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8 Practical Tips for Newbie Graphic Designers

Some help for those just starting out in the industry.

One of my cousins recently joined a creative agency as an entry-level graphic designer. For the first couple of weeks, he was in complete disarray. Being relatively new in the professional field, he was unaccustomed to working in an office environment.

The dilemma of not being able to adjust in a new working environment is what every newbie graphic designer faces. They constantly face issues in adjusting to the new set-up and fail to deliver their true potential. This happens especially when you don’t know what the tools of the trade are. Today I would like to assist my newbie graphic designer friends in adapting to the new environment with eight practical tips:

Learn from others

Being new and relatively junior in practice, you must acknowledge the experience of your seniors and peers. Don’t be a know-it-all, instead learn from others. Make a note of all the insightful tips and pointers given by the people already working there. Bear in mind that the people who are more experienced that you will have learnt from their mistakes. So being new, you can learn from them and avoid the mistakes that they made. Never feel ashamed in asking for help from others.

Remember names

Although I understand that some people are terrible at remembering names, it is crucial to grasp the names of all your colleagues and peers as soon as possible. Not only will this make a positive impression on your co-workers, they will treat you with respect and admiration. When you call people by their name and not just by their designation, it creates a long-term bond between the two of you which is vital in team work.

Ask questions

Many times, young graphic designers who are hired at the entry-level feel shy in asking anything at all. Whenever you face an issue and you want an answer, never hesitate in asking questions from the relevant party. Asking questions creates a positive impression on your boss who will think of you as an eager-to-learn and enthusiastic worker. No matter how dumb your questions may sound, don’t feel shy in asking and clearing the confusion.

Be a team player

It is a totally different scenario if you’re working as a freelancer or in a design agency. Working self-employed means that you’re the sole man in-charge, you call the shots. But in an employed scenario, it is a team-based effort. Being a newbie designer, you must learn to be a team player and work in a group. Learn to coordinate with your team members and acknowledge each worker’s effort.

Keep your stuff organized

One of the most common dilemmas of junior/entry-level designers is their disorganization of work. Since the workload of a new designer is cumbersome, you must keep your stuff organized and arranged. Most of your work will be on Photoshop or Illustrator, which involves scores of layers in a single file. A useful tip to be a successful graphic designer is to name your layers accordingly so that it will be easier to find them when any changes arrive.

Improve via criticism

The problem with young blood nowadays is that they are not comfortable in hearing any form of criticism. They are so restless that they are averse to any disagreements. So for all the junior graphic designers out there, they must realize that criticism helps in improving and enhancing your skills. Learn to hear out others opinions and analysis about you. Instead of reacting negatively, try to take positive aspects from the censure and improve them.

Don’t make enemies

Another simple rule for adjusting in a new environment is to make your graphic designer personality likeable. Avoid making enemies of any of the co-workers as it badly affects your appraisals. Make friends rather than foes as you wouldn’t want someone to be backbiting behind your back all the time. Try to keep good terms and conditions with everyone irrespective of status and position. You never know when and where your acquaintance with someone might come in handy.

Speak out your ideas

Sometimes, when graphic designers join a new place, they feel shy in expressing their ideas and opinions. The biggest threat that they assume is that they will be humiliated or embarrassed. If you believe that a certain logo can be made better through your logo design ideas, don’t feel shy in letting your co-workers know about it. But there is a thin line between making your point and arguing for the sake of argument. Every idea or feedback that you give will help you in your appraisal.

Written by Charlie B Johnson

Charlie B Johnson is graphic designer and the owner of Graphic Design Blog, a web resource for graphic designers everywhere.
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