As a graphic designer you are forever trying to keep up with the changing world of design. Due to the vast amount of technical advancements all developing at a rapid speed it can be difficult to keep up with it all which in turn affects the tools that professionals use. As a graphic designer you must always be on your toes with the change in trends and stay one step ahead of the industry. It can become overwhelming if you find yourself left behind because it can take a lot to catch up so here are some tips on how to keep up with the industry:
The more you read, the more you know
Young designers prefer to turn to the internet to find out anything they need to know about graphic design however it is a good idea to keep any books you may have by your side, especially any from a degree or qualification. If you are passionate about your job you should naturally be trying to research and find sources of inspiration to improve your skills. Visit the local library or book shop to find magazines or books that may give you that edge over others or subscribe to magazines to ensure you have a constant flow of new knowledge.
Education is our passport to the future
In most industries you must keep up to speed with your education and the design industry is no different. Don’t stop learning just because you have completed a degree or qualification because your skills will always need refreshing. You may be the most experienced graphic designer in your office but this doesn’t meet you are keeping up with the changing trends. There are always graphic design courses or workshops to top up your knowledge so take a look at your local College or University for some courses.
The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow – Bill Gates
Previously I mentioned to read books and magazines however you can never fault the Internet and the never ending list of information and knowledge you can learn from it. Even though you can stumble upon a lot of rubbish there are some very knowledgeable people from within the industry sharing experiences and skills for you to read (mostly) for free! Bookmark some of your favourite blogs and social media profiles and read them on a daily basis. Websites like Behance and Dribbble will give you a constant flow of ideas for the trends within the industry. Lynda is also a fantastic site to use for online tutorials to enhance your existing skills. Join in with forums and comment on blogs or social media pages to share your opinion and get involved. This will keep you ahead of the design curve due to getting plenty of feedback on comments. Do not be afraid to use other peoples work as inspiration because this is how trends change and adapt.
Overall, your clients rely on you to bring them fresh, innovative ideas that are up to date with the industry. They will not want to pay you if you are still giving them work that was in trend 5 years ago. All online companies want to be at the forefront of their own industry so try and stay there with your own work. Believe in the design that you create because you will therefore find it easier to pitch to your client.
To summarise, there is never enough information to take in whether its from a book, magazine, the internet or even people you surround yourself with. Be a social listener as well as learning from the people around you. Take time out of your everyday life to practice and create a portfolio so that you can move forward with your work. Never stop what you are doing to learn and if you feel your skills can’t keep up with the changing trends then spend a bit of time and money to change that!