Vancouver is one of the best cities to study graphic design. The industry is continually growing, the opportunities are vast, and inspiration is everywhere. But the success of the industry in the city also means there are a high concentration of gifted designers. This means that not only do you need to be good at what you do, but also find a way to stand out. So how do you do that? How can YOU stand out from the crowd?
If you Google “graphic design in Vancouver” right now, you will easily be able to find information on the many amazing graphic designers in the city. Now have a good look at some of their work. What do they have in common? They are great designers and they are great at what THEY do. This is key. You undoubtedly have your own personality, and your own specific strengths and aesthetic. Figure out who you are and what you have to offer that nobody else does and be bold in putting that self out there. Nobody is as good at being you than you are.
This can sometimes feel like it runs contrary to the whole “you do you” concept, but the truth is, you do still need to have the ability to adapt to what the client wants, and to take criticism without taking offense. But let’s be real here, if someone has hired you, they have likely seen your previous work, seen what you are capable of, and liked what they saw. They believe in your ability already, so work with them, be open to new ideas, to collaborations and changes. The easier you are to work with, the more popular your services will be. Word will circulate that you are more than just a talented designer, you are someone who is willing to do what it takes to make clients happy.
Make it a habit. Any great designer will make a habit out of truly immersing themselves in the world of design. Inspiration is everywhere and doesn’t necessarily have to come from other graphic designers. It could be photography, graffiti, or even architecture. Art is everywhere and there are literally millions of people and things that have the potential to spark your creativity. Not only that, but paying attention to what is out there in the world will also keep you in the know with the latest design trends. This can have anything to do with popular colours, typography, or user experiences. This way, you can better anticipate client needs.
Be Business Savvy
If you’re a graphic designer, you are most likely a creative type. But guess what? You need to have some business sense too. You need to sell yourself, establish your brand, and keep track of your finances (especially if you are a freelancer). Being prepared will give you a competitive edge, because you can focus on your design projects instead of worrying about last minute financial details. Not only that, but familiarity with web design platforms can also help you launch your online portfolio allowing you to be visible to the public. In addition, online marketing strategies and search engine optimization can help you be SEEN. If you’re hiding, who’s going to hire you?
Ready to start your career as a graphic designer? Come to our Open House in Vancouver on March 21st at 4pm to take a free Creative Technology demo class! Visit our Creative Technology page for more information on the program and to RSVP.