Any graphic designer worth their salt is always striving to improve their skills. Graphic design, like other careers, can always be improved upon. However, the techniques, technology, and methods in graphic design are ever-changing. As a graphic designer, you can stagnate easily, particularly if you are known for a specific niche or style that you are good at.
You can create an identifiable style, and your portfolio starts to appear all the same. If that's the style clients want, then it's fine. Since the trends always change, the risk is that the demand will drop at some point. That will leave you with a portfolio that only showcases a variety of work to lure new customers. Here are a few ways you can improve your skills to ensure you stay in the game:
Study Design Fundamentals and Practice Frequently
Understand design basics, such as color theory, typography, composition, visual hierarchy, and layout. Taking an online course to learn these fundamentals is important as it will help in improving your design skills. Like other skills, your graphic design skills will improve with continuous practice. Allocate enough time to work on a design project, try new methods, and hone your skills.
Take Online Courses and Read Design Materials
Institutions like American International College offer numerous online platforms where you can get helpful graphic courses taught by experts. Websites such as Udemy, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare provide various online courses for every skill level. Additionally, there are many reading materials on design theory, methods, and inspirations. A good example is the books by Steve Krug(Don't Make Me Thick) and Robin Williams( The Non-Designer Book).
Create a Profile and Redesign an Existing Project
A well-arranged portfolio displays your style and skills to prospective customers or employers. Then, pick and redesign a project that you think can be improved. This will help you practice and learn problem-solving methods effectively. It's one of the best ways to improve your skills.
Network With Other Graphic Designers
One of the effective ways to grow as a designer is to network with many designers. There are numerous ways to go out and interact with other professionals. Go to events, conferences, and meetups. You can also interact with people on social media, and check out various online forums to make new friends. Then, discuss design, talk about challenges, and problems and ask questions. Collaborate on a design project, contact the designer you like, and request them to be your mentor. You can start a podcast where you interview the pros in the graphic design field.
Evaluate Successful Designs
Study well-designed projects such as websites, ads, and other visual materials. Evaluate why they work well and how they utilize design principles effectively. That will assist you in developing a critical eye for graphic design.
All these are the best start to honing your graphic skills. However, don't forget that the learning process is fun. Take a graphic design course and improve your skills in a short time.