You can progress if you have your own style as a designer, but after a while, you become too familiar with your work. What do you need to do to get out of the mold and get yourself to the next level? Here are six practical steps you can take to help you improve your graphic design skills.
1. Design theory study
A proper understanding of the principles of the field, including concepts such as network theory, color theory, typography, and the golden ratio, is essential. For many designers, this is where formal design training comes into its own. Learn the profession as much as you can, and improve yourself in any way possible, such as enrolling in graphic courses.
2. Learn how to gain more feedback
As creatives, one of the most frustrating things we can do is be critical. But these criticisms are necessary for your progress, so openly accept them. Whether you are posting your designs on Dribbble, Behance, or Facebook, or just sharing them with a selected few friends or colleagues, it is important to choose your words carefully to maximize criticism (constructive). For example, instead of saying, ‘What do you think?’, it is better to ask certain questions. For example, “What part of the plan did you focus on first?”, in this way, people can critically critique your work. These constructive feedbacks help you to empathize and improve your critical skills in ways you can apply in your work.
3. Start an ancillary project
Doing the same thing over and over again in your 9 to 5 job can lead to outdated skills and diminished enthusiasm. So upgrade your skills as you start on new projects. Having new projects give an opportunity to learn new skills.
By experimenting with many new design ideas and applying them in practice, you will find out what works best and what you are good at. So instead of using the usual fonts, colors, layouts, or software, mix a few things together and try something new. Break the law and see what happens. Create your own design model. Use illustration, not photography. These tests help your creative mind process to improve your skills.
5. Chat with other designers
One of the best ways to grow as a designer is to work with many other designers. But sometimes this is difficult. Because you may be the only designer in a large company, a freelancer who works alone at home, or you may be employed in a two- or three-person studio.
But you can really use other methods. You can go to meetings, events, and conferences. Share on social media. Check forums. Discuss problems, challenges, and questions. Collaborate on a project.
6. Read Books
Even if you have a degree, you know that there are no boundaries to learning. Never give up. So the next time you take a long train ride, put your phone in silent mode and read a good graphic design book. It will definitely be a better use of your time than turning around on Twitter or looking at food photos on Instagram.