Nobody’s perfect, and even the best graphic designers have their weaknesses. We’re not here to bash, but to offer some advice in turning your cons into pros. So, here are 6 graphic designer weaknesses with tips on how to overcome them.
Prone to the imposter syndrome and anxiety
We have been working with and as graphic designers for years already, and we can say that a lot of professionals we have met suffered from imposter syndrome. To be concise, imposter syndrome is a feeling that you do not deserve what you have. That you simply lucked out.
The general rule for battling imposter syndrome is to differentiate between facts and impressions. Get a piece of paper, and write down your impressions about yourself and the work you do. For example, that you were hired out of luck. Now, think about the reality – you have been working there for quite a while, they wouldn’t keep you if you were not professional enough. Another thing you can do is to find a mentor, better if it’s not your friend. They will point out what you’re good at, and you won’t have a reason to doubt their opinion.
We have a separate post about overcoming imposter syndrome, where you will be able to find more information and tips on the matter. Find it here.
Lack of communication skills
Not all, but many designers are creative introverts that have difficulties in communication with clients. Here are some tips that will definitely help you establish strong relationships with your clients:
- Think about impressions. Even something seemingly little can form an impression. For example, not naming your files appropriately, or sending prototypes attached to an email will give off an unprofessional vibe. Being attentive to details won’t go unnoticed.
- Speak their language. Well, not literally. Real professionalism is the ability to explain things in simple terms. When running your clients through your solutions, make sure you don’t use graphic design jargon, and have everyone on the same page.
- Explain your decisions. You don’t need to expect clients to know everything you do. Presenting your solutions, explain every step that got you there, how you’ve taken into account the brand’s personality, and how every decision you made derived from the goals set.
- Offer more value. We often say that clients don’t always know what they want, or what they need to achieve what they want. If they come for a logo, it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they know they need a full brand identity to come with it. Explain why it’s needed, show how their competitors are doing that, etc. From our experience, most clients are ready to invest the money if they are convinced this is what they need.
- Work on presentation skills. Last but not least, the presentation. Most designers don’t think too deep into presenting the prototypes – when they should have. As we mentioned before, sending the files attached to the email won’t tell your client anything, and won’t help them see how your designs will help their brand. What we suggest, is to send your works in brand books. Creating one from scratch will take a lot of time, but using tools like Gingersauce eliminates that con. With the platform, you can upload your files, pick a template and have the system place all the elements together.
Why? This way you will let your client pick between the ready brands and not just files. From our experience, this way clients don’t make as many edits and take less time to pick. Try Gingersauce now for free, and thank us later.
Overworking a piece
We all know that feeling that a piece is lacking something, but we cannot quite see what exactly. And so, we start adding things here and there, but it’s only getting worse. At this point, the best thing you can do is to drop it for a few hours, and then get back to it with a clear eye. Another thing we would recommend is to start over from another angle.
Fear of criticism
Criticism helps designers grow: you need it. But if you feel like everything said about your work is harming you, you need to learn a simple truth: you are not a thing you create. People are not trying to harm you, or criticize you personally. Every critique (if it’s constructive) is a chance for you to grow, and nothing more.
If you’re still iffy about showing your works publicly, we would recommend finding a real mentor. A person that will be interested in offering their critique, and helping find ways for improvement.
Difficulties having a routine
Many designers jump to the first idea, and never exploring other options. Some even skip the sketching/concept phases altogether, jumping to digital right away.
We wouldn’t recommend doing that if you have enough time. First of all, the first idea is not necessarily the most creative one. Exploring further possibilities can bring greater results. And sketching everything first gives the time for your mind to come up with something uncanny. This is exactly why having a routine pays off.
Our tip would be to have a conscious effort of establishing a routine, where you give yourself time for thinking.
Never finding a niche
Experimenting, experimenting, and experimenting. The only way to find what you enjoy doing is by trying to do it. Jacks-of-all-trades don’t usually have enough time to become professionals in any of their tries. That is why experimenting in the early stages of your becoming a designer is crucial: you pick your niche and then put your effort into one specialty specifically.