Why it’s Important to Keep Up with Trends as a Graphic Designer and How To Do It
Graphic Designers that stay up to date with graphic design trends have an advantage over designers that stick to what they learned in college or design school. By knowing what is trending in the design industry, you can offer clients innovative ideas for their needs instead of relying on the basics. Constantly creating new design work that melds current trends with your personal style, will make your online portfolio into a unique visual destination for designers and clients alike.
Your graphic design career deserves to be treated with respect, keeping up with trends is the best way to do that. Feeding your creative inspiration is as important as finding new clients.
There are a few different ways that you can keep up to date with graphic design trends and keep your art at a higher level. It isn’t complicated and all graphic designers should do it; no matter if you just finished school, are self-taught or if you are an established designer already working for over a decade.
Get out of the comfort of your own design box
One of your greatest limitations as a graphic designer is to stick to your comfort zone. Repeating the same steps every time you take on a new design project will only keep you in a box. Find ways to open up your creativity, look for ways to inspire your ambition and learn new skills. Search out an international graphic designer community with which you can brainstorm ideas and see what other designers are doing. Take a course or follow a tutorial on something you don’t know how to do or are not completely comfortable doing. Change something around for the sake of renewal.
Never stop reading
One of the best ways to stay up to date with trends is to never stop reading. For graphic design trends, you can follow and read the best design blogs, like Mirador and FormFiftyFive. If possible, subscribe to a couple of the most influential graphic design magazines from around the world and keep them close to your work area. It’s important to look at graphic design projects from around the world, not only where you live. This way your vision is expanded and your creativity fulfilled.
Never stop learning
You don’t have to look very hard to find a learning resource these days. The educational offer varies from hands-on courses in a college or institute in your area, to workshops for learning new design software and also as online courses and tutorials for learning new skills. The tutorials you find online are created by designers just like you who are keeping up with trends and are paying it back to the graphic design community.
Keep your creative eye open
Another way of keeping up with what is trending in graphic design is to keep your creative eye open to unexpected possibilities. Visit open air markets where young designers are selling their handmade holiday cards or take a lettering class in a weekend fair. Go to the bookstore and look at the new books on display, at the way the covers are designed and the fonts they used. Sign up for the newsletters from museums and galleries and go to the new exhibits. Take on a manual hobby like embroidery or pottery. Doing these things can make you into the trendsetter instead of just the trend follower.
Network and community
Graphic designers have plenty of resources to stay in touch with each other and show off their work in a community setting. Sites like Behance, Dribble, and DeviantArt are great places, not only to keep your portfolio up to date but also to meet other designers and see what they are up to. Online communities are great, but things can get even more interesting if you join a design association that holds regular events and competitions.
If you are a freelancer, join a coworking space instead of working in your pj’s in your kitchen every day. Don’t worry we love working in our pj’s too. But getting out to work in a coworking space will get you closer to people that might inspire something new!
Teach your art
Just how we recommend you to take tutorials to learn new skills, why not teach your skills to other designers? You can either teach a course in a college or create tuts. Both will create a connection with students who will ask you questions, that in turn will make you think about things differently. If you ever talk to a teacher about their craft, they will tell you that as they teach they also learn from their students.
Never stop creating
Last but not least, the most important thing to remember as a graphic designer (or any kind of artist for that matter) is to never stop creating. If clients are scarce, that doesn’t mean you should be putting your drawing pad away and waiting. Keep sketching. Keep drawing. Create your own novelty font, make a background. Don’t forget to display your finished creations in your Behance or Dribble gallery. And if you think they are awesome enough, then join the Freepik creator’s team!