XCT Blog

Key Skills needed to work in Graphic Design


If you’re reading this it’s likely you already know the power of visual content, but did you know that posts which incorporate images reportedly increase engagement by an average of 650%?

Visuals help to sell content, gain better traction and more shares online. They ultimately allow readers to gain a quick understanding of what the rest of the piece is trying to tell you in a snapshot form, and that’s before we’ve taken into account the phenomenon of the infographic.

Behind creative content is a graphic designer who has worked to produce such a visual feast, and those skills cannot be bred overnight. Whether you’re interested in becoming a graphic designer or want to know the skills you need to up your game, we’ve rounded up the five must have skills you should know.

Having a Visual Identity


Graphic design is created on a computer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to get your sketchpad out at some point in your career. Many designs and concepts often start with putting pencil to paper, before they are transferred online. So, a background in art can greatly help get you on your way.

Like all types of designer, you’ll soon develop a signature style which is unique to you as a graphic designer. Whilst this isn’t something which is developed overnight, creating a visual identity can help to make you stand out from the rest when it comes to getting work.

Understanding of Typography


Text conveys much more than simply a message in the wording. Different types of typography are known to greatly influence a consumer’s behaviour depending on their shape, style, size and positioning. Knowing which typography to use and when, is a skill you’ll need to perfect.

To be a successful graphic designer it’s imperative that you know which typography is best for the client and campaign. You’ll also need to know why that particular font, and the way you have displayed it, will drive results and create the best content out there too.

Colour Combinations


In life we all have a favourite colour, but colours do much more than add a bit of life to a project. We all learn the basics of colour combinations in art class at school, but for a graphic designer knowing colour theory is essential.

Colour greatly influences a viewer’s subconscious, it can change the decisions they make and lead them to do an action which may not have been completed otherwise. Graphic designers should know how to contrast, mix and utilise different colours to gain the best results for the piece they are creating.

Basic Web Design Knowledge


Basic computer skills and knowledge are essential for any job we do these days, but more and more jobs are requiring creative professionals to have a basic knowledge of web design.

Many graphic designers will work on creating concepts for web, so a knowledge of the interfaces used to create sites can help to aid the design and implementation process.

HTML and CSS are two of the programming languages used to code, create a sites visual structure and enable actions to be completed. Graphic designers should have a knowledge of how their design works in code and how design is translated into a working website.

Design Software


Here’s the glaringly obvious skill all graphic designers need to know in order to do their job; being able to use design software. It’s an obvious one, but in an industry where the goalposts are constantly changing and new platforms emerging, knowing just one platform can leave you on the back pedal.

InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are some of the most popular design platforms but the list can and does go on much more than those three. Keeping skills fresh and up to date can help to put you ahead of everyone else, and making the investment in a training course can boost your career.

There’s many more skills you could add to this list, but these make up the basics that a graphic designer should know whether they are starting their career or looking to swot up on their skills.

Posted by XCT Marketing on 8th June, 2016