Why You’re Not A Successful Graphic Designer (And How You Can Change for Good)

Good and bad habits are what set ultra-successful graphic designers from those who are not. There are actually a lot of impressively gifted and very promising graphic artists whom I feel are not fully realizing their potentials.

For many of these graphic artists, it is only their traits or habits that hold them from being successful. Truly, habits can make or break us.

If you really want to succeed in the web design industry, I propose that you start looking into your own habits. What follows are five of the most common habits that make many graphic designers, sore losers.

  1. Being know-it-all’s

You may have completed a comprehensive design course from the most prestigious design schools but that doesn’t excuse you from learning. You have to constantly learn to further hone your craft and these lessons are what you need in order to succeed.

I admit, I was once a know-it-all-expert-graphic-artist. I remember one of my first projects – a brochure about the latest rifles, much like those on this site. Feeling proud and all-knowing, I ditched a nice suggestion from a colleague, thinking it was too outdated and common. Much to my chagrin, the client returned the design with exactly the same feedback of my colleague. I could’ve saved time had I only listened to him.

Here’s good news: expert graphic designers are just a click away. You can find numerous design blogs and tutorials in the internet.

  1. Being a loner.

Because of the nature of our craft, a lot of fellow graphic artists become loners. While being alone help you stay focused and concentrated, it would be benefit you more if you surround yourself with the company of those who knows the industry well enough.

Pure talent is never enough to propel you towards the top. You need others help. Broaden your horizon and beef up your design toolbox by networking with other similarly artistic people. Stay connected by joining forums or local clubs. You can also try working in shared offices. As an added reward, you get to meet new people and even build meaningful relationships.

  1. Settling for what’s convenient.

It’s very tempting to just settle for what’s easy and convenient. Copying, imitating or blindly following the trends are a no-no if you want to be a successful graphic artist. Although taking these shortcuts can allow you to work on more projects and more income, it can also reduce the quality of your work and in the long run negatively impact your reputation.

In contrasts, you should hone your creativity, innovation, and uniqueness to stay on the top of this competition. When given a project consider it as a personal task so that you are giving your all.

Going back to the air rifle brochure project I mentioned above, the client was eventually satisfied with the output after I did several revisions. I actually did hours of extra work to perfect that brochure. And quite a pleasant surprise, he entrusted me the design aspect of the air rifle review site that he was setting up. I was so happy and really felt rewarded.

  1. Not reviewing your work.

Never forget to review your work multiple times before finalizing it and submitting to your client.

Follow this rule: If you’re personally NOT satisfied with your output, no matter how minor the issue is, don’t submit it. The best designers spend hours even days reviewing, critiquing and revising their projects. You have to be a perfectionist – if possible – if you want to be ultra-successful.

  1. Procrastinating.

I guess everyone is guilty of this but you have to manage this negative habit as it can creep on your performance. Once it has crept into your system, procrastination is very difficult to eradicate. So even before it settles in, give it a halt.

You can easily get tempted to procrastinate especially when you have lots of projects at hand. Avoid this perennial problem by making work schedule. Also, it would help to have fixed deadlines for each project.

If you have any of the habits listed above, you only have two options: change your habits or change your career! You choose.