Feedback is extremely important in honing your graphic design skills. Critique is a necessary part of the design process that may take place at many different stages in the process. It can help you grow as a graphic designer, will aid in developing a better solution, and ultimately may help to get designers out of creative ruts they might be having. Designers may be critiqued by clients and fellow designers, but it is also important to critique yourself. Unless feedback is given on how to improve, then it is impossible to get better as a designer.
How to Handle Criticism in Graphic Design
Designers apply their skills and knowledge to others’ design work by giving feedback to others’ work. Being critical of your own work gets difficult, so it is helpful for other designers to give their opinion as well.
Being able to receive the feedback given, however, is its own challenge. Designers often take it as a personal insult when a person suggests changes to their work or thinks of an aspect of the design (or the whole thing). It is sometimes hard to remove yourself from the work and just think of the design as a project objectively. When reasonable feedback is suggested, it is important for it to be interpreted and considered if it will be beneficial or not to use.
When giving feedback, it is critical to remember some ground rules. It is best practice to always be as specific as possible. Don’t say that “something is off,” but instead try to pinpoint exactly what it is that needs improvement. Additionally, always try to give positive feedback where you can instead of discussing only negative parts of the design. Offering positives helps to keep the critique balanced and will benefit the designer even more. However, make sure the feedback is genuine and don’t give the designer false hope.
Appreciating the Feedback Given to You
Another thing to note is to always take the feedback with a grain of salt. Sometimes the suggestion that is being made on how to improve your work isn’t really the best solution. But, it is extremely important to appreciate the person taking the time to offer feedback that is given in an effort to help you improve your work. Make sure to tell them that you appreciate their feedback, even if you chose not to apply whatever they say.
However, oftentimes designers get sucked into the project so much that they often lose perspective. After hours and hours of looking at the same thing, it gets hard to tell what looks good and what doesn’t. I can personally tell you that this is super common when working on a project for a long time. A fresh pair of eyes is essential in evaluating what is working in the design and what can be improved upon. Sometimes, there are multiple right answers in design. Ultimately, It’s up to you to decide what will make your work the strongest.