As a graphic designer, you rely on a steady flow of client work to pay the monthly bills. When you have much work coming in, the only hurdle stopping you from making more money is the speed and accuracy with which you create each project. If your workflow isn’t going as quickly as you would like, it’s time to step back and evaluate your current design process and determine if you could be doing more to streamline your work. Here are four key aspects of the design process you should evaluate to streamline your graphic design business and ultimately make more money.
Know Your Client
One of the first steps you should take when beginning a new project is ensuring you know what the client wants. Far too often, graphic designers begin working on designs without verifying client information. This practice often results in designs that fail to meet client standards. Always verify any details you aren’t completely certain about to avoid such situations. If you are concerned that you and the client don’t share the same vision for the project, prototyping may be the best option. Prototyping is essential for some projects because it helps ensure you understand what the client wants before you begin working on the final design.
Many design projects you complete during your career will be made from standard layouts. If you are spending time defining the dimensions for these layouts with each new project, it’s time to start utilizing one of the best tools for speeding up the graphic design process – templates. Most graphic design software programs include template functions to reduce the setup time for repetitive projects. Once you have created a template for each common design layout, you can quickly skip to the design process for future projects by pulling up a pre-saved template.
Memorize Program Shortcuts
Your graphic design software program likely either came with preloaded program shortcuts or allows you to create unique shortcuts for commonly used commands. You should begin utilizing these shortcuts because they will greatly cut down on project creation times. Shortcuts allow you to remain focused on the design process instead of navigating to toolbars to search for and click on tools. Even if you previously resisted using shortcuts because you didn’t want to spend time learning them, start using them now. The time you spend memorizing shortcuts will be minimal compared to the time you already spend designing without them.
Individualize Your Workspace
Your graphic design software workspace is crucial if you want to speed up your design time. Therefore, you should spend some time customizing the program’s workspace to optimize your workflow. This includes arranging panels within the program and clearing unused tools from the screen. This customized workspace will then be available each time you use the program.
By implementing these four key tips, you will see amazing improvements in the speed of your graphic design process. Hopefully with this increased speed, you can complete more projects in less time. That means happier clients and more money in your pocketbook to advance your graphic design career.