We're sure all you designers reading this are extremely excellent at what you do - but true pros know there's always room to improve your skills and become even better at your chosen occupation - which is why we were thrilled to stumble across this excellent list of tips and tricks on how to become a better designer and couldn't wait to share it with you!
The industry is always evolving, and staying up to date with trends as well, being open to learning new things, and constantly challenging yourself is integral to staying at the top of your game.
So without further ado, here are just a couple of suggestions on how to sharpen your design skills as compiled by the brilliant folk at Design Shack!
LEARN A NEW TECHNIQUE OR SKILL
Growing as a designer starts with continued education. Whether formal or on your own, there are plenty of ways to learn a new skill or freshen up on a technique that you’ve been wanting to master. Here are a few ways to get started: • Take a class as a local college or online.
• Ask a colleague to show you how to do something he or she does well.
• Attend a professional training event or conference. • Use online videos, or tutorials. (Creative Market has a great list of sites to help you expand your skillset.)
• Download a quality UI kit and pick it apart.
READ, WRITE, OR PURSUE OTHER CREATIVE ENDEAVORS
To help keep your creative juices flowing, take part in other creative activities. Most designers agree that creativity comes fairly naturally. It is important to foster that part of your brain outside of work as well.
• Read a book
• Take photos
• Visit a museum
• Write or draw in a journal
• Listen to or make music
• Get out in nature
CREATE A 'COVER' OF AN ICONIC DESIGN
Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, right? That’s where this fun trick comes in. Create a “cover” design of something iconic. Try to replicate – adding your own design flair, of course, something that people know well. Before you balk at the idea, here’s how it helps:
• It will make you design elements that you might not commonly use.
• It will help sharpen your skills for identifying and matching typefaces and color.
• It will help you think about and recreate pieces of art.
• It will help you explore what works about the design you are covering and what does not.
• It will help you see trends and techniques that applied to certain periods and how they have changed over time and impacted the work you do today.
One little side note here: This is a design exercise for you to expand your creative thought. Don’t recreate a design for a project or plagiarize another designer’s work.
SEEK FEEDBACK AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
Ask for help and feedback regularly. In some environments this comes rather naturally. If you work as a freelancer or in a small office, it may not. Constructive criticism and feedback should come from multiple sources:
• Employer or supervisor (if you have one)
• Peers and colleagues
• The design community
You may have to seek out this feedback. There are plenty of online resources to help; start with posting a portfolio and sharing the link. Behance appreciations and Dribbble shots are a good way to see what others think about particular projects.
To find out more of tips and tricks, head over to Design Shack to read the whole list.