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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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How To Keep Up To Date As A Designer

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Coffee Time

This is a guest article contributed by Nora Reed*.


In this world of lightening fast development, professionals can find it hard to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest. Similarly, some designers who wish to stay updated, just don’t really know how to go about it.

These simple & effective methods will help you from being left behind:

1. Utilize All Of The Web

Some people are of the view that the internet is a waste of time as it causes major distractions, but like anything there are always pros and cons… it all depends upon how you use the tools available. The internet has revolutionized the way we work – it literally is the fastest method of staying up to date with the latest developments in the design business. Subscribe to RSS feeds, read blogs and search for the information you need – it’s there. Social bookmarking platforms are a big time saver too so make use of them, so you can come back to them when needed.

2. Participate In Discussions Online & Offline

While surfing is a good way to collect vast amounts of information, participating in online discussions is also beneficial in staying up-to-date. Be proactive; join design forums, comment on blogs and share your own opinion with the design community. You will get lots of ideas and feedback through the online communities, which will help you stay ahead of the curve.

3. Read, Collect & Discover Books & Magazines

Many young designers who graduate from college tend to shy away from books, however, books should always be kept at your side. They help broaden your horizons and often go in to much more depth than articles online.

4. Browse Design Galleries

Awwwards

As an avid designer, you should always yearn for inspiration and with the internet, you literally have the world at your fingertips. With the increased online presence of design, many design galleries have spawned showcasing inspiring and creative designs. Sites like Behance and Deviantart are a perfect inspiration spot for designers of any caliber. Not only do you get ideas & references for design, you also get a look at the latest emerging trends. Whether you follow these or purposely avoid them, is completely up to you.

5. Build Relationships & Maintain Them

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Google+ allow you to easily stay connected with your friends but it’s also important to follow other influential designers on the web. By doing so, you will get real time updates on the latest developments or opportunities in your respective field. Don’t just limit yourself to online – connect in the ‘real’ world too.

6. Have a Predisposed ‘Yes!’ Attitude

In order to stay up-to-date, designers must keep an open and predisposed attitude so that you may learn from others in the design community. It is not only the young designers who will learn from the experienced ones, but the seasoned designers who can learn from the next generation too.

What are some of your methods for staying up to date as a designer?

Nora Reed runs Logoblog.org where she writes about logo design trends, tips for logo designers, famous logos and showcases inspiring logo designs.

Photo credits: Shutterstock (bluehand)

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23 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Wes McDowell Reply

    Whenever I find a new trend that I think will be good to get on top of, I do everything I can to learn all about it. I have a lynda.com subscription for this very reason. If its not covered there, I look to youtube for tutorials. Staying up to date is one of the biggest challenges we face, but ya gota do it to stay relevant.

  • Kyra Reply

    Great article! Thanks for this one. I’ve found it difficult since having a child to stay up to date. I still do my best but these are some great tips.

  • Jörg Fischer Reply

    For me the most important thing as a designer…good reading!

  • SarahNavigator Reply

    It’s important to level with a local community of designers, both for inspiration and for resources. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where there are designer networking groups or after-hour events to drop in to, then you can expect to learn so much. The dialogue is casual, but constructive, because everyone is amped on the same topics!

    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

  • Leaflet Printing Reply

    Really nice article, some very valid points and tips. I think communication is key and being proactive and trying to learn as much as you can about new technologies etc

  • Sales Trainer Reply

    I agree. i believe that communication is crucial. You have to be alert and have to make an effort to build relationships and networks

  • xhtmlpress Reply

    I believe that reading magazine,books and blogs will help you to keep update. I normally follow best designers and best developers in the world and exchange ideas with them and I always look profile of these people and get an idea how they do awesome work

  • Morgan & Me Creative Reply

    Thanks Nora for the splendid article. The last point is truly most important…having an open mind indeeds allows us to bend our own mental limitations and keep an open mind.

  • tishag Reply

    I think it’s so important to not forget about books and magazines! It’s so easy to do with everyone jumping on the internet for inspiration that everyone forgets what can be found in books and magazines. For students who are in school, it’s easy to find inspriation all around you and I heard that FIDM has a great graphic design program and a pretty inspirational campus too.

  • ISO 14001 Reply

    I think your spot on about the internet and how it has revolutionised the way in which designers interact and how we keep up to date with the most recent trends. I find the social media platforms especially Twitter as a great resource for finding new sources of design material to latch onto. I also find blogs and forums to be particularly helpful when it comes to sourcing ideas.

  • Tina Reply

    Thank you for the post – it made me think about what’s really useful for my inspiration. For me, forums and posts are the main sources:) Communication is crucial.

  • April Neylan Reply

    This is a great article! Thanks very much. Lots of really valuable and useful tips that I will implement.

  • Ruth Gwilt Reply

    I realised recently that I clicked on interesting looking links and looked at the pictures but rarely read the content, but there’s gold in that there text!

  • Roger White Reply

    A good article and very true and it is something I try to set time aside for a daily or weekly basis. However it often depends how busy I am…..very busy lately. :)

  • Rio Hunt Reply

    It is important to have a lot of reading and research to be able to keep updated with the latest trends. Thanks for the article. Great tip :)

  • Tina Reply

    Thanks for the great article Nora! I rarely participate in discussion forums but whenever I do, I always receive tons of valuable feedback. Good tip about keeping up with social networking sites…need to to that more.

  • afurmage Reply

    This is a very helpful post for graphic designers, especially those who will be graduating from college soon like me. I will definitely take some of these tips with me into the future. I need to start reading and collecting ideas from design books and magazines more.

    I enjoy staying up-to-date in the design world by completing online tutorials. Through step-by-step lessons, I am able to learn new design techniques as well as fine-tuning those I’m already familiar with.

  • Richard Reply

    I find there can be too much clutter on the web. Even when you filter out as much of the clutter as you can there still seems to be a lot out there. Social Book marking is a great way of keeping up with design info.

  • Union Printer Reply

    That coffee time design is really brilliant! It’s true as a designer, you need to keep up with the current trend and these tips really help a lot.

  • Guru Reply

    Yes.Sometime as designer I have faced problem like lack of inspirations,emptiness.Sometime it is difficult to put your ideas in to a screen.All those time I just Google for information ideas and trends after few days those days are gone and I will be ready with some creative ideas!
    Thanks Great post

  • Logo Designers Reply

    That’s true. It is hard to keep up and always be inspired, so finding a blog like this definitely helps. Thank you

  • DesignTranslations Reply

    I was inspired by your article so much, that translated it into russian. I hope You will allow me such popularization of Your site among russian speaking readers. You can find translation at http://XN–80ADGCAD2A0BFLPMB6J.XN–P1AI/?p=158
    Thank a lot. Kind regards.

  • Josh Reply

    I think you pretty much covered everything that I can think of, anyway. RSS and books are my two favorites.

    Unfortunately I’m not a big magazine guy, but I think it’s time to change that. Any suggestions on a good design publication?

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