In an agency setting, designers must manage multiple projects for a wide variety of clients. It can become a juggling act if you don't have a few rules of thumb to help produce the best results, even under pressure. In my experience, creative services projects are the most successful when I stick to the best practices I’ve learned along the way.

Keep these tips and tricks in mind as you dive into your next design task:

Stay up-to-date

The fast-paced design and technology industries are always developing new resources for designers. It’s beneficial to stay informed on the latest happenings in the design world, whether it’s coding, consumer behavior or a new tool. Never stop learning!

Know the standards

Learn and understand the branding and identity of your agency and its clients. If a brand standard or style book doesn’t exist, produce one for your own reference. Avoiding simple messaging or branding mistakes will help save time when your plate is full. There’s also no need to recreate the wheel every time you have a new assignment — create plug-ins, presets and templates of recurring designs and styles to make things easier.

Organize your files

File organization is key. Create a system that works for you to easily access designs, links, graphic resources, copy and more. When you’re less stressed about finding a file, you’ll work more efficiently. Add file organization to your to-do list and take the time to clean up your computer drive. Also, don’t forget about performing routine backups! You never know when you’ll need to locate a file from a past project.

Take care of your technology

Graphic designers use a variety of tech tools in their day-to-day work — computers, hard drives, printers and more.  If they are not well, neither are you! Get rid of junk files and heavy storage in order to minimize the chances of contracting a virus or other nuisances. Perform software updates, read the care instructions, download a storage manager and make friends with the tech department. Your work depends on it. 

Be inspired

Read creative magazines and follow your favorite artists to not only keep up with industry trends, but to be inspired to make fresh and innovative designs while maintaining functionality and messaging. Our designer, Tori, subscribes to AIGA, Juxtapose Magazine, Creative Market and Behance. Maintain a creative work space by having fun décor and playing music. Keep your eyes open to the world around you, because your next “a-ha” moment can come at any time.