Welcome to my blog!
My name is Josh and like any other simple man; I love nature, my girlfriend, my dog and a great cup of coffee. I also love graphic design.
As a passionate designer with 12+ years of experience, I’m here to share with you what I’ve learned and to discuss my top best practices!
Are you an up and coming designer? Digital marketer? We’re going to have a lot to talk about. Customers and team members should always be valued, but we know that there’s the back and forth, edit to edit, Photoshop vs. Illustrator, vector vs. pixel, and so on… these battles can make life a bit difficult.
I began my career as a young guy who just wanted to be creative. I wanted to make stuff, so I went to college and got my bachelor’s in video production. I took this degree into the direction of graphic design and soon after opened JWP Graphics and took on other projects and positions within different companies.
With the fast paced culture shifts, my positions as in-house designer quickly took on roles of digital marketing. I found that in order to stay on-top and to stay relevant as a designer, I needed to adapt. Whether you’re just beginning or you’re a graphic design veteran, chances are, you’re stumbling upon similar obstacles.
Know your process. Know what works.
By this, I mean, within a company- understand the process and time management that will allow you productive utilization of office time. If you’re doing freelance work, you still need to know this process. You need to make the most of your time in each setting and also satisfy your customer or client. Especially with freelance work, you need to stick by the process that works. You are a company, you are working and you need to function like a professional. When I was younger, I found that people wanted to take advantage of my trade since I was functioning as an independent entity. While the exception may be made for your mom’s up and coming knitting crew- this can’t be the norm. After 12 years, I’m proud to say that I’ve never missed a deadline. This quality makes me valuable.
Never adding to your portfolio.
First of all (this is mainly for the newbies), do you have a professional portfolio? I function a bit old school at times. While having this website and digital portfolio available, I have a physical portfolio that I bring to share with clients. Your success and employment relies on you demonstrating your abilities. Show your creativity, show a variety of work, and don’t be shy. For those who have been around for a bit, if you haven’t already, get digital. I’m serious. I tried to resist but I started to fall behind. My more recent marketing experience really helped me understand the importance of having a digital presence. Even as a small company, as a guy who thinks of himself as simple- it’s important.
I think this word applies to all types of work, but especially with design. While working comfortably in large companies, you forget sometimes that you need to stay on top of trends for your own personal work. By “adapt,” I mean stay on top of graphic design trends. This includes logos, layouts, type faces, photography style, color schemes, and overall perceptions that clients are trying to convey.
A second part of “adapt” is again linked to the idea of digital marketing. Have you checked out the job market lately? Read the job titles and read the job descriptions. I found that in recent searches, a large majority of design jobs are also asking that you can be a leading role in digital marketing. Email blasts, landing pages, analytics, inbound practices, and so on. Never did I think that my in-house designer position would lead me to directly reporting analytics on web activity. Never did I think I would become “Marketing Specialist.” I’m glad I’ve gained this experience though because it’s in high demand. Read about it, practice it, take classes on it- just know it because you’ll be much more of an asset if you do.
Stay true to you.
I’ll wrap up with this bit before you exit my blog for forever, but I want to leave you with the stressed advice of staying true to yourself. While culture is rapidly changing, graphic design is shifting further into the digital marketing realm, and while you need to adapt; it’s also important that you stay true to your style, your personality, and what makes you happy as a designer and human being. Ultimately, people seek genuine people. I try everyday to be as genuine as possible, and while I have my own genuine flaws, so far this method has been working alright for me. Don’t be pressured to be someone that you’re not. Your personality can be carried through the times of rapid technology change, you just have to find the perfect balance.