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Why You Should Try Being Good At Graphic Design

Why You Should Try Being Good At Graphic Design

(Posted on 01/08/14)

Graphic design like many other skills on the Internet is open to everyone who wants to have a go.

A decade ago you could say you had no graphic design skills or that you had no idea how to put a website together.

Now there’s no excuse.

Anyone can go and buy a copy of Adobe’s Creative suite. Anyone with an ounce of technical Internet knowledge can put a website together using Wordpress with colours and fonts already chosen and matched up.  

All the tools are out there, many of them free and we are seeing the emergence of sites that can help you to create a whole array of designs for Facebook pages, blogs and so on.

Subscribe to photo sharing sites like Shutterstock and you can download high quality images to go with your designs without having to buy a good camera.

Just like choosing wallpaper for your house or the colour to paint your walls, the graphic design world is your oyster.     

It’s like being a kid in a sweetshop for someone like me. I always wanted to be good at graphic design even though deep down I had to admit to myself that as with art in general, I don’t have the talent.

One of my school reports came back saying, “He appears to be working all the time, but has produced virtually nothing.” This summed up my talent for art. I spent too much time overthinking what I wanted to create.    

Now with all these tools that make graphic design easier I can put a website together, design business cards and even design adverts and posters.  

I don’t need any particular talent to do those things. Even if my version of graphic design wouldn’t meet professional standards, it will still look ok to the untrained eye.

The problem you have as an amateur learning any skill is the time it can take to learn those skills and the results at the end.

Even with all the tools, I will spend a disproportionate amount of time choosing the right colours to match a photograph. I’ll need a logo that will require a specialist skill in itself to put together.

I’ll get things wrong often, I’ll think I’ve got something so nearly but not quite right.

And that’s just to create one piece of work. I’ll then need to combine everything I have created into something that defines my brand.

Those business cards will need to have a logo that catches the eye. The website should be instantly recognisable as a shop window for my brand.

My social media channels, flyers and banners will all need to match and say what I want to say about my business.

Graphic design is like a lot of other skills these days. Everyone thinks they can write a blog. A lot of business owners think they can take care of copywriting and branding themselves.

Everyone is encouraged to have a go.

Many graphic designers will feel offended to think that others can do as good a job of graphic design as they can or at least they can be pretty good at it without any training. Copywriters and other specialists will think the same.

Those graphic designers and copywriters who do find that it offends their art by saying others without training can do it, should ask themselves…

Am I producing something that is really that great? Is it real art that sticks in the memory by promoting some engagement? Or am I simply producing mediocre work that anyone else can produce?

And I would ask another question, how important is it that your business stands out from the competition? Branding and graphic design are essential to this. 

The best graphic design is unforgettable. Take Factory Records. Nothing says more about Manchester in the late 80s and how cool it was to be from the North than Peter Saville’s record label design.

If you want to try graphic design, go ahead there is nothing stopping you. You might unearth a hidden talent that you never thought you had.

If you find, like most of us, that the real artistic talent isn’t there, you will gain an understanding of the value the work a real graphic designer can bring to your business.  

By Brett Tudor

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