10 Important Skills for Graphic Designers

Skills are an integral part of any job, and the graphic design field is no exception. Designers who are skilled in the right areas will be more successful than those who aren’t, so it’s important to know which skills you need to focus on during your educational career. This article will give you 10 important skills that all graphic designers should have in order to excel in their career of choice. If you follow these tips, your business as a designer should thrive and help you to climb the success ladder!

1) Sketching
A sketch is often just a rough outline of an idea that helps you flesh out your vision before you actually begin working on it. Practice sketching with a pencil, marker, or pen—whatever’s most comfortable for you. There are some simple rules of thumb to follow when drawing shapes (don’t let your lines cross each other), but otherwise, don’t worry about using a ruler or filling in every line; just focus on transferring your idea from your mind to paper.

2) Lettering
Lettering is an extremely important skill to have. Regardless of whether you’re applying to be a freelance graphic designer or you’re starting up your own design firm, having great lettering skills will help set you apart from other applicants and give potential clients a reason to hire you. From large signs on top of office buildings to magazine ads and highway billboards, good lettering can make or break a design—and it’s something that any graphic designer should work hard to develop.

3) Drawing Basics
Before you get started, it’s important to have a working knowledge of drawing basics. Drawing has been around since prehistoric times and is a natural way to express emotions and experiences. Regardless of your intended skill level or career as a graphic designer, it is always important to make sure you have a good working knowledge of drawing skills that are used in almost every area of graphic design.

4) Vector Graphics
Vector graphics are composed of paths, or vectors, which have no measurable width. These lines must be created and then filled with an appropriate fill or color. Vector files are ideal for graphic design because they are resolution independent; meaning they will look good regardless of whether they’re on a computer screen or printed in large format on paper. If you’re serious about graphic design, it’s best to learn Adobe Illustrator® and Inkscape®, both vector-based graphics software applications.

5) Web Design Basics
The first and arguably most important skill for graphic designers is website design. It’s what you’ll use to help clients who need their own sites and it’s an excellent way to make extra money if you enjoy creating your own sites, too. There are a ton of different websites that offer basic training on web design basics. One great one is W3 Schools, which has a number of different tutorials available on HTML, CSS, JavaScript and more.

6) Color Theory
To understand color theory is to unlock a world of possibility, so it’s worth taking some time to familiarize yourself with it. Do you know how many variations of pink there are? Or how many different shades of green? Understanding color and being able to identify and manipulate different hues is one of those unspoken talents that separates pros from amateurs.

7) Typography
Typography is essential to any graphic designer’s toolkit, and refers to a style or typeface that displays words in a visually appealing way. A well-chosen typeface can have a profound effect on how your message is received—and even your brand’s appearance as a whole. Learning typography basics will ensure that you give appropriate consideration to an important aspect of design.

8) Shapes & Lines

9) Software Skills

10) Time Management Skills

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