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It’s More Than Just Design! What Skills Do Employers Look For In Graphic Designers?

Updated: Aug 22, 2022


Graphic design is to put a spark of inspiration to paper in the form of art. While designing is a vital part of a graphic designer’s job, graphic designers don’t spend all their time making designs. In companies, graphic design is a complex group effort. In order to present to clients high quality designs up-to-date with the latest trends, graphic designers often collaborate in teams to work on projects and hold meetings with clients. Therefore, to succeed in your career, you must possess an array of design skills and soft skills to help you excel in both design and interaction.


Design Skills

  • Technology

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop…you name it. Mastering design software is one of the most basic skills required of a graphic designer. To have an edge over other graphic designers, however, it’s best that you also know some programming languages like HTML for doing web design and learn Sketch for UI/UX design.


  • Design Principles

Graphic designers should have a thorough understanding of design principles, which determine what makes a good design. It is an important skill to be able to harmonically weave balance, contrast, hierarchy, alignment and repetition into your designs.


  • Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating, developing and communicating ideas. Every time a graphic designer begins a new project, they have to go through 4 steps:

  • Research – of design ideas, direction and feel of the project

  • Idea Generation – linking and developing ideas

  • Evaluation – creating and refining prototype designs

  • Application – final design


Soft Skills

  • Communication

Effective communication is a key skill for graphic designers. From brainstorming ideas to discussing with clients, every step requires strong verbal and written communication skills while ideas are presented, explained and finally condensed into graphic design.


  • Business Acumen

At the end of the day, graphic design is a commercial industry that creates and sells designs to satisfied clients. Clients are inclined to hire designers that provide artistic solutions to business problems, hence graphic designers must be equipped with both artistic sense and business acumen.


  • Creative problem-solving

Graphic designers have to think creatively in order to tackle problems that come up during the design process. For example, this can involve finding ways to present a boring business idea with an interesting design, or reviewing designs until they meet clients’ expectations.


Having gone through the essential skills a professional graphic designer should possess, do you think you have what it takes to succeed at your job? If you want to further polish your skills, try our MicroMaster In GIMP/ INKSCAPE Graphic Editing & Graphic Design Certificate Course at Krystal Institute. We cover all these essential skills so that you can be in tip-top condition for your job!


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