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Graphic Designers, the adaptive species.

By Mark de Leeuw

Introduction

In this digital era, the world is moving at such speed that Graphic Designers need to keep pace in order to stay relevant. With this learning flow I've collected some articles that cover being a Graphic Designer, and pose some interesting food for thought to help us stay ahead. Still very much a work in progress, and chapters will be added when I find more relevant stuff that we can learn from. Let me know what you think so far!

Mark de Leeuw — Grumpy-looking Community Management intern at Gibbon, occasional Graphic Designer & irregular blogger. I like comics, ...

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “As confronting as it may sound, Jeff does have a point. We need to adapt and keep developing our skills in order to stay relevant. Not only for today, but for the years to come. This article sets the feel for what I try to convey in this playlist, the need to look ahead and adapt accordingly.

1 The Death of the Print-Only Freelance Designer

The print-only freelance designer is a dying breed. There, I said it. If you're a freelance designer who doesn't have web-related skills, you best add that arrow to your quiver or you're going to be left in the dust. Now, it's worth noting that I'm not saying "print design is dead" or "identity design is dead". As long as there

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Another confronting one, Jordan tackles the designer culture and dares us to design more and worry about being a designer less. A must read!

2 That Turtleneck is Choking You

Let's get something out of the way, this article isn't about Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was a mastermind, visionary, or, in the words of Cards Against Humanity, a "Mother Fucking Sorcerer." No one would dare call Jobs a fake. This article is about YOU and the ways you're killing your career by pretending to be a designer. If you want

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Oh so relevant. Promise, then overachieve. Pitch, then deliver even better work. Always try to be more, do more.

3 Design Quote

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Sometimes, I feel the whole designer "culture" is a problem in itself. It's like we are so desperate to save the world from Comic Sans & Drop Shadows that we forget that our attitude and way of doing things is not helping out. Let's cut the "I'm a designer, look at me" bullshit and do good work, shall we?

4 The Biggest Problem in Design

Photo by The White HouseThe Biggest Problem in DesignListen up. You probably think you're pretty talented, and that you're using your formidable design skills on important, meaningful problems. Well, you're wrong. The situation in design today is dire. Like, darkness-over-the-land-and-plague-through-the-city dire. What we need is a savior in thick-rimmed glasses and snug-fitting denim to set things right. You know what

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “In this article, the real importance of re-inventing comes to light. It's adapt or be left behind, and the future will tell if that's enough.

5 Reinventing yourself as a Designer: Will it be necessary?

posted by Matt Ward on Aug 10, 2010. The face of web design has been changing over the past few years, with the advent of various mobile devices. In this article, we will consider the implications of this change, and take a brief look at the concept of having to reinvent ourselves as designers in order to stay at the

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Last time, we read about how designers are "forced" to adapt and learn to work with internet, mobile devices and touch based navigation in mind. The right tools are crucial to do our job right, and these trends might help you out if you are seeking to re-invent yourself.

6 2014: Bringing design to life

I'm incredibly excited for 2014 and wanted to share a few macro and micro trends I've noticed bubbling up and being cemented. I'll also offer a few predictions about what the year ahead might hold for designers. The year of the prototypeThis is the big one: The age of static, lifeless PSD is over. If your designs don't move, animate,

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Here's one from the other side of the spectrum. To me, this shows how in this day, your diploma's or titles begin to lose their value a little. It's about what you can do, what your X-factor is. What do you bring to the table?

7 Refuse to fill in the ________.

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “I know, I know. Collaboration with "Non-Designers" seems horrible. But, I think we need to let that idea go. After all, we're working together with people that might have so much more insight and knowledge to offer, a certain link with their product that we as freelancers lack. Time to learn collaboration kids.

8 No Designer is an Island

When I suggest collaborative design to some designers, I often hear, "Yuck! Collaboration is just design by committee!" They aren't wrong. Poorly facilitated collaboration can kill a design project and demoralize a team. But the truth is, you can't not collaborate. Whether you like it or not, you have to work with other people. You can work at them or

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “One of the dangers in our careers is never being happy with anything we put out there. I think that if we're to stay relevant in the years to come, we need to get to the point where we can say "Yeah, this is something cool." Even if it means that we're faking it a little.

9 The Grumpy Designer Syndrome

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Adapting as a designer means that you'll have to learn new things to stay ahead and stay relevant. This article offers some great tips to get you started with learning, well anything really.

10 Write, Code, Design, Every Day

Do you set aside time each day to get better at the things you do? Do you find opportunities to practice and improve your skills in your day-to-day work? You need to do and to practice if you want to get better. That means making it a priority and setting aside time each day and week to practice what you

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Adapting to the ever changing world that we work in should be obvious, and the rewards it offers are made quite obvious by this article from Thomas. He also includes a few links so you can get started right now.

11 Multidisciplinary designers are awesome

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “"It’s time to stop just practicing design and start practicing how to be a designer."

12 Truth is, You Aren’t a Good Designer

I haven't been a designer as long as some (about 6 years to be exact) but in that time I've galavanted around the block a couple of times. I've freelanced, worked in film, at boring marketing agencies, "cool" product companies and even a shitty student magazine. I've exited a company, am one of the founders at a growing startup and

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