What skills does a graphic designer absoultely need?

What skills does a graphic designer absoultely need to land that great job besides the art skills. what makes the top designers better than the others? as far as skills what did they concentrate on or in? you know the stuff that schools dont teach you.



Thanks and please be real with me and yourself! :smiley:

Dale Carnegie says in his book, (awesome book) How To Win Friends And Influence People, expertise is about only 15% and being able to deal with people and communicate with others is the other 85%.

There’s not that much time to demonstrate that in your first interview for that great job so be creative. My current job required relocation so I showed up at my interviews with neatly organized stuff about the area and a nice aerial map of the location as well as other materials that proved I did my relocation homework before we even discussed it. This of course wasn’t part of my portfolio but it was definitely part of my presentation.

I would agree with you and the person who wrote the book. i get along with people great. But when you dont have the great talkative skills what graphic skill do you need or think is the most important?

85% is maybe a lil too much. but I agree your personality and communication skills are key. a lot of times your skills or work cant speak for itself…many times the concepts and ideas and brainstorming needs to be done and if you cant get your idea across and communicate then you will probably end up being excited to design holiday cards for your fam because tht is asmuch work as you will be seeing. I am in school right now at Parsons, and they dont stress enough that communication skills are crucial. I was in a meeting over the summer with Dr. Martens and I had to answer questions and be able to talk about things at the drop of a dime. also tho talking just for the sake of hearing your own voice isnt good either. but i would fresh’n up on those communication skills if tht is not a strong point for you and a way of doing this is by becoming involved. ASK QUESTIONS participate, and be informed or educated on wht you are dealing with this will makes talking about it even less a stressful thing.


important things for a graphic designer- you must know your typography and be able to communicate your idea in the most simpliest easist ways possible. my teacher told me tht our jobs are not to just make things look pretty but to give our work a purpose and to make a difference.

I have found tht with graphic design is is alot about who you know. now with computers its like everyone has them and they think they are designers. smile
so i guess just best thing be yourself find a style tht is yours. also intern and grab experience any way possible.

I think more then just great tht looks great on a page they want to see great thinking, a good creative thought process. this is your weapon against the norm and can get you plugged into the workforce.

maybe be more specific in wht exactly you are wondering about??

i think graphic design has become considerably more complex than before. it would be a good idea for you to be fluent in web based languages , apps, and current stream technology for instance music /dvd recording, editing, etc.

right now i’m experimenting with music and graphics and i think future user interfaces will have greater emphasis on sound combined with graphics. it will help if you have an architectural and logic background because, although we’re dealing mostly with linear parameters here, things can get quite complex and non-linear when it comes to future user interfaces.

This is a field IS communication. You bet 85% is about right!

The biggest, and I mean biggest skill you need as a designer is the ability to seduce your client. You need them to fall in love with you and your ideas, if they don’t they wont, and If they wont you will die broke and hungry and none of your work will be realized - sad but true!

Also, it is important that you do not get seduced by the client or the project. Once that happens you lose all control and power. You sometimes need to be able to walk away from the project or client, you cant do that if you are in love.

thanks guest for quoting me keep reading past that first sentence and i said communication skills are key. the thing with audio is it really depends on wht type of job you get into if you are an editorial designer and you spend your carrer designing magazine layouts or alot of publication design i dont think audio plays an important role. but any extra software you know the more vaulable you are to a design studio or client. I think we are becoming alot more web and screen based so motion graphics is a becoming a big field. but print is not going anywere.

but just overall try to become aware of all media’s and programs, in this field you will end up doing alot of freelance and knowing more is only going to get you father.

“only going to get you further-along with other things like your communication skills and your work ethic…etc”

father->further…wow I can’t type.

I didn’t feel I needed to quote your entire post… since you are a bit wordy for online reading.

Keep dreaming if you want to believe the work will speak for itself. Yes it sometimes happens. I know many hiring managers look first for communications skills followed by organizational skills. Once you pass through those 2 hoops will they then look closer at your design skills.

You can always learn applications on the job… and will be expected to as more come out. At this stage of the game you should already have good to excellent communication skills. 85% is still where I stand on this issue.

guest. really i think you must be dreaming and not reading clearly:

Guest wrote_“Keep dreaming if you want to believe the work will speak for itself”

this is what you said so if you read what If said you are saying the exact thing

Dygitalvision wrote_“a lot of times your skills or work cant speak for itself.”

we are saying the same thing.


a bit wordy maybe… or a designer just trying to help out another designer thought i could post more and help them out.

again guest thanks for your post. become a member and be apart of the forum. you have some great comments.