Being a good creative designer is not as difficult as some (hot-headed, I-know-it-all designers) pictured it to be. All it takes is hard work, perseverance, creativity, patience and all of those other qualities people associate with being a phenomenal creative designer. Here are some suggestions that you may find useful (or otherwise) based on personal experiences. There are two parts to this post and Part 1 will focus on eight tips while another eight will be highlighted in Part 2.
1. Be aware of the latest trends. Ignorance is not bliss.
Not only on trends appearing in the design world but everything else as well such as the design aesthetics in technology, fashion and architecture, just to name a few. Being conscious of the latest trends will definitely help you in knowing what actually works and what your potential customers want. Design is ingrained in practically everything, so do not take this for granted.
2. 24 hours is not enough? That is why time management is important…
You must be able to juggle a number of design projects effectively without affecting the quality of your work. Being a good creative designer is not only about churning quality designs but also following deadlines. For instance, if you postpone a project, it will affect the entire design cycle process, hence a longer turnaround time for clients. It is well-known in the advertising industry that designers need to work round the clock all day (even on weekends!). This is merely an urban legend as if you can manage your time properly and efficiently, you will not have to burn the midnight oil in completing your designs.
3. An emotional designer is a banal designer.
In times of stress or whatever the reason that affects your mood, do not in any way let your emotions get the better of you. You need to control your emotions as it can affect your designs. Reign in those feelings and try to focus on being a professional designer at the work place. I know it is easier said than done but hey, a little hard work goes a long way in becoming a good creative designer.
4. Breaking conformity is beneficial… but not all the time.
A good creative designer always think outside the box when designing but he or she needs to follow some rules as well particularly at the work place. In terms of business relationships, it is best that a designer play by the rules instead of being a rebel. You do not want to be the designer that is hard to work with. Listen to your clients or superiors and respect their comments, opinions or decisions in order to achieve a healthy professional relationship.
5. Ideas, ideas and more ideas.
To be a good creative designer, one has to be able to provide ideas and suggestions that can improve a design or how a business is carried out. Regular inputs will not only put you in a better place, career-wise but you will also get to learn the effective ways to generate new ideas. It is a good way to let your superiors know that you are a team player who is willing to contribute for the betterment of the company and also improve the quality of your designs.
6. Knowing something and being able to perform something are two entirely different things.
If you aspire to be a good creative designer, you need to be equipped with the relevant technical skills used in designing. Knowledge on how to use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and other industry standard should be at the tips of your fingertips. You need to be able to manipulate and utilize the software according to your vision and not simply use the software as it is without any creative input. You do not want to be called a Desktop Publishing Artist – an individual who only makes changes or enhancements to a design following what the client says verbatim without any form of creative contribution whatsoever.
Basic designing skills such as sketching a logo design with a pencil is a definite must as well. You need to be able to pen your thoughts on paper before embarking on digitalizing it on your computer. However, it should be noted that simply knowing the functions or shortcut keys of a particular designing software is not enough in being termed as a good creative designer.
7. Turning an idea into reality.
Conceptualization is vital in churning out a good design. You need to be able to conceptualize an idea or a suggestion posed by your client in order to become a good creative designer. Allow your ideas to flow freely and do not confine yourself to follow a rigid thought process. A million dollar design is not entirely dependent on the type of software you use but how you use them to realize your vision which is why conceptualization is essential.
8. Owning a Mac does not make one a creative designer.