The graphic design industry shifts and evolves as new technology arrives on the scene. Over the decades, design has gone from hand drawn to computerized to artificial intelligence. Not too many years ago, designers needed to be able to code to stay relevant, but that is no longer a necessity.
There are approximately 172,081 graphic designers working for businesses in an industry with about 3.6 percent annual growth. In addition, many graphic designers work as freelancers. Everyone in the industry needs to ramp up their knowledge to gain a competitive edge by the end of 2019. Here are 14 skills every designer needs.
As mentioned above, nowadays you don’t have to know coding to design. However, basic coding skills are quite useful to designers, particularly when you take on a web design project.
Imagine you’re in the middle of designing a WordPress website. That sounds simple — install the software, find a theme, and go, right? What if you need to customize the look, and the theme doesn’t allow for that? You’ll need essential coding skills to add CSS code to the theme and change whatever elements you need to customize the website.
You don’t need a degree in coding — you only need an understanding of the basics.
You more than likely studied typography extensively when getting your design-related degree. However, typography is increasingly digital, and the way different fonts appear online differs from the way they look in print. A deeper understanding of which fonts work best in an online environment is a must. Understand the pixels of different fonts and ones made to scale to different screen sizes, such as mobile devices.
A majority of both men and women feel the design of their workspace impacts their productivity.
Likewise, more and more companies see the advantages of environmental graphics — immersive experience graphics for brick-and-mortar stores and events. Designing environmental graphics requires the ability to look at the design space as a whole and figure out the best use of wall and floor space.
To improve your environmental design skills, study large-scale design and pay attention to the experience that stores and office buildings create for visitors.
Many people love starting new projects, but sticking with them through the end is more of a challenge. Developing perseverance require a few specific steps, such as writing down your goals, breaking them into manageable tasks, and tracking progress along the way.
If you work on staff, your company expects you to know programs such as Photoshop and InDesign, but these programs are also helpful if you’re a freelancer. Sometimes, you’ll work with a client who already has in-house staff using these programs. A working knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator is advantageous to a designer in 2019, even if you wind up using different methods in design creation.
Look through job postings for graphic designers, and you’ll see that most employers want a minimum of two years’ experience in the field. If you don’t yet have that much experience, spend time gaining experience in a variety of areas. Take on a part-time internship with a local design firm, or volunteer your services at a local nonprofit you believe in. Set out to master as many skills as possible and show that mastery through work experience.
Over the last few years, businesses have made highly relevant, rich photography part of their content strategies. Now is the time to enhance your image editing skills. Picture a scenario where a client brings you a photo of their product, but there are some minor issues with lighting or background noise. Fortunately, with the right tools and knowledge, you can take their mediocre photo and make it extraordinary. There’s no need to head back to school to learn how to edit images. Just use
online Photoshop tutorials and try out new methods in your free time.
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