Our graphic designer Ethan, has been working with us for almost a year now. He wanted to share the ideas acquired during his time working at Planet Media in this blog. Read on to learn about the skills and knowledge Ethan gained while working as a graphic designer in an agency.
« My name is Ethan – I have been an in-house graphic designer for Planet Media since February of this year. When I first started here I had taken on freelance graphic design and animation contracts for a while – from social media content to music gigs, visuals projected behind DJs and weird infographics here. and there, but I hadn’t had a recurring workplace (unless in the design industry) until this point. Here are some things I learned while working as a graphic designer in an agency in Canberra
I learned a lot during my stay here; the most important skill, I think, is adaptability to a variety of environments. When I create content for fun or for my brand, I have a rather particular style that I like. I really enjoy a simulated print vibe, with a lot of heavy textures and grungy elements, a lot of distortion, bright saturated colors, etc. By far more often than not, this style is highly inappropriate for the corporate brand or business clients. I’ve learned that a good designer can use their skills and tools to create content in a set of branded guidelines very effectively, such as preset colors, etc., without having to push those boundaries. There are, of course, situations where there is a lot of merit in pushing the boundaries and allowing creative freedom – but these situations won’t be very positive (for the designer or the client) if the basics aren’t there. still under control.
Know your niche
Another thing I have learned is that at least starting out in the visual design industry when there is a lot to be said for specializing in a particular design area (animation, illustration, lettering, documents, etc.), in a position like mine, a big part of the role is the ability to complete any design task sent my way. Sometimes it was animated clips for social media, sometimes it was a set of images for the front page of the Canberra era, sometimes it was a full suite of 27 display ads in different sizes or even company brochures. Even just in the creation settings of an Instagram post, I was often forced to create illustrations, product mockups, sometimes requiring hand drawings, etc.
While there is already a lot that has already been written by designers about the generalization versus specialization debate, in my experience, it’s great to have as many skills as possible in your toolset. and keep as many options open as possible. You can always end up specializing (and even re-generalizing) later in your career, but it’s much more difficult to acquire the skills to create polished animations if you’ve never done anything but logo design. and branding. To perfect yourself in a particular region, you don’t necessarily need to have studied it academically – although that certainly helps. There are YouTube tutorials for just about anything and everything, plus a plethora of great guides available on sites like Udemy, Domestika, and School of Motion. Also, don’t be afraid to check out sites like Behance or 99designs for inspiration.
Business vs leisure
Finally, it is important to be able to navigate the business world itself. Making digital drawings or animations as a hobby is one thing, but being able to capture exactly what a customer needs, or exactly what a target audience will enjoy, is a whole different ball game. Technical skills alone are not enough to cut him off as a designer. Having the ability to sit in a meeting and assess what a customer is looking for, and present your own suggestions as appealing but not dominant, is an important skill – not just in design, but in most industries. .
There are also a lot of secondary skills that come with time and experience – negotiating contracts, planning larger projects effectively, and the ability to review all the pieces of content that need to be created that day and to know which ones will require more time for effective prioritization. The skills I learned during my time in an agency will be invaluable no matter what I end up doing in the future.
Here! It was very interesting to learn Ethan’s personal experience at Planet Media with some practical skills he learned on the job. If you have an interest in working in an agency in the future, we hope Ethan’s experience has shown you what expectations as a graphic designer in an agency can look like!
The post What It’s Like To Be A Graphic Designer: Lessons Learned From Working At An Agency In 2020 appeared first on PlanetMedia.