How To Know You’re A Graphic Designer At Heart

art career

How To Know You’re A Graphic Designer At Heart

There are two schools of thought about getting into graphic design. One is that you stumble upon it by accident, perhaps seeing it as the next step after getting a general arts degree or becoming interested in a friend’s work. The other is based on a more romantic idea, in which an intrinsic connection between you and the field pulls you together serendipitously over time. It’s almost like the wand choosing the wizard in Harry Potter. There’s great allure in being destined for something, especially if it’s a creative career like graphic design.

There are several ingredients that help someone love their job, but the two most prominent are passion and undying curiosity. In fact, one might say it’s important to be passionately curious, since this allows you to seek and define your goals with rigor. Be honest with yourself when determining what makes you suited to a job.

If you have any of the below proclivities, a career in graphic design just might be for you.


You Love Making Art

If you never lost your childhood adoration of picking up some markers and scribbling away, then you might consider honing your skills to be a professional designer. This goes for those who gladly sketch or fiddle around with Adobe Illustrator in their spare time too. Even though working as a designer requires structure and doing projects you’re not always thrilled about, it’s easier to muscle through them if you love – or are at least good at – the fundamental aspects of drawing.


You Love Looking at Art

Part of developing as a person involves learning from others. In the case of being a blossoming designer, this means observing and appreciating the art around you. These can come from exhibits, galleries, billboards, ads, animation, and anything else you find artistic. Even our environments can be inspiring. If you’re the type of person who loves studying a piece of art with your mind and soul, you could very well be a designer at heart.


You Know Colours Have Distinct Personalities

You can probably tell them apart as well, noticing the difference between aquamarine and teal (they’re just fancy ways to say “blue-green” to a writer!). Being able to understand what these colours mean, in terms of how they affect people’s moods and perceptions, is also important to a designer. You might even be a bit picky about how you use different pigments because of how powerful they are; as you ought to be. Those who intrinsically know their way around the rainbow can create some compelling pictures. This is especially important for a  graphic designer, since you’re partly responsible for influencing how people perceive your work.


Fonts Carry as Much Meaning to You as Words Themselves

Typography is a big deal in graphic design. It’s one of the biggest factors in how people regard a piece of work. In fact, designers can do as much with words as writers can, only in a different sense. Rather than being creative and persuasive through sentence structure, you can turn a few simple words into something visually striking. If you find yourself being captivated by how an advertisement displays certain words, or you play with existing font types in programs like Illustrator, this could be another hint that graphic design is for you.


You Have a Good Understanding of Branding

Once more, this is where the art of persuasion comes in. However, before you can convince others to adhere to a call to action or message, it’s good to have an understanding of how marketing techniques influence you. You don’t have to buy into them, but it can be fun and important to look at the psychology behind ads. Observe how you react to seeing a certain logo or slogan, or how someone else does. Reactions typically arise at a subconscious level first. By bringing these reactions to a conscious level and/or doing research about them, you can learn to brand and market effectively through your art.


You Have Your Own Style (But Also Understand Others’)

Part of a designer’s work is being consistent, especially if you’re employed at a company with a specific vision, or are in charge of maintaining “the look” of multiple companies. On the other hand, you will distinguish yourself if you do your own thing and cultivate your own style as well. Successful designers learn from others but don’t copy them. By being fearlessly creative, your passion can flow almost effortlessly into your projects. Even pieces for clients become personal if you try to understand their style as if it was your own.


You Love Variety

There’s nothing wrong with routine. At the same time, if you find repeated tasks boring or unfulfilling, you’ll love graphic design. Every project requires a unique touch. Thought has to be put into everything you do as well. On top of that, graphic designers also have the chance to learn from and work with others in their field on a regular basis. Whether you work directly with other designers in a team environment, in school, or indirectly through web training, this seemingly independent career actually thrives on interconnectedness.


You Understand You Will Never Stop Learning

Sorry that this one sounds cliché, but it couldn’t be truer. When it comes to design, you’re never going to reach “the end” or “the top”. It just doesn’t work that way. Art and creativity is endless and evolving. If this seems daunting to you, then perhaps being a graphic designer isn’t your path after all. But if you go to work embracing the limitlessness of what you do, you’ll never lose interest in it.

If you’re the type of person who adores graphic design, but doesn’t believe it’s how you’ll make a living, we’ve got great news for you: graphic design skills are highly transferrable to other fields. Many-a photographer, videographer, web developer, and marketing specialist have dabbled in graphic design at some point. So, whether you’re about to wrap up your final year of design school, or have been in the industry for a decade and feel stuck, just remember the issue isn’t going to be if you can go anywhere from there, but where.

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