What young designers need to know?
Young designers share many concerns, have many questions, and are striving to be successful in the professional world. Most young designers only have a resume and a portfolio of student projects to get their feet in the door. What can we do to be successful and not lose ourselves in the process, with so many competitive designers around the globe?
The answers to some of these questions are easy and not hard to follow through if the young designers want to succeed in their professions.
You want to be the professional communicators, carefully edit your resume, social media, emails, letters, and everything that you publish. Act like the professional you want to be because most clients and employers don’t appreciate text shortenings, so don’t use it.
Be nice to people you work with even if they may not be the easiest co-worker to deal with because people nowadays tend to jump from multiple jobs often and you may one day have a better opportunity at another job. By maintaining relationships with employers and workers, you are developing a good working history, which will make your hiring easy for your new employer.
Be confident with yourself as the professional you want to be. Make it a good habit to develop a personal approach to your creative work and stick to one particular personal style. You want your work to be well known so that you can be hired for exactly that. Never make your commissioned work about you but you can certainly reveal your hand as the designer. Finally, never be afraid to tell your story through your personal designs because if you don’t do it no one else will.
Define your audience: who you are speaking to and what is the objective? Answer both of these questions for a project you want to start on because graphic design is a plan that visually articulates the message. You have to make sure that the message and its intended viewer are sorted out before you start designing. You have to communicate with a purpose. Learn to say “no” to some clients or projects and you will see that by doing so it will be some of your best design business decision. It usually takes a few disasters to gain the experience to know when to walk away from a client or a project. Don’t forget to make a relationship not just with your clients but also with people you work with.
Build a network of friends, co-workers, and mentors to give you feedback on your designs. Learn to accept criticism about your design work because it is the effective way to grow as a visual communicator. Don’t be afraid of typography, learn the history of typefaces, and share with your clients the particular typefaces you have chosen for their projects.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Force yourself to take chances with use of different techniques or medium with text and images, to create different work from what you are used to, and save the best of that work as a reminder to think differently. Always keep a small notebook with you because ideas come in the strangest times and make sure to record them in the spot so you can use them later when you need them.
Finally, get involved in teaching and mentoring young designers or students who may be interested in design as a career path. Volunteer some of your time by participating in reviews of student portfolios and share your knowledge and expertise with other designers; it doesn’t require developing a curriculum to get involved.