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When you are just starting out as a junior graphic artist or designer, it might already be time for you to be thinking of staying competitive in the years to come. With the pace at which technology and trends are rapidly shifting and evolving, the skills that are sought by potential employers will also be ever-changing. Thus it is important for artists to keep learning skills that will help them gain a better competitive edge in the near future. Here are some of the graphic design skills that will be in high demand in the next 5 years:

1. Motion Design

It might seem like a niche skill, but if you learn and understand the ways of motion graphics as a designer early in the game, you will reap its benefits in the future. Motion graphics adds more dimension when you are designing user experiences for your client – it helps the transition and gives character to the interface as a whole. This applies too if you’re creating a website or an application for your client, or making videos for social media content, corporate promotions, commercials, etc. Learning motion design will help reflect your brand’s personality and managers are going to see the skill as an-added value to their company.

2. Learn to code

Taking into consideration that artificial intelligence will most definitely be more prominent and present in how designers and artists will do their work, learning how to code is crucial and indispensable. Seeing how fast UI and web design is getting more immersive by the day, understanding how to code will help you avoid being limited to what the software is capable of and helps create interfaces that are far more personalized than what your competitors can convey. Apart from that, learning even the basics will aid you to better communicate ideas to coders on the same project. Designers who know how to code are already in high demand and will continue to be as long as technology is progressing.

3. Study human behavior

It is true that AI is still learning how to better mimic a human. Until now, technology has come so far, but it has yet to understand human behavior as it is always in flux – never a constant. As a designer, it is extremely useful for you to be able to understand how the audience perceives. Studying human behavior and human sociology will help you be more aware of how and why people react in a certain way towards products, and in turn will give more insight as to how you can better improve your works in a way that will enhance user experience as a whole.

4. Be a marketer of your own work

As an artist or designer, you don’t feel as if you would need to study sales or marketing. After all, it’s a whole different and foreign concept than doing art. It certainly is a distinct subject, but it is not as irrelevant as you would think. When you learn how marketing and sales work, it will show at the end result of your designs. Just as much as how you would learn to understand people’s behavior, your insight has to show in your work – in other words, you have to be strategic in your methods and create designs and concepts that will sell.

Graphic designers are valued for their ability to create visual concepts that communicate ideas and win over audiences. They use skills combining their proficiency in both computer hardware and software. Designers are hired to handle tasks ranging from simply selecting the color used by an organization to more complex tasks such as creating the images and logo designs for entire brands.

What Graphic Design Skills Are in High Demand?

  • Adobe

Designers should be able to use the Adobe Creative Suite, consisting of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Photoshop is necessary for graphic design of websites and advertisements in particular. Adobe InDesign and Illustrator are ideal for designing such products as brochures. InDesign offers excellent text-handling, while Illustrator is ideal for visual concepts. Other design tools such as Adobe Fireworks are ideal for creating designs and translating the code into Adobe Dreamweaver. Fireworks can automatically generate CSS code and other Web design tools for use in Dreamweaver, making them excellent Web design tools.

  • Copywriting

Graphic designers are often backed into a corner when it comes to copywriting. Designers face numerous tasks on a daily basis, including dealing with clients on a limited budget and, consequently, no copywriter to expedite the design process. A graphic designer who can take a client’s shoddy copy and transform it into copy that is clearly defined and works with the designer’s visuals is part writer, part-time manager.

  • Coding

As with copywriting, designers who can code their own designs are able to save time and headaches. The basic coding skills for designers include HTML, XHTML, DHTML, CSS and JavaScript. HTML and XHTML are used to write no-frills, text-based websites. CSS, which stands for cascading style sheets, is used to change the look of an XHTML website and create more advanced designs. JavaScript is necessary to designing a dynamic page that changes when the user interacts with it. Other advanced skills include HTML5 which is used to build interactive websites that don’t require Adobe Flash.\

  • Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, plays a large role in driving traffic to websites. That traffic, however, needs to be convinced of the merits of the page within seconds or isn’t converted into a regular visitor of the page or buyer of the product. Graphic design and SEO work together to bring people to the page and hook them with captivating visuals and a great user experience. A designer that knows how to optimize a Web page she’s designed is highly sought after for this reason.

  • Print Design

Print design and page layout deals with desktop publishing programs such as Quark and InDesign. The major skills employers look for in print design is an understanding of color separation, grid layout and master pages. Designers should be familiar with the printing process and understanding color space, which is how different combinations of color interact to create other colors.

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