5 Things to do at Home that Utilizes Your Graphic Design Skills During Lockdown
Getting bored at home?
Is it so damn boring that your mind isn’t working now?
Do you feel you have nothing productive to do?
It’s time to get out of your sleepy head because I have something very special and interesting for you.
We Indians are very creative and energetic to find great ideas and reasons to enjoy any situation.
Be it a student or already working one, do you know what is the most valuable and precious thing we have?
It's time and this pandemic situation has given us an opportunity to think of our time and utilize it as much as we can by investing in knowledge and practice to have a great future.
Before talking about the best way to utilize our quarantine time, we must know about this situation and the reason for this trap yet an opportunity to do a lot of things that we could not make time for in our busy schedule.
Complete Lockdown due to COVID-19
The Government of India officially announced this Lockdown across the board on 24th April 2020 under the order of our honorable prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi.
Followed by Janta curfew on 22nd March, ringing bells for people of essential services such as ‘policemen, ‘media service’, ‘medical services’, and lighting candles for peace and health of our nation, we accepted this as a challenge to fight against CORONA and succeed as warriors.
We are going to remember this word for a lifetime and this will become a part of a chronicle that we are going to narrate with little exaggeration to our next generation.
As a graphic designer, it’s time to rock
A graphic designer needs a laptop and internet that’s it and this is everything we need to rock. With the increasing demand for a good design for the promotion of products and services, we need to enhance our graphic design skills day by day. To become a good designer, it takes time, patience, determination, and the very important thing is “how we manage our time and routine”.
In this blog, we will read a lot about graphic design skills, important applications, and how we can utilize as well as improve our skills during this lockdown period.
Some of the important graphic design skills and essentials
Being a graphic designer, we almost use 4-5 appropriate tools/applications and master them as well. These applications are:
- Adobe Photoshop,
- Adobe Illustrator,
- Adobe InDesign,
- CorelDRAW etc.
Apart from the application knowledge, we should have a powerful command over
- Knowledge of design principles and theory
- Digital typography and color theory
- Photography and Image editing
- Knowledge of print media
- Problem-solving mindset
- Last but not least, learn HTML
All of the above mentioned can be well-practiced in this duration when we don’t need to go out of home, we don’t have any medium of distraction rather we can utilize it to improve knowledge and earn money too.
How we can utilize our graphic design skills at home
The human mind is very creative if we set a goal for us and start working with little vigilance. Here I am sharing the most important 5 points we can enjoy doing at home and help our capacious head to learn a lot more.
1. Utilize your design skills to create different creative posts for social media to spread awareness among people
The whole nation is going through this pandemic and a large number of people are not so aware of this danger so we can utilize our skills to create knowledgeable and informative posts, info-graphics, etc. to spread awareness among them.
Apart from offices and our professional responsibilities, this is also our duty to help people as everyone from urban to rural areas is available on social media especially Facebook, so we can easily reach them and notify them of the current situation and tell them, safety majors. Create great visuals and less content either Hindi or English or both which is easy to understand.
a. Social media for identity:
You can upload your creations on various social media platforms on a regular basis to drag the attention of viewers to your creative work. Every social media site is full of design inspiration as every product and service uses great design sense and creative advertising to promote themselves. These platforms offer a huge opportunity to every creative individual to make our identity with our work and upload it on your page, people look at your work and appreciate it. We can have better contacts through social media by joining groups of the same profession. Posting queries and answering some will connect us to more people.
So, this is the best way we can use social media as a weapon to use our graphic design skills and knowledge in this lockdown period. Once we develop this habit of doing work regularly, we're going to make time for the same in our busy schedule too.
b. Start freelancing as everyone is working on digital platforms and need more designers to take their products or work online
COVID-19 is hitting hard to every individual but creative and digitally sound individuals have the opportunity to grab and utilize this arid duration to make it productive.
Starting as a freelancer is not an easy pie at all, but it is absolutely worth the effort. I am not saying that it is a spontaneous act to find the sources of making money but it is a way to find our worth and test our knowledge, skills, determination, and patience. This can be considered as a step towards becoming your own boss, working on projects you like, schedule your own timing, etc.
2. Let’s dive into the concept of freelancing
Today the industry has taken all its promotional and marketing work online and MNCs are outsourcing the maximum of the work. Graphic designers never miss this opportunity, so we can give online interviews or directly grab work through your profile and presenting a portfolio.
A) Catch your very first client asap
We all know “if we don’t have clients, we don’t have a business” and this is absolutely very important to gain little confidence. Many of the graphic designers waste their time in making portfolios, creating business names, and irrational tasks that won’t make you a freelance graphic designer.
To develop confidence and boost ourselves, we need our very first client and this will give us a track to follow and a momentum to become a freelancer.
Here are some ways to get projects and clients
- Ping your personal networks: Being a student somewhere we have spent a lot of time and engaged with a number of individuals so probably we have good contact and network. This is the easiest way to tap ourselves into freelance work by thinking strategically and telling our friends and relatives that I’m a freelance graphic designer.
- Freelance job sites are easy to get jobs: investing our valuable time regularly on the internet, we know a number of sites offering freelance design work. There are sites like Fiverr, SolidGigs, FreeUp, UpWork, FlexJobs, LinkedIn Profinder, Behance, Dribble, TopTal, PeoplePerHour, etc. Few of them are the sites where clients are hunting us for their work.
B) Create your identity or brand for yourself
Once we get a client, it gives us positivity and confidence to think of organizing ourselves as a proper freelancer. Then creating an identity and branding yourself will work more to catch attention and trust on the very basic level.
C) Work hard and put extra effort into your work
Work hard for the first client and over-deliver them. We need to focus on building a good network too so that we can find great clients. Freelancers need to be very quick and attentive in finding details and understanding their need to give them their best.
3. Revisit or improve your older projects as many of us try to escape from this due to lack of time
Once we start working and cross a huge duration of time, we usually don’t get back to revisit our older projects that we made during our learning period but this time of quarantine has given us this opportunity to check them and improve accordingly.
Improve your designs according to your knowledge, experience, taking inspiration from sites, theoretical knowledge of design aesthetics, etc.
Keep the older one and work on the copy version so that it can be compared later to know what are our improvements and how creatively we can modify older projects.
Change and improvement is the necessity of the creative world: We have noticed many brands improve their branding with the time, majorly logo, and then changes are applied to the whole campaign. Every change leads its product and services to a different approach.
Let’s check a few examples:
1. Marriott hotels changed their iconic status by making the M bit emphasizing the brand name.
2. Envato opted for a flat and clean look for its design.
And many more are there.
This was just an example to show you that our work needs improvement so always work on that and make it exquisite to put it in your portfolio as an exclusive and presentable work.
4. Create an impressive portfolio and work on every important point that should be in your portfolio.
Being a graphic designer, a portfolio works like an AADHAAR card. It carries all the details of a graphic designer like his/her software knowledge, creativity level, understanding of design, and ability to create something unique on the basis of the project.
A freelancer especially needs a viable portfolio to satisfy the client, moreover, when we are ready for an interview, our portfolio plays a heroic role to make our impression in the interviewer's mind and encourages him/her to hire us.
The best thing about a portfolio is you can create and keep it online which is easy to share and present.
I would love to share a few pro tips to create an excellent portfolio
- Graphic designer’s purpose should always look clear in their portfolio. Whether it is for freelancing or job purpose, both should look clear
- Present your best design very first as it will catch the viewer's attention. We do not need to present more than 15-20 selected and sharp work.
- Our portfolio should show versatility based on the range and variety of projects. Always remember that our portfolio is presenting us.
- Choose the better platform and appropriate website for your online portfolio, else you can carry your offline work too in print form but the online one gives a different impression.
- Keep your portfolio simple, organized, and must explain the purpose of every design behind the work.
- Don’t forget to add the “about me” page and make it way more impressive.
For More Tips, head to Graphic Design Interview Tips
This is all about the importance of a portfolio for a graphic designer so this lockdown period is a golden opportunity to do it.
5. This is the best time to read good design theory books and explore as many study materials whether online or offline as you can
Books are the treasures that can be hunted down only by passionate readers. It is a habit that can never be out of passion as graphic design books introduce the theory of design, process, principles, and demonstrate the concept with examples.
Essential things to know about graphic design which many books will dictate you in-depth are:
- Knowledge of colors
- Working with typefaces
- Working with fonts
- Design principles
- Understanding grid system
- Design thinking and visual grammar
- Understanding the power of shapes etc.
Here is a list of few very important books:
- A nondesigners design book
- Making and breaking the grid: A layout design workshop
- Thinking with type
- A smile in the mind: witty thinking in graphic design
- How to use graphic design to sell things
- How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul
- Interaction of color
- Don’t make me think
Check complete list here - Graphic Designers' Books
List of 15 Must-Read Books for Graphic Designers
So, these are the books that will teach us right from scratch to layout finalization along with colors and theoretical concepts. As a beginner, we should focus on these books more to acquire basic knowledge and apply it to our projects.
I know we all are dealing with this pandemic and this is not necessary to be productive all the time rather it’s our choice. We should not forget the “theory of survival of the fittest” drawn from Darwin’s theory of evolution that we should keep going and adapt our surroundings and the local environment in order to survive.
We must live and laugh to stay healthy and work regularly for our mental and physical improvement.