So it all started off with a meme I saw a few days ago that got me thinking (and laughing at the same time).
Now unrealistic expectations is one thing but these days it’s not too much to ask for someone to be qualified in more than one thing. If you were to attend a job interview it’s more than likely that at some point you’ll be asked about what additional skills or experience you can bring to the table. To put it more bluntly, “what’s so special about you?”
From a design perspective you’d need more than just your work placement experience and a Bachelor’s degree. As the years go by the requirement and expectations have only increased further. Back in my day (a phrase I never thought I’d say) going to an interview meant carrying your gigantic A2 portfolio filled with university projects. That’s right! For some reason everything from leaflets to logos were to be printed to this particular size.
But how do you approach the same situation in today’s world of design and its ever-increasing demand for digital knowledge?
Here are four areas you will be expected to be skilled in.
Here’s a quick test. Open up Google Maps and type in ‘businesses near me’.
(Or you can type in the particular type of business i.e Restaurants, shops etc.) When you click on your result for more information chances are that the business will have a dedicated website. Everyone from corner shops to hair salons have their own websites. It’s become so common and so easy to set one up. It’s a scary thought when you realise that children as young as eight are being taught about coding in school.
The way your work is presented makes a huge difference. Knowing how to take a picture of your work can be the difference between it looking like a professional piece or something amateur. It won’t matter how great the work itself is if the picture been taken on a camera phone. Use professional equipment like a DSLR. Back when you didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to buy a DSLR most of the picture taking was done using a digital camera. This can do the job just as well. As long as the picture is of a high enough quality.
Social Media knowledge
This is perhaps the easiest skill to acquire on this list as almost everyone has some form of a social media account (Did you know that there are a total of 1.94billion Facebook users as of March 2017?) The importance of social media has increased a lot since the days of posting trivial statuses and food pics. Businesses are using it to promote themselves and engage with their users on a more personal level. It’s worth spending the time to understand this connection between the two. There’s a lot more to social media than a few tweets and picture posts.
It wasn’t until I had started working as a designer did I realise that it was someone’s job to provide the copy for a project. In university I was expected to come up with witty headlines on my own and the body copy usually came from various internet sources (so mainly Wikipedia). However it’s always worth sharpening your skills in this department. Sometimes the headline copy dictates the design so it’s better if it comes from you.
Hakim Shujaee is a Creative Thinker and Designer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk