The creative industry is very complex and competitive. Creativity has no limitations and there are so many great designers in the world, so to get yourself noticed, you really need to stand out. Evelyn Garnett is a senior web designer for The Eventa Group UK and she has been involved in many international marketing campaigns. In this interview, Evelyn gave us an insight into the industry and tips for all aspiring web/graphic designers to take on board to further their career.
What is the best thing about working in the graphic design field?
I adore the variety of projects I get to work on. One day I might be filming a short documentary for social media, the next day I could be coding a website or designing a leaflet. There are endless branches in this industry and there's always more to learn.
How did you get into graphic design?
When I was 13 my mother bought me a PC and I stumbled upon a web design tutorial website. From there I taught myself HTML, CSS and Photoshop and went on to study media at college, with a focus on web design. I then completed my degree in Interactive Media Production which covered web design, marketing, graphic design, videography, photography and scriptwriting. When I graduated, my work was featured in Creative Arts and Web Designer Magazine and I began building up a portfolio with my work. I worked for a couple of web design agencies whilst freelancing before deciding that agency work wasn’t for me. It was a risk, but I left my job and took a 9-month maternity cover contract at The Eventa Group as an in-house web designer. The gamble paid off as I was offered a permanent position when the contract ended.
How do graphic designers bring value to a brand?
A brand needs to be consistent. If it uses different styles of colors, fonts or logos, it’s going to look unprofessional and is unlikely to give a lasting impression. In addition, the design created by a graphic or web designer is styled to give a particular meaning or look and feel and can completely change a viewer’s opinion of the brand. A good graphic designer delivers great ideas and gets results.
What are top 10 tips you think everyone interested in web/ graphic design should know?
Brush up on marketing! When I was starting out as a web designer, I thought I knew enough to get me by. Since working with a marketing team I’ve realised just how vital it is to learn as much as possible about marketing. It’s worth doing an online course or working with someone in the field.
Collect inspiration. See a building design that you like? Take a picture. Love the colours in that magazine article? Cut it out. Place and share on Pinterest for handy inspiration when you need it.
Use online resources. There are SO many free online tutorials and videos to walk you through programs and techniques. Set aside some time each week to learn something new.
If you’re going freelance, it’s worth getting an accountant. Yes, they’re expensive but worth their weight in gold. When I was freelancing, my accountant saved me more money than I paid for her services.
Photography plays a massive role in web and graphic design. Unfortunately there are limited free resources for photos online, so it’s worth learning a bit about photography and taking photos yourself where possible.
LISTEN TO FEEDBACK
Learn to accept (and reply to) criticism. In this industry, a great deal of client feedback is based on personal preference (even when you know what sells and what doesn’t). Learn to listen and accept the client’s opinions, and learn how to explain the reason behind your designs. You will make mistakes too, but learn from them and move on.
SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY
Get on social media and follow as many graphic designers, web designers and resource websites as possible. Not only will you learn plenty, but you’ll make some useful contacts.
Build yourself a diversified portfolio and show your clients and employers that you can accept challenges and work well with a variety of projects.
Spent hours on one little detail that still doesn’t look quite right? That’s good, it means you do have that vital attention to detail and your work will shine. However, if you’re getting nowhere, take a break and come back to it later. Nine times out of ten I find I’m able to crack it within minutes after a break.
If you’re looking to get into the industry but lack experience, create your own projects or volunteer to design for charities. You’ll quickly build up a portfolio and a network of contacts.
Connect with Evie on LinkedIn