We aren’t going to kid you: We wish there was a fool proof method to teaching someone how to be a brilliant graphic designer. How amazing would our world (especially modern advertising) be if we could only pump individuals through school, and have them come out like miniature Ed Roths? Sadly, life isn’t so, and there are simply things about the designing process that cannot be taught. However, just because we can’t teach them to you does not mean we don’t know what they are. In fact, we have them pegged pretty well! And though we can’t tell you how to acquire these three elements necessary to become a successful graphic designer we can give a few examples and send you in the right direction.

With that in mind, here are the three most critical elements needed to be a brilliant graphic designer—though three elements that no college can ever teach!

  1. Simple Taste: We assumed this was the best place to start, as without a basic sense of taste, you aren’t likely to get much of anywhere. Taste doesn’t refer to food, but instead the general sense of what is good and bad within design. Do you look at color schemes in advertisements you walk by and instinctively know which ones are ace and which ones are garbage? This is somewhat of what taste is, though it differs from point number two. It is more about knowing what is the pinnacle of design than about knowing exactly where to put that javascript slider. Which relates more to:
  2. Basic Intuition: This isn’t about knowing what’s the best in the business, but instead what needs to be accomplished in the moment to achieve a killer design. A designer with a fantastic sense of intuition can automatically deliver a fair appraisal of any project without hardly thinking. This is because their natural eye has been honed so well that they feel it in their gut when a design is going to kick a ton of tookus, and when it’s going to fall flat.
  3. La Passion: Lastly, a designer must have a passion for what they do. They must feel fueled by typography, energized by excellent illustration, and jazzed by Web coding. At its root, this is about pride, which we should all have in our work anyway. But at the least, it’s about a desire to design, and to do it well.