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As a graphic designer what are your strengths/weaknesses and how do you deal with them ?

as a person who draws rarely and not consistently, I suffer from constant art blocks. #art #graphic-design

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Melissa’s Answer

Graphic Design at its core is problem-solving. Many people think it's a pure form of creativity, but design without function is art. Art requires more creativity and design requires more function.

Some great items for strengths and weaknesses have been posted. I'm going to dive a bit deeper in how to use some of these and overcome them if they're a weakness.

Communication: being able to express your idea can be what makes or breaks an idea. Ideally, the design should speak for itself, but there will always be somebody who questions it, and you should be prepared to answer, especially the "why" e.g. why this color? If this isn't your biggest strength, work on this in your portfolio. Explain the project and challenges you had to overcome, which will make your portfolio more compelling.

Curiosity & Feedback: handling criticism is a key factor in any creative field. In design in particular, it can feel subjective even when there's data/research backing your decisions. My biggest hurdle was learning not to take it personally. The criticism isn't personal, it's there to push an idea to the best it can be and achieve a goal. To overcome this, I tell myself those points of criticism as if they originated from me so there's no bias of where it came from. Above this, be curious. Where did the question or critique originate? Maybe the person has more knowledge to share on the topic at hand.

Problem-Solving: this is the crux of design. Many clients think they want some amazing, different, abundantly creative idea, when in fact they just want something to function better. Identify the goal of a project. A company doesn't just want a re-brand, they want to attract a new audience, or appeal to a modern issue, etc. Find that goal, and begin there in each step of the process, if a direction starts digressing from that goal, move a few steps back or start over. A challenge I've had is convincing people that what they want doesn't align with their goals (where communication helps). Having a creative brief that we filled out together to identify their direct words helps guide those conversations.

Confidence: this is crucial to the process as is doubt. When you're confident in your design, it will make others more confident in it as well. This is also part of communication. However, doubt seems to be a weakness where you may feel you're design isn't good enough, or isn't ready yet, etc. Whatever the case may be, don't ignore that doubt. If you're doubting your work, reflect on it and find out why. There's likely a good reason that will reveal itself. If you have time, spend some time away from the project and come back to it with fresh eyes. If you can't, gather feedback from other designers.

Time Management: the undoing of many designers is time management. I have seen so many good ideas crumble because the time wasn't put in throughout the process. There's too much time spent on research and not enough on execution. Or perhaps you skipped the research and sketching, and jumped into the project too soon, only to burn out in the final stretch. I, too, have fallen into this. In your process, find out what works for you. I have found that having a schedule (although very flexible) helps immensely. I look at my tasks each day and determine which are higher priority and how long they'll take and plan my day accordingly. Allow room for breaks from the project, to see things objectively. If you're working on multiple projects, sometimes you'll see an idea in a separate project that you can utilize for a project where you're stuck.

A great piece of advice I was given by a professor that went something like this: there's no such thing as a finished design, only a completed deadline. They were indicating that there's always room for more revisions, but not always time.
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Danielle B.’s Answer

As a graphic designer my strength are always being able to create something new based on the timeline however I can become overwhelmed with making the design perfect and created more than one to give myself options. Which can be time consuming however, getting a second opinion on what's appealing to the audience makes a better design choice.
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Ivy’s Answer

Dear Nerissa,

When I was young I thought a graphic designer is a job to deliver my creativity to the customers, however, giving solutions is the key to this job.

As a graphic designer, presentation skill and flexibility are the most important things to have. Make sure the customers really understand the value of your design will decrease the modification times later on, which lead to less disagreement and have a common ground.

Having an open mind is a key strengths as well. I used to insist my point of view and always try to talk over the others, but being flexible as a graphic designer is a skill that really needed, because design is the other form of communications. Respecting views from different people is very important as well.

My biggest weaknesses might be time management. Not only means the time that you spend on designing, but also the time that you communicate with customers. Editing design is always time consuming , and allocate well the time as you may have more than one task at the same time.

It really takes a lot of patience to deliver a great design. Wish you good luck on being a graphic designer!
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Pamela’s Answer

When I think of my strengths, I think of:
- My ability to take feedback. Understanding that feedback isn't personal is a big hurdle to get over. Once you learn to listen to what people are asking, you learn to ask the right questions to confirm you understand, or even help guide the client into an even better solution than they are suggesting.
- My ability to work with others, whether that is with fellow designers, project leads, external vendors, or superiors.
- My creativity. Sometimes creativity is a process, and you may not always come up with an answer immediately. For me, working on a project, then going onto another project/task, and coming back to the original project can help me view it from a new perspective.
- My ability to work on a schedule/multi-task. I work as an in-house designer, so I always have dozens of tasks that I am working on in a given day/week.

When I think of my weaknesses, I think of:
- When I sometimes get too focused on a project, and feel like I cannot find an answer. Which I think is similar to what you mentioned! When I feel this way, I need to make sure I remind myself that it is OK to step away, and to even ask for the opinion of others. Sometimes, the best design solutions will come out of collaboration with others.
- A lack of confidence or imposter syndrome when presenting to others. I have worked on this by taking public speaking classes, but know that I can always improve in this area!

Creativity is a muscle, and just like an arm muscle or a leg muscle, it has to be worked regularly to be strengthened and improved. Think of other things in your life that you enjoy, such as food or family/friends or animals, and think of ways you could give yourself creative projects to improve upon your creativity. Passion projects can help improve your creativity, and also help signify to potential employers/clients that you are able to do a certain type of work even if you haven't done it for a paying client!
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Steve’s Answer

The strengths of a good art director come from being able to take and give feed back correctly. This can be tricky as many times the feedback can be muddled and may take you in a direction that doesn't serve to the projects best interest. Ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure the client gets what they want but to also ensure that they achieve the desired results. Be a good listener and be able to communicate clearly and provide examples of the reasons for your decisions.

The weakness art directors run into is being singularly focused. Not listening to the clients feedback and only focusing on your own personal ideas. It happens all the time and it is something that can derail a project. Also poor communication, be sure to communicate clearly and professionally to get your point across.

Hope this info helps.
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Vineeth’s Answer

The Elements of Good Graphic Design are the components or parts of a work of art or design. More simply put, they are the ingredients of art. Take one-part color, a pinch of texture, and a whole lot of shape and the result will be some well-designed graphic design.

Strengths to be a strong Graphic Designer

• Communication.
• Curiosity.
• Passion and Drive.
• Openness.
• Ability to Take Criticism.
• Problem Solving.
• Self-doubt.
• Patience.

lack of these skills is a weakness .
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