Design & DevelopmentGraphic Design

5 Steps to Take After Graphic Design Coursework

In a few weeks we will graduate another cohort for the Graphic Design certificate course. A mix of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign classes to immerse the student in the ways of the graphic world.

With your paper in hand, you are wondering, what now? Here are 5 things you need to be doing to position yourself for the next level.

1.  Stay in the game – Learn Something New

You can breathe a sigh of relief, but this is not the time to slack off. Stay up on the software, use it every day and learn something new.

At an adobe conference, some years back as the Creative Cloud was first taking flight. Terry White spoke about Just Do It, JDI’s. This was a campaign for the Adobe developers, if they see an improvement or something needing to be fixed, every Friday was open to JDI’s. With the Creative Cloud online the possibilities for updates are never-ending. For the designer, this means the software is updating, and you need to be learning something new (LSN) every day or at least every week.

2.  Create an online and print portfolio.

Your portfolio is a marketing piece, reach as many segments of your market as you can. Create a portfolio and an online presence, as well as, carrying in pieces of your work for clients and employers to touch. Printed material makes a world of difference, this is an opportunity to show off your paper choices, color correction skills, and layout techniques.

3. Work that resume

Your resume is a living document that needs to be updated constantly. Every time you apply for a position your resume needs to target that job specifically. There is no such thing as a blanket resume to meet every job. For the creative adding a bit of your graphic design and layout style is important to showcase in this piece. Keep the organization you are applying to in mind as you add in your creative flair so as not to under or overwhelm.

4. Perfect your pitch

This is all about marketing yourself and your skills. How do you get good at pitching? You practice. You need to be your own hype team. Get your thoughts together about what makes you stand out, what you offer, and practice talking about it. Your pitch is your opportunity to solidify jobs and clients.

5. Time and Relationships

I am often asked what is the most important skill for a graphic designer. TIME. If you don’t meet the deadlines, the awesome work you did does’nt not even matter. In most cases a missed deadline is a costly mistake on both ends – and can be the end of your relationship with that client. 

Which brings me to the importance of building a partnership with your clients. Your job is to nurture, educate, and relate to your clients. Teaching them how to strategically build and position their brand.

Stay confident! Keep working to perfect your skills. Good luck.

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If you are interested in taking a Graphic Design or Web Design Certificate program. Review the catalog at Auburn University Professional & Continuing Education for upcoming class start dates.

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