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Make it a Habit: Adapt

Posted on May 21, 2012

The key to success is often the ability to adapt

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? Animals adapt all the time to survive, evolving for changes in climate or environment. If you can adapt to change, you are more likely to have longevity in any area of your life—including as a graphic designer. Especially considering how quickly things can change and are changing in the design field, you will be left behind if you don’t adapt. Clients changing their minds—if you don’t adapt, you could lose them as clients. Even adapting to new software (anyone remember Quark?) can make a difference in whether your business is a success or not. Though there are many factors for success, being able to adapt plays a huge part.

Adapting and communication go hand in hand

Communication is one area where adapting will make everyone’s life a lot easier. For example, clients who rarely check email can be difficult to correspond with at times, especially if you’re used to doing most communication through email. If that is the case, then you will need to make a change (ie. adapt) to keep this client happy. A good compromise is to send your questions, files and correspondence through email, and then give them a quick call to let them know you sent the email. This way, they will have both all the information you want to convey via email, as well as the phone call to let them know you sent it. This will also give you an opportunity to touch base with your client and discuss the project.

Adapt: to make fit (as for a specific or new use or situation) often by modification

Sometimes as designers we become—for lack of a better word—stuck. We get “stuck” in our ways. We get “stuck” using the old programs because they are familiar, not because they are the best or even the easiest to use. We even get “stuck” in relationships with clients. We know their style backwards and forwards and all the ways that style can be applied to banners and sell sheets and websites. But after a while, it’s always good to give these materials a fresh look and see if there are any ways to improve the design. Keeping things fresh and adapting the design to the times is what keeps people interested. You could even see if there are any new programs out there that would help you better serve your client. Most clients appreciate their designers being proactive.

Once you get in the habit of adapting (and it is a habit), it’s much easier to go with the flow. It’s easier to take any challenge that comes your way and turn it into an opportunity. And every opportunity can be turned into something spectacular (even if it’s spectacular only to you).

Post written by Cristy Wiza.


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