Early graphic design focused on print and advertising. However, because technology has changed and evolved, so too has the field of graphic design. With computers, new skills, and technologies, like the Internet and Photoshop, have forced new disciplines into the field. Graphic design is a much larger part of our lives than we realize.
Now, everything revolves around technology, and having graphic design skills is incredibly important for today’s workforce. Even knowing the basics can make someone more marketable and valuable in the workplace. With the right artistic vision, design portfolios, and creative software, graphic designers can become successful virtual assistants and remote workers.
Core Graphic Design Skills
To be a successful graphic designer, some basic skills are required. These core skills may be more focused and specialized for certain industries, but no matter where you end up going in your graphic design career, these skills will apply.
Imagination and Visual Styling
Having an imagination is essential to any artistic or creative field. Graphic designers should be both creative and able to visually style images for maximum effect. By being able to visualize and use your imagination, you can expand the bounds of your abilities and innovate.
Design Thinking and Creativity
Thinking creatively allows you to pull elements out of daily life and incorporate them into your work. Creative thinking helps your graphic design be more interesting, relatable, and applicable to anyone interacting with it — which, in turn, also helps graphic design perform better, whether it’s developing an unforgettable logo for brand identity or designing an eye-catching billboard.
Proficiency in Design Software
Graphic design work requires the usage of design software. One of the most popular products is the Adobe Creative Suite, which includes both Photoshop and Illustrator. Being able to use these programs is essential to the work of graphic design, and it lets you start completing projects right away.
Basic Coding Skills for Designers
Possessing basic coding skills allows you to design more completely. There are many kinds of graphic design, but if you plan on working with apps or web design, knowing how to write code is important and can help you progress in your career. HTML and CSS are among the basics that you’ll need to understand UI/UX principles. UI, or user interface, and UX, or user experience, are important for functional graphic design.
Advanced Graphic Design Skills
The basic skills listed above will let you have the fundamental skills you need to understand more complex graphic design. To be better equipped to handle complex requests, you’ll need more advanced skills. While skills like creativity are abstract, advanced skills involve more concrete abilities. These skills can be learned with training programs and help you grow in your career.
Photo Editing and Manipulation
Photo editing is an important component of graphic design. With specific photo editing skills, you can enhance different areas of the photo or even change them entirely. Being able to edit and manipulate photos means getting a second try at an image. Maybe you took the perfect product photo, but the lighting is off. Photo editing allows you to change that and perfect the image.
Understanding of Print Design
Print design is a method of visual communication that is used to portray specific information to the audience interacting with the print. Information that appears in print needs to have an effective layout design to capture the target audience’s attention. Then, with the right digital illustrations and other design aesthetics, a print design provides visual storytelling that can clearly convey what you need it to.
Mastery of Typography
Typography is an art in and of itself, but it is more than simply creating fonts. It’s also a way to make written words more aesthetically appealing and more interesting. The right fonts can be used to fill the silhouette of a logo or to elicit a specific feeling. Think about the Disney logo and the feeling it evokes – it’s whimsical and easily recognizable. It’s an excellent example of good typography.
Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving
With how quickly technology changes, new problems are constantly arising. Innovative technology requires out-of-the-box problem-solving. We’re increasingly having to think of new ways to solve problems to stay ahead of changes and trends. When a graphic designer runs into a problem, they need to be able to solve it, often creatively.
Knowledge of Latest Trends
All industries change and develop quickly, but it’s vital to know what the newest trends are. Exploring and staying up on current graphic design trends enables you to incorporate them into your projects, ensuring your designs are relevant.
Trends like AI, AR, and VR let us use the digital tools available to present a specific experience to users. Knowing how to use these skills can help you take advantage of their abilities and make you a leader in the industry. Many tools exist to teach you about these different digital trends.
Applying Graphic Design Skills in Remote Work
It can be difficult to know how to convert some skills to remote work. Because much of the work of graphic design is digital, it can translate well to remote work. Making sure there is digital project management software being used and keeping communication open helps this industry work better with remote workers.
It’s crucial to have a variety of forms of communication, such as email, chat, and video conferencing. Information can be shared more easily and fully when teams can communicate in ways that are appropriate for the project.
With the right time management tools, you can be successful working remotely with graphic design. Workers throughout countries like Honduras and Peru have more remote work opportunities than ever before. Changes in the work climate are also adding more talent to the pool of available candidates and providing unique chances for employment.
Growing Professionally as a Graphic Designer
Changing industries require a person to continue to grow in their career. One of the ways that this can be done is through continuing education and certification. There are many programs that can teach you new skills and help you continue to grow in your work. These programs are helpful for remote workers because many of them are also available remotely.
Having a design portfolio allows potential clients to view the skills you have. Your portfolio can help clients determine if your skills are the right fit for their work. It can also show you areas where you may need more experience or improvement. A portfolio is a great opportunity for many reasons.
Finally, seeking out mentor or professional development opportunities gives you more access to skills, knowledge, and design critiques. In a field that changes quickly, this can be vital to your success. Mentors can provide you with important contacts and information in a specific field. They can give you direct access to professionals you may not have had on your own.
Professional development opportunities, such as conferences, can also help you network. Networking can be very important for graphic designers because new contacts can help with employment opportunities. They can provide feedback on your portfolio or help you learn where to seek new skills and employment.
Preparing for a Career in Graphic Design
If you’re interested in starting your career in graphic design, you’ll need to know where to start. First and foremost, you need to have the hard skills necessary to create. In addition to understanding color theory, vector graphics, motion graphics, and other elements of digital art, you’ll also need to know how to use graphic design tools, like Adobe Creative Suite. People living in many locations, like Costa Rica, Chile, and Mexico, have more access to these creative suite programs and digital workshops than ever before.
Once you have the education, or experience, to perform, you need to build your resume. Your resume is one of the first things that a future employer will see, and they will use it to gauge your abilities. Not only should you have professional qualifications, like education and certifications, but your resume should reflect your capabilities in creating user-centered graphic design.
Finally, you’ll need to prepare yourself for interviews. Resumes are a critical part of the application process, and they can make all the difference between a job offer and underemployment. Being able to interview well can make the difference between you getting hired and someone else taking the position.
Unlock Opportunities with Graphic Design Skills
Mastering graphic design not only boosts your employability but also opens doors to remote work. Its diverse disciplines align seamlessly with sought-after positions. Investing in these skills today can pave the way for your dream job.
As you delve into various graphic design disciplines, envision the doors that open to remote work possibilities. Today’s job market values professionals with versatile skills, and graphic design stands as a prime example.
Embrace the ongoing learning journey, a hallmark of successful graphic designers. Explore the dynamic realm of remote graphic design opportunities with Virtual Latinos. Let your graphic design skills redefine your career journey.