A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer
Take a look into a Designer’s schedule from dusk till dawn
Graphic Design professionals often get asked what exactly it is they do. Some believe their domain expertise starts at logos and ends there too while others see graphic designers as mythical creatures making imaginations come to life with their unique skill set. You get the idea! A lot of people, whether in the industry or outside of it, don’t have a clear idea about the profession at all. Apparently the life of a graphic designer is one of mystique. We want to shed some light on the issue and make that information accessible.
“Sometimes I get the idea that people have no idea what I do... It makes me feel like I’m a secret agent.”
Professional graphic designers combine their creative knowledge with their artistic ability in order to create work that revolves around visual communication. That simply just translates to expressing ideas and information to the audience via eye-sight. Visual communication can take many different forms and has several types such as signs, animations, advertising, illustrations or industrial design. While this gives you a basic idea, it’s not nearly enough. That is why we thought it would be a great idea to dive into what a typical day in the life of a graphic designer looks like! So, the way to give you the best idea about the job, is to simply go ahead and show you!
8:30 - Commute to work
Most professionals work out of either a design firm/agency, a corporate office or a studio. So, naturally, most need to reach their workplace on time. This daily journey can entail listening to podcasts, reading articles, checking important emails or simply relaxing with music and finding inspiration for the day ahead.
Our own Design pro Anna says she likes to listen to “Design Matters with Debbie Milliman '' on her drive to work or listen to indie pop music like “3 Night by Dominic Fike” to get the vibes flowing.
9:30/10:00 - Work Day Begins
While many employers, especially in the creative field, have relaxed their start-times, this 10:00AM time slot is still the industry standard. This is when most designers grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat if they haven’t already. The engine has got to run on something, you know.This is also when colleagues and peers chit-chat about the events from the day before, projects they may be working on, exchange feedback on designs and discuss anything exciting in the world of design.
Basak, our in-house designer says “The pre-work small talk and friendly exchanges are a much needed light-hearted warm-up for a busy day.” Last week, there were fun discussions about how designers would redesign some uncomfortable office furniture at the Linearity HQ.
10:30 - Group Morning Meeting or Individual Planning Time
Some workspaces like to have a quick meeting about the status of everyone’s work, any ongoing issues, and any announcements that need to be made. Things like project deadlines and problems with clients take precedence over other matters. The daily work life of a graphic designer really begins at this point.
Ralph, our Director of Design, checks the day’s tasks on Asana, gets in touch with his remote-colleagues on Slack and ties any loose ends together so everyone is well-prepared for the day.
Where morning meetings don’t occur, design professionals themselves keep a track of their priorities and whatever it is they need to get done. Effective time-management is a very important skill to have for these professionals to keep everything on track.
10:45 - Work
Some designers love to dive right into their ongoing projects and use this early part of the day to reflect on their work with a fresh new perspective. Often in creative roles, it can be very easy to fall into a tunnel-vision mode when working on something. Taking a step back and reevaluating choices, reiterating some things and experimenting can bring something new to the table.
For instance, when Ralph was working on the aesthetic of the ToolBar for Vectornator Pro, it took numerous attempts for him to finally settle on the particular look and feel of the rounded edges of the icons and panels. This level of attention to detail is symbolic of a dedication to design excellence.
When asked where Ralph gets his inspiration from, he said: "I always feel inspired by some of my favorite role models in design like Jony Ive. Music is another vital source of my inspiration. Plus, I am forever inspired by the creative process of creating something new, innovating and pushing design forward." This is also when designers see what new projects are in the pipeline or any new clients that have been onboarded who require a one-to-one in order to get on the same page regarding the deliverables.
13:00 - Lunch! An essential in the life of a graphic designer
This is pretty straight-forward. Meeting up with work friends, taking a break from the work at the desk and recharging for the rest of the day. Discussions about design may happen but they might be overshadowed by other topics like the newest gripping Netflix series or the game last night.
14:00 - Back to Work
We asked Anna how she avoids her post-lunch slump. “I love to change the height of the adjustable desks and use it as a standing workstation. It keeps the blood flowing and I can, quite literally, do some thinking on my feet. I feel it helps me keep the designs coming without losing momentum.”
Depending on their specific niche, designers work on either creating logos, mock-ups, or advertisements. Then comes of course, perhaps the most important part of the process, feedback from the client. Hopefully none of you have to go through the motions after the client says they’d like to “make a few minor changes” knowing full well that the entire thing will be redone.
Check out our blog post “Dear Clients: Read This, Love Designers” to know about that painful experience :D
15:00 - Weekly Design Meetings
The Vectornator team regularly meets once every week to discuss the upcoming update, brainstorm design ideas and plan events. The most recent meeting dealt with standardizing branding for our Instagram posts. Apart from that it revolved heavily around the exciting new up and coming update X2! Finalizing touches on the newest features, confirming the schedule and fixing design glitches were the highlights.
Life of Graphic Designers don’t entirely circle around meetings which is nice.
16:15 - Resume Working
Back to letting the creativity out and grinding. Another key role in the life of a Graphic Designer’s work duties is their ability to coordinate among different departments.
Anna has to act as the glue in our office. While Basak may be busy with the layout of a particular illustration for Social Media, Anna gets Vishal from Marketing on the same page in order everything ready to post on time.
Multi-tasking, soft-skills, and ability to work in teams are must-haves for design professionals.
People get back to designing on their devices with their preferred digital tools like our very own vector-based graphic design software Vectornator. Our team begins getting ready to publish a blog article or content on our Social Media handles.
18:00 - Time to go home!
Finally, the day has come to an end. People send out updates about their work, other emails informing their team about anything important and head out. Anna, Ralph and Basak all check their Asana to mark their tasks as done, write comments or message team members over Slack if need be. Naturally, this is if there are no fires that need to be put out which require staying late.
19:00 - Commute back, Workout or Relax
Open Spotify and listen to music once again, think about what dinner plans and what shows to catch up on. Maybe even hit the gym.
20:00 - Dinner! ...or work?!
Pretty self-explanatory 😅
21:00 - Plan the next day and get ready to sleep
Some designers like to plan out their following day in order to hit the ground running. Once that's over with like you or I, they may watch their favorite content before going to sleep.Then, they get ready to do it all again!
As you can see being a Graphic Designer is exciting but also requires some skills!
Chances are that if you’re reading this you are interested in the profession. We urge you to download our free graphic design software that will help you get started on the right path! You can also check out Vectornator tutorials on Youtube!
We hope you enjoyed reading our life of a graphic designer article!
Please feel free to ask questions, give feedback, and share your ideas with us! We are always happy to connect with members of our community. You can contact us directly in our Spectrum Community. If you enjoy using Vectornator, please rate the App and share your review.
Thank you for being part of our community! ❤️
January 31, 2020