100 habits of successful graphic designers

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100 habits graphic successful designers

A little good advice never hurt anyone. If you’re looking for a few tips on how to improve your graphic design business or just a little insight into how others do things, 100 habits of successful graphic designers is worth a read. On to a few quotes from the book…

Keep in touch with your clients, past and present.

Every business has competitors and you want clients to think of you first. Though repeat projects from some clients may be few and far between, keeping in touch occasionally will help secure you in their mind for future work.

Do an extra-good job on tiny projects.

Small projects are often treated as churn and burn jobs, but every business starts small. The better the job you do on the small job, the better your chances of landing the big job down the road.

Spend time with your client to build consensus and create shared goals.

It’s understandable that clients are excited and designers are eager to begin a new project, but you can never have too much information. However comprehensive a design brief might be, whether provided in full by a client or extracted via questions from the designer, there is always more information to be gained.

Don’t stop at just a written brief, have a few conversations. The more you understand the client and the more they understand you, the better it will be for everyone.

Seek out creative clients for successful collaborations.

Although good graphic design is about what works, and not personal tastes and preferences, they sometimes can’t be avoided with some clients. If you’re constantly butting heads with a client over a their inflexible preconceived ideas or personal tastes the design can only suffer. On the other hand, working with clients on a similar creative wavelength is a recipe for success.

If you are a designer, design; if you are a manager, manage.

Advice applicable to every business, but seemingly more common in graphic design. The dreaded client who hires you for your expertise, and then proceeds to tell you exactly who/what/how/where/when every little detail should be done.

The moral of the story is, make the most effective use of your time. If your job is to drive the business, leave design to the designers, and vice versa.

To close, a few shots from inside the book.

book design

book spread design

print design

publication spread design

publication design

Can you recommend any good graphic design books? Leave a comment and let me know.

10 thoughtful comments on “100 habits of successful graphic designers”

  1. Paul Murray says:

    Some sound advice Andrew.

    This is a really great book, and one that I’ve recently included in a recent blog post highlighting some recommended design books that I’ve personally found to be useful as a design student.

    The advice inside is brilliant, and deals with areas of design and business that you would only learn about through experience. Truly worth a look.

  2. Mark says:

    If only everyone took the “if you are a manager, manage” advice. I’ve had a few frustrating times of managers who micro managed every detail, despite having no design experience. *sigh*

  3. Andrew Keir says:

    Thanks for your own recommendations, Paul.

    Being micromanaged is never good. Hopefully you have better luck with your next design project, Mark.

  4. Sandra says:

    Like the book, where can I buy it?

    And I do agree with Mark so much! I know the feeling!

  5. Andrew Keir says:

    Rockport is a big publisher, Sandra. Any major book store is sure to stock their range.

  6. Amanda says:

    Looks very good and has some excellent pointers, thanks for this.

  7. Louis says:

    Great blog! Im going to go pick this book up today!

    @Mark, I agree, it can be a headache with the micro mangers. What has been working for me in my business is during our initial consultation, I tell them about our roles; I am the designer, you hired me for my expertise, and my job is to create the best solution for you, not be your robot.

  8. Alain Pineda says:

    It’s great to know there are people who share their personal experiences in a professional way. Thank you.

  9. Tom says:

    I’ve seen this a few times but wasn’t sure if it was worth the purchase?

    “Keep in touch with your clients, past and present.”

    This is an absolute must. Hard to do when you’re flat out busy but you’ll feel it when the work dries up otherwise. I used to sit in a studio where account managers would sit waiting for the phone to ring. I used to mutter to myself “well it’s not our clients job to remember we exist, that’s ours!”

  10. Samantha says:

    This book looks like a winner! You’ve inspired me to go make a purchase! :)

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