For The Brand New Designer

It’s been a long time since I was a junior graphic designer, but I remember it well. There were a lot of mistakes, uncertainty, and doing things the easy way instead of the right way. There was also a tremendous amount of learning. There are so many skills junior designers need; the most important being having great communication skills, a drive to learn new things and improve, and being very organized. Here’s a bit more about the skills that a junior graphic design should have.

Junior Graphic Designer Skills

Junior graphic designers are at the bottom rung of designer careers. They’re not required to have much experience; just a good portfolio in most cases. Some companies do require a bit more experience, but it’s typically only 1-2 years.

These are some of the required skills for junior designer job postings I found online. The postings are from Oliver Agency (Toronto), Loki Creative (Vancouver), Roadmunk (Toronto), Brandt (Regina) and Color (Seattle).

High Level Skills

  • Must be hands on and enjoy working with a team
  • Ability to design high quality work within brand guidelines
  • Have a thorough knowledge of marketing principles and branding
  • Be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously and thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
  • Willingness to accept feedback and iterate over designs
  • The ability to take a project from concept to completion
  • Good time management skills are essential
  • Ensure final deliverables exceed design and production requirements
  • Have an interest in current design trends and contemporary design
  • Is a creative and passionate out-of-the-box thinker
  • Can work within a style guide but balance it with creativity
  • Ability to prioritize tasks
  • Able to organize and present concepts in a clear and concise manner
  • Strong communication skills and a willingness to ask questions
  • Impressive design and typography skills

Specific Skills

  • Advanced skills in Adobe Creative Suite: Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign
  • Equally comfortable working with print and digital
  • Fluent in MS Office, especially PowerPoint (For presentation decks)
  • Able to design for still (print/digital) and motion-based projects
  • Can create animation-ready vector assets in a variety of styles
  • Design original digital content for social media and websites, including landing pages and online ads; desktop and mobile
  • Is familiar with creating marketing collateral, icons, infographics, and brochures
  • Must be passionate about brand identity design
  • Ability to keep tasks organized and digital files well managed
  • Be experienced in producing brand style guides
  • Be highly organized and able to prepare and organize files to be able pass off to another designer/animator
  • Ability to translate wireframes into rich, interactive layouts
  • Have solid print design skills (knowledge of the print process, paper stocks, colour, finishes, etc)

Bonus Skills

  • HTML and/or CSS
  • HTML5 display ads
  • Know how to edit basic videos using Adobe Premiere
  • Knowledge of motion graphics and animation via Adobe After Effects
  • Knowledge of Sketchup
  • Familiarity with Procreate on iPad
  • Ability to storyboard sketch
  • Working knowledge of WordPress
  • Digital illustration capability

To Conclude

In an ever evolving technological landscape, designers of all experience levels need to be adaptable and driven to learn. Junior designers, especially, have to be passionate enough about their craft to learn everything they can to evolve their skill set. It isn’t enough to be a good designer anymore; you need to be a versatile designer willing to learn something new to solve a problem.

Are there any other skills that junior graphic designers should have that should be included on this list? What do you think the most important skill for a junior graphic designer to have is? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Photo Credits

Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels