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Graphic designers: which skills will be in high demand within the next 5 years?

When you are just starting out as a junior graphic artist or designer, it might already be time for you to be thinking of staying competitive in the years to come. With the pace at which technology and trends are rapidly shifting and evolving, the skills that are sought by potential employers will also be ever-changing. Thus it is important for artists to keep learning skills that will help them gain a better competitive edge in the near future. Here are some of the graphic design skills that will be in high demand in the next 5 years:

1. Motion Design

It might seem like a niche skill, but if you learn and understand the ways of motion graphics as a designer early in the game, you will reap its benefits in the future. Motion graphics adds more dimension when you are designing user experiences for your client - it helps the transition and gives character to the interface as a whole. This applies too if you're creating a website or an application for your client, or making videos for social media content, corporate promotions, commercials, etc. Learning motion design will help reflect your brand's personality and managers are going to see the skill as an-added value to their company.

2. Learn to code

Taking into consideration that artificial intelligence will most definitely be more prominent and present in how designers and artists will do their work, learning how to code is crucial and indispensable. Seeing how fast UI and web design is getting more immersive by the day, understanding how to code will help you avoid being limited to what the software is capable of and helps create interfaces that are far more personalized than what your competitors can convey. Apart from that, learning even the basics will aid you to better communicate ideas to coders on the same project. Designers who know how to code are already in high demand and will continue to be as long as technology is progressing.

3. Study human behavior

It is true that AI is still learning how to better mimic a human. Until now, technology has come so far, but it has yet to understand human behavior as it is always in flux – never a constant. As a designer, it is extremely useful for you to be able to understand how the audience perceives. Studying human behavior and human sociology will help you be more aware of how and why people react in a certain way towards products, and in turn will give more insight as to how you can better improve your works in a way that will enhance user experience as a whole.

4.Be a marketer of your own work

As an artist or designer, you don’t feel as if you would need to study sales or marketing. After all, it’s a whole different and foreign concept than doing art. It certainly is a distinct subject, but it is not as irrelevant as you would think. When you learn how marketing and sales work, it will show at the end result of your designs. Just as much as how you would learn to understand people’s behavior, your insight has to show in your work – in other words, you have to be strategic in your methods and create designs and concepts that will sell.

It goes without saying that to survive and adapt to the ever-changing pace of trends and technology, you have to learn to diversify and expand your skills. In this highly saturated job market, recruiters will be looking for jack of all trades. Having a solid and broad skillset will increase your ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment, which will come in high demand in the upcoming years.

- Kania Putri, ArtBound Initiative Team

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