On World Communication Design Day, we bring you the ten principles of communication design we work by.
Read and follow instructions carefully. Nothing frustrates a client faster than wasting time providing instructions that are ignored and having to repeat them. Make sure you understand them upfront, complete the work and check the instructions again to confirm that you complied.
Observe deadlines. Your designs will be viewed less positively, and possibly not at all, if they are late.
Have a professional attitude. Always be courteous and respectful—regardless of the title or role of the people you encounter.
Communicate well. Design is about delivering a message to an audience. Don't lose sight of this when working on projects. If a design is attractive but doesn't say anything or otherwise achieve the objective, it is unsuccessful.
Display versatility and flexibility. Be open to the opportunity to do something new, whether that means creating a product, using a tool or working in a format you haven't used before. And if you get a suggestion, trying it only means you will broaden your perspective.
Take criticism. You can't improve unless you solicit, listen and react to criticism. You may not always agree, but you will still learn something from all feedback that will make you better at designing and working with others.
Learn continuously. Every day is an opportunity to expand your skills and perspective. Take advantage of formal training classes, read books, explore websites, read blogs and other online resources, and tap the experience of your colleagues.
Be passionate about design. Observe it everywhere you go and everywhere you look. Get inspiration from your commute to work, a display in a store and the fashionable crowd at a party.
Approach projects with imagination. Rather than finding the fastest and easiest way to solve a design challenge, do the unexpected. Instead of thinking, "these are the colors used by the industry," or "logos should always be handled this way," break the rules now and then.
Know what rules to break. All professionals learn the basics first. Once you have experience and understand the specific parameters of a job, you can try new things and color outside the lines.