When I started out in Graphic Design - specifically Logo Design - I didn’t have any education or experience. I started by researching, watching videos on Youtube and reading lots of educational books on Graphic Design and Branding. I already had a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, I couldn’t draw well and all I knew is that this job is what I was created to do at this time.
So now that you know a very condensed version of my story about my genesis in my career, here are 4 things I wish I knew when I first started Logo Design.
It’s Not Easy
Because I thought I knew what I was doing I thought it would be easier than it looked. I knew how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I knew how to please my own eye for design. What I didn’t know is how to please others - to design something that was integral to their brand. I also didn’t know how to price work - so I did it for free. Which leads me onto …
Stop Doing Work For Free
It’s so tempting to do free work for a company especially when you’re first starting out, you may think that you’ll be getting promoted by working for someone - you may feel like you’re getting experience because you’re working for someone else and “learning the ropes” of design. I will now tell you, that it sometimes is okay to do work for free, maybe for a good cause or for a charity - but if a company that is making money of the designs they want you to create, then you need to stop. This totally under-values you and your work. If that company thinks that you will keep doing ‘free’ work for them because they will keep coming back and giving you exciting prospects of promotions and experience then you’re wrong. They won’t! They will milk you for all you have.
When you add value to your work, that’s when you’ll start to see the right clients coming through, ones that will value your time as a designer and pay for the artwork that you’re creating. Most of the time, they will even value your actual artwork more because they’ve placed physical value upon that. It also shows that you’re confident in your design abilities.
Too many young designers are afraid to listen to what people’s thoughts are on their work. I remember when I first started out making small fictional logo designs for myself and portfolio, close family and friends would always point the mistakes out. No one likes it when people criticise your work, but it’s so important for you to listen to what some people have to say about your work if you ever want to grow in your abilities. For me, I always ask people what they think of my latest work, this isn’t because I want people to say how great it is (although this happens and I appreciate and enjoy it) but this is so other designers and trust worthy people around me can tell me what I can grow in.
So always make sure that you’re listening to advice, don’t run away from it! You’ll learn faster and you will surprise yourself as your abilities grow.
This generation gives up to easily. I don’t know what it is but somehow we’ve become a people who are satisfied at mediocre. If you’re passionate about your creative career, you’ve got to stick with it! Even through the times when you feel like nothing is progressing. Even when it feels like the whole world is against you - even if it seems impossible. Remember, your situation in life may not change quickly - but you perception of it can!
If something is making you feel like you’re not good enough - take those horrible thoughts and throw them away. They do nothing but steal your future! If you’re passionate about your creative career then keep going. You will have ups and downs, even I have these days. But the main thing for you to do is to be strong and keep going. Don’t let the world get you down!
I hope these few things helped you out. What inspired me to write this is because I see a lot of designers with crazy amounts of potential having their futures robbed because of bas experiences. If you’re starting out in your creative career : Keep going!