Those who become successful graphic designers usually have a unique blend of talents. They are intelligent people who are knowledgeable in a wide range of areas, comfortable creating designs that blend images with words and media to produce visually simulating concepts. Graphic designers are able to work alone and interact with clients and other professionals. They are familiar with the latest technology and able to incorporate it into their work for fresh ideas, while simultaneously marketing themselves, their work, and their talents.
… if you think creatively and logically.
Most people go into professions that use one side of their brain or the other. Accountants, for example, use the left side of their brains for logical, analytical thinking. Artists and actors tend to use the right side of their brains, stimulating creativity and intuition. Graphic designers tend to use both side of their brains to concoct inventive yet rational creations. They acquire and use knowledge to create fresh designs and to work within the boundaries of software applications. Graphic designers see how a project may look visually through each stage of the design process, but they are able to think through the progression in a logical manner as well. They can make critical decisions that influence a design and they can understand how those decisions may affect the later stages of the design process. Graphic designers are able to utilize their time most effectively through their organizational skills. Many times, they are involved in multiple projects at once, so they have to work under deadlines and within budgetary restrictions.
… if you like learning new technology.
Graphic design may still involve a few sketches on a sheet of paper, but the development of technology over the last several decades has revolutionized the graphic design industry. Design layouts are created on computers so it is imperative for graphic designers to be able to use software in their expertise. They also must be able to adapt to new software as technology advances. This may require learning on the job. Graphic designers are able to use their creativity and logic to figure out how software works and how it can be used effectively in their current projects. In addition to the technological expertise, graphic designers have a wide knowledge across types of multimedia. They work with animation, photography, and Internet applications. As technology in these areas develops, a graphic designer must adapt to those mediums as well.
… if you have an artistic side.
While critical thinking and logic are important to the graphic design field, designers are above all artists. Color, composition, and lines all convalesce into original designs. Just as artists use images and symbols to convey meaning, graphic designers utilize those principles as well as audiovisual components to convey meaning. They are able to express clear messages through their work in an informational, yet entertaining way. So even though a customer may only see a brochure or a logo, there are inherent artistic qualities to the project that were created by a graphic designer.
… if you have business sense.
Business is also a critical aspect to graphic design. Graphic designers must take on the roles of sales and management teams now and then. As marketers, they must be able to sell their idea for a design to clients or other professionals. As managers, they must work within the confines of a budget as well as recognize the legal ramifications of borrowing from other ideas. Often, graphic designs run their own businesses. Graphic designers such as these are involved in every stage of the process, from the packaging of an idea, to the presentation of it, to selling it to the client.
… if you enjoy working with other people.
It is not as though a graphic designer simply sits at a computer all day. Actually, graphic designers are constantly in need of strong interpersonal skills. They must be able to collaborate with other professionals and work well with their managers to ensure that the business end of a deal is being met. They must be able to work well with their clients, which is a vital aspect of their jobs. They must be able to accurately represent the company as well as produce an idea that appeals to people outside of the company. They must be able to guide the people who are working underneath them, such as new designers.
Graphic designers are communicators. Whether they are communicating a message visually, verbally, or in written form, they must be able to converse and listen well. Pigheadedness will not get you very far in the graphic design field. Graphic designers must be willing to redesign. If the customer is unsatisfied with the work, then it doesn’t really matter how good of a design was made. Flexibility is required for dealing with clients.
Many of these skills can be acquired through career training at a technical school. Communication, organization, and technological skills can be developed through courses toward a certificate. Graphic design combines the best aspects of art and logic into a lucrative career.