You don’t stop learning about your chosen field when you graduate from college. If you do, you’ll fall far behind and will quickly cease to be an asset to the company that hired you when you were “full of potential.” Part of being a designer is being able to keep up with trends and technology, and expanding your knowledge beyond what you learned in school.
Of course, much of this is done on the fly when there are clients to satisfy and deadlines to meet. Since I started here at Black Lake Studio, I have greatly increased my knowledge of WordPress, brand strategy, and many other aspects of design.
Most recently, I learned how to do a manual multisite WordPress install… in less than eight hours. I had to work with a third party to get multiple sites live for a client, and the guy on the phone said, “You should really do a multisite install, it will be faster and take up much less server space.” I thought to myself, “Alright, I’ll give it a go.”
After much frustration, and learning that I should have waited until after the DNS records were updated, I successfully completed a multisite install and brought both sites live. Upon learning this new skill, I saw how I could apply it to the development of sites under our own server for the future.
I also had to battle with Microsoft Excel for Mac recently. It’s laughable how designers can navigate many Adobe products with ease, but when you present them with a Microsoft product that they haven’t touched since several versions ago, they get completely lost. For this particular project, we had to make sure the client would be able to make their own on-brand pie charts in the future without needing us to make one in Illustrator every time. After once again mastering the creation of a pie chart (which took longer than I would like to admit), I went on to learn how to create a custom theme (which had to be done in Powerpoint for some reason) and apply it to the charts. Not bad for a day’s work, if I do say so myself.
While learning new things can be difficult (especially outside the safety of college and professors that always seem to have the answer), it can be very rewarding. Ultimately, it will help you stay current as a designer and not fall behind. I look forward to learning more things in the future as I move forward in my career. Bring it on, Adobe Digital Publishing Solution!