Most designers started their graphic design journey with random scribbling and sketching in class during subjects they are not interested in. To them at an early stage, graphic design is more of an expression of oneself in cartoons than anything related to business.
But as a profession, graphic designers utilize visual compositions to solve problems and import thoughts through typography, symbolism, shading, and structure. There are different types of designs in which each of them has its own specific set of skills and design techniques.
Graphic design communicates certain ideas, messages, and important information to the one looking at it. This visual can be as simple as a business brand identity or as complex as a page layout on a site. Graphic design takes graphical, textual elements and implements them into different types of media.
Companies also use graphic design to promote their products in the form of an advertisement, by designing websites to deliver their commercial messages or convey complicated information more interestingly through the use of infographics.
Graphic designers can also be seen as a communicator or a translator when they translate the ideas or message into a picture that allow people to better understand the message. For example, a business card can be made much more attention-grabbing and conversational when it is enhanced by images instead of all plain texts.
If an amateur wants to improve his graphic design skills from plain doodling, there are 5 effective ways that can help one scale up slowly to a more advanced level.
1: Start Sketching
Even professionally, sketching plays an important role in the design process. The extensiveness of how this process depends on the size and scope of the project, the individual designer’s style, and the customer desires.
Sketching is a phenomenal method to rapidly investigate ideas and one can sketch for a couple of hours to work out numerous potential answers for the design problem at hand. This an essential step in design, as it will save time to work on concepts on a paper before doing it on a computer. Ultimately, sketching on the paper is easier and faster than sketching on the computer.
Hence, honing your sketching skill before taking up a professional course will help one in becoming a more efficient graphic designer in the long run.
2: Keep your Design Simple
One of the most important factors in design is to keep it simple and clean and conveys the idea easily and smoothly to the recipient.
Next, set a clear and simple goal of your design. Ask yourself what is the one thing you want people to take note of when they are looking at the design. Try to use images to communicate instead of words, as that will push the boundaries of your work. Use minimal colour as, although colour can be an effective emotional stirring tool, too much of it will distract your audience from your main message.
The devils’ in the details too. Try focusing on the key elements of your product, pay attention to other finer details from a different perspective, and leave nothing to risk- immaculate design raises to fewer issues and more joyful customers.
3: Follow Prominent Designer’s or Design Agencies’ work
To be a good designer, having a keen interest in everything design is a must. Do you feel excited when you come across a good design? Do your eyes lit up when a great design idea was shown to you?
Following other designers will be a good start to learning from the best. It is also definitely a great way to pick up new design ideas. Not so much as to copy, but more to learn and think about how it can be improved in your mind, making your brain register all the best practices in the industry.
Learning about design trends from these prominent designers and creative agencies can also help you in your research and adopting them into your work.
Just look at the biggest names in the tech sector like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. It is all about learning from fellow peers in the industry and improving the work by bringing greater value to your end-users.
4: Always Ask for Feedback
You should be constantly asking for feedback and not be shy about it. Many designers cannot take criticism as they take too much pride in their work that they produce and that is bad.
Granted, design can sometimes be a matter of perspective but it never kills to hear from another person’s perspective when you are seeking to improve yourself. Some comments may even bring about a eureka moment which can lead you to greater things.
Hence, receiving feedback can be one of the most underrated parts for any design work, regardless of how experienced the designer is, to make sure that all blind spots are identified and that your work can be understood by anyone and not only yourself.
5: Attend a Design School
Getting yourself enrolled in a good design school is one of the fastest ways to start your journey into becoming a graphic designer. You will hop over all the potential missteps and get good advice from good trainers, especially if they are from the industry.
This is especially so when the school consistently takes part in design competitions, allowing the students to learn from the hits and misses through the participation of these competitions, locally or internationally.
MAD School has recently been named by Best in Singapore as one of the top private schools in Singapore providing design and advertising courses.