How to Reinvent Yourself as Freelance Graphic Designer
Change is the only permanent condition on Earth – and this applies to everything in our lives and around us, including our profession. While decades ago a graphic designer worked with pen and paper, now we use computers and various software programs. And while print was the main field of activity for graphic design work, now the online world has taken charge and rules the market.
Understanding the Differences between Print and Web
Although it may not seem as a big deal, changing your work style and skills from the print world to the online world involves learning new things and stopping doing others. For instance, you will no longer have to worry about the bleeding area around your design.
But you still have to worry about kerning – and with good reasons. Because, while a printed billboard will be taken down and your blunder will be lost in oblivion, internet is forever, and you will find your work, years later, showcased in various halls of shame.
And while color, once tested and OK’d for print will look the same in the whole batch of billboards, once you work for the web you will have to learn to test your colors in all the popular browsers in use.
Vectors – Your Faithful Best Friends
Vector images are the main tool of trade for print as well as for web design. Just as a graphic designer must be able to resize a company logo from business card size to billboard size, in the same manner graphics need to be scaled and look good on a large computer monitor and on a smartphone screen.
The ruling factor in design for the online world is the responsive web design (RWD) principle. If a website is not optimized for viewing on any device (computer, netbook, tablet, smartphone), it will lose most of its potential traffic and conversion. Therefore, designers are no longer asked to design RWD graphics – they are expected to do so without being told.
Practice Makes Perfect
No matter how much theoretical knowledge you accumulate, there’s nothing like practice for any graphic designer. Designing mock web pages and banners, developing online visual identity packages are the best methods to hone your skills and find your unique style. You may find inspiration among our catalog of royalty free graphic vectors and start developing your own basic templates for various design projects.
The aim is to stay relevant in these times of change and harsh competition. With talent and determination your career will thrive. Every end of era means the beginning of a new one. It doesn’t have to be an end for your freelancing work. It is just a challenge to become a better prepared graphic designer to provide your clients with what they need.
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