Well it's actually been such a long time since I've written a blog post and it's something that I've really been missing for a while. I wanted to start off the new year with a blog post about everything I've learned about graphic design from 2018. It wasn't exactly my favorite year, but I think I've learned a lot and I'm really excited to share my knowledge with you today. Let's just get into some of the lessons that I've learned this year.
Don't be offended by other people's criticism.
I think sometimes as a designer we have the tendency to really put our heart and soul into everything that we create. We spend a really long time on something and it sort of becomes your baby. Then when you have to present this work to a team, boss, or client you can get really down on yourself if they don't hundred percent like it.
One of the main things I've learned this year is that just because I put everything I have into something or I think that it is the best version that I can be, it doesn't always mean that the other person is going to think that. Their perception is always going to be different since they're a different person than you. I think it's really important you understand that you should not take their comments as a comment on if you're a good designer or not, but as a way to help them get what they want from you. After all, design is 90% subjective, so one person can love something you do and one person and hate it.
You are not an artist you are a defender of the user.
As someone who has been an artist their entire life, I love the creative process. But, going from creating art to being a graphic designer was a complete 180. What drew me to graphic design was being able to make everything look better, but for a purpose and as a way to support myself in the "real world". What I didn't know was really how different graphic design and art are. Art is an expression of yourself of your interpretation of the world and it's completely personal and every decision is based off of what you think. For graphic design, you have an end goal and your design work has to meet this goal. Once you once you realize that graphic design isn’t supposed to be an expression of who you are it also makes it a lot easier to not take things personally like how I mentioned in my first lesson.
You can't please everyone.
This one I'm sure you have heard so many times just about your everyday life and not even about graphic design, but I think it's probably one of the most important lessons that I've learned this year. I always thought that I need to be able to do everything to be desirable to a company/brand. What I've learned this year is that what you really need to do is focus on the things that bring you joy and that you think are great design. I think the main reason that I figured this out is through applying to jobs. I saw that some people really loved what I was doing and some people told me I needed to fix something. However, if I listened to their advice, someone else always ended up not liking it. So either way someone didn't like what I was doing and I compromised my opinion and thought on the subject matter. The moral of the story here is to do what you think is right and if you really trust someone else's opinion and do you agree with what they said then I would go ahead and follow their advice.
Design is not a competition
I’ve seen a lot of competition among designers in just my year and a half as a designer. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in trying to be better than another person and let that rule your thoughts as you are designing. However, I feel like whenever I am designing in this midset that everything tends to become a competition and I always end up feeling bad about myself. I have learned to not compete, everyone is different, so there is no point in competing. Try to see your fellow designers as a resource for you to ask questions and to get advice from, not someone who you are trying to be better than. I swear you will learn so much more in the process and come out a better designer than before.