Life as a graphic design student can be difficult, however you can get through your studies successfully, by putting the right strategies in place.
Here are a few simple, but important tips to keep in mind as a design student. These tips have been compiled by Christine Kane*, but for some of my own tips please see the ‘design for students‘ category section.
1. Get Organized
One of the most important things that you can do in a graphic design program is to get organized. Use a calendar so you can use to stay on top of things. If you don’t use some kind of planner, you’re probably going to get behind, and end up missing assignments. Write down the due dates of every assignment that you are given so that you will know exactly how much time you have to complete them.
2. Set Your Priorities
It is vitally important for you to set some specific priorities while you are in school otherwise, it will be easy for you to get caught up in many things that have nothing to do with your goals. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out with your friends or partying, but make sure that you keep your studies up near the top of your priority list.
3. Over Estimate
In the area of graphic design, you have to estimate how long each project will take. As a general rule, try to overestimate how much time you think a job will take you to complete. If you get the job done faster than you estimated, you get some bonus time to do whatever you want. If not, you’ll at least have that time designated as work time. Over estimating goes for pricing work too.
4. Network Like Crazy
While you are in graphic design school, this is a perfect opportunity to network with other people who could help you later on in life, especially after you graduate. The people that you go to school at will be out there working for design agencies or starting their own companies. Knowing the right people in your field will help you in advance at a much steadier rate.
5. Be Passionate & Enjoy Your Work
Many people in graphic design school stop loving what they do, and their work becomes almost mechanical. If you want to do good work, you need to enjoy yourself. Passion is a huge part of creativity, and creativity is at the heart of great design. Make sure you know why you are doing what you do.
6. Be & Stay Creative
As mentioned above, creativity is at the heart of great design. If you are not being creative, then you’re work will obviously reflect this. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, gather inspiration from the vast corners of the Internet or visit this post on how to be creative.
If you keep these tips in mind while you are in design school, it will make your studies much easier and not only that, you’ll have more fun, have a better chance of graduating with honors as the quality of your work and the joy you take in it will shine through, making your job search after graduation much easier.