What to Look for when Following Designers on Social Media

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What to Look for when Following Designers on Social Media


The Internet, for a few years now, has been a rich resource of inspiration for all sorts of information, including graphic designers. This medium creates a place where designers can post their products and portfolios for prospect clients and other designers to see. One of the results is a mega-resource of millions of examples of a variety of electronic and paper media displaying the latest trends in design.

Another place to research is through social media, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and DeviantArt. This gives the designer a peek of some of the latest examples by designers from all over the world. This is where you become aware of names that pop-up more frequently and you automatically start following there daily postings and lives. Well… one can call them the trend-setters, to some extent. I often wondered what the key ingredients were to having them stand out from fellow designers and what should the characteristics of such a trend-setters be? I’ve done a bit of research and summarized a few ideas for you guys:

  1. The first point I want to mention is that talent is visible and written all over their work.
  2. The work of a trend-setter shows creativity and shows that they have an eye for aesthetics. In a world with so many examples it can often be difficult to come up with original ideas. Therefor, a trend-setter’s work will be original and he or she will be someone who’s ideas will show their ability to think out of the box.
  3. Their work is well-finished.
  4. They have an amazing eye for detail.
  5. A trend-setter’s portfolio will be proof to their abilities. This will show if a designer knows their computer software, graphic design and graphic concepts. A good education in graphic design will often be present, but isn’t essential.
  6. Designing is hard work and therefore you will often find such trend-setters working when some of us hover in dreamland.
  7. They are extremely motivated and eager to learn because of rapid changes in software and design methods.
  8. Self-discipline is one of the most important motivators in design. Most of the time you will find such a trend-setter being well organized applying effective time management and able to manage priorities.
  9. You will often find them being well able to multi-task and present between different jobs. They will be able to manage this without loosing focus and being very aware of the final goals of each project.
  10. Reading through a trend-setter’s site, the comments and literature they present, will speak of a positive attitude to life and their work.
  11. I can imagine that a trend-setter must be someone who is able to make their ideas visible. To draw a few ideas on a piece of paper to communicate it to the client can be a big plus.
  12. When you read through their descriptions or comments, you often find them to be very convincing and objective in arguing their point or how he or she came to a specific result or design.
  13. As part of a trend-setters make-up, one should expect a good dose of humbleness. In his or her visible communication or correspondence, one should at all times be aware of such a person’s humbleness towards his or her Maker and to the world. Assertiveness and confidence are also very important because people see them as they see themselves.
  14. These trend-setters have respect and integrity with a professional attitude in the way they treat other designers, professionals and clients. You will also find them respecting the work of people, illustrators and photographers and giving the necessary reference when necessary.
  15. Networking. This is evident on all sites and social media sites. This is where trend-setters stands out. Where questions are asked they are the ones that answers. They get in touch with people who contact and or admire them. In their blogs you can see they are in touch with fellow designers and visa versa and very important, they exchange knowledge.
  16. Another characteristic one can look for with such a trend-setter, is to see how they deal with criticism. Their reactions on criticism will often mirrors their ability to deal with it. You will find that they can value positive points in criticism and use it to create a better design.
  17. It is important to see self-respect with such a person. Self-respect is evident in the values visible in such a person work, portfolio and website.
  18. I would love to ask such trend-setters: “How do you take time-out?” Their success is based on their hard work! Time is valuable. When they plan, they stick to it. I think they also take time to play before they start checking emails and start working. I will love to hear some of their time-out ideas.
  19. I think one of the most important characteristics of a designer is honesty. They do not pretend, because they know when caught out, people will loose trust in them. Honesty can enable you to put out quality work and good service and clients will keep on coming back.
  20. Such a trend-setter is passionate about their trade. Passion is the main driving force behind their creativity and they will always push their limits.

This is but a few ideas I could find and directly connect to a design trend-setter. If you have more, I’ll love to hear from you. For my next article I want to take this checklist and point out a few trend-setters in our social media sector. I am looking forward to it.

Pieter Els
Pieter Els
Designer at Inconcept Media that is passionate about changing the design industry. With more than 30 Years of experience in the industry and thousands of hours invested, I still love what I do. Follow me on Twitter: @PieterEls12

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