Q & A Time!

What is the role of a graphic designer?

My interpretation of a graphic designer is someone who is visual communicator. They are responsible for creating designs that have a visual impact.

They’re creators; they give brand identities to clients. They create the visual cue that is what the public then remember and link to that company. They turn clients’ ideas into reality and a form of promotion for their clients.

We colour the world”

What skills do graphic designers need? 

After a little research there are basically four main sections that i feel are important to a graphic designer.

Don’t be fooled they’re are many skills that are required by a graphic designer but i feel that if you can master a select few and be confident at these toy will find others will come with practice and experience. This is only my opinion others may question my thoughts.

so in no real particular order the skills that a graphic designer needs are as follows:

Talent

You must have the ability to exercise good judgment to manipulate the formal elements of visual design.

such as, contrast, scale, colour, pacing, typography.

and collaborate them in a visually interesting and logical way that grabs the attention of the selected audience.

Using anyone of these elements should be done with great consideration and care as if used in the wrong applications could have either a massive negative or positive impact. remember the saying “Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans check out this book as it shows you some great tips.

Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 14.52.39
Importance of usage of your tools

This shows you a quick example as to why the use of the elements are very important. on the left the use of colour and type face makes the solicitors look untrustworthy, less professional, a bit comical.

on the right buy just changing simple elements of colour and type face has a massive and effective impact.

the company already looks professional, trustworthy, warming and welcoming and instills confidence in their clients.

Technical skills

Should include being able to confidently use appropriate software that enables you to design. Also the ability to produce hand rendered sketches, mock ups, present idea development effectively and clearly present and pitch ideas to clients.

People Skills

It is a must that you’re able to communicate verbally in a confident manner but also have better listening skills. Graphic design is a collaborative industry. You’re approached by a client who will give you a brief. You have to be able to listen, understand, interpret their ideas and turn that into a design that fulfils their brief.

When pitching and presenting ideas to clients its important to make them feel they are in comfortable / confident and capable hands. Their business’s are like your portfolio its their baby. you need to be able to speak to all walks of life. From the average self employed trades man to the worldwide corporate business man. Being able to change your mannerisms and personality to adapt to your client is one of the best customer facing skills you could ever develop it could mean sealing the deal or sealing the envelope of your new CV. I’ve learnt this from my many different job roles as a customer service agent for many different companies from general retail roles, specialist areas and corporate account management roles. People skills are not only face to face, but can be over the phone so a good telephone manor is appropriate.

Business Skills

Are essential. Being up to date with trends, there’s a requirement to learn your clients’ trade really quickly. You need to be able to put yourself into your clients’ shoes and understand their business in order to create effective design that reach the right target audience. You need to be able to work within a budget. You need to understand your clients’ market and any issues that they may come across, including competition. You need to be able to help them stand out.

which skills do I have already?

Ok so this is still early days in the world of me being a “graphic designer”. 

So I’m gonna try and stay away from what potentially could be the obvious answers to this question

Photoshop / illustrator / drawing skills etc etc,

So looking over the previous  years of being around I’d like to think I’ve gained a skill set that could be useful in the industry.

I would say the list goes a bit like this

  • Great listening skills. (I feel this is important)
  • Team player
  • Simply thinking
  • Finance (working with in restrictions and budgets)
  • Management skills ( another great skill to have which covers time, organisation)
  • Basic IT skills
  • Networking skills ( being able to talk and bring people together is a great asset).
  • Manipulation (in a good sense)
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Multitasker
  • The ability to think outside the box.

Not sure if it counts as a skill or maybe an attribute, but the hunger and motivation to learn more and develop more skills to make me the best i can be is a “skill” i’ve learnt from several years of negativity as a teen.

What job opportunities exist?

In the world of graphic design there are numerous job opportunities. There’s a wide range of jobs running from directors of graphic design companies to package designers. The list includes:

  • Creative director
  • Art director
  • Art production manager
  • Brand identity developer
  • Broadcast designers
  • Logo designer
  • Illustrator
  • Visual Image developer
  • Multimedia developer
  • Content developer
  • Visual journalist
  • layout artist
  • Interface designer
  • Web designer
  • Package designer

A lot of these are interlinked. Throughout your creative career, the chances are you would be asked to do most of these things.

Who do you think are the top five graphic companies in the UK and why?

From my understanding it can vary from agencies, individuals (freelance and larger design agencies. If you were looking at who are the most popular, the most successful, who has won the most awards etc I couldn’t give an accurate answer at this moment, as i wouldn’t be comfortable to make judgement.

How ever whilst doing the obvious thing by looking at graphic design companies “google” i’ve found some interesting websites that give a broad spectrum on their top 50 in the uk.

Starting with this site in no particular order.

  1. http://www.design-intellect.co.uk/top_50_design_agencies_list.html
  2. http://www.creativebloq.com/studio/uks-top-50-studios-revealed-101413115
  3. http://www.designyourway.net/drb/the-best-and-most-creative-design-agencies-in-uk/

With these findings i can happily exercise the right to pass my thoughts on the UKs leading design companies as and when i gain more experience.

Which ways can you use interactive self-promotion in obtaining job opportunities?

As a 21st century digital “artist/communicator” designer its incredibly hard to get noticed, very much like an actor / actress being noticed in the show business, maybe even harder.

As time goes on more and more people become more familiar in the digital world, The web produces easier ways for joe public and business’s to create and manage websites, produce advertising material and personalised stationary.

However there are still ways you can self promote, that can put you in the lead of these competitors, and set you a far distance apart. But it does mean you’ll need to manage it as if its your baby.

Online

For someone starting out there are many ways you can self promote in an easy and manageable way. Even taking full advantage of the services i mentioned before.

Social media.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
  • Youtube

Image Sharing and Portfolio.

  • Behance
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Designspiration.net
  • Flickr
  • 500px
  • Dribble

Another easy way is to create your own website. In this day and age with all the ways you can obtain and manage one at a very low cost there simply no excuse not to have one. It enables graphic designers to showcase their work on an exclusive way with clients.

As your skills develop so will you ability to increase and look at other ways to do this with in the web developments, and less restrictions will be in place with websites.

Offline

Going away from the digital and going back a few years yet still just as important or if not more important. Is the traditional Hard copys of;

  • Cv
  • Physical Portfolio (try having different work as apposed to your website
  • Business cards and stationary
  • advertising media, posters / clothing and most important you physical brand your identity.
  • Communication. as you grow you cliental, they will become one of your most important way of self promotion. People talk!!

Networking events

Most cities will have a number of networking clubs that you can join very easily, once you establish a ground with these associations they can potentially have a massive impact on your awareness in the business world, remember every business needs you! here are a few i’ve found.

These can be a very effective offline way of promoting yourself. Some of these clubs can have a large number of members and will usually only 1 type of business so already you wont hit a brick wall of competitors, soul exclusivity is their key. Which means you could potentially create a decent size customer base within only a meeting or two. This is why your presence online and offline is equally important.

What other skills do you need to acquire? and what steps will you take to obtain them?

where can you possibly start to answer a question like this? the only way i can answer this is i want to to be able to increase my skill set i already have and be the best i can be in that field. Also i want to be able to explore the industry and develop skills as and when i approach them.

  • 3d printing
  • Milling machines
  • Welding
  • Wood shop skills
  • and the most import skills are printing on various materials

I guess the only way to achieve these and develop my current ones is EXPERIMENTS all but become  Design Scientist.

and of course where the white lab coat and and name tag for extra feel.

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