5 Lessons that Professional Designers Have Learned Over the Years

In the world of design, some of the most important lessons professionals can learn include everything from networking to providing the client with value. These skills lay at the foundation of building a successful design business and earning income as a creative professional. When it comes to earning a living, these five essential lessons show off just what it takes to be a design professional.

Communication is Vital

Although it may seem simple, communication is at the core of a successful design career. Clear expectations are a necessity, whether that arises from a contract in a freelance relationship or straightforward directions in a design studio. Freelance designers should involve clients in the design process with thumbnails and sketches in order prevent unnecessary revisions. In fact, one of the best pieces of advice for any professional designer is to limit revision requests, as this portion of the design process can simply go on without an end in sight. This is one of the most important lessons that a professional designer can learn, as clear communication saves both time and money.


Professional design isn’t just about creating a stunning image, website or logo. As a business, design involves providing value to the client. It’s important professional designers learn how to provide value and ultimately earn more money. Whether that comes from using a catchy product label to increase sales or fine-tuning a website’s landing page to increase conversion, providing value is key. In turn, this lets professional designers boost their rates and bolster an already-great reputation. Overall, professional designers know that their business depends on not just providing a service, but increasing a client’s revenue through quality design.


For professional designers, the next source of income is often uncertain. Whether freelancing or working in-house, one of the most important lessons professional designers have learned over the years is the power of networking. In this digital age, networking often involves social media and reaching out to potential colleagues across the globe. A solid online portfolio with regular content updates and interaction on the relevant forums will put any professional designer ahead of the game. When connections can have as much of an influence as skill, networking is absolutely vital.

The Basics

A professional designer is always learning knew things. From staying on top of technology to exploring new creative avenues, this career is full of exciting knowledge. However, one important lesson that all professional designers have learned over their careers is that good design goes back to the basics. A professional designer will never stop relying on their foundations in the arts. From color theory to the elements and principles of design, a solid set of design skills is based firmly on the basics.

Stay Productive

Creative fields can often bring a sense of unpredictability and even self-consciousness. When professional designers create work, they aren’t just repairing plumbing or coding a program. They’re using abstract ideas to create something that must meet the client’s expectations. In the uncertain world of visual art, professional designers have learned over the years that the key to creating good work is to simply remain productive. This gives designers work to post online, reach potential clients, and generally hone their skills. Overall, it’s absolutely imperative to establish regular habits and simply produce work.

From focusing on the foundations to establishing clear communication with the client, design professionals have a lot to manage. All in all, these five important lessons every design professional has learned show off the keys to being successful in a creative field.

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