1. Commitment to Nonstop Learning
– A good designer might sometimes be compared to an industrial-strength sponge. We soak up anything and everything that is required for us to tell a compelling story. Our profession requires us to dive deep and truly understand a client’s product or service.
2. Killer Time Management
– That thing there? Yup, due yesterday. Managing several projects at once is a skill that comes with experience. With an array of deadlines, difficulty levels and daily office tasks, you need to be able to listen, think, adapt and solve at unprecedented paces.
3. On-demand Creativity
– Inspiration? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Alongside managing several projects at once, our jobs mostly require us to be creative and come up with compelling solutions on demand. While we as designers are constantly inspired by what we see, there are a few (ahem…a lot of) times where it takes tremendous dedication to force creativity out. This is what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls.
4. Appreciation of Typography
– A MUST. ‘Nuff said.
5. Always Thinking About Design
– Marinating ideas up in that noodle called our brain. In your mind, you are always thinking about design in one form or another. Maybe it's the opening title sequence in a movie, a menu at a restaurant or the forms you fill out at the DMV. That is why you always see a designer with some type of notepad or sketchbook, always writing or sketching down ideas … or their grocery list (designers gotta eat too!).
– Smells like team spirit. Working with other great creatives in your own and other professions is a great way to stay fresh and come up with exponentially better solutions. It is also great way to expand your visual language and points of view.
7. Risk Taking
– Our middle name is danger … or maybe it’s Eugene? There are times when thinking outside the box does not cut it anymore. These are the times when good designers show their inner “great designer.” They see an opportunity and aren’t afraid to dive in headfirst. When done right, results can be game changing.
– It’ll be really cool, trust me . Selling your ideas is just as important as coming up with them. We need to become evangelists of our ideas. If we aren't excited about our work and communicate that to our team or to the client, how could anyone else be excited about that idea?
9. Hands-on Work Ethic
– Rulers, pens, pencils, oh my! A designer’s second nature is to create things. To implement ideas into existence. Deep, I know, but that’s how we roll.
– Passion, a dish best served cold, or hot, but definitely with a side of french fries. Good design is not a walk in the park. We are in the business of making human connections. That means if you lack passion, you lack the core that our profession is built on. Quite simply, you need to be in love in order to take care of the work and the people and the companies it affects.