Before I start, I’d like to make sure we’re on the same page. This article will not help you unless you decide to work hard for it. Achieving a unique style and touch that truly sets you apart from the crowd will take you a lot of time – and cups of coffee.
Now, I’ll point out what I believe is the path to make your design stand out from the competition.
1. Master your skills and field
Okay, so, you must be more inclined toward a certain field of graphic design than others, right ? Even if you have knowledge and skill in various fields of design, you will tend to prefer/enjoy one or two out of the plethora of jobs there are, be it typography or web design.
Decide where you want to excel the most and develop more skills, it should be something you enjoy. Once you make your choice, set your mind on mastering the particular field you choose and learn more of the different skills required. You should provide quality work as that is the very first step.
2. Don’t follow the crowd
If you only follow trends and do what has been done before you most likely won’t be able to stand out from the competition. I’m not saying what has been done before is wrong but you need to be open minded by innovating in your own way.
Aim to become a trendsetter by pursuing a style of your own, something others are not doing for instance. Do not give in to the temptation of copying, you will rob yourself of a great tool for being different.
3. Be a problem solver
Now, to stand out you will need to do more than just being good in what you do. You have to analyze what your competition offers, in terms of work and their approach. Figure out how to be more effective, spot the weaknesses and exploit them to your advantage by providing the solution.
Clients need problem solvers, if you only provide what others easily can, you are not really that much of a difference. This one will take quite a while to master as it necessitates both good analytical skills and experience.
4. Make yourself known
Clients will not magically recognize you and how different you are from your competition. This is where you will need to work on your communication skills and personal marketing.
There are plenty of ways getting yourself known to the world and I won’t be able to list them all here. Invest money in a great website where you can give access to a portfolio of your previous works, also get a Facebook and Twitter page.
There are many ways in successfully making a difference and I believe it doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. Try finding time for personal projects so you can have fun discovering. Keep your mind open, accept feedback and criticism as you will have to adjust and re-consider many things you do along this journey. Remember also to love and appreciate what you do. Godspeed.
How do you make your designs stand out from the competition? Share your tips in the comments below!
Featured image: Peter Ras (via Flickr)