5 Skills Every Digital Designer Needs

November 11, 2021

There’s never been a better time to upgrade your digital designer skills than now. Presently, more and more businesses are shifting towards the online or digital space to run their operations in a more cost-effective way.

The on-going COVID-19 global pandemic has also changed the work environment in ways we never thought possible.

Most businesses are now focusing on work-at-home solutions as a way of keeping their employees safe and abiding with some of the key COVID-19 regulations and recommendations.

To make yourself more attractive to the growing number of clients in need of graphic design services, you should stay updated with the current digital trends in the industry and arm yourself with some of the most essential technical skills.

Let’s look at five essential technical skills that every digital designer needs:

1. Photoshop Image Editing Skills

As the world becomes more visually-minded in this era of Snapchat and Instagram, image editing skills have become an essential part of every graphic designer’s skill set. To survive in the industry, you need to be well skilled in retouching and editing images.

Thankfully, Adobe Photoshop provides you with everything you need to accomplish every imaginable image editing task from cropping images to handling all types of small scale clean up tasks such as removing dirt, dust, glare, flare, and other small glitches from a photo.

The best thing about Photoshop is that you can easily do full-on image manipulation and blending quite easily with the program. With expert Photoshop skills you can manipulate any photo or picture using additional or surreal objects to create images suited to your client’s needs.

Blending images further helps to make your work real and believable. Some of the key photo blending skills you learn in Photoshop include the use of the brush tool, lasso tool, layer mask, blending modes, and channels just to mention a few.

Today’s graphic designers also work with moving images besides still images. It’s therefore important to have skills in motion design especially when working with digital graphics such as logos, social media images, and websites.

Motion design incorporates elements of time, space, sound, and movement. Programs such as Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and Maxon Cinema 4D are versatile tools for creating more fluid and responsive graphics. Adobe Photoshop gives you endless ways and opportunities to manipulate and blend images to your satisfaction.

For more amazing photoshop tutorials, be sure to check out PSD Box (www.psdbox.com).

2. Digital Typography Skills

As a web designer, you should be well versed with the fundamentals of typography. In fact, typography is believed to be one of the most essential skills that every graphic designer should have. As more businesses shift focus to the digital platform, graphic design trends are now transitioning from print to the online space, making typography skills more important than before.

Most traditional typography skills are transferrable but digital designs present a world of differences such as licensing, resources, font sizing, and much more.

Digital typography also uses emerging technologies such as responsive type and variable fonts. Technology is always evolving which is why it’s important for graphic designers to constantly stay informed on the latest trends and changes in digital typography.

3. User Experience Design

User experience (UX) design plays a key role in the customer’s journey and interaction with your client’s brand or website. You need practical skills in creating the best user experience to help your clients achieve their business goals.

According to a recent report by Adobe, 87% of 500 managers who responded to a survey stated that their UX design is a top priority when hiring graphic designers.

4. User Interface Design (UI)

Closely related to UX, User Interface (UI) design is another important skill for graphic designers.

UI focuses on the appearance and usability of digital properties including websites, landing pages, and mobile apps. As a graphic designer, you should be well versed in UI skills such as the selection of the right colors, typeface, and menu layouts.

You should also have practical knowledge and experience in building wireframes, defining style guides, and conducting user tests.

5. Coding Skills

A graphic designer is obviously not expected to create a website from start to finish as that would make them a website designer but to deliver the best results for your clients, you should have a good understanding of the coding process.

The more you understand coding the better you’ll work with programmers and developers in the digital design industry.

Take time to learn how to code even if it’s basic scripting skills in Sketch or Illustrator. Some level of coding knowledge will help you to navigate easily through the ever-changing world of graphic design.


The world is currently shifting to the digital space for more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing business and managing operations.

So, if you’re a graphic designer looking for ways to upgrade your skills or just getting started in graphic design, you can’t go wrong when you focus on developing the skills mentioned above.

Don’t worry if you haven’t already mastered the skills. It’s never too late to start learning.

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