3 Things I Learned that Helped Me be a Better Graphic Designer

In my four semesters of Graphic Design classes, there have been plenty of times I have found myself overwhelmed with too many ideas and frustrated with a lack of ideas. With the help of my professors and my peers, I conquered these obstacles to make myself a better designer. I would like to pass on some of the realities I have learned through being a graphic designer.

1. Your first idea isn’t always your best idea.

There have been plenty of times where I think that I completely nailed something on the first try, but in reality the only thing I achieved was limiting myself to one option. What saved me from this was creating thumbnails. Yes, it’s tedious, but it really does open your mine. Sometimes your first idea really is your best one, or it could be your 47th or your 64th. You don’t really know until you try. I learned not to be afraid of making multiple versions of the same idea too, because making having your type above your logo is more successful than having it underneath. You never know until you try.

2. Find inspiration pieces.

We all can’t beautifully imagine everything straight from our head no matter how hard we try. I found that looking for pieces that have the same look or overall feel you are going for makes designing so much easier. While you’re not exactly copying the piece, you can find out what in particular makes it relate to your own design. Is it the typeface, the color palette, the layout, the illustration style? Looking at a few pieces that really gets your gears going will propel you into a better design result.

3. Get feedback as much as possible.

Having your peers and your professors break apart your work down to every little detail is really scary at times, but it helps. A lot. At first, I only wanted to hear positive things, but I learned that only getting positive feedback isn’t going to make your work go anywhere. Criticism is going to make you find a way to defend your decisions or make you change them to fit better with what you are trying to communicate. Feedback doesn’t always have to come from your peers or professors either, asking anyone to see if someone be changed or edited to make it into a better design is important. Without the feedback I have gotten on my designs, I wouldn’t have been able to turn my thumbnails into comps or my rough comps into comps or my comps into a finalized version. There is always tweaking to be done if you really think about it, and the more feedback you get helps create the design that will communicate what you need to say.

Emma Farrel
BASA Fall 2017 Graduate
University of Nebraska at Omaha

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