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This is a headshot of Sean Sanderson.

 

Recently, a friend’s sister has started her schooling to become a graphic designer. One month in and she has noticed that there are some really talented designers in her program. She has come to me to give her some pointers in the area of Design, which I have decided to share with you. Below is a list of the most obvious ones:

 

Practice
Practice as much as you can (even in between projects).  No one, regardless of how much talent they have, is going to be a pro at something as soon as they start. As the old saying goes, Practice makes perfect. Design takes years of practice to recognize what is quality and what is not. I cringe now when I have to look back on old projects.

 

Know your Tools
Master Photoshop or whatever design tool you use and start doing all the tutorials that you can. Alter these tutorials and make them your own.

 

Follow
Become a follower. Look at the works of the designers that inspire you. If you see something you like, study it and ask yourself: “Why is it that this jumps out to me?”

 

Visualize
Always be looking at your surroundings through the eyes of a designer. Maybe you’re waiting for a bus and there is a sign in the shelter. What size is it, what colours have been used, do you like it, and does it work for that company? This also comes with a warning as it cannot be turned off.

 

Criticism
Don’t be afraid of this. One of the hardest things is to have your work picked to pieces. Don’t be led by your emotions. Find out what went wrong and fix it.

 

Patience
A design might not always go the way you like. Quality and quantity of design will increase over time, but not right now. Focus on what you learn and have patience to know that one day you will be better.

 

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