What makes a good graphic designer? Besides simple practice, there are personal attributes and general aesthetic principals that one can ascribe to in order to improve their graphic design abilities.
Never Stop Learning
You’ll never be so good that you’ll never learn something new. Be a sponge, take notes and try new things. Being open to new ways of doing things is important.
Handle Criticism Like an Adult
Getting critiques is an inescapable part of making art, so it’s important that you can handle criticism graciously. You should also be able to give other artists criticism without being rude. That being said, the ability to sift through criticism and separate out the useful advice is an important skill.
Always Look for Inspiration
For graphic designers, it’s important to keep an eye out for work that inspires you, as it can kickstart your creative process and help you with whatever you’re working on. You can even keep a collection of inspirational art for when you need an extra spark of creativity.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
A hallmark of a good professional designer is being able to learn and explore new techniques. It’ll be difficult to develop as an artist if you are unwilling to try and push past your boundaries. There’s a massive amount of artistic knowledge out there on the internet, don’t hesitate to utilize it.
Be an Artistic Chameleon
While it’s important for a graphic designer to have a unique personal style, it’s equally important for the designer to be able to adapt their style to better suit the needs of the client. It’s critical that whatever you’re designing is optimized to best suit the client’s message. Don’t get stuck in one style, be flexible.
As a professional graphic designer, you’ll need to be able to work well with others. You’ll have to collaborate with the client, and possibly other graphic designers. Being a team player is important, you’ll need to be flexible and polite/
Many unscrupulous graphic designers will steal other’s artwork because they think it’s convenient. Don’t be one of them, stealing artwork is both creatively lazy and morally reprehensible. It could also land you or your client in legal trouble.
Design on the Side
Creativity never stops, like a muscle it’s important to flex your artistic skills on your own time. Experimenting with graphic design on the side could even lead you to find new techniques to use in your professional life.
The Elements of Design
The elements of design are the fundamental building blocks of graphic design. It’s important for a designer to have a good grasp of how to combine these elements for their designs.
Lines: Lines can serve a multitude of purposes, like emphasizing a word, connecting elements, and creating patterns.
Colors: Colors can unify branding, generate emotions, create visual interest, and define importance.
Textures: Texture refers to an object’s surface, it can add depth and visual interest. Patterns and physical materials create textures.
Size: Size can create contrast, convey importance, and attract attention.
Shapes: Shapes can create an eye-catching and visually pleasing design. There are three primary types of shapes: Geometric shapes, such as circles, squares, and triangles. Natural shapes, which refers to shapes found in the natural world, like leaves or people. And lastly, abstract shapes, like icons, graphic representations, and stylizations.
Space: Space refers to the area around the other elements of graphic design. Space can group or separate information. It can also create depth, emphasis, and contrast.
Value: Value is the amount of light or darkness in a piece. It can be used to add emphasis, depth, and contrast.