5 Skills Graphic Designers Need In 2020

2020 is here, and with it a lot of new design trends to look out for. As one of the leading marketing and design firms in the market, at Sunan Designs we have an expert team of highly creative and talented designers. Each year, not only do we take stock of all the new design trends to predict and lead, but also the skills we need to acquire and polish to stay on top of our game.

Design is constantly evolving, and designers need to keep up. Whether you’re an expert yourself, or just starting out, you constantly need to learn and adapt. Here are 5 skills we believe every graphic designer needs to get ahead in 2020.

1. Typography

As we’ve already seen, typography is big in 2020. With more and more designs moving away from the conservative typography of the past few years, we can expect to see pretty much anything.

2020 is the year of typography with designers pushing geometrical shapes, flowers, patterns, object-based designs and even text/image masking. As the typography gets more and more wild, designers need to stay on their toes.

While it may not seem like such a big deal, one important thing to remember is that design has almost completely transitioned from print to digital. In comparison, it’s a whole different ball game.

With new technologies such as variable fonts and responsive type, as well as lots of great new software tools, designers need to constantly update themselves. A great way to do this is to read up on all these tools and design trends and take courses designed by professionals to remain up to date.

2. Image editing

Yes, you heard us right. 2020 seems to be all about real images used with text or as collages and with Instagram still holding out as the new Facebook, image editing is becoming extremely important for graphic designers.

The best image editing tools out there are Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. An important thing to remember is to learn a bit of everything, because tasks can range from small tweaks and cropping, to full blown image enhancement and manipulation.

Unlike typography, however, courses and reading can only get you so far. Our advice is to get your hands dirty as soon as possible – this will let you get the hang of it much faster than anything else.

3. Photography

Whether you’re new or have been working for a long time, if you’re a designer, you can definitely relate to the frustration of never being able to find that perfect photo that you need. Somehow, the internet never has the stock photo that’s in your mind.

However, if you’re a graphic designer with basic photography skills you can save lots of money by not paying for stock images while adding value to your work. Additionally, if you’re working on teams that have photographers, field knowledge can help with communication and collaboration.

Our advice in this case would be to get your hands on a DSLR and start playing around with the manual settings. You can find lots of great tutorials on YouTube, but beyond that – it’s all you!

4. UX and Coding

With the technology for web design getting increasingly complex and functional, the internet is evolving from ‘flat’ pages to a more immersive experience. Graphic design is playing a major role in shaping UX in 2020.

If you’re a designer who knows how to code and design user experiences, then you will definitely be in high demand. Of course, you don’t have to learn the finer points of coding, but understanding how it works can go a long way in a market where such skills are high in demand.

5. Print design

This might sound contradictory to our earlier tips, but the truth is that most newer designers out there have no idea how the print design industry works. Why is this important?

Well, at the end of the day, we’re still human. And while the online world is getting ever immersive, we still rely on a lot of physical products and experiences everyday. All of these products, from soap to your take-out dinner, rely on graphic designers to design their packages, marketing materials, and so on. So, for as long as we’re human, the print industry is here to stay!

So, these are the 5 skills that graphic designers need to get ahead in 2020. If you found these helpful, feel like we missed something, or just need help with your design projects in 2020, be sure to reach out. Our team would love to hear from you!

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