9 Graphic Designer Skills That All Artistic Entrepreneurs Need to Master

graphic designer skills artistic entrepreneurs

Forging ahead on your career path can fraught with bumps and challenges. This can be especially true for a career involving creativity. 

For some careers, like a teacher, for example, you get out of high school. You go to college. You student teach and look for a full time teaching position. 

Many careers follow a very linear path to get settled in them. Graphic design might not be quite like that.

Graphic designers are often creative souls who start by making some logos and getting experience. They know computers and help out some friends with branding. 

There are great professional opportunities in graphic design with the right set of skills. If you're interested in graphic design and want to pursue a career what skills should you have to land a job in the field?

Read on to learn about graphic designer skills needed for this career. 


1. Photoshop and Adobe Programs

Carpenters have a hammer and wood. Stylists have scissors and combs. 

Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the same for graphic designers. Nearly every graphic design job in the field will need you to be well versed and skilled in using these programs.

If you don't feel confident and well-versed in the use of these programs, consider taking a class. 

Spend some time working with them on your own. Learn the ins and outs of the program so you become a fluent user. 


2. Other Print Programs, Microsoft Office

The more diverse your skills are with any available design programs, the more marketable you become. 

Programs like Canva or Snapseed offer various platforms for graphic design. You won't know what programs your potential employer uses. The more you know about a variety of programs the better. 

Also, be well acquainted with the suite of Microsoft Office programs, especially PowerPoint and Publisher. 


3. Typography

This is at the core of what graphic designers do, especially in today's technology-driven world. Typography is the art of letters and fonts. It's taking words and creating them in a visually pleasing way or as an art form. 

Graphic designers need to know the technical elements of typography. This broadens their ability to be hired. 

With so many companies, online and as brick and mortar locations, looking for branding and logos, this is an important skill to promote yourself as a graphic designer. 


4. Coding

Graphic designers do not need to have the same skills as a computer programmer. They don't even need to act as tech support. 

Having said that, as a part of a team involved in website design, having some skills in HTML will be very helpful. As a graphic designer, it is likely that many, if not most, of your client base will have websites.

HTML is the coding used to run web browsers. This is good knowledge to have to support you as a graphics person. 

Additionally, knowing some things about Java or C+++ may not be necessary but again, helpful. 


5. Branding

As a graphic designer, one important thing you will do for your clients is to help them to visually create their brand. Branding helps a business do marketing and gain customers through brand recognition. 

The designer's role is to help create a logo, decide on colors for the brand. They will help to take that logo and those colors and to use it different ways to support the brand. 

The graphic designer can even help to show how printed color versus digital color will play out in branding and marketing campaigns. 


6. Creativity

Many graphic designers end up in this career because they are creative souls who evolved to it. They have a creative brain or a passion for art. They are visual and can imagine a look and carry it out.

Creativity isn't necessarily something you can teach but it's significant for the job. 

Graphic designers have the ability to use that creativity to transform ideas into graphics and brands that help their clients in ways they couldn't imagine. 

All those who describe themselves as "creatives" have slumps or ups and downs with their creativity. It's important to do things to foster and fuel your creativity. 

Watch closely what is happening in the field. Look around you all the time for inspiration.


7. Communication

While this is an ancillary skill, it is nonetheless an important one. As a graphic designer, you will not only have to create for clients but also communicate with them.

The ability to effectively communicate those visual ideas is key to guiding clients through the design process. While a client might not understand how the designer creates graphics, they want you to communicate how it will help them.


8. Goals of Design

Like creativity, this is somewhat intrinsic. As a graphic designer, you need to understand the purpose and goal of creating a graphic design. 

Your role is to visually communicate ideas, messages, campaigns, slogans, etc. Your role is not only to draw things on the computer. 

Understanding the "why" of design is key to successfully creating good design. Know your purpose and role as a designer.


9. Established Design Process

Along with the big overarching goals of design, you have to have a personal process for creating design.

As a graphic designer, you need to know the goal for the design. What objective are you trying to meet for your client?

What steps do you follow in creating the design? What goals do you have to help meet through the process of design?

Understand how you approach the process of design and have a plan for how you get information and achieve success for the client through the design process. 


Graphic Designer Skills to Get You Hired

As a young graphic designer hoping to break into the field, it is smart to be aware of how you can best market yourself. Help yourself by creating a resume and portfolio that highlights these skills for potential employers. 

Having these 9 graphic designer skills will surely put you on the path to success in the field of graphic design. Now it's time to design!

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