Graphic design is a unique industry; it’s critical to keep up with trends in order to produce great work for clients, but it changes so quickly that staying up-to-date with the latest design trends is a real challenge. Whether you’re new to graphic design or an experienced graphic designer, here are our seven best strategies for staying up to date on graphic design trends.
Make education part of your life for good
To be the best possible graphic designer you need to educate yourself, both while you’re earning your degree and afterwards. As a student, take advantage of practical opportunities for learning such as internships and workshops in the community. Once you’re finished with your degree, don’t abandon your pursuit of new skills. Instead, look for continuing education courses in graphic design and seminars, conferences, and workshops for graphic designers.
Use media to your advantage
Any graphic designer today spends hours and hours online. Make great use of that time by looking for inspiring graphic design blogs, social media accounts to follow, case studies, tutorials, and portfolios. When you find a great blogger or graphic artist you admire, engage with them online to learn even more from what they do.
Read industry magazines and books
Find new graphic design books and texts at your local library or bookstore to help you get more in-depth information than you can glean from typical online articles and broaden your horizons. Invest in print subscriptions to the graphic design magazines that inspire you the most; Communication Arts, Digital Arts, Photoshop Creative, and Print are a few great examples of magazines that can help you keep your finger on the pulse of design trends.
By practicing your techniques you hone your craft while testing out new trends and ideas. This allows you to stay creative, improve your techniques, and get rid of ideas that aren’t as good. Most importantly, it helps you nurture and develop your own unique style as a designer.
Be an active member of the online graphic design community
Stay current on new graphic design trends by using RSS feeds, commenting on quality blogs, interacting on social media profiles, and interacting in forums of design news outlets. Design galleries that showcase the creative work of designers like Behance, Delicious CSS, and DeviantArt are great places to spend time and interact with others. As you share your opinion with others in online forums you’ll get lots of feedback that will teach you and help you improve your designs.
Leave your comfort zone
It’s a natural human instinct to stay in your comfort zone, but as an artist and designer, it’s a bad move. Put yourself in new settings and meet new graphic artists. Don’t limit the kinds of projects you work on to broaden your horizons and ensure you learn as much as possible.
Networking is critical for most professions, and graphic design is no different. In fact, networking is probably more important for graphic designers than most other professionals, because it makes learning new techniques and staying exposed to the latest trends easier. Get inspired by attending networking events, and connect with others in the field online and in person. Join AIGA to cement your place in the industry, gain support, attend fantastic events, and learn from others with more experience.
The graphic design trends that are hottest now have strong roots in the trends of the past, and they will influence the way that graphic design looks in the future. This is the reason that staying current with trends in graphic design allows you to do so much more than produce great work for clients; it also allows you to continuously improve yourself as a graphic artist, and anticipate graphic design trends in the future. Make these seven strategies for staying up to date on graphic design trends part of your everyday practice as a graphic designer to produce your best work today and tomorrow.