Apart from the obvious – an artistic mind, abundant creativity and unwavering passion – a great graphic designer should possess flexibility as well. It’s one of the must needed traits for successful problem solving, though professionals from this particular niche need it for one thing more: staying competitive and relevant.
These, and some other characteristics, are considered universally important for delivering superb results in the fields of creative arts. They apply to graphic designers as well, along with the ability to stay in tune with current trends and set new, innovative ones.
With all of this in mind, we offer you a succinct list of essential traits you should develop as a graphic designer, in this year and beyond.
1. Creativity and Open Mindedness
Creativity asks for curiosity, since this is the trait that defines an open mind. In order to find an artistic expression, a graphic designer should be able to look beyond the surface. Willingness to try new things is always important, but it is especially so in today’s competitive landscape.
An artistic soul is always eager to explore new grounds, whether for its own improvement or somebody else’s gain. Try to challenge yourself whenever you can, solve new creative puzzles all the time, and always experiment with what can be done.
The competition has always been fierce in graphic design, though modern demands are even more so. Just take a look at what’s currently trending: the shift towards louder and brighter colours, vibrant duotones, and bold typography are not exactly what one would expect of a minimalist design, yet this style is the highest in demand.
As if all this wasn’t enough, you should also make your designs pop with mixed media, be able to break previous moulds, and surpass trends that are modern at the moment. In order to reconcile differences in a creative and innovative way, a graphic designer needs flexibility. If to that you add the fact that trends are in perpetual motion, it becomes obvious that this is the trait that a successful designer cannot do without.
For the same exact reason, these professionals need to stay on top of the latest advancements in technology. Graphic design has been reliant on software solutions for decades, but today’s abundance of tools requires both knowledge and critical thinking.
In order to deliver the best possible result, a designer has to choose the best possible technological aid – for that to happen, a thorough understanding of suitable technology is nothing less than necessary.
With so many analytical tools available on the market, there’s really no need for doing any job based only on a blind guess. Like any other professional in a modern business world, a great graphic designer should be audience-centered.
This implies utmost understanding of needs, expectations, preferences and pain points that a certain audience displays in a given moment, for which market analysis is unavoidable. Everything we do to satisfy our clients and clients of their own has to be data-based; there’s really no other way of delivering results that are both enjoyable and profitable.
5. Eagerness to Improve
The ability to find and choose the best ways of addressing the audience’s needs certainly counts as resourcefulness, but the ability to find inspiration and break new grounds is just as important. Together with continual learning, the willingness to improve is what differentiates exceptional graphic designers from average ones.
Dealing with criticism in a productive way is closely related to this trait as well, since it suggests a unique capacity to acknowledge one’s own mistakes and grow from them. Constant evolvement should be the ultimate goal in everything we do, and graphic design is no exception.
Then again, the title of the best graphic designer in 2017 (or any other year, for that matter) cannot be earned without a dash of uniqueness. All of the enlisted traits are only the base for discovering a new artistic expression – the one that can make you noticed and recognizable amongst a myriad of others.