How to become a good designer

Recently I have had a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge of designer with other people. It was a great experience and I will definitely continue this practice.

Now I want to share with my adorable readers some of details of my speech.

The title of my report was “The stages of designer’s growth and development”. Another title is “How to become a good designer”.

Here is a little photo of my speech:

How to become a good designer. Julia Bondarenko

How to become a good designer. Julia Bondarenko

I’ve reviewed the following topics:

  • Designers’ necessary skills;
  • How to get a job in a company;
  • Work of designer in a company VS Freelance;
  • Freelance design projects: where to search;
  • Psychology of communication with a client;
  • List of resources for designer’s self-development;
  • List of books for self-development in design theme.

So the sphere of my study was a big one. Everything connected to designer’s success.

Designer’s necessary skills.

Design skills of website and mobile app designer -juless design

Design skills of website designer

Skill No 1. Creative mind and visualization. Designer is first of all the engineer I think but he should have creativity, sense of beauty and style. This skill will give great opportunities in a connection with logical thinking. You should try to express you design view rather on paper or using special programs for wireframes.

Skill No 2. Typography. Words are a good way to express your thoughts. If you want to focus attention on main ideas of your text or emphasize the importance of your words with the help of design you should use different font sizes. Font style is also a good way to give text a tone. It can be rather rough or soft, creative or dull, whatever a designer choose.

Skill No 3 and 4. Professional and multimedia programs. How to be a designer without knowledge of main design programs? Nohow! Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Corel Draw are basic design programs you should choose for learning. If you want to become interactive designer, motional designer you should also acquire knowledge of Principle, Pixate, After Effects etc.

Skill No 5. Color theory. If you want to be a good designer you must feel the color and know how to combine colors. You can do it yourself or use special programs for color schemes creation.

Skill No 6. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. It is not necessary to be a developer and write a code but designer should have basic understanding of how everything works and how real website and mobile app appears after being designed. That is why practice in HTML and CSS can be useful for designer.

Skill No 7. Knowledge of usability principles. Usability is the main and very important characteristic of the website and mobile app. If you know how to create a website which brings profit for its owner – you will be irreplaceable and very popular designer. If you know where to place BUY button – you are half a king:)

Skill No 8. Printing and publishing design. Every company makes printing materials for internal and outside usage – business cards, flyers etc. One time they will definitely ask a designer to create it.

Skill No 9. Technical English. If you want to be a good designer – you should study a lot. All the best resources and literature in design theme are in English. All the best companies have vacancies for people who speaks English. So technical English is a good skill which a designer must possesses.

Here you can read more about main principles of user interface design.


How to get a job in a company.

After you get all these skills you will definitely get a job in company. Though all the companies search for experienced designers (with work experience not less than 1 year) the preference is quality of your portfolio. If you have a few really good design works in your portfolio it is much better than 5 years of your experience. To receive design works of website or mobile app for your portfolio please go to 99design website and practice a lot. Even if you do not earn money you will have real design projects. Good presentation of yourself while interview is also a great thing. You should show yourself confident and responsible worker who is really interested in things and business you will do inside the company you’re hiring by. So if you are interviewed by the company who is producing dog food and they want you to create a website you should mention that you have a pet and you understand what users want to see on this website. You must understand client’s business for sure. Also if a company requires to pass a test – please do not hesitate and just DO it! It is a good sign and opportunity. You do know what qualities the company is looking for in employees. They may find it in you! After getting this job you will possess a lot of experience as a designer inside the company, you will understand how the development process goes, you will learn a lot of other useful skills. This will be the great experience for you until you … are tired and want to move from your designer position in a company to a Freelance work.


Work of designer in a company VS Freelance.

So freelance work is a big difference from work in a company. You have a lot of free time which you should dispense in the correct way to continue earning money. Another difficulty is that you should find clients on your own. So there are a few advices I want to give you. First, try to use special productivity time managing programs to manage your time. Second, you should make a research of all the possible ways to find clients, these are Behance, Dribbble, Upwork, 99Design etc. You can find the full list in the article How to earn money from design.


List of resources and books for designer’s self-development.

The most important part of designer’s growth is self-development. Growth and development are impossible without reading a lot of special literature for designers and examining special design resources. I would definitely advice this list of Blogs about design:

  • Smashing Magazine;
  • Medium;
  • Webdesigntuts+;
  • A List Apart Magazine;
  • DesignModo;
  • Premium Pixels.

Also a great blog for designers to broaden your knowledge of Photoshop and to know more of design secrets is Bjango. Here you can find even Photoshop actions and set of different templates. I love it.

Here you can find also UI sets and patterns of design:

  • Designmoo;
  • Patterntap;
  • 365psd;
  • Design Kindle;
  • UX Movement.

These design resources will be helpful for both – young designer and well-experienced as well.


The end!

So as you can see my speech was rather big and interesting. And I would love to repeat this experience in future.

And the last thing I want to tell you – success is contagious. You should communicate with successful designers, attend design and IT conferences, learn more things about marketing, development and PR and just develop yourself as a designer.

Attention to Partners!

If you have any offers about cooperation or any job offer please let me know via the contact form on the main page of my website or directly to

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