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The Top Five Things A Graphic Designer Needs!

Whether you are at the start of your career, or you are designing for fun, it can be hard to find a starting point to get into the proper work flow to excel and impress the people that you are doing it for. Below are the ‘Top 5 Things’ you should consider using if you are interested in becoming a Graphic Designer.

1. Sketchbook and Pencil

Image of a sketch book.
Credit to: Google Images

If you are considering doing any sort of design work, you should have a sketchbook with you. If you’re anything like me, and can’t draw for the life of you, don’t panic. A sketch book lets jot down those ideas that would take too long for you to do on a computer. This is important because if you are working with clients or are limited on time, you shouldn’t waste time waiting too long to come up with a concept that will work.

2. A Computer and Mouse

Having a device that is strong enough to handle your working tasks is always nice to have. Whether you are creating catalogues for your client or drawing new designs for a clothing brand, having a computer to be able to create these media files will be well worth it. The mouse controls your movement through the designs so that you can do them precisely.

3. System Software

Image of Adobe Creative Cloud Logo's
Image Courtesy to: Adobe Creative Cloud

As simple as it may seem, having software that enables you to create your designs. In terms of software that is out there, I personally suggest using Adobe Creative Cloud. The reasoning for this, is due to its simplicity but the functionality of what it provides for the user is incomparable to other software that are available. Some programs that may sound familiar are Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro.

4. A Thinking Space

With life as it is, being creative can have its hardships if it isn’t always practiced or is interrupted by others. So at number 4, having a thinking space allows for you to have time and pull 100% of your thoughts to achieving what you are wanting. The space doesn’t have to be large either, whether it’s your bedroom, in your living room, or if you do your best thinking in the shower, it’s all up to you, and that’s the best part of it. Once you do happen to find this space, make sure to use it. Actively practicing creative skills will help you in the long run!

5. Headphones

Having headphones allows you to focus on your work, and can have your own headspace in a busy environment. This is fantastic for designers because a lot of our work happens in our head and having that clear space to think about it allows for better efficiency when you work, which could eventually allow you to get more jobs.

Lightbulb on chalkboard

How To Find Inspiration

You walk into your first day of Interactive Media Arts, everything’s great, you meet new people, learn new things, it’s all a piece of cake. Then the assignments start coming and the inspiration and ideas don’t follow. I’ve compiled a list of my tried and true methods that I look to when my ideas just aren’t flowing.

Exploration To Ease Frustration

Go for a walk. Being in the same place for a long time can make it difficult to be creative. A fresh environment can help stimulate new thinking.

Observation is Key

Look at what others are doing, I find looking at designs can help as people have such varying perceptions of the world and they notice different things. Be careful not to copy someone’s ideas. Sites like designinspiration have a lot of great content. Another place I like to go to for inspiration is Pinterest, you can organize your different thoughts into boards, it’s a great resource for anyone.

Woman listening to music
Photo Credit: Bruce Mars from Pexels
Change Your Tune

Listen to music, and if you’re already doing that, listen to something completely different. According to Jill Suttie, music helps diversify your thinking, regardless of if you like what you’re listening to or not.

Speak is the New Chic

Talk to someone. Get their view on the task at hand, they might have an insight you never would have come up with. Sometimes just explaining the project to a friend may help, especially if they have less knowledge in the subject and you have to describe it in a more simplistic way.

notebook
Photo Credit: Ann H from Pexels
Don’t Forget It, You’ll Regret It

When creativity does hit write it down, NOW. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few keywords or a sketch, just get your idea onto something. I can almost guarantee you won’t remember it or at least not to its full capacity. Carry a little notebook with you or keep notes on your phone, make it as accessible as possible to store ideas.

Tried and True

This final tip is something I’m sure you’ve heard a million times but I included it because it’s true: find what works for you, there isn’t going to be any one-size-fits-all solution. Sometimes your go-tos will change as you get older or work on different types of projects.

As Einstein once said, “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” This is applicable to more than just physics. I get it, sometimes you’re stressed and time constraints don’t help. Just take it one step at a time and break the task into more attainable chunks. If you still are coming up with nothing, take a short break and start fresh.

If new ideas still feel like finding a needle in a haystack I’ve included some links to alternative sites with a different perspective that may help get the inspiration flowing for you. 

I hope you enjoyed my blog. Thanks for reading!

sketches on a page

Tips to Help You on Your Next Brainstorm

You know that feeling you get when you’re starting a new project and you have too many ideas in your brain? Well my friend, you’re not alone. Staring at a blank canvas with ideas running through my brain have created many brainstorms in my life, and the reason they’re called that is because they can get very chaotic. Which is why today I will share some tips that I’ve picked up that help me tame the storm.

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