Sale! Cover facebook Christmas 2017

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BOOSTING YOUR DESIGN CAREER THROUGH IMPROVED COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Your design talent, training, and experience will only get you so far in your

career. Every year, design schools graduate thousands of new graphic designers.

Competition for work has never been fiercer, so if you want to succeed, you need

to excel as a business writer and speaker as well as a designer. This necessity does

not only apply to principals, but to freelancers and staffers as well. It applies to

every designer. Even if you partner with a copywriter or work on creative projects

with staff writers, you will still need to write and speak for yourself in a

clear, concise, and professional manner. There’s no way around it. To get ahead

as a designer, you must develop excellent business communication skills.design

WHY ARE EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS

CRUCIAL TO YOUR DESIGN CAREER?

Let’s assume that if you’re reading this book, you’ve got the training, technique,

and some experience as a visual communicator under your belt and that you

know you’re a good designer. Why isn’t that enough?

You’re in business; that’s why. Whether you’re in business for yourself or for

somebody else, your work requires proposals, agreements, coordination, and

approvals.design You’ll be called upon to write and answer hundreds of e-mail messages,

give dozens of presentations, and conduct all manner of business over

the phone.design

“Many people can design well,” says Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram.

“Succeeding is about your ability to persuade others to give you their trust, get

approvals, and enlist other collaborators—printers, photographers, illustrators,

and other writers.” Communicating persuasively, giving accurate instructions,

developing easy-to-understand explanations, as well as writing clear continuity

and follow-up messages are a designer’s everyday business tasks.design

You’d think that the old pros would be the ones entrusted with these essential

communication responsibilities, but you’d be wrong. Sally McElwain of

Alexander Design lets you in on what really happens in many firms. “The

newest additions to a team are the ones often told to ‘send this message out’ or

‘e-mail them and tell them we’re sending this or that.’” This can lead to trouble

when the unseasoned designer isn’t careful in choosing his words or doesn’t

check to make sure that the client understands the message. (See “The

Communication Cycle” on page 5 for a discussion about feedback.) McElwain

recalls one situation where a new designer created a logo for an inexperienced