What They Don’t Teach You in Design School

As a recent college graduate, I thought I knew all the important basics about how to be a successful graphic designer in the real world. After starting my first “big girl” job at Launch Digital Marketing, I quickly got a dose of reality! In college I knew I was getting myself into a fast-paced field, but I didn’t realize how fast-paced it would be. The field is constantly changing, with new trends and ideas emerging all the time.

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At Launch Digital Marketing, one of the key things we strive for is innovation. We have learned to think and act 10 steps ahead of our competition. I learned that I need to use my free time to stay up-to-date on all the recent technology and design trends in the industry in order to maximize my potential as a graphic designer at Launch.

So for everyone who thinks we “power down” for the night or during the weekend, you may want to think again! Here are some of the ways I’ve taught myself how to stay ahead of the game.

Social Media:

Social media has become a staple in most people’s lives. People need to connect and constantly receive updates on their friends, families, etc. — but it’s also a great way to stay on top of the latest discussions and trends in your field.

Some Twitter accounts I think are worth following for web designers include:

Adobe Photoshop: @Photoshop

Photoshop Tips: @PhotoshopTips

Webdesigner Depot: @DesignerDepot

Launch Digital Marketing: @LaunchDigital

I also like to keep an eye on Design Bump’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DesignBump

Websites and Blogs:

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Since I am online all day, I always make an effort to have these web pages bookmarked and/or open. You never know when you’ll need some design inspiration!

WebDesigner Depot: www.webdesignerdepot.com

WDL: http://webdesignledger.com/

Behance: www.behance.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com

You The Designer: http://www.youthedesigner.com/

Dribbble: http://dribbble.com/

Visual.ly: http://visual.ly/

Books and Magazines:

For those of you who still like to have a physical book in your hands, here are a few great reads!

Designing for the Digital Age, by Kim Goodwin

How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, by Adrian Shaughnessy

Smashing Magazine (http://www.smashingmagazine.com/)

Even with all the hard work staying up-to-date and informed, I love my career and I wouldn’t want to do anything else! The ever-changing field makes me stay open to new ideas and styles, and I love being kept on my toes.



Meet Lauren Fischer

Lauren Fischer is a graphic web designer and support manager for Launch Digital Marketing. She recently graduated with honors from the University of Iowa obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design. She enjoys traveling, going to Cubs and Blackhawks games and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes!