When starting out in the graphic design world, there are a lot of things to learn. You need to have training in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, as well as stay up to date on the latest design trends. At ADVAN, our team of graphic designers put together some tips we wish we would’ve known as beginners on our graphic design career journey.
Graphic Design Tips and Tricks
- Follow industry influencers. Following and engaging with industry influencers can help you get more familiar with the online design world and learn more tips on how to get started in the graphic design world. They can also help you get more familiar with relevant terminology so you’re not lost when it comes to industry speak.
- Collect a catalog of inspirational work. If you're looking to enter the design world, you need to start collecting work you find successful. This will help you identify design trends, as well as your own personal design preferences. Use profile sites like Dribble and Behance to view high-quality work from top designers.
- Break down the process. When it comes down to it, all designs start with simple shapes. Understanding the design process can help you comprehend the necessary steps to produce the final piece. If you’re more experienced, you can probably identify which tools were used or which design aspect was created first. If you aren’t sure, take a guess! It’s better to try than to do nothing at all.
- Recreate your favorite pieces. Obviously, we don’t mean that you should rip off someone else’s work and try to pass it off as your own. What we mean is that recreating your favorite design(s) can help you better understand the technique used to achieve the final work. Even if your version doesn’t turn out exactly like the original piece, you’ll have gone through the process of creating something new. And that is a win!
- Use white space. Negative space, or white space, is the space not occupied by any element. You want your design piece to include enough active space as well as negative space. It’s all about balance. While there isn’t a rule as to how much negative space you need in your design, including white space, will eventually become as natural to you.
- Take criticism. When we first start designing, the last thing we want to do is be criticized by our peers or mentors, but it is actually crucial to your success as a graphic designer. Criticism allows us to share our own ideas with others and gives us the opportunity to incorporate those ideas into our work. Becoming part of an online community where others can comment on your work is a good way to get used to criticism of your work.
- Be passionate. This one shouldn't be hard for you to do. A passion project can allow you to teach yourself the graphic design process and advance your design skills. Start with something simple like redesigning your resume or creating a logo for your friend’s business. Working on something because you want to and not because you have to can help you stay motivated.
Whether you use these tips or not, it's important to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep in mind that even your favorite designers were once new too! Design is a continual process, so remember to be open to new ideas and be willing to receive constructive criticism.