Discover your own style
Make an effort to aim for something higher than plundering. Do something original and exceptional. We’ve all done our bit of pilfering and recreating things we really like, as the very nature of design is to copy. However, look at your work
critically and try something completely different from your previous work. The design projects that make their mark in 2013 will be by people who explore new techniques and innovate.
As a freelance design expert, aim higher. Instead of creating another digital farm app, or developing a website or presenting something no one needs, think of something new. The digital world has too much cyber trash already. To make a difference, create a design for a cause or charity that you believe in. Your commitment and enthusiasm will reflect in your work, possibly even land you similar jobs that pay. While doing your usual design work, aim for brilliance instead of quick fixes.
Get rid of bad work
If you are not happy with a design, get rid of it and start afresh. When you keep several versions of a design, you are only adding to the confusion. Review your work critically, dump the bad versions and start again. In this way, you will not be tempted to use the same idea for another job. Review your design folders and get rid of the rubbish. You might have to resist the urge to keep all your incomplete designs that you spent many hours doing.
Be confident and forceful
A passive designer submits sub-standard designs that reflect the client’s personal tastes instead of their business requirements. Instead, bring your design expertise to the forefront and tell the client your professional opinion. Speak up if you know the negative repercussions of the client’s demands. A good designer will not be a ‘yes’ person. Your client may not like it initially, but you will gain their respect when you turn in a successful project based on your own ideology.
Learn new techniques
The fields of design, animation and art are continually evolving. Make the effort to learn something new in 2013. A successful designer does not allow stagnation, but instead keeps moving with time and technology. If you become contented in your career, you will stop progressing. Learn Maya animation, PHP or something new in paint. You could also learn to use a new gadget such as an iPad, Sketchbook Ink, or Sketchbook Pro to create creative design elements.
Learn to write
Learning to write ad and marketing copy can double your productivity and give you a massive confidence boost. Writing your own headlines and blog content will improve your worth as a graphic designer. This is a wise career move and very practical because 90% of all design projects involves communication, half of which is written. Outstanding designs can be rejected because the designer was unable to explain the strategy and reasoning behind them and how it fulfilled project requirements.