Having a good eye for beauty just doesn’t cut it anymore if you are working in the world of design. There so many tools and skills that you need to master, and missing out on any of them would also mean missing out on a lot of huge opportunities.
So if you’re ready to take your career in design a step further, grab your clipboard and start making a checklist containing these essential skills that you should learn:
HTML and CSS
It’s all about mastering the codes that make websites work and appear the way they do. After all, what good are your concepts if you have no idea how to make them a reality? HTML and CSS are the basic programming languages used in building a website, dictating where images should be placed, how the text would appear, and all the other aspects that come together to shape how every page looks. They control the structure and frame of every website, keeping everything in its proper place.
Regardless of how design has evolved from the extremely traditional to its modern digital form, the fact still remains that typography plays one of the biggest roles in making a design work. Your choice of typefaces can dictate whether audiences would have a positive or a negative reaction towards your content, and knowing how to match it with the images and the tone of your content could make or break your designs.
Did you know that people’s moods and decisions can actually be influenced by the colors they see? This is why you also need to have a thorough understanding of how colors work. Knowing how to effectively mix and match colors on a webpage will not only make the website more attractive, but can also help align it with its primary mission.
Just because you work on a digital capacity does not mean that you can ignore the way print design works. Knowledge of proper color separation, grid layouts, color spacing, and other similar concepts is still important because a lot of the projects you will be working on will also have to be applied to printed material, especially when the need for additional promotions and marketing kicks in.
After making sure that the colors, fonts, and the rest of the layout work well together to form a design masterpiece, the last thing that you need is to have a less than appealing image ruining everything. A single image can affect everything else around it, and the wrong photo could put all your effort in making each page flawless could go to waste.
As the designs used in new websites become more intricate, the software used to create them becomes more advanced as well. Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and other tools within this range allow you to paint a picture of the image that your imagination creates. New apps and tools also emerge every so often, and being updated with all of them will allow you to be more versatile with your work.
Although there was a time when it was acceptable for designers to be eccentric and stuck inside their own world, there has never been a higher demand for socially competent designers. Designers cannot live with just talent any longer. You also have to learn how to do business, and be able to grow your own network to build your name and your worth.
Marketing and Social Media
Your website will not become popular on its own no matter how amazing it is. You also need a lot of marketing know-how, and social media is one of the key elements to master. Partnerships, online advertising and email marketing are quickly becoming prerequisites to putting any kind of design project on the map.
It’s not just about doing everything that pops into your head. You also have to make sure that the copy matches the feel of the website. You can’t put rainbows and balloons on a page that discusses hard-hitting political statements. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to understand what message each copy is trying to convey and match it with relevant design elements. There will also be times when you’ll be doing your own copy work, to prove that you truly are the entire package.
Despite the presence of all the high-tech software and programs that allow you to create amazing designs, your career still won't blossom without the basic ingredient: creativity. This is one thing that computers will not be able to replicate, and the basic ingredient to create beauty out of nothing.
Are you ready to start building the kind of designs that keep the world in awe? Start brushing up on these skills and dominate your space.