6 Changes Graphic Designers Should Adopt To Survive 2021

6 Changes Graphic Designers Should Adopt To Survive 2021 main article image
Posted on March 5, 2021 by Daniel Martin

One of the best things about the graphic design industry is that each year you have a chance to have a fresh reset career growth and expansion. 2020 has been unlike any other year. Great skill and resilience were needed to overcome challenges from last year. 

2021 will demand a new high and standard for graphic designers to survive. Competition is fierce. Adopting a series of changes and trends is key for graphic designers to survive 2021 and take their careers to the next phase. Below are 6 of the most vital changes required this year.

1. Study Design Theory

Graphic design has become a lucrative industry especially in the early part of 2020. There are many graphic design tutorials available for free online. With that, many artists learned to do their job from doing rather than design education.

Self-learning has proven to be an effective tool for graphic design newbies. But since we already have an excess of graphic designers to date, there is a need for serious digital artists to take their work to the next level. A proper understanding of design theory can enhance the quality of your designs significantly. 

From design theory, you will learn about the fundamentals of design such as the golden ratio, typography, grid, and color theory. 

There are many ways to educate yourself in design. Your options can include getting a bachelor’s degree or enrolling in short courses. If you are strapped for cash, you also have the option to take free design courses.

2. Incorporate Client Feedback

A good graphic designer encourages clients to leave feedback on their work. But perhaps due to time constraints, there are very few of them who can incorporate the feedback into their future projects. 

Here’s our recommendation:

  • Go over any previous feedback you have had from clients
  • List down the most relevant ones
  • Find a way to apply it to your strategy or workflow

Change your workflow one step at a time. Remember that perfecting your craft can need a lot of trials and errors.

3. Network With Other Graphic Designers

Networking sounds like a fancy concept at a time when people are experiencing a pandemic on a global scale. Thankfully though, it’s still made possible through the internet. 2 of the places we can recommend for graphic design networking would be Behance and Reddit. 

Behance is a social media platform for graphic artists created by Adobe. It is a place where artists can showcase their work and where bypassers can comment on the artwork or even donate to the artist. 

What we love about Behance is that it allows graphic designers to obtain genuine feedback from other experts. When you post some of your most valued artworks there, other graphic designers (or a design fan) can give you kudos for a job well done. Some of them will also leave some suggestions on what you can do to improve your craft. 

Reddit, on the other hand, is the part of the internet where people talk about practically anything under the sun (including graphic design). Head over to graphic design subreddits and you can see what other graphic designers are talking about. You can take ideas and then use them for your work. 

This will also be an opportunity for you to ask how you can improve and obtain suggestions from other people in the industry.

4. Learn Copywriting

Copywriting constitutes an important part of graphic design. Sure, if you want to focus on graphics alone, you can consult the services of a copywriter. But there’s a disadvantage. 

The graphics and copy usually come hand in hand. Each one has to suit the other. This would result in subpar work otherwise. You may end up with a visually appealing design still. But the way the message is conveyed can be off and difficult to understand.

As you learn copywriting, you become in charge of both the curating of the message as well as the design part. With that, you will be able to adjust the elements (whether it be design or text) as you see fit. You may be surprised to see that how the message is conveyed can have a massive improvement in your artwork as a whole. 

5. Read Books On Graphic Design

Courses teach you the skill. Experience lets you hone them. But books lets you learn from the wisdom of graphic designers who have already made it at the top of the industry. You will be able to pick their brain and understand the concepts and strategies that they apply in their work. 

This 2021, embracing a life of learning has become crucial not just for graphic designers but all professions.

6. Upgrade Your Equipment

In graphic design, your skill and talent are more important than your equipment. Many graphic designers started their careers with only a basic computer. 

Nonetheless, having extra equipment like a graphics tablet makes your work easier and a lot more fun. And as an artist, you know that when you enjoy your work, you tend to create better artwork.

If you don’t have a graphic tablet yet (because perhaps you are new to the industry), we encourage you to get one this 2021. 

Owning a graphic tablet will help you survive industry competition in 3 ways:

  • You will be inspired to be more creative due to the ease 
  • Work gets done faster so you can take on more projects
  • Extra features of graphic tablets let you add pizzazz to your work

And if you own one already, it may be a good idea to check the specs of your current graphic tablet. Is it still speedy and reliable for today’s expectations? Does it lack significant features that can make a lot of difference in your artwork? Can it still keep up with the speed of fast computers of this age?

Feel free to give your graphic tablet a roll while keeping the above questions in mind. Getting the best tablets for graphics designers would be an upgrade that requires a bit of monetary investment. But it’s one that you won’t regret if it leads to optimum career advancement this 2021. 

Final Takeaway

2021 presents new challenges. What change can you apply in your career to help you thrive this 2021? Refer back to our list and take the ones that most apply to you. If there’s anything that we’ve missed, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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1 Comment

Great advice!

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