Senior Graphic Designer
10 Things I Learned as a Senior Graphic Designer is the continuation of the series: 10 Things I Learned as Junior Graphic Designer. I would never think that transition to Senior will not make it any easier. Time passed and here I come with some new experiences and new challenges.
Graphic Design requires a lot of patience. There is a lot of times when I have to wait for the feedback on a project. That makes the work slow. You can read here about my design process.
Also, when you want to do or learn something new, it has to be the hard way. There is no place anymore for mistakes and all new skills are more and more advanced.
You are not going to change the world
For a long time, as a student, I believed that I will change the way the industry works. I believed that I will do something great in the world. Well, surprisingly it is not like in the movies.
I have worked for few big corporations and I was always starting the job with thinking ”I am going to make a change here”. By the time I was moving on very few things were changed and were back to normal, just a few months after I left. I learned that people don’t change.
You can change the world
Even though you can’t change the world at once, you can definitely make it a better place around you. I focused on smaller goals one step at the time. I started working on my own projects that made me happy and helped a lot of small businesses. Instead of pushing for changing big corporations I started offering help for start-ups and people who had the same beliefs and passion. Why try to force the change if there are people out there who are happy to do it?
It is all about the money
I was never rich and I was living quite modest but to the fullest at the same time. I realised that not everyone thinks that job should firstly make you happy and if you are selling any products they should serve people in the best way. Most of the people I met in my life thought the opposite way. A job is to earn me money and if selling any products let’s think first of what will give money.
This gave me plenty of disappointment in people and I was not able to understand why would you do something that does not make you happy? I am not saying I always did best jobs. I was a waitress for 5 years but at least I knew my goal and I was 100% sure that it is going to change when I am ready.
On the other hand, I saw many clients trying to start a new project and instead of inventing new useful products they were looking for money machines. And guess what. If you think this way, no matter how profitable your product might sound at first, a useless product is never going to sell.
Design does not matter for everyone
No matter how much you try, some people just don’t have it. It is the same as I will never be a clever ass calculating or loving Excel. I learned to always do my best to show people how beautiful and useful design is but I never push for it. The same as no one will ever convince me to start an Excel business.
It is OK when people hate your work
For a long time, I had a typical designer ego and I could not understand how some people could still choose between my work and some Microsoft Word logo. Well, they can and there will be always people who will. Because as I just said before, the design does not matter for everyone. So I learned to accept critique and let it go when it is not worth it.
Let them do it in Paint or Word
If some people do insist that it is not worth to hire a designer, I do not spend too much time on it. I carefully explain the risks without being pushy and at the end say to take a risk if they would like to try, I am totally OK with that. It usually takes up to one month maximum for these people to come back to me to ask for help. Sometimes, they don’t come back but I also see those brands disappearing within 3-6 months.
My time is important
I do care and fight for every client I get but my time is important too. I am always clear with my clients that when I do take a project I fully commit. That means that in order to take their project I have to let others go. I make sure that they understand it and I always charge the 30% down payment fee to cover for the project start-up. If someone is not happy with this commitment, I don’t commit as well.
Nothing is for free
I learned that if I do want to expand and constantly become better I will have to invest in it as well. I do my budgeting and estimate more carefully how I spend my money. I make sure that I always have the budget for software licensing and that my equipment is up to date to speed up my work. So far, every time I made some extra money, I just spent it on my office improvements and skills investment. I understood that it was not the time yet to start buying more clothes or organising trips because of the new income.
Love your job
This hasn’t changed for me from the previous series. I do believe that one of the most important things in my career is to love my job. If I wouldn’t, I would never get that far to transform from 12 hours shifts cleaning tables to being a real Graphic Designer.
What did you learn as a Senior Graphic Designer? How was the transition to being senior?
Maybe as a client, working with a designer?
Contact me if you have more questions or leave a comment down below if you loved it/hated it.