Graphic design is crucial in the world of marketing, advertising and web development. We rely on the images created to help us tell a story to our audiences; something that keeps them engaged and interested in a brand. According to Britedge, Tweets with images, for example, receive up to 5x times the engagement of those without. Articles with visuals receive 94 percent more views. Clearly, graphic design is an important element; but what is graphic design and what does it take to get into this field?
To learn more, we interviewed one of our graphic designers, Ashley.
Describe what you do in one sentence.
I design websites and social media content for local and globally recognized brands.
How long have you been graphic designing?
I graduated from SUNY Fredonia in May 2013 and started my first job in August 2013, so professionally it’s been about 8 years! My dad taught me how to use photoshop in high school (maybe even middle school) and I started learning the very basics of HTML from MySpace, so I started as a hobby a long time ago.
How do you work cross-functionally with developers, copywriters, project managers, etc. at clevermethod?
I like to work collaboratively with other team members for each step of the project. The project manager is my go-to for questions. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll get it for me. They are also a great second set of eyes on a design and often help with ideas and changes. The design and copywriting are often done together and each influences the other, so if I’m working closely with the copywriter, we can adjust the design or the copy as needed. If the design isn’t a WordPress site, so I’m not doing the development myself, I like to be involved in the process. I will make notes of adjustments and changes for the developer to make sure it’s as close to pixel perfect as possible.
What do you think makes someone a good designer?
I would say a good designer is someone who is always looking for inspiration and keeping up with the latest design trends, but also someone who is adaptable and can design in different styles. Sleek and modern doesn’t work for every brand and that’s ok. There’s a balance and I think a good designer can find that middle ground.
What is the most difficult part of the job?
When you fall in love with a design or a specific element or style in the design, but the client doesn’t love it. Trying to change that design to something you don’t like as much is one of the hardest things to do.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love that every day is different. We work with so many different clients who have different needs and styles, so I get to jump from whimsical designs for Thomas & Friends to sleek and modern for the latest website design and back to being silly and lighthearted for Mighty Taco. It makes every day fun and interesting!
What is your best advice for someone going into this field?
YouTube can teach you anything. If there’s a skill or program you’d like to learn or get better at, there’s a YouTube tutorial for it. If I finish my work for the day, I’ll watch tutorials and take notes to reference when I need them later.
What do you think of services such as Canva and how do you think it has changed graphic design?
I think it’s great that there are DIY options for people who aren’t designers. Not everyone can or should have to spend thousands of dollars on a website, social graphics, etc., but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to have something that looks nice. I don’t worry about Canva or Squarespace taking over and putting me out of a job because there will always be companies who need more than that. A trained graphic designer knows so much more about hierarchy, font pairings, color theory, and many more things that the DIY programs can’t give you. But when a football team needs a flyer for their fundraiser or someone wants to make their own birthday invitations, they have Canva, which results in less WordArt and Microsoft Paint in the world, and that’s perfectly fine by me!
Favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
It’s too hard to pick just one! I love working on the East Aurora Music Fest website. It was one of the first WordPress sites I helped out with. When we first launched, I made illustrations of all the participating venues and the bright gradients on the dark backgrounds still make me happy!
The landing page for Disney Pixar Cars 3 Tech Touch Lightning McQueen toy is another oldie but goodie. I love all things Disney, so it was extra fun to get to work on a project for Cars 3. Unfortunately the page isn’t live anymore, but we won an ADDY for it that year too!
I also love getting to work on the 11 Day Power Play site. It’s such an awesome event for a great cause, and I like that I’m able to contribute to their efforts in a non-athletic way.
And lastly the social images for Mattel and Mighty Taco will always have a special place in my heart because I’m always getting to do something new and interesting for them.
Are you looking for graphic design services for your brand? Give us a call or follow any of our social media accounts and we’d be happy to discuss this opportunity further!