A path to becoming a graphic designer is more difficult than one might expect. There are quite a few aspects that newcomers do not take into consideration and suffer for it later.
Of course, experience plays a prominent role in how good or bad you are doing, and that is not something you can expect to have from the first day of working as a graphic designer.
Learning from mistakes is one of the best ways to move forward and grow as someone who is recognized by their peers and other people. If you are still relatively new to the world of graphic design and would like to find out what are some of the most common mistakes designers make, this article should be a good reference.
Mistake #1 – Mismanagement of Work Tools
The tools you use for work should be in top condition. A faulty tablet will lead to missed deadlines, and the situation can escalate even further. If you notice that there is something wrong with the tool you use, do not hesitate and fix them or get a replacement before it is too late.
The same thing can be said about software. For instance, if you mismanage Photoshop and not pay attention to cache and other temporary files, it will not be too long before you get bombarded with warnings about how your scratch disk is full, which will ultimately lead to various computer performance issues.
Make sure that everything you use for work is in good condition. This way, there will not be problems with efficiency.
Mistake #2 – Missed Opportunities
Take every opportunity you can, even if the payment is small and the work itself is not that interesting. When you are starting out, gaining experience should be one of your priorities.
And when it comes to opportunities, it is not just job offers. If there are opportunities to join a community, learn something by attending a lecture, or doing anything else that is beneficial to your career, take everything that you can.
Mistake #3 – Lack of Communication Skills
There are people who struggle with communication. Even if you do all the work online, do not underestimate how important it is to present yourself in a good way. Even if you are bidding for a small gig on a freelancer site, keep in mind that there are other bidders as well, and a solid portfolio might not be enough to get you the job.
Mistake #4 – Messy Workflow
Messy workflow is something that certain people get into the habit of if they are not careful. Working with multiple projects at the same time is tricky, and if you are juggling that, make sure that all the files are organized into proper folders.
You can use the search function on a computer to find the stuff, but it is possible that you could forget the name of a file. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but these little details also hinder one’s efficiency.
Mistake #5 – Lack of Social Media Presence
Social media is a place where you connect with other people. And that includes both peers and potential clients. These days, not focusing on one’s social media presence is a big mistake, especially if you are a freelancer.
And it is not just about LinkedIn, though that one should be a priority as it is the hub for freelancers. Do not underestimate Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest and Instagram could also be great for showing off your work. You can use free design tools that can make beautiful social media graphics and keep your followers engaged. Finally, be on the lookout for new platforms.
Mistake #6 – Lackluster Portfolio
A portfolio is something that every graphic designer should have. Always be prepared to show your past achievements. Not having anything to show for a potential employer significantly reduces your chances of getting hired.
If your portfolio is lacking, do not hesitate and take some low-paying gigs or even do stuff for free. The most important thing is to have something to back up your skills.
Mistake #7 – Not Keeping Strong Relationships
When you are finished with work, do not discard a client like they mean nothing to you. Instead, you should look to establish a strong relationship with them so that if there is ever another gig, they will hire you instead of another designer.
On the other hand, if you are certain that this person will not need your services in the future, at least ask for a positive review on one of your profiles. However, that should be something to do with every client so that your reputation rises.
Mistake #8 – Not Asking for Feedback
If you want to move forward and grow both as a person and graphic designer, be sure to ask for feedback constantly. Whether it is your peers, friends, or even family. Constructive criticism will help you if you strive to receive it consistently.