Graphic Design Skills: The Ultimate Guide to Design Skills

Graphics design is a rewarding and well-paying job. It also makes for an exciting hobby. But in order to get a job in the industry, or get the most enjoyment out of creating art, you need to develop the skills to do so effectively. Unlike more freeform types of art, graphic design requires a particular set of skills. Thankfully, anyone with the desire to do so and the willingness to put in effort can learn graphics design skills.

What is graphic design?

Graphics design is all about using artwork to convey a message. Sometimes, this comes very directly in the form of an infographic. Other times, it’s more subtle, such as the design of a logo or icon. Many times, it’s somewhere in between, such as creating a poster for an advertisement, the packaging for a product, or the layout of a magazine page. 

Skills needed to be a graphic designer

Because each job is different, the skills needed to be a graphic designer can vary from one project to the next. The general skills, though, are the same. Below, we’ve outlined some of the skills you need for graphic design.

  1. A thorough understanding of design principles — This one is almost self-evident. Graphics design is all about proper placement and layout of items to convey the desired message. Good knowledge of design principles lays the foundation for everything else.
  2. Knowledge of color theory — This goes hand and hand with design principles. Color theory is all about creating a color palette composed of colors that work well together and that conveys the mood your design is supposed to express.
  3. Creativity — At the end of the day, graphic design is art. Like any type of art, you’ll need a hefty dose of creativity to be good at graphic design. The more creative you are, the more your designs will stand out.
  4. Familiarity with both raster and vector art — Lots of tools go into graphics design. Some projects will require raster art, and others will require vector art. Understanding how to work with both of these technologies will ensure you have a well-rounded skillset.
  5. Knowledge of CSS and HTML basics — Design needs come in all forms. Sometimes, you’ll be designing graphics for print. Other times, you’ll be designing for the web. In the latter case, a basic understanding of how web technologies work will help you craft graphics elements that work with the web developer instead of against them.
  6. Ability to communicate effectively — The client isn’t always going to know exactly what they want. Sometimes they’ll have a very clear idea of what they want, but not be able to communicate it well. As a designer, it’s important to be able to effectively communicate so you can understand the clients’ needs and desires.
  7. An understanding of typography — Everyone knows that it’s a bad idea to put a Comic Sans font on the invitation to a black-tie affair. But most people’s knowledge of typography stops there. In graphics design, the choice of font, font-style, and even font size can drastically change the message conveyed.

How to improve graphic design skills

Like with anything in life, there are two ways to improve your graphic design skills. The first is to soak up as much knowledge as you can. Read books and articles, watch videos, and talk with other people in the field. All of those methods will help you to gain a better understanding of the knowledge based portions of the skill set mentioned above.

Knowledge only goes so far though. After all, it’s called a skill set for a reason. Ultimately, developing the skills you need to be a good graphic designer is going to require you to practice frequently.

Practice your skills with Gravit Designer

Practice doesn’t count for much if you aren’t using professional grade software. Sure, you can learn the basics with just about any product, but to really excel in an industry, you need to use the same type of powerful tools professionals use. Gravit Designer is an affordable way to bring that type of power to you so you can get the practice you need in vector art creation.


There are many things in life that are worth doing, but feel a bit like a chore. Graphic designers are lucky in that practicing their trade also happens to be very enjoyable. Once you get started playing around with Gravit Designer, you’ll find that acquiring the skills to use it feels more like fun than work. 

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