Some words of wisdom from me to you. Hopefully this will help you on your journey whether you work for someone fulltime or freelance as a Graphic Designer.
You’d be surprised as to how many people cannot do this. I can attribute my longevity to keeping a job for the simple fact that I am able to follow instructions or take direction. Make it easy for someone to work with you by simply following instructions and I guarantee that you’ll always have a job or have work consistently.
Follow Their Lead
As much as you want to add your own creative input, it’s best to follow the person’s vision. Unless you work for a cutting edge, out of the box company – the reality of graphic design is that most people really just want you to copy someone else’s existing design. They probably saw what works for another company and so they want to replicate the same thing. You’re getting paid for the job, so again just follow their lead.
I know this may seem frustrating at first. I mean after all, you’re supposed to be doing original and creative stuff. Not necessarily. I’ve learned over the years that if I’m getting paid to do something, I’m creating someone else’s vision – even if that vision was inspired or copied from something else. This is how most people operate and you must be understanding about it.
Be Prepared to Know More Than The Person You’re Working For
Graphic Design is not just creating things visually. You must also know your specs and final outputs, which some designers don’t know. Trust me when I say that I didn’t enjoy the technical aspects of design, I just wanted to create! But it’s part of the job, and in order to be a really good designer – you MUST understand the technical parts too.
For example, whatever you’re creating: is it for print or web? You need to know the difference between the two as print and web have very different outputs.
Also, each printer has their own specifications. So again, you must be able to follow instructions and ask questions too.
Through my own trial and error, I’ve learned that if I’m to create a logo then I need to create it in Adobe Illustrator, not Photoshop.
Why? Because Adobe Illustrator is a Vector based program. It allows you to create graphics, scale them large or small and it will retain it’s sharpness and quality. Not so much with Photoshop.
These are just some of the tips off the top of my head. They have worked for me so far and I’ve been working in graphic/web design for over 8 years.
I could go on and on with this topic as there’s so much to know and learn and so much that I left out, really. Whatever I’m writing down here is all based on my experience of creating graphics and designs for other people.