By Michelle Hymmel
The best way to get great at graphic design is to do something each and every day. Even if you only have ten to thirty minutes to devote to this activity on a daily basis, those small chunks of time will add up over the course of a few months.
While there’s definitely value in reading about graphic design, a common mistake people make is thinking that reading is the same as doing. If you want to improve your skills, there’s simply no substitute for actually doing.
To help you make the most of the time that you have available for this activity, here are ten different things you can do to take your skills further than you even thought possible:
As long as it’s only for personal practice, there’s nothing wrong with copying other people’s work as a form of creative exercise.
Forcing yourself to work in a style that you’re not used to will help push you outside your comfort zone and help hone your overall skills.
If you feel stuck or uninspired with a certain project, don’t hesitate to put it on the back burner and dive into something new.
There’s a lot of value in working with others and getting their opinion about what you’re doing. By making an effort to interact with other people who are doing the same type of work, you’ll put yourself in a position to learn even faster.
You can take the collaboration idea to the next level by coming up with some kind of competition for you and at least one other designer.
While there are times when it’s best to let yourself get lost in your graphic design work, there are other times when it makes more sense to pause and really analyze the decisions you’re making.
Even though perfection may not be attainable, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Instead of creating something in one session and then moving on, there’s value in going back to previous work and figuring out what you can do better.
As mentioned earlier, there is value in reading. And when it comes to design, there’s even more value in actively studying past work. By engaging with other people’s work by really focusing and taking notes on what you’re seeing, you will be able to help your own unique style develop.
Active studying isn’t something that has to be limited to other people’s work. It’s also something you can do to your own. By taking the time to look at pieces of your own work and think through why you made certain decisions, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of your own thought process.
Just Do It
The most important thing to remember is if you can either design or watch TV for twenty minutes, always choosing the former is what will help you become a truly great graphic designer.
Whether you want to work for a graphic design company, have your own projects that you’re working on, or simply find this activity to be very enjoyable, carving out a small slice of time on a daily basis to engage in some form of practice will put your skills on the fast track to excellence.