5 Essential Skills Every Graphic Designer Should Have


As many global businesses are shifting their brand presence and campaigns digitally, the demand for graphic designers is steadily increasing. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 23,900 graphic design job openings are forecasted per year between 2020 to 2030. 

Hiring for graphic designers is also not limited to a particular computer or tech-centered field. Instead, almost all sectors and industries, both small and large-scale, require a graphic designer’s expertise for their projects, marketing, and much more. Hence, this vast demand promises an endless array of job search opportunities for aspiring designers. 

Even though the graphic design career is promising and job opportunities are extensive, the market is highly competitive. Besides relevant qualifications, many employers and big companies look for particular skills when hiring for their visual design team. Those applicants that possess the required set of skills are given priority. Here are five essential soft and technical skills that every graphic designer should have to benefit from their career and level up their proficiency:


Having a creative mind or innovative thinking is vital for excelling in the design field. Although it is easy to copy existing designs or take inspiration from current trends, the ability of creativity is what makes a designer stand out from the rest. 

A creative thought process allows a graphic designer to formulate original and unique design ideas. It also enables them to devise solutions for design obstacles and adapt to them by utilizing various art resources. Besides generating appealing ideas and ensuring excellent results, creativity keeps you motivated and inspired throughout the workflow. Applying your knowledge in an innovative way to your designs can even help you secure profit-bearing projects over time, allowing you to grow your career. 


Being able to exhibit good communication skills is a vital soft skill required in almost all business relationships and work fields, even graphic designing. A designer should know how to communicate with clients and team members to produce excellent results. 

Clear two-way communication allows the graphic designer to understand the client’s requirements and create their verbal ideas into actual or even better visual designs. On top of that, if the design process is met with obstacles or requires changes, relaying it clearly to the client can prevent issues in the workflow while ensuring their satisfaction. 

Clear and good communication also involves explaining the design process and its elements to the client without technical jargon. Using simple terms lets the client understand your work procedure better, giving you more creative freedom during projects.

Adobe Creative Cloud Software

Although a wide range of design tools and softwares are available, companies prioritize graphic designers skilled in working with Adobe’s creative cloud applications. Many graphic design job listings usually require work experience with Adobe software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign. 

These Adobe cloud software are considered an industry gold standard because of their efficient performance, adaptability, and availability of every design tool. Adobe’s creative applications allow graphic designers to create vector images, manipulate photos, design pages for publishing, and do much more. The applications are easy to work with and facilitate the creative process while maintaining the project’s quality. 

Design Principles

A thorough understanding of various design principles is a highly essential technical skill that every graphic designer must have. Creating designs only through intuition can often work out, but following the set principles of design can ensure accuracy and make your work process more manageable. Some essential design principles that every graphic designer should learn and know how to apply to their projects include:

  • Balance
  • Proportion
  • Hierarchy
  • Proximity
  • Alignment
  • White space
  • Contrast
  • Patterns

Being able to utilize these design principles sets apart the expertise of a graphic designer as their designs are more user-friendly and visually appealing.


One of the design principles, typography, is another essential technical skill that graphic designers should acquire. It deals with all aspects concerning the texts in a visual design, from their arrangement to style and appearance. Applying the rules of typography to designs makes the written text comprehensible and visually aesthetic and ensures correct message delivery to the reader. In order to master this technical skill, a graphic designer should have a good know-how of a few things, such as:

  • Typeface and fonts
  • The art of pairing different fonts in the same design
  • Creating text contrast and hierarchy
  • Correct spacing

Texts are a vital feature of any design, and with good typography skills, a graphic designer can effectively deliver the design’s sentiment, tone, and message. Since typography also helps build brand recognition companies want, acquiring this skill can boost your graphic design career, securing future profitable project opportunities. 


Landing a career in graphic design is promising, but having certain technical and soft skills are necessary to become a professional in this creative art field. Creative software experience, knowing design principles, and being able to think creatively and communicate well are some that can solidify your career. It is best to polish these essential skills to develop better visual designs and manage projects efficiently.