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Specialize in Graphic Design The Right Way

by | Jul 23, 2014 | Articles, Freelancing, Web Design | 0 comments

Specialize in Graphic Design

When you’re first starting out as a graphic designer, you may have the idea that you could conquer every area of design. While it’s great to have goals and aspirations, it’s also important to keep a level head. On the other hand, specializing in certain areas of graphic design is important. However, you also shouldn’t put too many limitations on your capabilities. One thing that is important for all graphic designers to understand, is the right way to specialize in graphic design.

SPecialize in Graphic Design

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

The golden rule of being a great designer is not to spread yourself too thin. You can’t master everything. This may be a huge blow to your ego, because it was to mine, too. Believe me, I tried. I wanted to master type design, web design, and every aspect of graphic design. This just isn’t possible. You have to narrow your focus to a handful of skills.

Try Everything

My advice to you is to try every area of graphic design. You should at least try it out in order to find out which are good at. If you’re terrible at it, and you’re not passionate about it, then move on to something else. If you love typography, then focus on typographic work and font making. Practice and practice, refining your skills in order to get better.

Specialize in Graphic Design: Narrow Focus

Narrow Your Focus

Once you’ve tried everything, narrow your focus to the handful of skills that you’re best that. Not only that, but make sure you’re passionate about each of these areas of graphic design. Read books on the subjects, study techniques and become the best that you can be in each of these areas. Just remember that your business isn’t industry specific, as Rob Cubbon suggests in his article on specialization: ““I think when you’re learning, it’s important not to limit yourself to a niche. The more you know about design in general, the better equipped you are when it comes to specialising.” I agree with him. I don’t know of anyone that designs for a specific industry anymore. Our clients are more diversified, in order to keep up with the economy.

Passion is Important

If you’re not passionate about what you are trying to master, your heart isn’t going to be in it. If your heart isn’t in it, you aren’t going to be as dedicated to perfecting your craft. For example, if you love typography and creating custom fonts, you won’t have any problems sitting down every day and practicing and refining your skills. If you hate what you do, you’ll be much less likely to sit down and put the time into it that it deserves. When you love what you do, it doesn’t seem so much like work.

Specialize in Graphic Design: Promotion

Promote the Skills that You Have Refined

If you specialized in a handful of skills, those should be the ones that you use to promote your business. If you start your own business, and you’re all about letterpress design, then your business should be focused around creating letterpress design materials. That’s how you make a name for yourself. Preston D. Lee, from Design Blender had this to say: “When a client thinks “I need a logo designer,” who do they call? Those who have established themselves in that position within the consumer’s mind.

Diversify Your Skill Set

This area need some clarification. I don’t mean to branch out into other areas of graphic design. I mean that you should diversify your skill set within the specialized skills that you’ve selected. For example, if you only create vintage fonts, maybe you should try creating modern fonts as well. Diversify the styles of things that you create in order to make yourself more marketable. If you make letterpress business cards, branch out into letterpress postcards, too. This isn’t a huge leap, but it adds to your available services.

Specialize in Graphic Design: Conclusion

It is important to specialize in graphic design the right way. You should have a handful of skills in which you are exceptional. You should refine these skills to the point that you are so good, that you make a name for yourself in these areas of the graphic design field. When you become extremely good at a certain graphic design skills, customers will start looking for you. It’s easier for the word to get out about your abilities when you stand out from other graphic designers. It’s tougher to market yourself, and for the word to spread about you, when your work is mediocre at best. Refine your skills to the point that you’re great at something.

What areas of graphic design do you specialize in? Are there areas of graphic design that you’re passionate about? If so, maybe you should focus on those and make them a cornerstone of your graphic design business.

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