How can you differentiate between a good graphic designer and a great graphic designer? It’s not the praise they receive from others or even the number of years they have under their belts. Great graphic designers are great because they are constantly working on perfecting their craft. They do not assume they already know everything there is to know in their given field and are consistently looking for new ways to learn as much as they can–after all, they owe this to their clients and themselves.
With the rise of COVID-19, people everywhere were searching for alternative and innovative ways to do everyday tasks, and learning was certainly no exception. But what about those who thrive on applying real-world knowledge to their profession? How could they gain this ‘real world’ experience when the world was metaphorically shut down?
The solution? Discover others’ real-world knowledge and ask yourself, ‘what can I take away from this experience, and how can I apply it to my own experiences?’ Netflix is full of documentaries relevant to graphic designers. So, while COVID kept our team indoors, it allowed us to take a deep dive into Netflix’s library and we compiled a list to help you get started on your journey of becoming a great graphic designer.
abstract: the art of design.
‘Abstract: The Art of Design’ is a docuseries that takes viewers inside the minds of innovative designers across a variety of disciplines. It’s not only a way to see incredible designs but has a few key tips along the way:
Every color has a different way of influencing us: The colors you use in your designs are sometimes just as important as the product you’re promoting. It’s proven that different colors elicit different emotions from us, so use this to your advantage in your designs.
Taking risks is a good thing, as long as you fully believe in your idea: You created your design, so you have every right to push back on criticisms if you think it is the best for the brand image.
Perspective is everything; reality is relative: A great graphic designer creates with their audience in mind. They need to imagine how their audience will understand the design, even when their realities differ from their own.
the minimalists: less is now.
Following the lives of Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, ‘The Minimalists: Less is Now’ aims to show the viewer how our lives could be better with less. While this doesn’t directly discuss design, the idea that sometimes less is more is a great mindset to have as a graphic designer.
You don’t always need the most complex design or concept to relate to or resonate with people: Your audience won’t always gravitate towards the flashiest or most intricate ad design. Sometimes, they need to see people like them using a product or service in life situations just like theirs.
Make sure what you’re designing aligns with your values and morals: Now more than ever, consumers are interested in aligning themselves with brands that share their core beliefs and values. The marketer’s job is to tell them about these values; it’s the graphic designer’s job to show them how.
the toys that made us.
Via hour-length episodes, ‘The Toys That Made Us’ takes the viewer into the minds of iconic toy franchises to discuss the rise and fall of their creations. The toys themselves became billion-dollar creations, so the designers had to be doing something right!
Ideas for designs can come from the most random and unexpected places; Use what you know and be creative: Have you ever heard the saying, ‘art imitates life?’ Keep that in mind when struggling to come up with a design. There are ideas all around you; you just have to know where to look.
Changing one design element can lead to an entirely new product/concept: This can be taken as either a positive tip or a cautionary warning. On the one hand, you should stay true to your design concept if you believe it is best for the client. Changing one aspect may lead to an entirely different design that no longer makes sense for the brand. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Changing something that you believe to be minimal might just be the key to connecting with your audience.
Be prepared for changes when an idea transitions from a concept to reality: Sometimes, what a graphic designer imagines in their mind doesn’t always appear in front of them when designing it. The idea is to make practical changes that will result in the best design for the brand–not for the designer’s ego.
‘Helvetica’ ??encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day. While a graphic designer is not necessarily tasked with coming up with copy for an advertisement, they are responsible for how it looks.
The typeface you use says a lot about who you are as a brand; choose wisely: As the documentary puts it, ‘people buy certain things because the brand rubs off on them. Typefaces are a brand. You’re telling an audience ‘this is for you’ by using a certain typeface.’ As silly as it sounds, typefaces elicit certain stereotypes, whether they are subconscious or not. Keep this in mind, especially when choosing typefaces for brand names.
‘The designer has an enormous responsibility; those are the people putting their wires into our heads:’ While this may sound a bit dramatic, designers really do have an incredible responsibility; the way they portray a brand’s story could be what makes the consumer choose one brand over another. Use this power for good and give your audience content they can feel close to.
Beware of Helvetica: This typeface is popular for a reason, but now it’s very much overused. While the term ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applies to many things in life, think twice before applying it to graphic design. You want to create something that catches consumers’ eyes, something that stands out in a crowd. Don’t be afraid to use Helvetica if that’s what will get your message across–but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and give your audience something unique.
Looking for tips on how to grow your marketing skills? Check out our what netflix can teach you about marketing post! Happy learning!