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Top 7 Mistakes Student Designers Can Avoid When Starting Their Carrier

“The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way,” – Dale Carnegie.

While Dale Carnegie is definitely right, another key to success is avoiding obvious mistakes. After all, someone has already made them. Why should you? Having access to smart advice from more experienced designers can help you jump over many obstacles at the beginning of your career.

Allowing professionals to guide you can save you time, nerves, and money. For example, finding the best essay writing service for you can help avoid spending time on something you don’t do well. A good writing service can help you learn without forcing yourself to struggle. So can avoiding the below mistakes.

  1. Beating A Dead Project

At the start of their careers, student designers tend to feel overly responsible about their projects. However, failing to stop a bad project can lead to more unpleasant consequences than agreeing to continue with it.

Many students have a problem telling a worthy and unworthy project apart. Continuing to beat a dead horse is time-consuming, frustrating, unprofitable, and just plain sad.

What To Do: If you have doubts about the quality of the project you are working on, get an opinion of an experienced colleague.

  1. Presenting An Inconsistent Portfolio

You may have been working for free to have the most multi-faceted portfolioon the planet, but failing to arrange it correctly is a mistake. Being inconsistent, such as using too many fonts and colors, makes the portfolio hard to look at. It also gives an impression that the designer is not skilled enough to create a unified project.

Take the time to harmonize the way your works are arranged in the portfolio, making it “nice” to look at. Change the fonts and layouts accordingly, so the portfolio makes an impression of a wholesome project.

Smart Approach:Look at existing successful portfolios to get inspiration. There is nothing wrong with being a copycat sometimes, as long as your portfolio is original. Just make sure you don’t use the sample portfolios you find online. An employer will see right through that.

  1. Speeding Toward The Goal

All beginners need to take their time to achieve excellence. That’s why many employers are unwilling to hire students. However, going too fast won’t help you come up with perfect results. Just the opposite, you may end up with a hurt reputation and a delayed project.

Of course, being too slow can’t be beneficial either. So it’s up to any professional designer to find the point where speed starts affecting the quality. Be fast when you are doing what you know best. Slow down whenever you see some curves on the road. Knowing when to speed up and when to hold your horses can help you achieve excellent results.

Important tip:In order not to make the speedy mistake, listen to yourself. If you feel as if you are missing something in the race for speed, stop immediately. Always slow down when you do quality control.

  1. Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Students are full of enthusiasm. Especially when they get their first full-scale project. Many beginners make a mistake of pushing themselves to the limit to present a perfect project as soon as possible.

This may be a great approach in case you only have one project. However, many new designers tend to grab as many projects as possible to be well paid. As a result, they have too much on their plate, feel overworked, and end up botching deadlines or presenting less-than-perfect results.

What Can You Do?Learn how to say “no” to the client. Explain that you won’t be able to provide high-quality results when doing several projects at once. In the majority of cases, clients are willing to extend deadlines in order to get good results.

  1. Failing To Do The Quality Check

Designing is an art. Working on a project demands attention, imagination, skills, and a creative approach. Who said anything about quality checks? All designers know that checking their work is imperative. However, many fail to do it.

Some people can’t check their work properly. They are just not cut out for the job. They may be excellent designers but bad quality checkers.

What Can Be Done?If you know that you are one of these people, consider hiring someone, who can do the checking for you. Of course, such an approach means that you get less money. But it’s up to you to make a choice.

  1. Not Asking Questions

Working with clients is always a challenge. They want perfect results while sharing too little information. Many students are afraid of asking questions. Such an approach can lead to disastrous consequences. You may end up working for weeks to come up with something the client never wanted.

Smart Advice:Never be afraid to ask questions. You won’t look stupid. Just the opposite, by showing your deep interest in the project, you’ll get more respect from the client.

  1. Forgetting To Rest

When you get your first project, the enthusiasm seems to keep you going day and night. However, no matter how strong and determined you feel, you are human. Allow yourself to take breaks and rest on weekends. Working 24/7 is commendable but useless. A tired brain is bound to make mistakes.

The Right Approach:Even the greatest designers can’t work without resting. So no matter how young and restless you are, force yourself to take breaks. Your brain will thank you and so will the client.

Final Thoughts

When you are just making the first few steps in the world of professional design, making a mistake is easier than blinking. If you manage to look back at the above advice whenever you take your first project, you might have an easier time dealing with it.

Everyone makes mistakes. They are not a reason to get discouraged. However, avoiding them whenever possible is the key to success.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.