5 Ways Professional Graphic Designers Think Differently

Isn’t it wonderful when meeting someone who just thinks in a different way? How fascinating it must be to experience the world through someone else’s eyes. In taking a moment to put oneself into another’s shoes, it starts to become clear how similar people really are. The same goes when looking at different careers.

While not everyone is the same, graphic designers typically have a more creative mindset. That doesn’t mean just making pretty pictures either. Creativity also helps with problem solving and critical thinking. Read more for some insights on how graphic designers think.

1. Work Smarter Not Harder

A lot of work goes into making things look aesthetically pleasing. Art of any form is a skill rather than a talent. Nobody pops out capable of making gorgeous works of art. It took a lot of time to learn that, and graphic designers do their work so frequently that they find shortcuts to work smarter rather than harder as the work continues in.

Here are some examples:

  • Creating custom brushes, fonts, or other assets that will be reused often
  • Building templates and presets
  • Learning hotkeys and program shortcuts
  • Use design tools and resources available

There’s no point in trying to reinvent the wheel all the time. If it works, it works! However, there’s also no point in working harder when working smarter and more efficiently gets the same result in a healthier manner.

2. Keep an Open Mind

Especially when working with clients, things aren’t always going to go the designer’s way. While they might make something they absolutely adore, their client might not. Keeping an open mind helps to see their perspective and to not take it so personally. In the end, it might end up being better for everyone.

Not to mention, sometimes things just don’t work out. Instead of letting this drag the graphic designer down, they find ways to work around this. Failure hurts, but it isn’t always the end. If nothing else, it’s a valuable learning experience. The open-minded creativity helps to find solutions, solve problems, and learn from these experiences.

3. Color Theory

The main part of graphic design is making something that’s aesthetically pleasing. Learning how to do that is essential, and that involves understanding color theory. Knowing how and why colors go together, what sorts of feelings they can provoke, and other minuscule details can easily take a decent design to a great one.

4. It’s All About the Space

How much space a design takes up, how to use the whitespace to its fullest potential, how big or small something is, and generally just how things fit are all important parts of graphic design. Even the space between letters and words is something that a designer considered at some point. Things need to look nice and be readable, or what’s the point?

5. What’s the Flow?

In the western world, people read left to right. That also means that naturally, the eye is going to scan anything left to right as it’s perceiving information. Making sure the design lines up with this is one way to ensure good flow in a piece. However, not everything needs to be like this. If it doesn’t, that’s where the importance of design comes in.

Utilizing lines, colors, and other techniques, a designer can trick the eye into focusing on certain aspects of their design or drag the eye along a different flow without it being awkward. The composition itself has to flow, how it sits on the page, how someone experiences it and moves through it. This is true for both text and images.


Graphic designers are people, so no two are going to think exactly the same. However, it’s also a very creative field which means that more creatively minded people are going to gravitate towards it. Creativity doesn’t stop at pretty pictures either, but also includes so much more than what it seems.

A graphic designer has to consider every tiny detail of their design. The colors, the spacing, the area around it, how it will be presented, how viewers see it, and so much more. Sometimes, this all doesn’t come together as wonderfully as one might hope, but it’s important to keep an open mind and not let these failures be the end. Graphic designers thrive on the creative process helping them through problems and uses that to help them grow in their skills.