Graphic design is a fickle territory where most newcomers fall into a pit of misconceptions. Things get easier with time, however, the beginning is always an important step of learning any skill.
Misconceptions can set us on a wrong path. This path could teach us how to do some things in ways which are far from optimal. We might end up focusing on the skills which are irrelevant to the job position.
Graphic designers benefit from a plethora of skills. Is drawing one of them? Not really, though it could be helpful. Here is why.
Drawing is Beneficial But not Essential
This should be out of the way immediately. Drawing is an essential skill if you are an illustrator. If you are not and will not be having any illustration as part of your graphic designer’s job (and you shouldn’t) then drawing should not be on your mind.
Drawing is a great skill to have as a designer, but far from essential. It is not even in the list of priority skills to have. Illustration can play a good role in design, but it should be left to the experts. Designers need something else.
Great Communication Skills
Designers are there firstly to communicate and convey a message. This message can be communicated in many ways, but it is not up to the designer to actually write, draw or animate the message, depending on the context. Communication helps the designer share that message with whoever needs to receive it.
Communication is also an essential skill when working with any client. Knowing what the client wants and then how to communicate what the best design would be takes a little experience, to say the least if the two things collide.
A good designer needs to be able to tell which design is good and which is bad. This is one of the first skills that a designer should work on, particularly for their own work. Knowing how to differentiate between good and bad design is the first step in becoming a great designer. As soon as the designer can tell what works and what doesn’t, especially in their own work, they are on a good path to becoming a great graphic designer.
Typography, Coherency and Communication
Graphic design is more about using the right typography to convey a message. It is also about saying what needs to be said as coherently as possible. If it can be aesthetically pleasing, then that is a bonus point.
Communication is, once more, a very important part of graphic design. A good designer will know how to say a lot by using as little as possible. The simplest messages often stay with us the most.
Like most beginners, graphic designers also run into trouble by focusing on the wrong things. Drawing is not an essential skill for graphic designers, but communication, typography, and in general, having a good eye for things, are.