As a Graphic Designer you will constantly need to be in communication with others in the industry or the clients you are working for.

We have tackled this important topic in our most recent Podcast where we explore all sorts of design skills. This post is based on everything we discussed. If you prefer to listen to the show find it here.

Communication is key! Perhaps leave the megaphone at home though!

Having strong communication skills can mean the difference between your ideas being heard and used professionally or not. Keep reading to discover the teams thoughts and top tips on this essential design skill!

Taking Feedback

It can be tough to take on constructive feedback about your creative work. 

Usually because you have worked hard and it makes you feel as if you have 'failed' BUT we are here to tell you that's not true. 

Feedback is a natural part of the design process and the way you communicate with the person or people giving it to you is important.

Below we have listed some more positive ways to look at constructive feedback!

Take it on board but don't take it to heart!
              Shumi Perhiniak

It's a good way to improve:

You may not be used to getting fast and honest feedback from superiors or clients.

Just remember constructive feedback is not personal and is actually one of the most valuable ways to improve your creative work! 

Listen to what people have to say reflect on it and try applying it to your work.

However if something feels unnecessarily harsh be respectfully honest about it.

For further advice on these points listen here.

Make it easy to communicate with others and gain feedback using Slack.

It's natural not to nail it first time:

When you are a creative professional you are designing for a client and have to create work which nails the brief. Making amends is just part of the process.

Clients or employers will appreciate it if you keep lines of communication open and ask for their input. You may go through several ideas or styles until you find what's right for them.

That being said they have hired you for your knowledge so don't be afraid to offer them another option or push back a bit if you think your idea is stronger!

Team Discussions 

Also known as brainstorming and idea generation. This is something you will have to take part in if you work in an Agency environment and even as a Freelancer one on one with a client. 

It can be intimidating to start with but here are some top tips to help you speak up:

  1. There is no such thing as a silly idea. When you first go to a brainstorming session you may hold back in fear of being 'wrong' or sounding 'silly'. Remember these talks are all about thinking big and coming up with new ideas so just go for it!

  2. Trust yourself. You are in that room because you got yourself there. You have good ideas that are valuable. Try not to feel intimidated if others are older or more experienced. They were you once, speak up if you want to!

  3. Don't put pressure on yourself. This skill will develop overtime you don't need to fire off ideas right away. We all become comfortable at our own pace.

To hear more of our thoughts on this topic listen here.

Saying no

Sometimes a project just feels like it isn't for you. This can happen in a studio and especially as a freelancer. It's important to take on work which suits your workflow, style and is something you enjoy. 

Saying no to a project takes confidence and also financial security but you should strive to work on things you enjoy otherwise it will show in your work. 

Remember you don't need to be good at everything. Working on things you are confident in will help you create good work and increase your self belief. Then maybe when you are ready you will step out of your comfort zone and change up your design skills. 

Just remember it's okay to be honest about how you are feeling with a client or employer. Don't go into a project feeling overwhelmed and let your mental health suffer. Your work, time and you as a person are all more valuable than that! 

Links to all resources mentioned in Podcast:

We hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. The Podcast is packed full of loads more advice and further topics listen here.

Let us know what you think in the comments below and check out this post if you want to learn more skills for designers! 

About the author 

Emily Melling

Emily Melling studied a degree in Visual Communication, after graduating she became a freelance graphic designer, specialising in Branding & Identity. She enjoys developing working relationships with clients and other creatives who are open to exploring new and innovative ideas.

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