Most people refer to creative design as graphic design because both processes have developed images as a critical component. Still, they have slight variations, which you will find later in the article. In literal terms, though, creative designer is all about generating feelings. It involves attracting a particular audience, say, consumers and inspiring them in a certain way.
Perhaps it’s a logo, making them either feel part of it, want to copy it, or even adapt it. Also, assuming that you are creating for a brand, the creation should reflect some level of satisfaction. A successful creation can move consumers to ask questions about the brand and its products/ services.
What Is a Creative Designer?
A creative designer can be someone with an original, artistic idea. This individual expresses their thoughts in the form of designs and images. They use lots of imagination and invention for a concept and then bring it to life in an artistic way. The more creative they are, the more inspirational and thought-provoking designs they bring forth. As a result, the concerned audience reacts to the image with curiosity and positivity.
Let’s say you have created for a company people’s eagerness towards the image defines its success. But being a creative designer doesn’t necessarily mean you will often do with something new. No, sometimes it means working with what is already in place and merely improving on it. Perhaps it is simplifying an idea or improving it for the sake of the current users.
While some people are gifted and natural creatives, the best of us need to learn with lots of patience to create a masterpiece. The most important thing to note is that any piece you make must meet and be relevant to the occasion. Think of those beautiful banners, logos, and posters. All are poster children of a creative designer.
Is There A Difference Between Graphic and Creative Design?
I would say yes. While the terms are often used interchangeably, being creative isn’t, and being graphic might often be miles apart depending on the task. For one, you can be a graphic designer, yet, not creative. It implies that you may have the skills to create and build an image, but it may not be artistic to appeal to. In this case, those innovative and imaginative traits may be lacking such that the final piece is blunt and doesn’t possess the sweetness.
On the other hand, you can be creative but fail to draw out the required images. Both of these skill sets need to work on their weak areas and maximize their strengths for a piece that evokes a positive outcome. And even if you may not have that creative /graphic streak in you, you can use available training and life experiences to be proficient.
Why Project Demands and Requirements Also Matter
Suppose a client wants you to complete a graphic design task. You must keenly look at its requirements for any task to decide if it requires creativity or just graphicness. Then it is merely a touch-and-go accomplishment, which doesn’t consume much time and money. It could only have to do with a few modification processes on an image. On the contrary, creative design requires an invention with original thought, which must also yield an impressive outcome.
How to Become a Creative Designer?
Creative design is like painting. It is also like a manufacturing process, which involves bringing an image to life. While it could be something inborn, you must constantly improve on it. If it’s something new but still draws your interest, then here is how you can start:
Get Basic Training as a Creative Designer: Creativity is a knowledge and skill which you must develop. To do this, you need to know the basics. You also need to practice the skill and improve on it. Since experience matters before you can produce a masterwork, studying the discipline will jumpstart you into the crucial requirements, you need to be creative.
Assuming you won’t get into a school, then self-training might suffice. And this is where online info might be your perfect tool. The first place to begin would with those online blogs that can slowly but surely enculture you.
Training also means you read books to know the history, the trends, and other subjects related to design. But that is not all. It opens your mind to lifestyle topics like fashion, photography, and art, all of which closely relate to creative design.
Acquire Artistic Skills: Not everyone is born with an artistic gene. But like any profession, you can learn. Essential creative designer skills to have are art and design. But you must also top them up with marketing to be complete. Artistic skills such as creating sketches and prototypes help you in laying out the right image. Then you can improve and complete it with the correct software.
The Key Areas to Study in Creative /Graphic Design
While we often advocate for a classroom scenario, chances are you merely want self-training to get started. There are plenty of learning resources about creative design, but not all of them are useful. It means you will pick only those topics to bring out the most direct material to help you as a first-timer. Later, of course, you can expound and do more in-depth research depending on your tasks. So, some of the crucial areas to start with include:
Typography: This area of study requires that you understand the types of fonts and foundries. Here, you also learn how to manage fonts, including activating and deactivating and sorting them out based on the task. And in this case, a software manager such as Suitcase Fusion would perfectly complete the job. Typography also teaches you how to select fonts for pairing purposes. You can also use it for leading, paragraphing, and kerning.
Layout: Layout is an important study area requiring you to work with specific images. Here you also need to know more about Grid systems and their role in graphic design.
The Rationale: The purpose of your design rationale is to prove and argue out the reason for every design decision you make. It includes understanding the marketing and brand terminology, which enables you to meet your client’s needs.
Branding: In branding, the key points that stick out in your training journey are Brand architecture, Visual identity systems, and Brand touchpoints. One of the books I can recommend is the Branding Book by Wally Olins. You can also read Alina Wheeler’s Designing Brand Identity. Another handy book you can read is Creative Workshop.
Software: Software is a critical part of creative design that you must acquaint yourself with. And in this case, you can bank on the Adobe programs even as you start. Check out how each Adobe software can help in your training:
Adobe Illustrator: It helps you to understand how to design logos, edit and even paint. This bit enables you to work with vectors, too.
Adobe InDesign: You acquire your web design and publishing software skills with this training bit.
Adobe Photoshop: As the name suggests, Adobe Photoshop provides those painting and image manipulation skills.
Getting into the Practicals
The next thing to becoming a designer would be to begin working on a project. While it sounds more like an apprenticeship, it is an excellent way to learn fast. Perhaps you are working on a brochure or company logo. This process enables you to check out the basic requirements for the task. Yet, the same task might also need you to analyze similar works by others, which may be from competing brands. And that is the best way to know how stuff works.
The Perfect Creative Designer Tool Box
As a creative designer, your job is to invent and build something that eventually becomes visual physically. To do so, you need the skill and the tools to accomplish the tasks. The critical construction tools you must have at your disposal include a keyboard, mouse, and specific software.
Some of the most reliable creative software includes Adobe CC. It is a suite of tools on the costlier side, especially if you are starting. However, in there, you also get the most up-to-date must-haves like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
The software package also includes the Aftereffects app, and a mix of them all can make you more multiskilled. Finally, even when you have everything on the ready, remember, successful creative design takes time. It also takes lots of dedication and commitment and more than a few drafts, so jumping into it may not suffice.
What Industry Absorbs Creative Designers
Creative designers can fit almost any business-oriented environment for branding purposes. The designs you create are convenient for marketing and advertising. So, most of the time, you might be hired directly by an organization’s marketing department. In recent times though, most creative designers are opting for self-employment, which involves more freelancing.
Whether in full-time, part-time, or self-employment, this job comprises standard duties. Some of them include creating advert materials for your client. The expectation is that you understand your client’s needs and invent something that resonates with their ultimate goal.
You can often start by creating a rough layout of the plan while closely consulting with the client/ organization. It is never wise to work solo. Instead, bring all the stakeholders on board and keep revising the work for satisfactory final results. You can also look at the type of material from competitors so that your final work is unique and appealing.
4 Tips to Enhance Your Creative Designer Skills
You do not just wake one day and become a creative designer. It is an art that takes practice and more practice to perfect. Here is how you can enhance your creativity.
1. Study the Graphic Designer Theories
Before you get into the practicalities of things, I would suggest you get down into books to learn about the profession. While there is a lot that you can do practically, you first need to understand the very fundamentals of the subject. Some of the basics you can learn include typography, color, and grid theory. Without understanding such areas as the golden ratio, you might only go so far and not deeper into creative design knowledge and skills.
2. Take Inspiration from Your Surroundings
The truth is we are not all born with extraordinary artistic skills. Instead, the environment is our significant influence, giving us clues and ideas with which to create. In this case, a winning creative design piece will likely have that personal touch. Hence, it is also easier to personalize your work through your daily experiences and your story so that your final work appears unique and more customized.
3. Get More into Social Settings
Even if creativity requires solitude, sometimes you have to get out there and see what excites the crowd. Know what is trending and what makes the world tick. Interaction enables you to pick ideas with which to work but also get reliable feedback about your work.
4. Meetup with Other Creative Designers
There shouldn’t be any excuse for you not to interact, talk with, and study other creatives. Of course, you might be overwhelmed at the workplace, especially if you are the only creative designer in the marketing team.
If you are a freelancer, it could be that you are working from home, and so finding that meetup platform might be almost impossible. But now, the digital environment makes interaction with like minds much easier. For example, if you are on social media, join up creative design groups.
You can also look for events, conferences, and webinars, enabling you to soak in more knowledge and discuss with others. As an active participant, you can field any questions and share the challenges too. Nothing should hinder you from making friends with whom you share interests. You can even ask to collaborate on a project, which is a crucial learning situation.
What Are the Benefits of a Creative Designer?
Most companies have recently woken up to how creative design is a must-have for their marketing campaigns. A nicely done piece sends a message to potential customers about how you can solve their problems. Then, the artistic work can communicate and draw consumer attention.
But remember one thing. Your work can only draw an audience if it is clear and memorable. It can only work on the consumers’ psyche with uniqueness and relevancy. And it is why as you pick that task, you have to bring all the skills and patience to the table.
An excellent creative design speaks directly to users; they do not have to ask a question. So, as you aspire to practice in this field, there are several things you require. These are skill acquisition, practice, and patience. Again, if it is reading the books, do not hesitate. If it is getting that degree, then go ahead. There is just never enough knowledge to satisfy your curiosity and enrich your skillset. Other than that, creative design is also one of the best career choices. You will easily fit in any marketing team of any brand. But you can also freelance and enjoy huge earnings from the comfort of your home.