Just like any profession, as a designer it is easy to neglect your skill-set and become less in tune with current design. So how as a graphic and packaging designer do you improve your skills and keep your designs modern? With these 5 techniques you will be able to keep up in this fast paced world of design:
There is an unlimited amount of literature for designers online and in-print. This can become overwhelming to the point where you might not even know where to start. Here are our favourites to get you started. **Comment below with yours!
If you have the ability to work and listen to people chat about design at the same time, this can be one of the best forms of multi-tasking! Listen to top designers talk about everything from how the industry is changing to how to make your design business more profitable. If multi-tasking isn’t your thing, play these podcasts when you’re on your way to the office or getting ready in the morning. They can actually be quite entertaining. Check out this list of ‘10 of the Best Podcasts for Designers & Creatives‘.
Although, you can find a lot of online tutorials and inspiration online, taking an evening course sets aside a dedicated amount of time each week. It also puts you in a new environment with new people to bounce ideas off. We highly recommend it.
Find someone you respect and look up to in your field and ask them out to coffee. People love to talk about what they do and most importantly themselves. Everyone has their own process – figure out what makes them tick! On the flip side, there are plenty of other designers looking for mentorship – especially students. Becoming a mentor forces you to look at your own process and explain it. This is a great way of learning more about why you do things the way you do and how you can improve them. Either way you spend time chatting about design; and regardless of what side of the conversation you are on you will always learn something.
Sometimes just going for walk clears your head for new ideas; but why not walk around 1000’s of examples of design that have made it to market. Get a feel for other peoples packaging – what materials, colours and shapes did they use and why? How does it stand out from other products on the shelf? Do their pop displays match their packaging? Does their packaging fit the aesthetic of the store? Once you get home write down what you liked and what you didn’t. Research the packaging you liked and find out who made it.
Keeping current in the design world isn’t easy, it takes work just like anything else. With hard work comes results and with great results usually comes rewards. Please comment below with any suggestions you have for staying current as a designer.