What A Designer Needs To Know

Being a designer trying to break into the field of professional design I found this article helpful and information. Good source of inspiration to try something new and push myself to become better. The shorts list below is some of the advice that stood out to me from Doug Bartow, principal of ID29 article.

Designers Need To Know

1. SWEAT THE DETAILS
You are a professional communicator; act like one. Carefully edit everything you publish: résumés, social media, e-mail, blog posts, letters, text messages, everything.

2. DON’T FEAR TYPE; BECOME ITS MASTER
Often, being a good typographer means not making the simple mistakes. To accomplish this, you’ll need a working knowledge of classical typography. Go get one. “The Elements of Typographic Style” by Robert Bringhurst, “Thinking With Type” by Ellen Lupton and “Grid Systems in Graphic Design” by Josef Müller-Brockmann are cover-to-cover must-reads. Repeat after me: “Free fonts from the internet are crap, I will not use them.” Keep saying that.

3. BE YOURSELF
Be confident in yourself as an author, designer, photographer, creative. Don’t work in a particular personal style. Rather, develop a personal approach to your creative work.

Your commissioned work should never be about you, but it can certainly reveal your hand as the designer. As your work becomes more well-known, you will get hired for exactly that. For your personal work, don’t be afraid to tell your story. No one else is going to do it for you.

4. COLLECT AND SHARE EVERYTHING
Find and save relevant and interesting things and pass them along to your friends, co-workers, followers and clients. Use the web and social media to share your own photos and work, as well as the work of others you find engaging. Be funny, serious, irreverent, businesslike, self-promotional, curatorial, whatever—just be yourself. For everyday inspiration, surround your workplace with the design ephemera you collect.

5. THE PAPER MATTERS
Contrary to what you might read on the blogosphere, print is not dead. The beauty and tactility of a well-printed piece on quality paper cannot be appreciated or replicated on a screen, tablet or mobile device. Paper manufacturers, merchants and printers are doing a terrific job helping designers make sustainable paper choices to minimize the impact on our environment. Become well-versed with the Forest Stewardship Council certification program, and use this knowledge to choose your papers wisely. Clients are demanding it.

6. CONTENT IS STILL KING
Technically, Elvis is still the king, but for the sake of this argument, let’s put an emphasis on the message, and consider design as a plan for delivering it. The most effective and memorable visual communication almost always has the right mix of form and content, regardless of medium. Good design can engage a viewer, but interesting content will keep them reading, and thinking, past the headline.

7. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Build personal relationships with everyone you work with, not just your clients. Get to know your delivery people, paper merchants, printer reps, local politicians and business leaders. Attend Chamber of Commerce events, network and meet people. Get on people’s radar screens—they will be impressed with your well-designed business cards that prominently feature your website address.

8. SEEK CRITICISM, ACCEPT PRAISE

As a designer, listening to your ideas being questioned and your hard work being ripped apart isn’t usually very pleasant. However painful, though, constructive criticism of your design work is the most effective way to grow as a visual communicator. Remember this when you leave the crit rooms of design school for the boardrooms of the corporate world. Build a network of friends, co-workers and mentors you can use to collect feedback on your work. Online sites (heavy with anonymous commentary) are not an acceptable substitute for this discourse.

Sources:
29 Things Designers Need to Know + 8 Ingredients for Success from HOW.