Back to Blog
4 graphic-  copy.jpg
ManyPixelsNov 09, 2019

4 Graphic Design Challenges to Overcome

A picture is worth a thousand words. This adage has never been more suited to anything else than graphic design. For some of us, graphic design is a passion. Its creative aspect lures us in. The feeling of starting an entirely new project is priceless, along with tweaking a design to ensure it’s perfect enough to share with the rest of the world. Nonetheless, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Like everything else in life, graphic design packs a set of challenges. And, sometimes, even the smallest hurdle can quickly turn the perfect project into a nightmare. But, as they say, experience is the best teacher. So, more experience paves the way for the better handling of these obstacles. Without further ado, let’s delve into the 4 main graphic design challenges along with how to overcome each. Read on!

1. Creative Burnout

Burnout is something that inevitably happens after some time, especially among seasoned professionals. In place of a blank canvas that allowed you to get your creative juices flowing, is an adversary that lies between you and anything else you may be doing. At times, creative burnout is a direct outcome of doing something repeatedly with the absence of other creative outlets. Therefore, to avoid this predicament, it’s recommended to take up a hobby such as painting, to keep you in a creative space. Doing so paves the way for you to do something delightful outside your comfort zone, thereby keeping creativity burning inside you throughout your everyday graphic design work.

2. Defending Your Work

Graphic design involves dealing with non-creative individuals on day-to-day. This can leave you entangled in a web of frustration where you always have to defend your work and design choices. The feedback coupled with the input you receive will usually make you cringe. “Enlarge the logo.” “Make the logo smaller.” “Let’s use this color instead because it’s my favorite.”These are just a fraction of the phrases that make your heart sink. It’s an inevitable challenge in the world of graphic design. An easy way out would be to keep your head down, bottle up your frustrations and let the client deal with the consequences. After all, isn’t the customer always right? But, there’s also the other side of the coin that entails railing and ranting, insisting that you know best. Well, the viable solution to this challenge would be to take the empathy route. Concisely and calmly explain to the client why and how you arrived at a given design decision, and what the consequences of their preference are. You can also politely pepper the client with questions to gain an in-depth understanding as to why they want to go in a certain direction. Then offer reasonable compromises that are in the design project’s best interest.

3. Getting Disrespected

It’s a no-brainer that no one enjoys being taken for granted or worse still have someone imply that their job is simple. Usually, such statements are made out of ignorance rather than malice. Nonetheless, it’s infuriating to hear. In graphic design, it’s no different, and you may have been told any the following. “Making pictures for a living must be exciting.” “Graphic design must be the easiest job on the planet.” “Doesn’t Photoshop take on the bulk of the graphic design work?” While it may be tempting, fight the urge to respond to these snarky remarks that get your heart racing in anger. Be the bigger person. Calmly and rationally letting them know that while you enjoy what you do for a living, the nuts and bolts of graphic design is no easy feat. Ultimately, the goal is to be understood, which entails understanding where other people are coming from and educating them on the reality of graphic design. As a result, you’ll get them to see things from your perspective.

4. Missing Deadlines

Getting Disrespected.jpg Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels

In the creative world of graphic design, the thought of missing deadlines is enough to get your heart racing for all the wrong reasons. Ideally, you want to avoid this predicament. But, sometimes, it can be beyond your control and happen anyway. So, the next course of action would be to deal with this challenge, but how? Start by being practical about what this means for you and your client. Usually, these deadlines are self-imposed to allow for flexibility. These are referred to as ‘soft’ deadlines. In today’s digital, there is an increasing number of this type of deadline. ‘Hard’ deadlines are those that are set in stone. So, when you don’t meet a ‘hard’ deadline, your client is engulfed in anger and disappointment. But the best thing you can do in this situation is to maintain your composure and remorsefully explain why you were unable to meet the given deadline. Also, remember to conduct yourself professionally. In most cases, this goes a long way in your client being empathetic and giving you a chance to make it right. After all, you’re human, and mistakes happen. Contrarily, being overly defensive and responding emotionally increases the odds of the situation not ending well.

While these are the main 4 graphic design challenges to overcome, another major one that shouldn’t be overlooked is:

Making Promises You Can’t Deliver

This is one of the most adverse and potentially damaging challenges in the world of graphic design. When coming up with expectations and deadlines with your clients, ensure you don’t oversell yourself. Otherwise, you’ll, later on, have to eat humble pie when you don’t fulfill your end of the bargain. So, it’s safer to complete a project ahead of time and downplay it. Then, exceed your client’s expectations.

Experience is the Best Teacher

These are just a few of the challenges you can expect and overcome in the graphic design industry. Nonetheless, these shouldn’t be the obstacles that stand in the way between you and your zeal to shine through this creative field. Behind every challenge lies a viable solution. And ultimately, it’s through experience that you learn how to conquer these challenges like a champ. After all, isn’t experience the best teacher?

Do any of these graphic design challenges resonate with you? How did you overcome them? Do you have others that you’d like to share? Let us know!

Featured Photo by Vojtech Okenka from Pexels

More from our Blog

ManyPixelsOct 30, 2019

7 Graphic Design Basics Every Designer Should Know

So, you’re looking to get into graphic design and you don’t know where to start. It’s an understandable predicament. The nature of design means that there are so many elements to consider and, though the fundamentals of graphic design are important, the only limits are your creativity. Creativity is a pretty tough thing to box in, after all. That said, there are some principles of design and basic concepts that seem to span across all areas of design. As a beginning graphic designer, these are the concepts that you need to learn about. In this article, we look at seven basic principles of graphic design that are essential to understand as you learn about theory in design school or teach yourself the elements of design. By understanding the basics, you can begin to expand your knowledge and see how these concepts fit into the broader landscape of design and art in general. 7 Graphic Design Basics Lines One of the basics of graphic design is a concept that is so simple, you might not realize how important it is. Of course, we’re talking about the line! A majority of every visual design is in some way comprised of lines. Understanding how these lines work together to form the big picture is crucial in any artists’ interpretation of design. You may find that the most basic tool of any design program is the line tool, and for good reason. Understanding how to build a design from its most basic point is the best way to get started. Shapes Shapes are a logical extension of the line. A shape is really just a combination of lines but learning to use shapes effectively is crucial for any graphic designer. Shapes can be used in everything, from minimalist designs to combining many shapes to create something quite complex. Realistically, any design - even photorealistic drawing - is just learning to draw shapes in just the right way. Learning how to use shapes is perhaps the most important thing you will learn as a graphic designer. Colors Next up is color. Color is a key weapon in the arsenal of any designer. It sounds like a simple subject, but the possibilities and combinations that can be achieved with color are endless. Whether it is a simple design that highlights a single color, or a grand, detailed tapestry, color is what permeates the entire design and makes up the overall feel. Text Text is a major part of design these days. If you are adding words to your design, a good understanding of text is crucial. Not only does it help to convey the message you are trying to say, but a good text also elevates the entire design. By choosing a font that matches the feel of your design, you increase the impact of your message. Additionally, adjusting the size, color, thickness, and shape of your text further adds its impact. Remember, the text is not as simple as the words you are trying to say. A good graphic designer uses it as an integral part of the overall design. Space Sometimes more important than what you do in design is what you don’t do. Space perfectly illustrates this concept. In design, space is the area that is left blank or is only filled with a background color. The way that a designer uses space drastically impacts how the design is perceived. A design with a lot of space is perceived as open and easy to look at which is why so many logos and websites are designed in the simplest way possible. Depending on the type of design you are going for, you should be familiar with the implications of using too much or too little space. It might be the most important aspect of the overall perception of your design at first glance. Balance This is where you can start to put all your design principles to use. From shapes, to colors, to space, balance is what really ties it all together in a completed design. Balance is the way that all the design elements are grouped and how they are spread out throughout the design. It involves combining individual elements into one cohesive whole that creates a design to achieve your goal. Well-balanced designs could be highly symmetrical, asymmetrical, designed in a circular pattern, or more. The key here is understanding the type of balance you are going for and using the tools you have to achieve that. It is a big picture strategy and you should plan for the type of balance you want before you begin your design. Hierarchy Finally, hierarchy is a principle of design which determines which elements of your design are focal points. Which do you want the viewer to focus on? Hierarchy can help you achieve great design while drawing the viewer to a certain key element. Generally, the larger something is, the more of a focal point it is; however, this can also be influenced by placement, shape, and even contrasting colors. Knowing about hierarchy is crucial in certain types of design, specifically website design where you want to accentuate key facts and pages or information pamphlets and business cards where you want to draw the reader to certain details. An understanding of hierarchy is important for functional and practical designs. Conclusion These seven design basics we highlighted are key concepts that beginners and advanced graphic designers alike should understand. Design is really only the sum of its parts and by understanding even the most basic concepts, you can create something of great complexity. These concepts also help you understand design from a practical standpoint. So much of design is about highlighting key points or creating an overall “feel”. These big-picture concepts do just that and open your toolbox to create designs that achieve what you are aiming for.... Read more
ManyPixelsOct 30, 2019

4 Graphic Design Ideas to Impress Your Clients

Perhaps you have gone into graphic design thinking it’s all about creative freedom and the romantic notion of putting together the perfect designs to match your tastes. While that’s part of it, another main part of being a graphic designer is client relations. Working with clients quickly shows you that there is much more to being a graphic designer than making designs. As a graphic designer, impressing your clients is perhaps the most important thing you can do to grow your business. Identifying and responding to a client’s needs is crucial to make sure that they are satisfied with your work. This article focuses on four important ideas that you can use to impress your clients and have them coming back for more (or giving you those all-important referrals). So let’s get started: Identify the Client’s Needs Impressing a client is all about appealing to their needs. As a graphic designer, your first and biggest priority should be delivering what your clients want. To do this, you must first properly assess their needs. This starts by sitting down with the client and finding out what they are looking for. This initial meeting could be the most important part of the entire design process. Find out what it is that they want you to design and then discuss their goals with their branding and imagery. You need to ask many questions and get a complete picture of the branding design they’re looking for. It is very important to establish these benchmarks at the very beginning of the process. This way, you have something to use as a frame of reference and both you and your client have all the details out on the table. You will find it is much easier to work with someone when they have clearly outlined what they want. It holds you both accountable for creating the perfect design. Be Up Front As we mentioned, it is very important fora client to outline everything they want from the design process; however, as a graphic designer, this burden ultimately falls on you. You have to let the client know exactly what they can expect. Some things you should let prospective clients know upfront are how much they can expect to pay, how much time you expect everything to take, and a little about how they should expect the process to go. These are realistic expectations and it is better to just get them out of the way than to have it catch them by surprise. You need to be sure not to overpromise. You might find that people are a lot more understanding when designers let them know what to expect whereas if you promise something and don’t deliver, conflicts arise. If you know your process, it is very easy to simply lay it all out at the outset. Don’t create problems where they don’t need to exist. Create a Product That They Really Want Of course, you want to create a design based on what you discussed with the client at the initial meeting. You want to meet their needs and you absolutely should do your best to give them what they want. That said, as a graphic designer, a major part of your job is also adding your own expertise and skill set to the job. You are the design professional, after all, so you need to take the ideas and aesthetic clients are looking for and apply your own expertise, skill, and talent. This includes doing research on the company and its competitors to create something that is in line with their industry and reflects current design trends. It is all about finding that delicate balance between what your client wants and how to add your own expertise and professionalism. After all, if they could do it themselves, they wouldn’t have hired you after all. The best practice is generally just to keep your client in the loop whenever possible. Let them know how your work is progressing and be open about the process. Follow Up A huge part of graphic design (or any client-facing role, really) is in the follow-up. You want to deliver something that your client is truly happy with but know that your job doesn’t end there. Once you have successfully delivered a design, you should always follow up to make sure they are happy with what you have done and to keep up to date with their business in general. This can be something as simple as wishing them a happy birthday, remember, you’re just trying to stay on the top of their mind. That way, if they ever need further graphic design services or if a friend asks them for a referral, your name is at the top of the list! Follow up is a technique that is lost on so many people in customer service roles. Once the job is over, your work as a graphic designer is not! Follow up is a great (and very easy!) way to lock down repeat business and referrals. Conclusion As you can see, your job as a graphic designer goes well beyond making designs and you really have to be great at managing clients for your business to succeed. The most important thing is perhaps to manage expectations. Keep your client in the loop the entire time and be sure that what you are creating matches up with their needs. Remember, they hired you to do a job for them which means it’s up to you to make sure that their needs are met. They brought you on board because you have skills that they don’t so adding your talent, expertise, and skillset is a crucial factor as well. Finding this balance can be a difficult task but with openness and communication, you can really nail it and give your clients exactly what they are looking for!... Read more
ManyPixelsJun 24, 2019

June 2019 Design Ideas

Each month, we're doing a small round up with design trends and ideas for your next requests. Here are 7 ideas for what you can request in June. 1. Blog post illustrations The currency of internet is content. Great content will help you get ranked on search engine, but also educate customers. One way to make your content more interesting and engaging is by creating blog post headers / illustrations. Here's a simple blog post header by Alex: Blog post header Another request idea is to request multiple blog post headers at once. This is useful if you want to plan this along your content calendar: Here's an example done by Alex: Blog post header 2. Custom illustrations Another popular request is custom illustrations. You can use them for practically anything you want! Custom illustrations Custom illustrations 2 3. Landing page illustrations Another request you can make is landing page illustrations. They will capture the visitor attention and reduce bounce rate. And as an added bonus: This makes your branding more unique! Landing page illustrations Here is another example done by our team: Landing page illustrations 4. Pinterest image design Another great source of leads for your business is Pinterest. Here is an example of design made by our team: Pinterest image design 5. Logo and brand guide One of our most popular type of request is logo and brand guides. Here is one our team made for a fin tech startup. Finin 6. Banner design Banners are a great way to catch the attention. Whether they are to display on your website (to ask customers to download an ebook for example) or for advertising, having a well-designed banner will improve conversions. Banner design 7. Display ads Another popular request you can order is display ads. Whether it is for Google or Facebook, you can make one request and ask them to have them designed for multiple platforms. Here are some examples designed by our team: DisplayAds DisplayAds2 DisplayAds3 ... Read more