Last Updated on April 8, 2016
When we start off a career in any field, it’s always helps if someone guides us in figuring out various things. This is just a simple list of steps that newbies got to take care of while starting their First project as a Graphic Designer. Let’s get started!
1. Know your tools well
Know your designing software’s and tools before you head out to take on a project. Research about which software is best for what kind of job. The two main softwares that most designers own are Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. There are many other alternative, but if you got enough cash it’s definitely worth it. If you need to learn how to use them, there are thousands of tutorials from beginners to experts. Don’t be foolish and pay for there classes when you can easily teach yourself.
You will also need a good knowledge about colors. What color looks best in print and what looks best on web? These are pretty standard questions you need to understand. RBG (red, green, blue) colors are usually used for the web. RBG looks vivid on tvs, monitors, cell phones, and every other digital based device. CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) is used for print. So if you are creating any kind of print based work, you will have to use CMYK colors for it.
2. Have tie- ups with printers
If you are planning to design for print design , it is important you know a lot of printers who take up different kind of printing. It really comes in handy when the client wants you to take care of the printing as well. Before tying up with printers, visit their printing offices once to get a good idea how the printing process works. When you do that you will have a good idea on pricing as well. This will enable you to look online and find cheaper prices for the same printing job. Then when a client needs an order, you will make more money.
Example: Charge the client $50 for 250 Business Cards, while your online supplier only charges you $10+tax. You will walkout with $35+ bucks, and invoice them for the design work along with it. Plus many online business card printing companies offer a white label option. That means you can strip the company’s info from the shipment, meaning the client will never find out what company printed this. Usually it’s an extra fee, but worth sometimes worth it.
3. Do not work for free
As you are new in the business, people may try to trick you in to design for free. Be it friends or family, do not design anything for free. This situation can become quite sticky when it comes to taxes. It is recommended that you download a TurboTax Free program to keep track of business expenses. Moreover, maintain a professional approach towards your profession. Remember, If you do not value your work no one else will. Spec work is truly killing our profession, it damages the general public’s understanding of the Graphic Design profession. People say “Oh, a logo I can easy design that myself. I’m not paying some designer $1000+ for it, that’s just crazy!” They say this because they have no idea how long it took us to learn all the aspect of the profession. We are not in the era where you can pay $35 for a logo design, a.k.a NIKE.
4. Terms and Conditions
Make a legal document stating your terms and conditions. It may include mode of payment, advance, and different variations to be given that are most important for you. Also make a clear statement of what happens if the project goes on hold or if the client doesn’t approve of your designs even after giving him a number of options. This makes a professional impression on the client, and lets them know what they are getting into. Be very careful about these agreements, and don’t ever give them the impression that you don’t know what you are doing.
5. Take your time to design things
Just because you got your first project doesn’t mean you have to work 24*7 on it and submit the designs in one day. Take your time to think over concepts, the client likes your designing and that is the reason you got the job, do not compromise on your design quality, the client is not going to run away! Spend as much time as needed to perfect your work. Keep in mind that if the outcome looks terrible, best believe that the client will never recommend you to their business partners. If you are part of any design based communities like Dribbble, Forrst, and Lovedsgn. Make sure to see what other creatives think of your work. Designer are very honest and truth might hurt, but you should thank them and fix your mistakes before the client sees them.
6. Make an impact-full presentation
Making a good presentation of your designs is equally important as making good designs. If your designs are excellent but your communication skills/presentation is weak, there are very high chances that your designs will get rejected. Be very clear and explain to your client the outcome. What made you chose that color, why did you make that design symbolize a certain subject, and much much more. To make things easier tell them to ask you questions about the work. That way you can clearly answer and change the thought process they have. Remember that they are not designers, so they might not understand somethings clearly as you do.
7. Optimistic Approach
As new designers, we get disheartened if a client does not approve of our first set of designs. Don’t give up, if someone criticizes you. Take every criticism in a positive manner, use it as a guide to improve your designing techniques and work flow. Remember, Rome was not built in a Day. So in order to make yourself a better designer allow yourself to improve. Don’t think that you know everything, because the cold hard truth is that you don’t. We learn new things every single day, don’t be afraid to accept that fact.
8. Wear a smile
Wear a smile , it makes all the difference in the world. Be a happy person, and influence the people around you. You only live once and do not know what will happen tomorrow. So take advantage of every single day you are given.
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