There are good designers, there are bad designers, and then there are the select few whose work is so incredibly amazing you want to slam your head against your cubicle wall every time you “accidentally” see their work come out of the printer. Those who can whip out a spectacular poster in an hour with no client changes and whose fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants ideas turn out to be the best ones. I am not one of those few.
However, great design doesn’t always come from those who are naturally gifted, and there are a few practical ways we can all learn how to design (write, illustrate, photograph, what have you) like a beast.
Though we call them design beasts, their attitude is just the opposite. The best designers are the most humble, able to take criticism seriously and respectfully. Not only are these people the best to work with but they are continually growing and learning how to be better.
2. Own your style. Master your style. Push beyond.
If you want to be a great designer, start with what you know you’re good at. If you’re good at logos, do that. If you’re a good photographer, do that. If you like to draw with your eyes closed, do that. Then keep practicing and honing your skill. As you do this, you will learn more about your style and yourself. When you feel like you are starting to get comfortable, push yourself out of your comfort zone to develop new skills.
Design is 90% thinking and 10% doing. Research is key to coming up with a great idea or discovering a new style. Try finding a different technique that you can learn, a fun marketing strategy or some new designers for inspiration. Research will help you keep up with current trends and keep you inspired.
4. Take risks.
Great advertising is always unique and stands out above the rest. Taking risks in your design is essential to being awesome. The client could absolutely hate your idea, but we all know the best learning comes from failure. And who knows? Maybe your idea will be the next big thing!
5. Love what you do.
When you’re having fun, it shines through. And people like to have fun. So let them have fun with you through your work.