Upgrade your design skills with these 4 tips
Design is all around us, from magazines and advertisements to everyday products and the buildings you work in each day. While bad design sticks out like a sore thumb, great design often goes unnoticed. Whether we recognise it or not, design influences us on a daily basis.
Even though you might not be a professional designer, you still use design-related skills regularly. No matter if you work in the marketing or business department of your company, expanding your visual thinking is a great way to advance your career.
Regardless of your profession, here are a few strategies to upgrade anyone’s design skills.
- Pay attention
Having design related-skills does not only refer to creating visuals in Photoshop and Illustrator. There are many ways to expand your visual horizon. Paying attention to the designs around you is the first step.
When walking to the MRT or strolling through shops, keep an eye out for designs that speak to you or grab your attention. No matter if it’s the front of a building, a fancy bicycle, or the layout of a magazine, take a moment to look at the design details and find out why it speaks to you. Understanding what makes a design work will help you to develop your own visual thinking.
- Get creative
Don’t be shy and play around with ideas. Pick up your paint brush, pencils, or camera (or your phone) and get creative. Learning by doing still is one of the easiest ways to develop any skill. Don’t restrict yourself just because you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do. The physical activity of drafting, creating, and playing around is often enough to get your creative juices flowing.
For example, go for a walk with your camera and experiment with contrasts, framing, and new angles. One picture at a time, this practice will not only help you find new perspectives on subjects, but actually develops your problem-solving skills. Learning to find new approaches is a great skill to master and helps you to share your ideas more effectively.
- Learn something new
When was the last time you learned something new? It never hurts to expand your horizon, even if you work in a very specialised field. For example, if you know how to take pictures, you might want to learn the basics of Photoshop. Understanding the possibilities of digital image manipulation can result in new ideas for your photography.
Although the internet is a great well of information, consider doing a beginners’ course for your new skill. It’s not only fun and a great stress reliever, it also helps prevent the frustrating feeling of trying to teach yourself something you don’t yet understand - and you’ll meet like-minded people, too.
- Perfect an existing skill
With smartphones in our pockets, everyone has some basic photography skills already. No matter if you consider yourself a creative individual or not, we all have basic knowledge for various creative skills. Pick one of your favourite skills and try to perfect it.
You can also read up on the topic in books and magazines. Head to the bookstore and start browsing photography, art, or digital design literature. Learn about new techniques, discover creative leaders, and get inspired by the work of others. Don’t forget to put everything you learn into practice - practice makes perfect.