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Graphic design is a highly competitive, but also engaging and rewarding career. Graphic design offers a lot of career flexibility and upward mobility, depending on the types of clients and projects you take on.
If you work on a design team you may have more responsibility and need to answer to different people, but you’ll have a dependable income. As a freelancer, on the other hand, you’ll be able to take only the projects that really interest you, and have a lot more flexibility in your work hours (and what you’ll charge for your work).
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to graphic design as a career, but it’s also important to note that there are several key personality traits you’ll need to have to really excel in the graphic design field.
Graphic designing often involves collaboration with others, whether it’s with your team or with a client. Even a freelance graphic designer working alone needs to have a team player mentality.
It helps to put yourself behind the message of the brand’s design you’re working on and realizing that your efforts contribute to your team and client’s success. Parachute Design – Toronto notes that a great amount of teamwork and deliberation is necessary between the design team and the client to arrive at a final design.
It’s easy to fall into formulaic graphic design, especially as trends peak and it begins to feel like you’re doing the same minimalist logos over and over again. But the best graphic designers don’t simply copy what is currently popular and follow trends, the best graphic designers are the trendsetters. Don’t be afraid to let your personal creativity shine.Graphic design is a highly competitive, but also engaging and rewarding career. Graphic design offers a lot of career flexibility and upward mobility, depending on the types of clients and projects you take on.Click To Tweet
Consistency isn’t only about delivering consistent results that satisfy clients, it’s about work ethic as well. Adhering to deadlines, following up on emails. Consistency is equally as much about being reliable as it is about design, for building your reputation as a go-to graphic designer.
This is where being consistent in having effective time management is important. If you procrastinate on a job until the deadline is near, you may feel a “burst” of creativity as you go into panic mode, but you may also deliver rushed results. And if you hop on a project too fast, you may spend several days tweaking it to perfection, ignoring other job opportunities you could also be taking.
Active listening skills are important so you can really interpret what a client is asking for. A client may visualize exactly what they want in their head but have trouble expressing the visual into words. A good graphic designer will be able to listen to the client’s needs even if the client has trouble describing their exact vision. You should also be able to handle constructive criticism.
This goes along with being an active listener because you need to be able to ask questions and get feedback on what a client likes or doesn’t like about a design you present them with. It helps to be able to explain why you chose a certain font or went with x amount of negative-spacing.
Being able to confidently and clearly relay your thought and design process will help your client understand the brilliance of your creativity, and make it less likely for them to nitpick or second-guess your work.
Patience is of course a virtue, and you’ll need plenty of it in a graphic design career. Some clients can be really difficult to satisfy, especially “backseat designers”. There are humorous stories from graphic designers who had clients saying a logo just didn’t “feel right”, and the designer would literally change 1 pixel or RGB value and the client was satisfied.
Patience is key to dealing with difficult clients, such as wading through conflicting client directions or receiving vague feedback after waiting a couple of days for a response. Being patient with yourself is also important and acknowledging that you can’t be a creative genius all the time.