Graphic design skills can help you land the job of your dreams if art, design, and creativity are what you have always wanted in a career. Graphic designers are professionals who merge art, technology, and design into useful products/tools. This includes creating images, print layouts, logos, charts and infographics, social media campaigns, advertisements, and more.
Careers in graphic design are growing, so you can take advantage of thousands of new positions in the field over the coming years. However, the industry can still be competitive. In addition to a certificate or diploma in graphic design, you need to have marketable skills—both hard and soft design skills, general career skills—necessary for getting hired. To help you along - here are some of the most important graphic design skills you’ll want on your resume:
- Typography Graphic Design Skills. Typography is a traditional skill that has been around for centuries. While typography has modernized over the years, it is still important for being a great designer. Understanding the design and history behind fonts will help you craft the best designs. Employers want to know that you can use and incorporate fonts and typography in designs, and that your skills are not limited to just images.
- Graphic Design Skills for Print Materials. Although graphic design is produced digitally, they don’t always stays that way. Lots of companies still need print materials designed. This can range from magazine layouts to print advertisements, flyers, posters, and more. Graphic design firms and clients who hire graphic designers need people who have a wide range of skills that include designing and creating attractive print products, in addition to those that are entirely digital.
- Adobe Photoshop and Image Manipulation. Using design software is absolutely essential in graphic design. It makes up a big part of what a designer does every day on the job. There are several types of software that you should learn, but one of the most important for getting hired is Adobe Photoshop. This powerful software allows you to edit and manipulate photographs and artwork to create digital images and animations.
- Know How to Use Adobe InDesign. Photoshop is crucial, but also important is Adobe’s InDesign software. InDesign is a desktop publisher that allows you to create layouts for magazines, books, newspapers, and other print materials. Employers want to see that you can design and edit images but also that you can create layouts for print.
- Understand Basic HTML.Your graphic design skills won’t center on knowing and using HTML, but it makes you more hirable if you have the basic working knowledge. You don’t have to be an expert, but candidates who can read and manipulate HTML on a basic level will beat out those candidates without HTML experience. This is due to the drastic increase in image usage on the web. Make sure you take one basic course in HTML before you graduate, or learn some on your own so you can put it on your resume.
- Social media fluency. To be hired you need to show that your graphic design skills can be used across all types of media, from digital to print. Social media is a big part of marketing and advertising for many companies, so knowing how to design for social media campaigns is important. If you can include experience in designing social media content on your resume, you will have a leg up over other candidates.
- Three-Dimensional and Package Design. A well-rounded designer will have skills that literally leap off the page. If you can add package design to your resume, you can prove to employers that you have diverse graphic design skills. Good package design is important for companies that sell products, and it takes specific knowledge to design something with software that will be useable and pleasing in three dimensions.
- Illustration. At the heart of it, graphic design is an art. You can know everything there is to know about design software, but if you don’t have a solid background in art skills, like illustration, you still have room to improve. Include artwork you have created in your portfolio when looking for jobs so you can show prospective employers that you have an art background, can draw without a computer, and that you have a creative mind.
- Communication in Graphic Design Skills. In addition to design-specific skills, you can make yourself more hireable with other skills that indirectly make you a better designer, like communication. Graphic design is all about sharing a message or story through design. Employers want to see that you can accurately convey a brand message and style. It may not seem like your ability to speak or write is important, but being a well-rounded communicator shows your potential for being a good visual communicator - which is essential in graphic design. Include any writing awards or speaking experiences on your resume.
- Problem-Solving Graphic Design Skills. Another important “soft” skill you should have to get hired as a graphic designer is the ability to problem solve. Design projects are like puzzles. You have project guidelines, messages to communicate, and limitations that dictated your work. You then have to create the perfect design to meet that challenge. As a designer you may also face projects that are more challenging than others. Employers want to see that you can face these challenges and overcome them, so include examples of your problem solving abilities in your resume or portfolio.
The best way to get these graphic design skills, and others, is to get a graphic design education. Most employers want to see that you have a diploma, certificate, or degree in graphic design, in addition to these important skills. If you’re ready to start your career in graphic design, it’s time to look into educational programs. Check out the certificate programs for graphic design in your area.