5 Steps Toward Improving Your Graphic Design Skills

The world of design is highly competitive and there are more young designers entering the industry every day.

It is also an industry that is constantly evolving and changing, both in terms of the technology used to create and display design work and the trends that are appealing to the client base.

What designers learned yesterday may not be enough to ensure they are on the cutting edge tomorrow. This is why it is essential to constantly upskill, with the following options a sure-fire way to improve your skills and help you lead the pack when the time comes to seek new clients or employment.

Study a Graphic Design Course 

This may sound logical, but studying can be a challenge for many people in established careers looking to better themselves. When you sign up for a Graphic Design Course at Academy Xi, you will be able to study on your own terms.

This course is designed to complement your existing employment, allow you to upskill and create better pathways for promotions and job opportunities in the future. You don’t need to put your career on hold to study, it is possible to manage both at the same time so you can combine on-the-job experience with learning the skills required to compile a professional portfolio.

You can study completely online through flexible arrangements including a 12-week part-time intensive course or a self-paced option to help you manage your time better. You will get to connect with graphic design students and mentors around the country and develop all of the skills you need to be competitive in the modern working world.

Update Your Theory Knowledge

The skills required for graphic design go well beyond just putting elements together and hoping the end result looks good. NO matter how experienced you may be, it is always essential to re-visit theory and discover new and trending concepts to learn.

Although you can learn plenty about graphic design by doing, and you can get into the profession without a degree, gaining a deep understanding of the fundamentals is an indispensable step in improving your skills. 

Grid theory, colour theory, typography, and the golden ratio are among these fundamentals. Formal design training can really help in these areas.

See What Great Designers Are Doing Right by Paying Attention to Their Designs

We are constantly exposed to good and bad design – whether we see it on storefront signs and billboards as we commute to work, in aisles at the grocery store, in waiting rooms at doctors’ offices, or when we browse the internet.

Almost everyone can identify good design and bad design, but not everyone can explain what makes one better than the other. Consider how good design works visually and why it is appealing to the eye. 

Break appealing design down to the fundamental elements and identify the colours, fonts, layout, icons and images that makes good design stand out.

Similarly, consider bad design. Can you see what’s going wrong? How does it fail?

In no time at all, you’ll be able to distinguish what works and what doesn’t, so that you can apply it to your own designs.

Design Under Pressure

There are a few approaches to this. If you are studying or learning graphic design, but you are not currently working for anyone, then set deadlines on your projects anyway. Make them strict, but achievable. If you are working for clients or you are employed as a designer, tighten your deadlines. This will finetune your ability to work under pressure and meet the tightest deadlines in the future, skills that are highly desirable for clients and prospective employers.

Listen To Feedback

This might be hard for some designers, who invest a lot of their artistic heart and soul into their work. At the end of the day, the visual aspect of products and services is the leading factor that will influence consumer behaviour. So you need to listen to the feedback and criticism that they are delivering. 

You don’t have to completely sell out and surrender your skills and passion to pander to the consumer audience. Instead, you can use this feedback and criticism to identify missing skills or aspects of your work. It is not about reducing the quality of your work, but about discovering how you can upskill and learn new techniques that will appeal to the masses and your own sense of integrity.


It is necessary to surround yourself with fellow designers if you wish to be a proficient graphic designer. Due to the fact that social media is the most popular form of communication today, finding people you can trust in your work should not be difficult.

If you can, it is always beneficial to network with fellow designers in person as well. Every designer has different approaches, experiences and skills. Reaching out to designers that impress you can only reap rewards in the long run.

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