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I'm currently a design student and while I love this field, I find that it takes me far too long to design stuff 95% of the time. I was working on a poster for a city and it took about 3 days to have it look respectable. Does anyone have any tips on how I can become a more efficient designer?

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  • You will get really banal answers if you do not tighten your question by a lot. Ask more and more specific, then you get better answers. But mainly id ay its because you use your time ineffectively and work on the wrong thing. But in reality you need to decide if your in the stage where you need to invest in being faster in the future or optimize for good results now. – joojaa Mar 17 at 8:26
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Becoming an Efficient designer required many things. You are already a design student. You know the process.

I believe the most important thing is ‘’Observation’’. Observe how established designers design… you will find a lot of stuff on the web, like interviews, tutorials, websites..etc.

The second most important thing you need is ‘’Software skills’’, You must know how to use the software (adobe illustrator ... or 3ds max u name it).

Last but not least ‘’Study and Experiment a lot’’. Study about Color, Geometry, Pattern, Typography, Layout, Perspective, Technical issues, What to do and not to, etc…

Ask seniors here who know thousands fold than ‘new kid in the block’ like us :D

Good Luck :)

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I often find myself asking this question from others. The truth is, if you really want to design something meaningful, it will take time. I think 3 days of office work hours is not very bad. But if it's for a client, I guess he might say you're a bit slow or late. But you can't rush it.

I also consume a lot of time while designing something, even when it doesn't have too much info or content.

However, truth is, you can increase the speed of using the tools, for example Photoshop or Illustrator or whatever you use. That helps a great deal in designing something in comparatively less time. I started designing 2.5 years ago. I was very slow. Both in design thinking and using design software. But after working for a couple of agencies, today, I can design things significantly faster as compared to my past. And it keeps getting better. So experience matters.

Also, sometimes it helps to have multiple projects in your task list. Not saying that you should work on multiple tasks at same time. But sometimes when you see you have pending stuff, you learn to prioritize things in design process.

Further, sometimes there are other factors which may hinder your design process. Like a slow PC, environment you're working in, not fully understanding the requirements of the design etc. You can think about them.

Note that if you're working on something and at the end you get what you wanted and you (or your client) feel very satisfied, you don't want to blame the amount of time you spent.

Since you're a student, I think there's nothing wrong in spending 3 days for a poster, especially spending time in design thinking (e.g. what colors to use, what fonts to use, layout etc.). You'll get better.

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I think that being on this forum really helped me increase my skills, the hard part is translating those skills to a particular concept, or an idea that you have. sometimes you don't have those - and so studying the work of others that you admire is a great approach. what i would say is that you should always ask yourself later on what attracts you to their process or particular aesthetic, so it won't just be a "pretty image" (which in itself is absolutely OK, it's just on the lens of particular graphic design)

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