I have been in my first graphic design role for a little over a year now – and it’s safe to say there’s a lot that design school didn’t prepare me for!
It has been a huge learning curve, but a great one, and I have loved every minute of it. Certain things I have done well and implemented from the beginning and others I have not, so I’ll leave you with pointers that have worked well for me, and others I wish I had done from the get go.
Whether you’re traditionally trained in graphic design or not, you’ll undoubtedly have knowledge barriers during projects. It’s important to remember that’s it’s completely ok to not know everything, and no one is going to judge you for that – everyone was in your position once.
Make the most of being a newbie in your role by asking all your burning questions, even if you think they are silly – you may not get the opportunity again!
It could be through paid training with your company, advice from a colleague or free tutorials online – there’s always a way you can learn more and develop your skills. This will help you to continually improve in your work and career, and help you to become more confident as a graphic designer.
I think it’s really important to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the design world, be it inspiring projects or creatives excelling in the design world. It can keep you excited, inspired and motivated to improve and stay relevant in your own work and career.
Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t go in guns blazing, especially when you start a new role – but employers will love having a new voice and opinion on board, so don’t be afraid to use yours when appropriate.
Now you’re in the real-working world, you’ll be dealing with real-life clients. You may want to try and impress everyone with your technical jargon, but if they’re not design trained then chances are you’ll get lost in translation.
Swap out the swanky terms for basic language and you’ll have everyone on the same page.
The likelihood is that you’ll be juggling various projects and “to-dos” at the same time. This can feel a little overwhelming at times, but by blocking out time in your calendar (making sure you account for all stages of a project) you can ensure optimal organisation to make sure you deliver on time to deadlines.
If you do find yourself getting a little behind then just keep up on communication with people and let them know – it’s fine and it happens!
Some projects are going to go well and others aren’t, just take note of those that don’t and move on.
Equally, it’s so important, especially in the beginning of your design career, to celebrate and be proud of your successes.
Amends, get used to them, but don’t get disheartened by them. It doesn’t mean the work you’re doing is poor, but clients have preferences and know the project more intimately than you, so you’re bound to get changes sent through.
If there’s an amend you strongly disagree with feel free to challenge it or explain your design choices, but remember that ultimately it’s the clients decision. Always approach the subject of amends with respect and never get aggressive or defensive – bear in mind that the client may feel a little awkward sending them through in the first place.
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