4 Skills that Will Turn New Designers Into Pros
You’ve scored your first design gig? Awesome, congratulations! Let us be the first to welcome you to the world of professional design! It’s an exciting, creative, rapidly-evolving place– and to perfectly honest, it can be a little bit intimidating at first.
Don’t worry. In this article, we’ll cover some basic tips, tricks, and tools that will help you fit right in with industry pros. This crash course in conducting yourself like a bona fide design professional includes:
● The right way (and the wrong way!) to deliver files to a client
● The importance of confidence
● How (and why) to build an online portfolio
● Staying current
1. Make sure you use the right platform to share large files.
Whether you’re designing flyers for a dog groomer, website banners for a fashion brand, creating logos for a new restaurant, or something else entirely, one thing is for certain– your client is going to want a high-resolution deliverable, which means you are going to be working with some pretty large files.
Don’t make the rookie mistake of sending your finished product via email– email compresses your images to make them easier to send, which means your client will not be getting the beautiful, high-res image you’re seeing on your end.
Instead, choose an online file sharing platform that allows you to send large files to your clients with ease. Platforms like Dropbox are an inexpensive way to deliver designs to your clients, and they also save you from the embarrassment of having to sort out resolution issues with your client.
2. You’re the design expert, so act like it!
Your client has chosen you above all of the other designers out there because they like what you do. Whether they were referred by another business or you wow-ed them with your online portfolio or website, they chose you for a reason.
As you spend more time working with clients, you’ll find out that they usually have a pretty strong idea of what they want. However, very few clients have a thorough understanding of what they need. It’s important to spend time working with your client to figure out what your designs actually need to accomplish.
They might push back as you try to guide them towards a finished product that will serve them best– but remember, you’re a design expert! You don’t have to give in immediately to what they think they want– don’t be afraid to have a conversation.
3. Building a website or online portfolio is the best thing you can do for yourself as a designer.
You’ve heard it forever: first impressions matter. When it comes to your designs, this is particularly true. You are advertising your ability to create beautiful, creative designs that effectively communicate something to their audience– so your online presence should convey that!
You don’t have to be an HTML wizard to create an effective website or online portfolio. Platforms like Webflow, Weebly, and Squarespace take the emphasis away from the technical side of things by providing a variety of templates and customization options, allowing you to focus on what you do best– the overall design.
If you’re a little bit better established and have a little bit more spending money, you might even consider hiring a professional to build a custom website or portfolio for you.
4. The best designers stay curious.
Who do you think is better at solving problems: kids or adults? Adults have more experience to lean on, which can be helpful in some situations, but overall, children are much better at creative problem solving than their older and wiser counterparts.
Why is that? Children live in a world full of potential and possibility. There are plenty of things they don’t yet know or fully understand, and their default way of filling in those knowledge gaps is through experimentation and imagination. This allows them to think outside of the box in a way that many adults struggle to do.
In order to keep your creative edge, stay curious! Don’t be afraid to look at design from new perspectives. Stay up-to-date on the latest thinking in the field of design. Try out new methodologies. Tweak them to fit your needs. Get rid of them if they don’t work for you.
Whatever you do, never stop experimenting!
Obviously, there are plenty of other things to learn about the field of design, but a lot of that will come with time and experience. These 4 skills will help you avoid embarrassing (although very common) rookie mistakes and continue to grow as a designer.
Any other burning questions? Let us know in the comments section below, and get to know the awesome community of creatives on Digital Synopsis.
This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.