Crucial Design Skills You Won't Be Taught In College

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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Looking to make a career in graphic design? Great!

Joined a design college to learn basic design skills and graduate with a degree? Amazing!

Design colleges are great for learning the theoretical aspects of graphic designing and understand the fundamentals of the subject. However, when you compare it with real-life challenges, there’s a lot to cover; and that is not taught to you in any college.

As a professional design agency, GraphicsZoo understands what it takes to not just survive but, succeed in the field of graphic design; in the real world. 

With over 1700 clients served with more than 16000 designs (so far), we understand what all a candidate must understand in order to have a successful career in graphic design.

So, today, we bring you a list of some very crucial design skills which you must have a stronghold on, that will not be taught in college. 

Whether you are still in college, about to graduate, or have graduated but still struggling to make a mark in this field, these lessons are important for each one of you.

How to handle clients

graphic design skills

This is, possibly, the first and foremost skill that you will have to catch up with as a professional graphic designer.

Whether you are a part of an agency or running things solo as a freelancer, you’d be interacting with your clients on a regular basis. And, therefore, it becomes very important for you to understand the critical nature of client handling.

·How to get in front of them?

·How to get them interested in you and your ideas?

·How to present and sell your ideas?

·How to service clients and build those relationships?

·How to handle criticism?

The list is endless. Good luck learning that in your college!

You may have the knowledge and skills to create good designs but, it’s of no use if you can't get them in front of those clients.

Here’s a detailed blog we published onhow to improve communication with clients. Do check it out!

How to promote your work

graphic design skills

To get noticed for your design skills and creative efficiency, you need to promote your work in the first place.

Unless it is out there on the platforms where your potential clients can see it, how do you expect to get hired for projects?

Therefore, it is important that you learn to market yourself and your work through a well-designed portfolio. No college would teach you this for sure!

And, in today’s world, it is not that difficult also to market your designs and share it with the concerned target group. There are several platforms that you can use to execute this task such as, Behance, Dribble, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

You can even create your own website and share its content on several different social media platforms to make a name for yourself.

Another very successful way to promote your work is through networking. Dive into some group networking; talk to people.

The more you do it, the easier it’ll get and that next interview won’t seem so daunting.

Once you’re in that design agency or you’ve got some freelance clients, make sure you do a good job and build great relationships with your colleagues and clients.

Here’s a detailed article we created onhow to make a winning design portfolio. Check it out!

How to stay updated with trends

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With the increase in demand for skilled graphic designers in almost every industry, the opportunities have become aplenty. However, this has also increased the competition in the market; pushing candidates to be the best in the field.

You need to understand that in college, they may teach you the design trends and software that are or were in use. But, the rapidly updating technology is transforming the way we execute our work; even graphic designing. And, that is something which you’ll have to keep up with by yourself.

What's new today is old tomorrow, and you have to learn that on your own or get left behind. 

How to cope with the real world

graphic design skills

The level of passion and extent of vision for an exuberant career is at its all-time high when we are in college.

True! We all wish for that dream kick-start for our career once we are out of college and into the real world. And, that’s where reality kicks in.

Not to demoralize or scare you off with this statement but, that’s the reality of working in the real world scenario.  

When you are in college, you have to luxury of taking your time to create designs. However, that’s not the case in the real world. Your client (or boss) would be breathing down your neck with tons of deadlines. You’ll have to be on your toes and buckle up to pace up your work without compromising with the quality; all the time.       

Additionally, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that just because you scored an A+ in college, it doesn’t give you any additional edge in the office. You’ll still have to be humble and keep working hard to prove your worth.

A workplace needs people who are easy to work with, to collaborate and bounce ideas back and forth with.

How to find your individual style

graphic design skills

Graphic design, indeed, is one of the most in-demand job profiles today. From corporate branding and promotional items to web design and print production, there is always an element of graphic design in virtually every business aspect.

So, it is pretty clear that this creative art is increasingly becoming an indispensable factor in the success of today’s businesses.

But, this popularity has, in fact, increased the competition in the market for budding creative artists looking to make a career in graphic design.

In order to have a successful career in graphic design, you need to develop your niche in designing and become an expert in it.

When you are in college, they teach the same design skills and methods to the entire batch in the class. What you know is something that many others from your class also know.

When you leave school, never stop learning and waste zero time making things you don't want to be known for.

To conclude…

There’s no doubt about the fact that higher education is valuable. However, it doesn’t teach you everything; and it isn’t for everyone.

Simply relying on what is taught to you in school will not help you develop the design skills that can help you build a growing career.

You need to be a creative thinker, stay up to date with current trends and processes, and keep learning. But, most importantly, never stop believing in your skills.