January 22, 2015

5 Graphic Design Resolutions You Can Make This Year

 
With the first month of 2015 already mostly behind us, you may have already filled your resolution list with more than enough ambitions for the coming year. But if you don’t have any design related goals, consider crossing out “eat more kale” and add one or two resolutions that nourish your creative self instead. Here are a few ideas:

1. Step up your technical skills.


We all know how elusive getting into that perfect creative flow can be, so don’t let technical skills or messy organization get in your way. Here are some small things that can have a big impact on your efficiency:
  • Be diligent about creating character and paragraph styles for long documents

  • Know and use keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys (shameless self-promotion: my hotkey reference posters can help with this one!)
  • Try some new productivity or organization tools

  • Develop a good file organization system (something I have to work on, any suggestions?)



2. Read a design book.


Reading more is perpetually on my resolution list. No matter what the subject, I feel much more focused and aware in other areas of my life when I make reading a habit. Resolve to absorb some new information about designers and their process, new work that you won’t find circulating on the internet, or some practical information like freelance finances and logistics. Here are some design books that I’ve found interesting and helpful:


3. Learn something new, design-related or not.


There are 100 ways to do the same thing when it comes to graphic design, and it’s extremely interesting to learn different designers’ processes. I’ve had a Skillshare membership for half a year now, and it’s certainly worth the cost. There is a huge variety of design and illustration related classes on there, as well as critical / creative thinking, marketing and other related fields. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve taken so far:


4. Refresh your personal brand or business cards.


It can be difficult to prioritize designing for yourself when you have so many other things on your to-do list (like eating or not eating kale.) But if you’ve been meaning to freshen up your personal branding or business cards, it may help to make it a resolution for yourself this year. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, it’s great to have business cards or a website that you’re proud to share whenever you meet a potential client, collaborator or even just a friend. 

5. Start a rewarding personal project or endeavor.


No matter how much else you may have going on, it’s important to make time for projects that you truly feel personally and emotionally invested in. When your heart is in your work, it’s easier to put in extra time and energy, push your creative limits, and create work that truly connects and resonates with people. Also, you should be having at least a little bit of fun! I’ve found that techniques or styles I experiment with in personal projects end up being useful in my professional work as well. As Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”



CLICK TO TWEET


What other design related goals do you have for this year?
Let’s hear about them in the comments! 




12 responses , join in!

12 comments:

  1. Great post, Brigette! One of my goals for the near future is to start getting more comfortable behind a fancy camera and eventually start taking my own blog photos. Thankfully my super-talented photographer husband will be (forced into) helping me. ;-) Some of these skillshare classes sound really great, too.

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    1. Thanks Sara! I believe there are a few photography classes on Skillshare, but I haven't tried any yet. There are so many interesting ones, I have a lot on my list to enroll in!

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  2. These are totally applicable beyond design! 1,3, and 5 are awesome resolutions that I think are essential for any creative. I loved the quote at the end, too!

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    1. Thanks Jessica, I'm glad you found them helpful!

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  3. Hi Brigette! I made my way over to your blog from Kyla's link up and I have to say, I love your blog design! Very cute. :) Can't wait to read more by you!

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    1. Hello Laura, thanks so much! Can you tell that I'm obsessed with teal? Haha. Glad to connect!

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  4. My goal for the new year is to learn Illustrator so thanks for those links in #3. I'm visiting from the Daring Creative Workshop. xo

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    1. Hello Carrie, thanks for taking a look! I'm glad you found it helpful - there are even more Illustrator related classes on Skillshare, those are just the ones I've personally taken. Good luck with your goal!

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  5. Fantastic roundup. Many are things I’ve wanted to achieve for quite some time, or if I have done them, I certainly need more practice. I think I’ll go make my own set of New Year’s Resolutions, with a few of these for inspiration.

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    1. Thanks so much! It's always good to think about what your intentions/goals are, any time of the year. Hope these help! :)

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  6. Hi Brigette! I just discovered your blog and I love it! Number 2 is a great idea that I plan to start doing very soon. I just started my own design blog (ariananicoledesigns.com) and yours is definitely an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks so much Ariana, glad you found it helpful! Your blog looks great so far - keep up the good work! :)

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