I've been a graphic designer for more years than I actually want to say out loud. I've been looking around recently and I don't see many "older" designers? I hope I'm wrong about this. Is being a graphic designer a young person's profession? Keeping up with the ever-changing technology of design is very challenging and it seems like every employer expects a graphic designer to be an expert on the latest and greatest software. I remember when Flash was the rage to learn. I took a few classes but in the end, it took me away from illustrating and designing. I did this with HTML coding as well. These things took me away from what I do best, creating creative content.
I'm straying from my original question; do all graphic designers end up taking a "people-managing" position like a creative director or producer? Is it a "burn-out" position? Unlike other professions, we as designers are continually applying our skills to new marketing and branding avenues. I for one dabble in photography and video, applying these photographic images into many of my collages. I bought a high-end video camera and now sell stock video on Pond5.
Again, I ponder the original question; is graphic design a lifetime position? Even after this many years I have to prove myself to my newest employer or client. Although print skills are still in demand, digital advertising exploded even more than it was because of the pandemic. The new "trendy" software is Figma and Sketchup. And lately the agencies are moving away from Powerpoint to the more collaborative online apps such as Google Slides. Is being creative even something valued any more? Or is it the software skills are valued? How do you learn Figma without jumping into a collaborative project? Again, does this continued change in graphic technology exhaust or excite graphic designers? I will ask the designers reading this; are you an older graphic designer who still enjoys the hands-on creative process?
1. Working From Home And Its Challenges
While a significant majority of graphic designers from around the world were already working from home as freelancers, there are those for whom this was an entirely new thing. Finding a place in your home where can you work diversion-free, investing in a stable internet connection, and then finding the discipline to actually work from home – it has been a struggle for many. I for one always thought I could do everything I do in a office at home.
2. Reinventing And ReimaginingThis global pandemic has also been a time to rediscover and re-imagine. How can we do things differently? What we’ve been doing so far that can be improved? What new skills can we invest in and how can we reinvent ourselves? Collectively as well as personally, these questions have been on everybody’s mind.
3. Designing For Hope And Support
Graphic design has had a rich history of proactive contributions to global efforts of education, health, training, the spread of information, and community outreach. In times of global health pandemic, graphic design has especially outshone itself every time. From the Indian cholera symptoms of 1831 printed on to a broadsheet to the iconic Aids campaign of the late 20th century, graphic design has always helped create artwork that dispels misinformation, educates the masses, and communicates in a way that makes the consumption of information easy and effective.
For the current pandemic too, artists world-over have come together and designed artworks that educate, inform, and teach. From hand-washing to social distancing, and from teaching about the Covid-19 symptoms to humorously describe how people are handling quarantines, designers are doing their bit to send messages of help and support.
4. Graphic Design For Gaming Is At A Rise
While video games have always been popular, Covid-19 crisis has opened up new vistas for the growth and evolution of graphic design in the gaming industry. How? Well, it has to do with a whole lot of people turning towards gaming to ‘let the steam out’, reconnect with friends that they aren’t able to hang out with anymore, and in some ways be even more socially present for each other. Children, as well as adults, have admitted to using video games as a part of their regular quarantine routine.
5. Behavior Changes Through Design
Another major change that we have witnessed during this lockdown in terms of how graphic design is responding to it has been its creative investment in behavior change efforts through design. From teaching people new ways to say hello without shaking hands or hugging to illustrating how to ‘flatten the curve’, these designs have it all.
6. Lack Of Collaboration & Human Interaction (Huge!)
Creativity is about connectedness. We feel inspired by the people around us, the environment around us, or the stories or times that we’ve lived, listened to, or experienced any other way. This connectedness is fundamentally social. We require human interaction in order to be able to design pieces that will have relevance and that will resonate with others.
In a time like this, human interaction has been put on hold. This lack of collaboration has forced designers worldwide to find inspiration anywhere else. For design studios and freelancers who have been able to stay afloat in these tiring financial times, inspiration has been able to come somewhat easily. Being in touch with colleagues, having virtual platforms to be able to get client feedback, and Zoom meetings where a lot of collaboration can take place, have all meant that their creativity may continue, albeit at a slower pace.
7. Virtual Reality May Become The New Work-Normal
Another way that the change is coming for graphic designers in the near future is in the form of VR programs that’ll replace any instances when we aren’t able to meet with colleagues, clients, and vendors for our design project.
As a graphic designer, if you have worked closely with Virtual Reality, this change may not be that challenging. But for others, who have had little to no experience with VR, you may be in for a ride. If you are a designer who runs their own studio or work in a large agency, the finances of investing in the new technology may be bearable.
For small- to medium-level designers who do not have flexible budgets, they’ll have a harder time competing with rivals who can invest in this technology and acquire clients who may want VR/AR capabilities for their business partners.
8. Focus On Mental Health & Wellbeing
The government imposed self-isolation, social distancing rules, and having to remain cooped up inside for months on end, has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. For graphic designers and other creative professionals, this has been a particularly difficult time.
Not having colleagues around with whom you can bounce off ideas, lack of inspiration due to a stagnant lifestyle, and a continued imposter-syndrome that many artists – new and experienced – deal with anyway, has not been easy. Therefore, this time has forced a lot of designers to focus on mental health regimens to make this time easier. Graphic designers have come together to create posters, designs, and infographics to talk about mental health and how to stay positive in these uncertain times.
9. Economic Meltdown And Its Effects On Design Careers
Coronavirus has already cost the US 20.5 million jobs as of April 2020. World over, every four out of five jobs have been hit by the pandemic. The graphic design industry is dependent on other industries to flourish. With so many of its potential client markets – restaurants, retail stores, and travel & leisure, etc. – so severely hit by the pandemic, it is no surprise that designers are also feeling the brunt of the circumstances. The situation could not have been easier for those who were just about to start their careers in design.
The pandemic certainly has changed my design career path. What about you?
The Internet requires more and more video content. More and more companies are using Stock Market for their videos. And in the age of great smartphones and accessible cameras, now is a great time to generate extra income by shooting what makes you happy and get into the stock market game.
The Internet requires more and more video content. More and more companies are using Stock Market for their videos. And in the age of great smartphones and accessible cameras, now is a great time to generate extra income by shooting what makes you happy and get into the stock market game.
When you first start uploading your clips to web services, you won’t earn much. But whatever you make will still be a nice incentive to continue doing it. For starters, you can make your entire portfolio in your spare time and therefore make money. As you go about it more methodically, so will your earnings increase. But now you may be wondering if it’s not too late to start recording and selling your videos. it’s never too late! It’s still a great time to find an interesting niche, start recording, build your portfolio and make money doing what you love doing anyway.
Not to mention technology is on your side. You can start recording with your smartphone and invest in a gimbal that will stabilize your video as you move. Cameras and lenses are getting better and cheaper. While cameras used to require selling all your earthly possessions and sacrifice your firstborn to the devil, with cameras without lenses and accessories alone costing more than $25,000, today there is an extremely large range of cheap (but high-quality built) cameras starting at $1500. In order to have excellent recording equipment (at least for stock footage), you would have to spend between $3,000 and $6,000, which is still not too expensive if you feel like you will continue doing it for years.
For anyone who wants to make money! Here are three great reasons to start right now (if you haven’t already):
1. RECORD CLIPS IN YOUR SPARE TIME
It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or an amateur and what gear you have. You can start by shooting on your smart phone! What’s important is to make quality recordings and make money with them.
2. DATA MINE YOUR HARD DRIVE FOR OLD VIDEOS AND FOOTAGE
If you have been using your camera for some time and have been shooting various shots, then you have money sitting in your computer’s hard drive. Why not make money with it by selling your unused clips to online stock footage websites?
3. GET THAT SWEET PASSIVE INCOME
Your clips will sell no matter where you are, even while you sleep. And do we not just love some sweet passive income?
What Should I shoot?
What’s most important is that you find your niche. At start what matters most is that you shoot as often as you can. After you get a feel of shooting, you can start experimenting what footage makes you happy and then experiment what sells best inside your niche. Maybe you live in a beautiful place and have beautiful sunsets every evening or Aurora Borealis every night. Perhaps one of your friends is a rising Hollywood star and loves to be filmed. Maybe you work on a farm, or working with wood, etc. Even your profession can be a great niche from which to make good money. Record, upload and test what content works.
Nothing is more eye-catching and attention-grabbing than a great visual. From stock images to icons to vector graphics, images bring texture, action, and energy to any design. If you’re looking for gorgeous visuals, take a look at these resources.
Head to Unsplash for creative and beautiful stock photography shot and selected by a collective of photographers. Download, modify and distribute the photos for free.
The aim of Pexels is to provide high-quality photos and videos for free in order to promote better designs for all. Their treasure trove of incredible imagery is endless.
Royalty-free but paid images created by artists and used by the likes of magazines and large corporations. You can find anything from food photography to scenic landscapes.
Resources for illustrations
Get print- and digital-ready illustrations for your next project. Drawkit offers a collection of free, paid and customizable vector illustrations, ideal for adapting and adding to any design.
This is a unique tool created by Pablo Stanley that allows you to customize illustrations of humans in various contexts.
High-quality vector graphics come in all shorts of shapes, sizes and styles. Looking for that perfect minimalist masterpiece? Vexel’s got it. Or how about something super complex? They’ve got it. Looking for a 100% custom piece? Well, Vexels has that too.
The Noun Project
Check out this rich resource of icons sourced from all over the world, built with the aim of creating a visual language for everyone. Icons from The Noun Project are always royalty-free, but require attribution unless you sign up for a paid NounPro account. I actually am a contributor to the Noun Project. I probably have over 500+ icons and emojis for sale here.
The Flaticon platform has 2 million icons and counting—all for free with required attribution.
Twenty-some years ago, we found ourselves in awe of how computers and the internet changed so many aspects of life. Just when we thought technology had reached its peak, we were also blithely aware that more was going to unfold.
Today we can only look back at the impact the digital revolution made on how we communicate, the way we work, and even the way we socialize. Graphic design is no exception to this change. Technology now plays a major role in the creation of digital work available in many fields. Portfolio design, presentations, signage, logos, websites, animations and even architectural production have all traveled far since the dawn of the digital revolution.
Gone are the days when graphic design was solely focused on the obvious graphic elements of a product like its packaging and marketing materials. Technology has enabled brands to have more exposure online, allowing businesses to interact with their clients and consumers, which has also allowed us the ability to review and analyze real-time data to measure and see what sources are driving more traffic. We can actually analyze digitally the type of content and graphics that are getting more media impressions, more likes, more saves and, ultimately, are more appealing and converting to an audience.
With the internet as the major source of marketing and exposure, companies have invested so much ion content creation for customer communication, analytics and real-time feedback from consumers. Companies like Ikea and Johnson & Johnson employ the world’s most sophisticated marketing teams to spread their message and gain analytics across digital media globally. For example, according to the Digital Agency Network, Ikea launched a virtual-reality kitchen experience that brings you a life-size virtual IKEA kitchen. The pilot program is aimed at gathering feedback and suggestions from users. This is a great example of how companies are using analytics and customer feedback to improve their content marketing strategies and product offerings.
Content marketing and the evolution of graphic design for digital marketing is continuing to rise. One industry that is seeing the impact of this growth is the hotel industry. It is the amalgamation of creativity, technology and the right graphic and web design tools that made some businesses in the hospitality industry stand out from the rest. On paper, the last two years have been great for the hospitality industry, with digital marketing playing a huge role in generating revenue. Graphic design and quality content are influencing this, as content remains king. Hospitality giants like Virgin Hotels and Marriot are continuing to invest in modern marketing to boost occupancy rates and get heads in beds. Virgin Hotelshas seen an uptick in online bookings and is constantly A/B testing the content tiles on its website home page. These hotel brands can effectively generate engagement by presenting eye-catching graphics in online media to gain a competitive edge over others. Today’s hotel sites are no longer solely for contacts and reservations but also serve as a portfolio of the hotel’s interior design and amenities to gain critiques.
The visual power of graphic design is even inspiring companies to combine useful tools for the office. For example, Peerhatch, one of our clients, employs graphic designs to create customizable wall surfaces. With its collection of images that companies and workspaces can customize to fit their own spaces, they are able to create stunning visuals for any work area that lends itself to brainstorming, allowing employees a collaborative environment where all ideas feel welcomed. We have helped Peerhatch develop an effective communications strategy that incorporates modern content marketing campaigns to expand their exposure to its target market.
Along with the improvement of digital graphics technology, careers in this field have also evolved. Graphic designers are no longer glued to their workstations. With graphic design software now readily available on laptops and mobile phones through apps, it has made it much easier for them to work anywhere in the world, which also makes it easier for companies to outsource talent without having to hire in-house.
In 2016, Adobe made a whopping $5.85 billion compared to its $4.8 billion 2015 revenue. This figure represents what the company earned from its subscriptions that seamlessly connect Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator through its Creative Cloud. Graphic designers can now work anywhere they want and still be connected with their offices. This occasion led to the rise of freelance designers now working in their respective creative spaces anywhere in the world, which some companies have realized is much more cost-efficient than hiring someone in-house. Take Upwork, for instance. This company built its entire existence on the use of creative freelancers where companies, sole proprietors or individuals can source freelance talent by reviewing resumes, portfolios and reviews from clients in a matter of minutes.
At the heart of it, digital design is any design made to be interacted with on a digital device. While that might seem simple—and self-explanatory—the definition of digital design does little to capture the depth of what it actually accomplishes.
There are an overwhelming number of digital devices these days, and for each of those, an exponential amount of use cases that design must consider. Understanding the various shapes digital design can take as well as the purposes each one serves is essential if you want to achieve the best result, whether it’s for a specific project or for your career overall.
You may be planning to focus on one type of digital design (or a digital design position), only to discover that your needs or abilities may be better suited for another.
As broad a field as it is, digital design can be broken down into a handful of categories, each with specific benefits. We’re here to walk you through the many incarnations of digital design and to point you in the direction of a winning interactive product.
Digital design is a type of visual communication that presents information or a product or service through a digital interface. Put simply, it’s graphic design made specifically to be used on computers.
This encompasses more than simply viewing graphic design on a screen. Any document these days can be scanned and uploaded to a computer, but digital designs are crafted specifically for devices, taking into account factors like user experience, interactivity, differences in screen size and more. In short, they are often designed to be used rather than read.
Graphic design is for print products and digital design is for digital content. This is, of course, a generalization. These days the realms of print and digital overlap more often than not. Many digital designs rely on skills from the graphic designer’s playbook, such as brand implementation and typographical layout. Graphic design projects, meanwhile, commonly have to account for digital distribution in addition to print. And to make matters more confusing, “graphic design” is commonly used as a catch-all term for every type of visual communication.
At the end of the day, a designer is often expected to have skills in both graphic and digital design no matter which one they specialize in. The difference comes down to the medium (print or digital) in which viewers will most commonly encounter the design product. Digital designs must take into account user interaction whereas graphic designs are designed for static visual impact.
Digital designs require code to be functional and traditional graphic designs require paper and ink to be printed. Just as graphic design projects have a separate process for printing and distribution, digital designs have a separate process for coding, which is called development.
Digital designers make decisions on the visual direction of the product, and what they deliver to the client is typically an offline mockup (whether through Photoshop or a prototyping tool like Figma). Developers then use coding language to turn this mockup into a working digital design, like a website or newsletter.
While digital designers do sometimes offer development services (especially on the front-end), design and development are different disciplines that require different skillsets. When commissioning a digital design, keep in mind that you will likely need to hire both a designer and a developer to get a functional final product.
Digital design is a vast category encompassing a wide variety of digital interfaces, each with their own uses. To get a better idea of which one is the best match for you, let’s go over some of the most common types of digital designs.
Web design is the most popular incarnation of digital design: a website is about as common for businesses these days as a logo. Websites act as hubs for a topic or service, incorporating many branching pages, and are used for information, business and commerce, entertainment and much more. There are many ways to do it, either through hiring freelancers or using website builders like Weebly.
Landing page design is a subset of web design, but it is more focused towards marketing purposes. Whereas a business’s website will act as the central channel for all things related to that business, a landing page is a single web page devoted to a specific product/service and usually culminates in a call-to-action. Often businesses will use a different landing page for each of their products/services and digital designers must ensure there is cohesion between all of them.
App designs often resemble web pages, but they are designed to perform a specific function. Whether that function is shopping, scheduling, messaging or playing music, apps are essentially digital tools for users. Though they are commonly implemented on mobile devices, apps can be desktop-based as well.
YES! I've created a new Instagram account where you can follow me on my adventures around Northern California and beyond. Almost every weekend my gf (Melina) and myself jump into the Prius and head North, South or where ever we find interesting places to sip on some wine, see some live music or eat some amazing foods. There is a lot to see even though I have spent most of my life in NorCal. Come with us on adventure or see some of the amazing brewpubs and holes-in-walls!
Just maybe you will be inspired to jump in your stylin' ride and experience these awesome places yourself!
Click on the link and follow for more!!
Currently, social media marketing is one of the most fierce weapons that brands have in their arsenal which they can use to target their audience. So, it is imperative for businesses to understand and accept the importance of graphic design in social media marketing for their brands.
Even if this prediction is not correct (eh!), you still get the gist; right?!
The popularity of social media platforms has skyrocketed in the last decade with billions of users having their accounts on at least 4 of the top 10 of these platforms.
And, it is graphic design that plays an increasingly important role in not only building brand awareness and recognition but, also attracting the user's attention as well.
So, if you’ve been neglecting your social media designs considering them to be of least importance, it’s about time for you to rectify the mistake and build up your brand’s identity.
In this article, we will discuss some very crucial points that will reflect the importance of graphic design in social media marketing and why you must start focusing on it right away.
Makes it look professionalOne of the very first objectives for any business setup should be to provide an all-out professional image of their brand. Irrespective of the platform you are using to communicate with your audience (whether digital or traditional), the users must get the idea of your brand as a thorough professional one.
Imagine a huge chunk of your potential customer group comes across one of your brand’s posts on Instagram that has dull colors or is missing your brand’s logo.
Not a pleasant picture to imagine we reckon!
It is exactly to avoid such adverse situations to occur that you need to have professional graphic design in social media.
Provides the expected brand recognitionSocial media is all about graphics. Visual content such as images, graphics and infographics often receive higher engagement on social media than posts containing text only.
So, if you let your customers remember you through your social media designs, they will come back sooner or later to learn more about your products or services.
In fact, there is a higher probability of them spreading the word and sharing your work with their friends and peers
This, also, raises another very important aspect to create brand recognition through graphic design in social media marketing; consistency. The more consistent your social media designs are, throughout, the easier it will be for your target consumers to recognize your brand.
And this consistency comes with professionally designed graphics.
Works on the attention spanSeveral researches have shown that the average human attention span is not more than 7 to 8 seconds.
Now, social media is an endless pool of visual and textual content for the audiences to go through. Users often simply scroll through their feeds without really paying attention to the posts therein. And, the ones they do pay attention to get less than one minute of their time.
With so much content on offer to go through and so less time to get the attention
Given that you only have a few seconds to catch their attention and a minute to stimulate their interest, it all comes down to the social media designs and their effectiveness. It is potentially very hard to acquire attention in such short duration through texts, or at least text alone.
Therefore, good graphic design in social media marketing is crucial to get your target audience’s attention as well.
Caters to the ‘Digital Natives’As the name suggests, "Digital natives" is a term for the generation born during or after the advent of digital technology. They are largely familiar only with the instantaneous gratification that comes through the use of digital cameras, computers, or smartphones.
And, since, this generation forms a huge section of social media users, spending a generous amount of time online, it is no surprise that they are bombarded with professionally designed graphics for advertisements and promotional materials.
Digital Natives are, more often than not, the target market for many businesses, and grabbing their attention takes eye-catching graphic design on both social media pages and in videos.
They know what is “attractive”!
So, if your social media posts, banners, or other visual elements don’t stack up to their standards, you have very little chance of ever getting their attention.
Outsourcing graphic design services to a professional agency such as GraphicsZoo can, therefore, help you with this particular dilemma by creating dazzling and impressive images to post on your wall and stimulate the interest of this new generation.
Sends across a clear messageThere is a very popular idiom that says, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
This idiom is a fantastic and on-point example to explain the importance of professional graphic design in social media marketing for a brand.
Remember the fun fact on Infographic we shared earlier in this article, and how it is the kind of content that is more likely to get shared on social media?
Well, all this only makes it more substantial than, using images not only helps your brand is getting the attention of your target customers but, also communicates the message in the clearest manner.
Yes, you can always create a detailed blog to provide information about your products and services. But, that won’t work on social media (at least, not without a proper social media design for the post).
To sum it all up,
Here’s what good graphic design in social media marketing does to your brand;
·It captivates the user's attention at the very first look.
·A good design has a better chance of being remembered and also if users relate to the image they may end up sharing it. So good designs equal more engagement!
An attractive graphic design in social media marketing creates a very positive image and builds brand recognition.
·People don’t like reading the text and tend to acquire new knowledge by visual contact and react on the basis of what they see.
·Social media designs are not only used to advertise the company’s products but also can be used to convey a company’s culture, values, and vision. A good design can express what your brand stands for.
With more and more companies moving to remote working environments, you’re probably asking yourself, can graphic designers work from home?
Now more than ever graphic designers have the opportunity to work from home or wherever they want in the world. While many companies in the past required their designers or teams to be on-site. That is no longer the case. Companies are now allowing designers to work from the comfort of their homes and sometimes even outside of the country.
While working from home can sound like an absolute blast. And in my opinion, it is. It also requires a level of discipline whether you’re working with a team or your own clients. In this article, I’ll go over some of the benefits of working from home, how to be the best graphic designer while working from home, where to find more remote jobs and some tools that will help you while you are working from home.
Why Can Graphic Designers Work From Home Now?When the COVID pandemic began to hit the United States and other countries in January of 2020, it forced companies to keep their employees home to avoid contracting and spreading the virus. While graphic designers have always had the opportunity to work from home depending on if they were working independently or if their company allowed it. The COVID pandemic caused a major shift amongst the largest companies in the world forcing those companies to adapt to a remote working environment. This change has now made working from home for designers more available and more normal across the board. Many companies have realized that working from home has allowed their employees to be more productive while also maintaining a more balanced lifestyle. Companies have even stated that they have been able to save money by allowing their employees to work from home. This has created a big opportunity for designers as more jobs are listed with the option to be fully remote.
Benefits Of Working RemoteWorking remote or from your home may be the new normal and there are a ton of benefits that come along with it. I can attest to some of these as I had previously worked remote before COVID. Three years later I have taken full advantage of the remote working lifestyle and started traveling around the world all while working a full-time job, writing, and creating content. Here are some of the benefits I have found while working remote.
Owning Your Morning RoutineWorking remote or from home can allow you to establish and own your morning routine. For me, waking up for work in the morning used to consist of taking a quick shower, packing lunch, and rushing to catch the train with other morning commuters. Now my morning routine includes taking some time to exercise, completing a few personal errands, and learning something new before actually starting my full-time job. My new morning routine is now less stressful without having to rush out of my apartment allowing me to feel more comfortable before starting my workday. I am also very much a morning person and love getting that time back to do what I want.
No Wasted Time CommutingAs I mentioned before, in the morning I would rush out of my apartment to catch a train into New York City. From there I would catch two more subway trains, get off, and walk to the office. This usually took around an hour if all the trains were working correctly. If there were any train delays you could easily expect the commute to become 1-2 hours. This was done twice a day commuting back home to my apartment. In total, I was spending anywhere from 2 to 4 hours commuting. Standing on crowded trains, either listening to a podcast or thinking about work tasks. I don’t know about you but I value my time immensely and while I do enjoy listening to podcasts I much more enjoy working on those ideas. Those 2-3 hours spent in transit could have been spent putting the metaphorical pen to paper. Now that I am working remote, there is no wasted time commuting. I can now sit and concentrate without being distracted with the thought of leaving the office or rushing to catch a train and you can do the same working remote.
Saving MoneyNo commute means no wasting money on train tickets, subway cards, and office lunches. That means more money back in my pocket. I love to cook, hence the name Wellfed, and I have taken the opportunity to do more food shopping and cooking at home so I can save even more money. The money I save can now be used for items for my home office, treating myself to some takeout, paying bills, or saving for the future. And we all know how important saving for the future can be. As a designer, if you don’t have a full-time job providing you a regular paycheck you are left having to work on client projects which can be irregular. Working remote can help you save for many aspects of your life especially if you have long periods in between client projects.
Family TimeSomething I realized during the pandemic was that spending time with family and loved ones can be taken for granted. When you are living on your own, it can be to forget that your family and friends are there. With working remote all of that valuable time saved from commuting can now be spent with your family, friends, and loved ones. Rather than planning your commute back from the office, you can arrange to meet friends out. I happen to now live with my parents after moving away from the city and get to have dinner with my family every night. This may not sound like such a huge benefit but as I grow older I realize that there are very few things that matter in this life and I would say family time is one of those that do.
Overall HealthWhile I used to believe that I enjoyed my morning commute because it got me out and moving from my apartment, this is no longer the case. After some time I realized that commuting was actually somewhat stressful for me. I can remember a sense of anxiety thinking about what would happen if my director or boss emailed me while on the train and I wasn’t able to respond to it. In addition to having an elevated level of stress, I’ve now realized that I would be sick multiple times throughout the year. I attribute this to commuting on a crowded train and contracting germs during the colder seasons. While it sounds like I’m becoming a hermit while working remote, not having to deal with a cold every three months or so and feeling healthier than ever has been awesome. Less time being sick in bed means more time I can spend with friends, working on my podcast, or finding new clients. While some may miss the hustle and bustle of commuting into an office for work, I have come to enjoy the time gifted back to me by working remote as a graphic designer.
How To Be An Amazing Graphic Designer While Working From HomeWhile working from home or remote as a graphic designer sure does have its benefits, with such great power comes great responsibility. To become an amazing graphic designer while working from home, there are four things you need to focus on. A solid design portfolio website, great communication skills, project management, and building trust with your clients or team. If this list sounds scary, don’t worry, these are all things that I’ve learned over time and you can too. It may take some practice but eventually, you will see that keeping these four points as the top qualities or traits you value as a graphic designer working from home will contribute to a successful career. In this next section, I’ll go over each point in-depth and how you can apply them to your design practice to become an amazing graphic designer while working from home.
Solid Design Portfolio WebsiteIf you have read any of the articles on this website then you know that I always talk about how important your design portfolio website is. Your design portfolio website is the number one tool that will carry you to success along your design career. Whether that is working within a company, working for yourself, working from home, or remote. Maintaining your design portfolio website is and will always be a priority. Making sure your design portfolio website contains updated projects of recent work aligned with the type of clients you want to work with is just one of the many pieces to a top-notch design portfolio website.
Great Communication SkillsI firmly believe that what separates good designers from amazing designers is communication. Communication is what allows clients and companies to understand that you are more than just a talented pair of hands. It helps them understand that your ideas can be the solution to their problems. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite design mentors. Paul Rand, Natasha Jen, Bobby C. Martin, Michael Bierut, Paula Scher, and Brian Collins. Whenever I watch a lecture or listen to a podcast episode from them, I am amazed by the way they can articulate the impact design can have for their clients. Design is more than just simplified logos and pretty layouts. That is also why I started the podcast in the first place. So I could better understand how design can make a difference in our lives. If you haven’t listened to it you can check out all the episodes here, or on Apple Podcast or Spotify.
With all of that said, becoming a great communicator while working from home involves more than just talking a lot. It involves listening and responding so that your clients know you are on their side and they can rely on you to solve this problem. While it is helpful to have the confidence to drive the conversation along, it is equally valuable to remain quiet and just listen. Not only will listening to your clients benefit you by capturing their thoughts and ideas, but it also gives you the time to respond with thoughtful questions that can unlock missing pieces from your project.
Project ManagementProject management is something that I used to think I would never deal with as a designer and that I would leave those responsibilities to an actual project manager. Psst...no surprise here but I was wrong. Project management is a big part of being a graphic designer whether you are working from home or not. Managing your time as well as your client’s time during campaigns is important. One thing that I have started to do in all of my client projects is to set a complete meeting calendar at the beginning of each project. While some dates or meeting times may change, ultimately this helps me better manage multiple project timelines simultaneously. I include this calendar in my project proposals for all my clients and it has really helped me stay organized and grow as a graphic designer working from home. If you would like to give it a spin for your projects you can download my project proposal template here.
Building TrustThe last and final piece to becoming an amazing graphic designer while working from home is building trust with your clients. Building trust can be done throughout working with your clients but it can also be established before new projects. Adding client testimonials is a great way of establishing trust before working with new clients and something I talk more about in this article when building your design portfolio website. To build trust while working with your clients, you can do a few simple things that I have found impactful.
Use A Video CameraWorking from home means that you will be using a tool like Zoom or Google to conduct your video calls. With that, I recommend making sure that you are using your video camera at all times. Being seen and showing your face displays that you are attentive to your clients and you are listening which again is very important. When you are not on video, it can easily be thought you are not paying attention and potentially doing other tasks rather than focusing on your clients. Sure there may be some days where you are not feeling your greatest and everyone has those. Make sure you communicate that to your client but if possible try to make sure you are showing your face on camera.
Go Above and BeyondI’d like to think that this point doesn’t need much explanation but going above and beyond for your client whenever possible can do wonders for you. Not only does it build trust with the client but it can also set you up for future work referrals or additional projects from the same client. However, it is important to do so within your comfort level and within the budget, you have set with your client.
Where To Find Graphic Design Work From Home JobsWith this newfound way of digitally working due to the pandemic, finding graphic design work from home jobs is a lot easier. Not only are companies more willing to work with designers that aren’t in the same area as their offices. More and more companies are also hiring distributed teams made up of talent from all over the country. Only time will tell to see if this continues but for now, many companies are seeing an increase in productivity and output from their teams while working from home.
My new book, "BERKELEY ON A PERFECT DAY" is out now on Amazon. 80 photos of one of the most unique cities in America. 80 photos I took in March 2022 of the city I grew up in.
You can find it on Amazon here: Amazon Link
Ian Ransley DESIGN
Ian Ransley is a Bay Area Digital Artist, Graphic Designer and Illustrator who has designed some of the most popular large-scale sporting and corporate events in the world.