your head into reality. The same goes for the type of equipment you use in terms of a laptop and/or PC, you might have to invest some money into such items but this could be what sets you apart when you are not limited by technology.

In conclusion, there are several simple steps you can take to improve and keep refining your graphic design skills. These range from things like going back to the basics of design theory and experimentation to speaking to fellow designers for feedback and industry advice. As the digital world continues to grow, the demand for talented graphic designers is also on the increase so take some time to better your skills, it may be easier than you think. For more advice on graphic design, get in touch with our team today.

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