7 Ultimate Tips to Improve Your Graphic Design Skills

Sometimes designing a single artwork can be challenging. It can look easy from the outset, but as you start designing and the hours fly by you soon realise there is a lot more to it then you first thought.

But in order to improve yourself you need to understand the basics of graphic design, keeping yourself informed and educated about design, while continually practicing, and you will see yourself creating better and better designs.

So let’s look at 7 recommended ways on how you can improve your graphic design skills:


1. Recreate Designs to Practice

Artists often start out by copying the masters. This helps you understand why a design works and practice creating designs. This is not about copying other people’s work and using it for yourself. Instead, simply follow a work exactly to work out how they did it and learn from it, but don’t share it.

It’s a learning opportunity, to see if you can recreate a work, you can learn a lot from the process which you can then carry over into your own unique designs.

It helps you get in the head of the original designer, and think about how they created something and why they may have done it that way.


2. Learn to Corporate Good Fonts

Fonts provide both a practical and aesthetic function. Also, certain fonts work better in certain applications than others do. The fonts you choose will tell viewers, clients or customers a lot about your work. If you have a project that is more formal and corporate-oriented, you want to choose a more formal-looking font, such as Pentagon or Alégra. However, if your project is more cheerful in nature, such as hosting kids’ birthday parties, you should use a font that has more personalities. Keep in mind that some fonts elicit a more trusting feeling than others do. You want to make sure you pick a font that does not turn viewers away.

If you need to check fonts for variety purposes, you can check and download from our free fonts library.


3. Read Creative-Related & Design Books

If you want to dig a little deeper and really dive yourself into the world of design and get a better understanding of how creativity works, reading design books is on of perfect way to learn more in-depth. If you're someone who loves to know why things work and why they are done a certain way, that curiosity will help you better once you understand why and how it works rather than just simply doing it. Plus having a book is always nice when you can hold in your hand, read, flip and pull off the bookshelf whenever you want.

Some book recommendations:

  • Interaction of Color by Josef Albers
  • Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler
  • Logo Modernism by Jens Müller
  • Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton
  • Type Matters! by Jim Williams
  • Designing News by Francesco Franchi
  • Designing Design by Kenya Hara


4. Keep Practice with Personal Projects.

As people say practice makes perfect. If you want to practice getting better at design, without always experimenting to your own commercial projects, creating artworks for personal projects is a good idea. These projects could be related to you hobby, or things at home, or helping out a friend or even for charity. It can even be a self made-up project. Feel free to play try things around, experiment with ideas and things you have been learning.

Often with commercial projects clients want things to be perfect, and they don’t want you to get too experimental and mess up their brand. So having another outlet to practice on is a great way to free you up and try out new things and push yourself without feeling strict or worry about messing up.


5. Start Using Design Templates

Templates are a great starting point. If you struggle with staring at a blank page not knowing how to approach a graphic, using a design template will get you started with a good layout at least. You can then tweak and customise it to make it your own. It will make you feel more confident with your work, as someone with good design skills has started the design for you.

Much like recreating designs to get better at designing your own unique layouts, working with templates is good practice, and will help open you up to ideas and improve your skills.

We recommend you to find this templates on Freepik.


6. Keeping Up on Visual Trends

While you don't want to be chasing the latest trends and changing your design style constantly, there are often some overarching design trends that will last a year or two, and keeping an eye on and noticing these trends can help you create designs that feel ‘now’ and exciting to your audience.

Keep in mind to always stick to your design aesthetic and use the correct elements such as fonts and colours. Behance and Dribbble are both great platform to keep yourself updated all the time.


7. Surround Yourself With Great Designers

There are plenty of amazing resources out there to learn more about design. Having a nice list of design blogs, youtubers and Instagram accounts to follow, will keep you fresh on design knowledge and keep you inspired. When you surround yourself with great design work and listen to good sources regularly it will naturally uplevel your own skills. If you only surround yourself with other people in your own industry who also lack design skills, it is going to up the bar. You want to surround yourself with people who know more than you, who are going to push and inspire you to keep improving.

Lastly, don't forget to enjoy every steps!

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