Over the past year I’ve been working towards growing my skillset and learning what really motivates me as a designer. It’s interesting to look back at my portfolio from design school to see how my tastes have changed from almost five years ago. While now my aesthetics are honed-in, back then I had fun with mixing it up with each project I was given. When you talk to fellow creatives some keep a consistent look across the board while others choose have a little more variety in order to appeal to a wider range of clientele. This past year I have really discovered who I am as a designer + creative. The best way I describe my style to potential clients is “simplistic and modern with an earthy aesthetic”, or “organic modern”. Here I’ve come up with a few useful tips to help guide you into determining your own design style.
Determine what you like. You are drawn to things for a specific reason and turned off by others; but dig deeper to realize why that is. Perhaps it is the simple and clean san-serif fonts that really speak to you, or the bold, elaborate color schemes that get you inspired; whatever it may be, make note of it. I started by keeping a little list of what types of design elements motivated me the most (and those that didn’t) and by having a written list, I was able to discern and discover my true tastes.
Make it unique. What can you do to set yourself apart from the rest of the creative community? Take everything a step further. Having not only a signature look, but also the uniqueness to back it up will get you noticed.
Give it meaning. Have reasons for why you are designing things the way they are. Pay attention to colors, fonts, hierarchy, and overall layout. Don’t be so fast to follow the popular trends, they will come and go but your design will be sticking around for a while, so make it count.
Keep things balanced. It is important to keep within your own design aesthetics without sacrificing your client’s needs or wishes. People will hire you because of your portfolio and design style, but that does not mean to completely forget about your client’s requests. You want to maintain a healthy balance and keep an open line of communication.
Don’t settle. There are always new things you can do to learn, grow, and challenge yourself as a designer, so don’t settle for where you currently are. Surround yourself with people who can encourage and push you forward.