I've painted myself into a box...
May 16, 2012 6:17 PM Subscribe
What are the top "best practices" for graphic designers?
I'm being transferred to another department at work. Whereas in my current position my ability to "design" was a "nice-to-have" bonus on top of my planning/writing skills, in my new role the tables will turn - I'll be working in a production shop doing mostly graphic design. (If you're wondering how that happened - it's a long story...)
Anyway, I am excited about the move, but terrified of the implications. I have no formal training in design. I'm entirely self-taught with about 8 years of experience in tinkering. I'm comfortable using all the software and I usually achieve the results I want. The thing is, in the past my "clients", so to speak, have always been "none the wiser," in the sense that none of them had any clue about design but were so grateful to have someone there who could do the work and only really cared about the final product.
I'm worried, though, that now I"ll be working with professional designers I have some pretty big blind spots in terms of the process. I fear I've developed bad habits or inefficient workarounds that will, at worst, reveal me to be something of a fraud or, at best, make additional work for myself/my co-workers.
I want to know what are the "best practices" for graphic designers. I'm not talking about design or color theory or anything (I'm well versed in those topics). It's more things like using layers rationally or color management or preparing for reproductions properly, etc. (there are a million other things that could be part of this -- feel free to free associate).
For designers, or those who work with designers, what do you expect from a professional designer? What are some red flags? What are habits to avoid/cultivate? What will make me look stupid/smart? What did you wish you knew about best practices when you first started out in the field?
(anon only because current/future employers know me here!)