Being a Rockstar in your Industry Is a Matter of Graphic Design


8 reasons why you need to know how to design to succeed

I graduated from Belmont University one of the first music business schools in the country. In fact I went to college with several famous musicians. Okay, they weren’t rockstars — they were country stars like Tricia Yearwood and famous music business professionals like Scott Borchetta (AKA American Idol).

Side note: one of my claim to fames is that Tricia’s first husband caught my panties in the Freshman panty raid. Just so you know. Belmont is also a Baptist University and I’m a preacher’s kid. It was rated G. 

But I digress. What the music industry or any other creative industry won’t tell you is that, unless you’re a big star or already a famous business professional, if you want to rock it in your industry as a solopreneur, you’re going to have to master some graphic design skills. Here's why you should learn how to design ... with a professional.

1. Graphic design is the visual part of your brand.

What’s a brand without a logo and a website? But what’s a brand without all those other visuals you churn out to the world like your blog post graphics, invitations, newsletters, social media graphics, labels, presentations and on and on. If you don’t know how to design it or how to design it correctly, are you willing to jeopardize your brand’s reputation?

2. You can’t hire a designer to design every part of your communications.

My personal advice is to hire a professional to design the most important parts of your brand and in the worst case scenario at least your logo. Budgets usually don’t allow for much more than that so if you know how to design, you can save money.

3. You want to look professional so people will take you seriously.

Even if you’re just starting out, a well-designed brand can make it appear as though you’ve been in business for years which results in an audience that respects you and takes you seriously.

4. You will change your business a gazillion times over the years.

If you can’t design then it makes it hard for you to change things around in your business. Maybe you own a boutique and want to change the colors of your campaigns to reflect the seasons. Do you know how to do that and still stay cohesive. Learn how to design to feel more confident about making changes.

5. To keep your brand visuals cohesive.

With soooooooo many apps and software out there, it may make designing easier but usually what happens is that your brand starts to becomes hard for others to recognize. Remember each element of your brand helps your audience identify your business.

6. You’ll gain a new perspective on the world.

An understanding of the principles of good design means that you will look at everything differently, from posters and magazine covers, through to pieces of furniture, buildings and the gadgets you use every day. Designers (and yes, you too fellow creative entrepreneurs) are naturally curious animals and you'll find yourself thinking differently about the world around you and admiring the smaller details that go into beautifully designed products.

7. Designing will boost your problem-solving skills.

“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”
— Steve Jobs

Creativity is crucial for any business. Steve Jobs of Apple once said: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”

It’s for this reason that graphic design enhances your problem-solving skills—not just because you’re overcoming common issues; but because you’re encouraged to consider the bigger picture. What will your design solve? How will it add value? How will it achieve your brand’s goals? Design will boost more skills than you realize and even if you're not a "real" designer you will start to use this methodology with your own brand visuals.

8. Trends change — basic graphic design skills don’t

Regardless of whether it’s ink on paper or pixels on a screen, the general principles of design don’t change. What changes is how quickly you can make something, how quickly you can send it into the culture, and how careful you have to be about how you do that. With a good foundation, you can stick to design that you can then use in other apps without losing quality.

In this day and age, graphic design should be synonymous with branding, marketing and communications because you can’t brand your creative business successfully without great design skills. Therefore to be a rockstar in your creative industry, you’re going to have to take your graphic design skills seriously.

Want to know what branding essentials you need for your communication needs:

Here’s a checklist that just tells it like it is and cuts out the ridiculous amount of time you can spend trying to figure out where to even begin and how to proceed on your own. GET IT HERE.