Essential Skills Every Graphic Designer Needs

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If you decide that you want to enter the field of graphic design, then you need to learn quite a few skills in order to call yourself a graphic designer. Not only are most of these skills going to show up in every project that you do, but they will also be heavily favored by employees who wish to hire you.

So here are some of the essential skills every graphic designer needs to be successful in their field.

graphic designer desk

UX/UI design

Taking care of the User Experience (UX) and the User Interface (UI) for your graphic design is an extremely important skill, and if you learn only one skill from this entire article for your graphic design career, you need to know how to do UX and UI design. 

The best UX designers are able to make their graphic design usable, creating a feeling for the user that everything is just right.

Additionally, a good UI makes it easy for the user to move around and interact with your graphic design as well. You need to make sure that everything not only looks great, but is very easy to use as well. We have all had encounters with websites and graphic designs that are way too cluttered and very hard to navigate with multiple clicks required to do anything. 

Since you don’t want to have your graphic designs be cluttered and filled with useless information, then you need to learn about UI and UX design.

Color theory and typography

Color theory is whenever you focus on what colors you are putting onto your graphic design, and also how your customers will react to your graphic design based on the colors. Color theory is the study of the impact color has on your design, and you shouldn’t just be picking a color that looks pretty and calling it a day. Instead you need to understand what the color does for your customer and the story that it tells.

Typography is a similar field, just with typing and the fonts and sizes of your text that your graphic designer needs. While you can click on every typeface that you want on your text creator of choice, people who know about typography means that they know when to use different fonts, and when they will be the most effective.

Business acumen and the ability to think big picture

As a graphic designer, you might wonder what business acumen can do for your desire to simply design things. However, if what you design only looks pretty, but doesn’t actually lead to any sales or interest in what the design is about, or it doesn’t fit into any marketing plans, then it won’t be of any use to businesses. 

If you can use your graphic design to not just create compelling designs, but to solve a problem that a business is facing, then you will have a key skill that will separate you from the pack.

Additionally, you need to make sure that you can persuade people and get them to do things with you or because of your graphic design. That can include using your graphic design to make customers feel a different way or make them want to do something. 

Having that emotional intelligence to understand how your design makes everyone feel, can also catch the eye of your employers.

A technical know how of design software

A graphic designer doesn’t just need to learn how to design, they need to learn to do so in several different forms and on several different pieces of technology. For example, you might know how to design a pretty awesome word document, but can you do the same on Adobe design software? 

Can you translate your online graphic design skills into video work like designs for Youtube and TikTok? Can you learn and master several different skills and pieces of software as they keep coming up?

You don’t need to know all the pieces of software as you get started, but whenever you get started you need to do some research and see what the most in demand technology pieces are for graphic designers and then get started with learning how to use them!

Communication and the ability to take constructive criticism

As much as artists hate having their work critiqued, you will need to take constructive criticism as you work with clients who might have a different opinion of your graphic design or will want to make changes that you might not agree with. You need to make sure that you are taking in the constructive criticism and making the changes that you need to make to keep your client happy.

Finally, you need to communicate with the clients that you are designing for. You need to keep them in the loop about what your graphic designs are going to be like, listen to their wants and the messages that they want to send with the design, and make any changes they want to be made.

Learn these skills and you’ll have a great career!

These skills are going to be very important as you take on your graphic design career, and you need to know at least some of them in order to have the best chance of getting hired for graphic designer jobs and starting to make your mark in the field of graphic design.

So don’t be afraid to start learning these skills and then reach out to see what jobs are available in the field of graphic design!

Also, don’t rest on your laurels. Even when you get jobs and start to design for companies, you should still keep on learning and enhancing your resume and your portfolio with new skills and new ways of design. 

That will keep you competitive and also ensure that you are able to keep on getting hired and can keep up with all the new fields that graphic design is going to keep on opening and growing into.

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