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Another year has come to a close as we bid farewell to 2011. With every New Year come new Resolutions and promises. Some people embrace the concept of making New Year Resolutions while other avert the concept altogether. Nonetheless, I personally believe that it is a constructive exercise from the perspective of a graphic designer.

Looking back at what you have accomplished in the past year, making New Year Resolutions gives you a chance to resolve your mistakes that you have committed in the past. It also gives you the opportunity to be a better graphic designer by acknowledging the deficiencies within you.

Below I have listed some of the most interesting and progressive resolutions, which every graphic designer should make for the next year.


1. Take Lessons from 2011:

With every passing year, most of us commit the same graphic designing mistakes repeatedly. So why not, for a change, take lessons from the year 2011 and note down all of our blunders and mistakes. Work on your flaws and weaknesses and turn them into your strengths. Similarly, make a list that you were threatened of and turn them into your opportunities.

2. Expand your Design Skills:

In order for a graphic designer to stay alive in this cutthroat market competition, one has to be diverse and multi-talented. Many designers prefer sticking to their comfort zones. For instance, a logo designer would fear trying out developing a code. Similarly, a web developer wouldn’t fancy designing blueprints of the website. This year, expand your design skills and broaden your horizon. So what if you are a graphic designer…design and code your very own WordPress theme or learn the basics of XHTML and CSS this year.

3. Contribute to the design community:

The design community has given you a lot to learn and discover. Perhaps, next year is the time you should contribute to the design community for a change. Corporate Social Responsibility and philanthropy are not just restricted to multinational corporations. We, as graphic designers can also play a part by contributing towards the graphic design community. You can do volunteer work that involve your services or give a design class to aspiring students and share your expertise with them.

4. Experiment With New Techniques:

All year you have been afraid of trying something new only because you fear failure. But…”It is better to try and fail than fail to try.” Don’t be overly cautious with your design selections. Try a color scheme that you have been afraid to use this year. One must always thinki out of the box in order to innovate.

5. Work with the ‘Annoying’ Clients Too:

OK! So you have spent the whole year voiding bad client types, only because you didn’t have the patience to deal with them. In the coming year, work on your endurance and tolerance to verbal criticisms. You will realize how much clientele you let go waste when you opt out of working with clients who are irritating and annoying.

6. Give Yourself a Raise:

Don’t forget to revise your design charges and rates. With the cost of living going up every year due to inflationary pressures, give yourself a raise this year…you deserve it! If you are a freelance graphic designer, rework your rates of work and learn to save for a rainy day as well. Make saving your habit and buy yourself the dream machine that you have set your eyes upon all year.

7. Stay Ahead of Time:

Most graphic designers are accustomed to go with the tide. They would follow trends and styles that are prevalent in the design community. In the coming year, why not stay ahead of time for a change. Instead of following trends, why not make your own trends for others to follow. Instead of going with the tide, BE the tide yourself.


Your Resolution for 2012?

So what resolution have you made for the year 2012? Is it from this list or you have promised something else to your self…do share with your designer friends here J

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. Patty On December 9th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Good, uplifting tips for graphic design resolutions! Preflighting your designs would be an excellent resolution for designers. Markzware also has some good designer tips, like how to save an Illustrator file for prepress usage. Thanks for this thoughtful and inspiring article, Charlie.

  1. Adam @ Pixelbot Creative On December 9th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    All good guidelines. I think the hardest to follow is definitely #7.

    As difficult as it is to create purely original ideas and creative direction, it is nowhere near as difficult as convincing a client that the design is new, forward-thinking, and that it has as much strength as typical or trendy design styles.

    People who are fans of specific design styles tend to be fans because they see that style in the world around them. Being the “first” to try something new is scary to clients, because they are often trying to emulate competitors or other business’ style in order to follow their success.

    Nonetheless, it is important to keep pushing the envelope. It is how we advance both our personal designs, and the design-world in general.

  1. bruno On December 10th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks a lot :D

  1. Deano @ YMTW On December 11th, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Nice bit of inspiration this list, cheers. I’m keen to get into designing multiple layouts for responsive design sites and figuring out a good process to do it effectively.

  1. Sally Minsariya On December 11th, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I should return it to someones favor, but setting resolution for the year ahead is just a way to make our mind and thoughts. Its quite good enough if we just settle our mistake that will not to repeat it again. One more thing i want to tell you that a Very Happy New Year to All of Graphic Design Blog Team and to entire Graphic Design lovers.

    Thank you so much for providing us brilliant and superstitious information about Graphic Design through a year. Hope we will get the same in a year ahead. Best of Luck.

  1. Gabe On December 12th, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I think this is a great list that every designer should take to heart. Especially #7!

  1. Adam Booth On December 12th, 2011 at 3:52 am

    this is a great post. It features a great set of resolutions that every designer should/would love to stick to and accomplish in 2012. I feel that viewing such posts with such information are a great motivation for the year ahead. I definitely agree with all of these points but feel the best advice would be to learn from the past year.

  1. Dan @ Anything Display On December 12th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Really great post id recommend for any designer to read. Staying ahead of the times is a real way to build success! My resolution is actually going to change all my pricing, leave myself some extra money.

    Another good idea for all designers is to attend some classes!
    Thanks for the info.

  1. Josh On December 12th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Great list and should definitely be stuck to.

  1. Jina House On December 12th, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Very good advices, made me feel a little bit more optimistic for the new year, thanks!

  1. sudip On December 12th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Wow great inspiration for all designers like me….thanks:)

  1. Santora Media Group On December 12th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I think these are great ideas and I am for sure going to do all of these!

  1. MicroSourcing On December 14th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Developing the ability to work with even the most difficult clients allows the designer to take on a diverse set of jobs. It would be a loss if the designer passed up a high-profile project just to avoid working with a demanding client.

  1. Dan On December 19th, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Definitely been planning on “giving myself a raise” for the new year. Also on my list is to network more , schedule better (keeping to a schedule can be difficult when freelancing), and to keep on learning.

    The new year is an exciting time!

  1. Morgan & Me Creative On December 19th, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I think 2012 would bring in a whole new set of challenges with the gloomy economy a stone’s throw away. We might face possibly more demanding clients and lower paying projects or clients looking at agencies who are able to provide one stop solutions for everything.

  1. Umair Ulhaque On December 30th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Since I had enough used to about logo design now I am going to expend my design skills as stated in #2 by adding web design expertise. Thanks for writing such graphic design resolutions for the year 2012 as on tomorrow :)

  1. Mad Mind Studios On January 2nd, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Something else that can be added to the list is to find creative ways to advertise yourself. Take great advantage of social media marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Freelance graphic designers are getting themselves pretty much on any place that they can advertise and save. Craigslist is another great choice where you can find clients in your community. I wish everyone a wonderful and happy new year.

  1. harryposter On January 8th, 2012 at 4:08 pm


    If you don’t know how to pre-press an Illustrator file, you are not a graphic designer

    Sorry about that, but still a Happy New Year to you

  1. David On January 30th, 2012 at 6:28 am

    A new year is terrific for motivating you to become better at something, but you don’t always have the kick in the rear that you need – so thanks for these tips

  1. New Web Templates On February 1st, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Well i totally agree with these designers resolutions! Designers need to avoid their repeated mistakes, and make a new strategy! Do work on time and make something new and unique!

  1. add in children On April 19th, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Great resolutions, now lets see if we can stick to them!

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