The field of graphic design is a rapidly evolving one, both in terms of creativity and state-of-the-art technology. As important as it is to be thoroughly acquainted with advanced technical methodologies, focusing on pushing and improving all limits of creativity is essential too.
In the field of graphic design, the learning curve is not limited to the end of school. Continuous accumulation of knowledge and development of new ideas is imperative to defy stagnancy in designs. Transgressing and improving with time needs to be a core objective.
A few tips, practices and exercises which will serve as stepping stones on the path to continue learning, strengthening creativity and becoming all-round better graphic designers are:
1. Start collecting
Any time you feel inspired by a design, or so much as even like it enough to give it a second glance, bring it back home with you, and file it up. Collections of posters, brochures and other such designs collected over the years can serve as great sources of inspiration.
2. Do-over designs
Be it your own designs, or other’s designs – even the famous ones – redo them on your own. Try different styles and techniques and play with color, size, style, typography and any other aspect that comes to mind. It will not only serve as effective practice, but will also give a push to your innate creativity.
3. Read and follow design blogs
To keep pace with the embryonic world of graphic design, following graphic design and design-related blogs will go a long way in giving you that much needed boost of inspiration, as well as provide you with a good idea of the recent trends that you need to stay up-to-date with. Good design blogs are an invaluable treasure trove of resources, information, tips and ideas. Getting involved by commenting on blog posts is also a good way of grasping what other contemporary graphic designers within the community are up to.
4. Start your own design blog
As helpful as following other blogs is, starting a design blog of your own is an even better option. It is not only self-educational, but also serves as a great platform to invite analytical criticism about your work. Feedback is one of the cornerstones of graphic design. Having a blog of your own will help you re-evaluate your own graphic design skills.
5. Read books
While this does not mean that you have to keep your nose buried in a book at all waking hours of the day, it certainly helps to occasionally brush up on what you know, or even learning a few new things, by buying and reading books. Your book collection does not have to be vast or extensive – a few good books will do. At the end of the day, it is all about expanding your knowledge, learning new methods and techniques and reinventing the old ones, and drawing inspiration.
6. Tutorials are your friend, philosopher and guide
A good tutorial is worth every second of time spent watching it. There are many sites and blogs which offer standard tutorials. These tutorials are an essential part of exposing yourself to new useful tricks and new approaches. Don’t just watch/read the tutorial. Work it out on your own. If you get stuck, come back, look it up, and then complete it by yourself.
Whenever you have free time on your hands, take out that sketchbook, and start drawing. It does not have to be an elaborate and intricate piece – simple doodles will do just fine. Drawing is a great way of getting your creative juices flowing.
Also read: Top 5 Fonts used by Pros in Graphic Design