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5 Characteristics of Successful Designers


Apart from knowing the ins and outs of the principles of design, or the never-ending list of tools in the Adobe Suite, there are a few things to know as a designer that will add to your success. Developing some of your skills to handle client interactions and managing personal time and growth will surely help you in the long run. From my experience working with great designers, as well as working with clients, I can say with confidence that successful designers:


1. Handle criticism well.

As a designer, there are always going to be edits to your work. Learning early on to not take it personally, and separating yourself from your work, is important. After all, if you’re designing for a client, ultimately it should be the most pleasing to their eye. In the end, doing a few rounds of edits benefits the end product—that’s why they call it a “first” draft.

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2. Manage time effectively.

Clients often give designers multiple projects at a time and expect turn around time to be quick, all while producing quality work. To handle your workload, order your projects by size and due date, and get some help tracking your projects with Todoist.

Completing small projects right away can boost your productivity and prepare you for the larger tasks at hand. Most importantly, be realistic. Don’t take on more than you know you can handle. It’s more important to do solid work on a few projects than sub-par work on a ton of projects. This way you won’t let down clients with poor quality or late work.


3. Communicate well with clients.

Good communication at the start of a project can save you time in the end. Make sure you get all the details needed to complete your work in the beginning. Ask questions, and if the client is unclear as to what they want, guide them in a direction that would work for their message, using best practices. Explain to them how your idea can fulfill their needs. Test different types of communication with clients to make sure you are on the same page (as a designer, visual communication often works best). Draw your ideas out, and show your client what you are thinking. Be confident in your work when showcasing your ideas.

 Communicate well with clients


4. Continue to learn.

Be passionate in your work. It’s clear when a designer is thoroughly interested in the work they are doing. In the field of graphic design, styles and practices are constantly changing; keep learning in order to develop and refine your skills as a designer. There are always new areas in which you can expand your knowledge. Want to continue your education? Try platforms like lynda.com or skillshare.com.


5. Stay motivated. 

Your creativity will shine through the more motivated you are. Keep your drive up, and seek out the reward in accomplishing a large project, or thinking of something outside of the box. Let your design be driven by the task at hand.

There are times when I feel like I am in a design rut, or that there aren’t any ways to make a project more exciting. That doesn’t have to be the case. I try to seek out inspiration from other designs and content pieces; this helps open up some possibilities and adds interest to what I am working on.

Keep your passions high and continue doing what you love. Maintain your creativity and see where your work is able to take you. Keep these tips in mind while designing, and see how you can increase your design success.

Do you agree with this list? Have anything else to add? Share with me in the comments below!

Looking for help with design? Connect with Milwaukee inbound marketing agency, Accelity Marketing.