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
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)