Best practice to become a better designer
Published: 22 March, 2019
As designers, we are constantly tasked with having the most creative solutions to briefs from clients or to just stand out in a sea of creatives who are all offering the same service. So how do you make sure that you are constantly striving to grow in becoming a better designer? Below are a few pointers that if practised will help you to stand out from the crowd.
1. Live and breathe design culture
Design culture is so broad and wonderfully exciting there is so much to be experienced and discovered. Read a book, attend workshops, follow inspirational people on social media and just immerse yourself in great design. Soon enough you will pick up the lingo, the ability to observe design and even find like-minded people with whom you will be able to collaborate.
2. Be meticulous
Being meticulous is not about perfection but rather about caring for the big and small details. The best way to is to practice and practice some more. Look at examples of great work, study the principles and details and consider how you could apply this in your work. This can be through watching a tutorial, recreating a design that you love just to understand how it was done and picking up a new skill while doing so.
3. Showcase your work and ask for feedback
This is something we may likely want to leave behind in college but showcasing your work and asking for feedback is a great way to push yourself to grow. Remember to not be too precious about your work, the feedback may be brutal, and you may not always like it but it will enrich your work. Having your work be discussed helps you to form a better understanding of the “why and what” behind your design giving you a better stance from which to defend your design. Allow someone from a different industry to give you an unexpected opinion. Share links to your work on online platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, DeviantArt, create your own website on Wix; a great way to acquire a new skill.
4. Don’t be afraid to fail
Have you ever created something you poured your heart into and it just was not received the way you expected it to? Situations like that can leave you feeling like a failure but what is vital to focus on in those moments is that failure is not permanent, if anything you can fail forward. Failing forward is a mental perspective that when such moments happen you can look from an objective perspective and identify where you can do better next time. Take on a project just for the fun of it, experiment, fail spectacularly, learn from it and then let failure propel you to a better version of yourself.
Self-care is currently quite a buzz word in the wellness arena, but it is not anything new. Self-care is about taking time out to recharge, to listen to your body, get in touch with nature and so live life and in your case, a design from a calmer state. Working yourself to exhaustion will not necessarily equal productivity so take time to unplug, move away from your computer and sketch, read or take a walk.
6. Set creative goals
Setting creative goals is a great way to challenge yourself in a fun way. These goals can be anything from learning photography, making something with your hands or even joining a public speaking group to work on your presentation skills.
It’s great to set goals that challenge you but setting fun achievable goals are great for your confidence. Skills learned could make you a better designer with a greater understanding of different crafts.
7. Get daily inspiration
As designers, we sometimes need some inspiration to nudge us in the right direction. There are a number or ways that one can be inspired, the rise in popularity of podcasts means that there a great variety of audible inspiration such as 99% Invisible. Inspiration websites such a Pinterest and Instagram are amazing for connecting with other creatives and keeping in touch with what is happening in the design world.
There is no recipe for creativity but like a muscle, if you work on strengthening it over time you will get all the better at it.