The role and qualities to become a successful graphic designer are undergoing a continuous change. This has been largely triggered by the evolving requirements of industry, clients and the technology. Things like design have fast-paced evolution and survival means continuous adaptations to emerging realities. There is no room for laggards. You either grow or you are outgrown.
There is no middle ground. Upskilling is the new rule. But that definitely does not mean that creativity and talent can be comprised. It is the age of combos and people look for the best combination of talent, creativity, and skills. As a designer, you need to constantly adapt to evolving digital experience and staying relevant. There has to sustained hunger for designer nourishment and fight for getting the maximum from this world.
Essential Skills and Qualities of a Designer
- Typography: Every practising graphic designer has to have an elementary knowledge of typography which needs to be sharpened further if you plan to go up the ladder. The coming time is calling for the need to learn digital typography, in addition, to print if one has to survive the competition let along grow. The introduction of variable fonts has changed the rules of the ballgame. They have enabled enriching typographical experiences without the need to sacrifice loading speed and performance. As a designer, you will have more room to play and display your skills.
- Image Editing: There is an apparent shift in focus towards adoption of images and videos over plain text. The age is defined by Snapchat and Instagram where lives are defined by a fair-play of image editing. Such strong trends cannot be ignored by successful graphic designers. These have in fact led to the creation of a compelling need that all images need a clean-up which may range from minor technical glitches to cropping images to make them meet requirements of different social search engines. It is always to develop and work on such skills during the job as you get a lot of hands-on experience. The knowledge of such skills is never fully complete especially the dense functionality of photoshop which has always something new to offer. There are many tutorials available which will brush your skills reasonably.
- UX Design: The design industry is increasingly tilting towards getting digital which has changed the requirements of smooth user experience. Designers who can work on products with which the users generally interact with are often more in demand. There is an increased demand for user interface design skills which make enhances the usability of many new age products. This lends a new angle to the role of the designer as you need to enhance the enjoyability quotient of the product and not just visual appeal. Although UX design is a different game altogether graphic designers who have a knack for other technologies end up being better placed in their roles. Communication becomes easier which has a profound effect on the end-product.
- Coding: Yes! You heard it right. As a graphic designer, nobody expects you to get into hardcore coding. However, a good understanding of the coding process aids in collaboration with both the developers and programmers. Knowledge of some level of coding helps the designers to generate more authentic and workable ideas. It also opens many new possibilities of design complexity which had been impossible hitherto. This forms an essential entry in the designer checklist of almost all the famous designers.
- AI/VR/AR: The advent of new technologies like Artificial Technology, Virtual and Augmented Reality has led to an increase in the need to increasingly adapt them as they hold great relevance for the future. Designers have to shape products which give a seamless experience to users across different platforms and technologies. The idea is to have ample awareness about the latest technical buzz so you are not awe-struck looking at the massive shifts happening. All these will eventually have an impact on design scape going forward in the future. Despite the above dynamic, you need to remember that storytelling and creativity have no alternative in design and they will continue to intrigue human imagination.
Apart from the above, there are some basic traits which underline this role like creativity, excellent presentation skills and the ability to translate the thoughts into words which strike a chord with the listener. Team-work and acceptance to criticism are also essential as this is not an isolated job but lies in the middle of the product development process so you will be required to refer and explain backwards and forwards. Develop a strategic approach to problems and should enjoy every bit of the day spent working.
These simple add-ons with the basic skill-set will set you rolling and open new avenues of growth. Keep your spirits high as creativity thrives in happy minds.