Learning Paths

5 Skills You Need to Become a Great Graphic Designer

Do you design vibrant things in your sleep and dream of communicating your ideas on digital or printed pages? Graphic Design is a thrilling space combining storytelling, communication, creativity and branding through clever use of design tools, typography, interpretation of end goals and presenting solutions to clients. 

Here are a few skills you would need to become a great graphic designer:

1. Communication

Design is a visual form of communication and knowing how to convey information through design is crucial to the role. Being able to listen to a client, process feedback and explain design elements (in a simple way) can give you a great advantage. Understanding what a client wants from a design is ultimately key to creating a successful product which plays an essential role in the marketing mix. If you can’t illicit information about what the design’s end users need then you’ll waste lots of time on endless revisions and dealing with frustrated employers and clients.

communication skills

2. Creativity

Having a visual eye is crucial, no matter which medium you work with. It helps having a keen eye for aesthetics and a wide range of interest across a broad spectrum of elements. No matter the industry, seeking inspiration will vary from designer to designer. “Perhaps you can start by looking at the work of other designers or brands. Asking yourself how you can push your current design or assignment to the next level and improve upon it. Keeping up to date with the social, political and economic climate can also influence an idea, “ says Brainstorm Strategic Marketing’s Graphic Designer, Kathryn Henning.

graphic design skills

3. The Ability to Learn & Let Go

According to Kathryn Henning, “You need to have thick skin. Not everyone is going to like your design or idea. Being too hard headed and not wanting to let go of an idea often leads to bad design. Learn from the people around you. Don’t be too egotistic, everyone has something to teach you. Get inspired, scamp it out and talk through it. Never lose the desire to learn, grow and want to know more.”

4. Design Software

In order to wield your magic in the design space, you will need a firm command of the tools of the trade. Some design software programs include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. As you find your speciality, you will be able to learn from specialised design programmes for font design, wireframes, mockups and more.

5. Typography

Ensure you make the written language legible AND visually appealing. When it comes to digital design, it’s essential to know how to select the perfect typography for a design, how to scale and size it and how to utilise web fonts in your designs. Knowing how to pair different typefaces to convey a certain look and feel is important.

Bonus! 6. Branding and Presentation

The business skill of branding is an undervalued skill for graphic designers. The ability to understand the clients’ needs before delivering and also branding through social media is a vital requirement for most jobs today. Like content creators, writers and photographers; graphic designers are ultimately storytellers. Taking a complex brief and data and presenting it a clear way to customers and clients is valuable to your work space.

Are you an aspiring designer and unsure of the learning path you need to take to get there? Visit us at Academy Class to discover the best learning path for you: