No matter how much of a beginner or professional you are in your creative career, you will always have to create a killer portfolio to attract new clients and get people to notice your work. Whether you want to get a job in a company or work as a freelancer they both require a presentable portfolio. With those, you can effectively portray your talents, problems solving skills, strengths, and aesthetics. Using the right approaches can take you far and gain trust, interest, and fame if you play with the buttons right.
How to get recognition as a graphic designer?
In many cases when people start something of their own, they want to get famous as fast as possible. Here is an advice: aim to be a professional talented designer rather than a famous one. Fame comes to you in unexpected ways, you can not control it and keep it for yourself.
Let me enlighten you with some tips to keep in mind when portraying your work out in the open and trying to express yourself:
1: Show off your strengths
As important as it is to know all the basics of every field in graphic designing, it is also important to focus and practice those styles that are your strengths. Here are some graphic designs that are in most demand:
- Print design
- Animation design
- Website design
- Product design
- Branding design
- Motion design
- UX design (user experience)
Explore what you love doing the most and enjoy working with, most preferably from fields that are in demand, and master them, then you will be most likely to be chosen for projects. It can be an issue sometimes when companies look for designers who can do everything, therefore you will need to know the basics of every other field, but your specialty will bring extra attention from clients who may be looking for something you master in. However, working with your strengths will benefit you in the long run and may even be the reason for your success.
2. Focus on Improving
Once you have decided on what you want to work on, then you try and evolve. Move your skills up to the next level and make sure people who see your work must also see how you are improving by the day. Try to take jobs that come under your skillset and don’t accept every other job that comes through. However in some cases, it may be necessary to take as many jobs in order to make money, but this is for you to become a specialist in what you do and not get stuck as a general worker.
3. Share your work on social media and online communities
Sharing work on social media like Facebook, Instagram or YouTube is a great way of putting yourself out there are express your work. This can bring you some constructive criticism, make you aware of trends, and lead to popularity if you do the right things that gain interest from your audience. As well as on graphic design online communities, apps like Behance and dribble, have professional designers looking for work or just there to explore. There you can get professional constructive criticism, which is better than a load of appreciation from friends and family, and can learn new things from them as well as look at many other designers and adapt new styles.
4. Be part of contests
Participating in contests can really take you to the next level. It will improve your skill sets and show your real talents. You can look and compare your work with other competitors and learn from them. Winning can also get you money, fame, and maybe a fun trip. Design crowd, 99design, and Crowdspring, etc are some of the best and famous contest websites.
Things are slightly different when you go into freelance, everything is in your hands you are your own boss, after your clients of course. However, there is one thing you have to make in order to gain the client’s trust and that is sacrifice. At the beginning of your project with your new client no matter what the pay maybe, try to do a little extra to impress your client and build a strong foundation. As you gradually work more with them you can then adjust your work to something more reasonable. As you work with more projects with the same client there will be a very high chance they will keep you as their go-to designer and recommend you to other companies who will be interested to work with you. This way you will have a fixed client and through them, you can get exposure and be recognized among companies and clients convincing them to work with you!
Let us discuss how to make your portfolio stand out and make it professional. It may be tempting to put everything you have created but editing it is essential. Try not to put anything old, older than 5 years, as clients like to see things that are up to date and recent. Put around 12 pieces of work, starting from the best work you have created and end it with the second-best. This way they will be surprised from start to end. Make sure no matter how good the project is do not include work that is not yours or has a minimum effort from you. Be honest and let them know if it was a collaboration project and make it clear about what part of it was yours. Do not add too little or too many pieces, just enough to tell a story and your journey as a designer. The work you put up should be in high resolution and the right size. Avoid making it too overwhelming for the eyes to register by making it too big or too small.
The main keys to getting recognized are your talent, if you keep working on that, some projects can take from a zero to a hundred real fast. For jobs, your portfolio is the only thing that can take you far so make decisions wisely!