To be a successful graphic designer you need to know more than what colours or fonts work together or how to use the design software.

Because, soft skills are equally as important and go beyond just simply having creative flair.

Ultimately, the goal of a graphic designer is to communicate clearly the client’s message and the right soft skills are essential in achieving this.

Let’s take a look closely at the 5 soft skills needed to become a graphic designer.


As a graphic designer, it’s your job to communicate your client’s vision and bring it to life.

Sounds straightforward right?

Despite your technical expertise, there can often be a lot of hiccups along the way, which is why communication plays a key part in letting your client know what good design really is.

However, as we become more and more focused on our phones and smart devices, a lot of people don’t know how to talk to clients, but strong communication skills will allow you to manage expectations.

In other words, you should be able to explain design elements without getting technical and be clear about the timeline and quality of work.

Active Listening

Following communication comes listening, and although it’s very similar it holds great importance to talk about this skill alone.

But don’t just listen – listen actively. 

As a good listener, graphic designers will be able to accurately understand what exactly it is their client wants from them and translate this into a visual piece.

And to improve on your listening skills, it’s a good idea to take notes as your client is giving you their requirements.


It goes without saying – creativity is probably one of, if not the most important skill you can have as a graphic designer.

After all, it’s your job to create new and innovative designs and if you can’t tap into your creative juices, it’ll become a problem.

Regardless of which industry your client operates in, having a visual eye and being a creative thinker is critical.

Essentially, you’re responsible for the entire design process, from brainstorming initial ideas to developing and refining your concepts, hence why graphic designers need a creative mindset.

Time Management

It’s not unusual to be managing multiple projects at a time, which means you’ll have a number of responsibilities to a number of different people at once.

As such, strong time management skills will enable you to juggle all these projects without dropping the ball.

Consequently, not being able to manage your time effectively may mean you take on more than you can chew, and potentially miss important deadlines.

With that in mind, graphic designers need to learn how to be efficient with their time to produce work of maximum quality. 


To have persistence means you have the ability to continue working towards a goal despite facing obstacles along the way.

Furthermore, having persistence proves your strong work ethic as well as demonstrating determination and dedication towards a project.

Let’s face it, there will be changes and re-do’s along the way and perhaps even some design elements that get scrapped all together.

So as a graphic designer, you will need to be able to take things in your stride and remain persistent throughout the whole process to create designs to the best of your ability.

Finishing Thoughts

Overall, being a graphic designer requires more than just technical skills and using software.

Gaining and improving on these soft skills above will help you to produce creative visuals of high quality and ensure your client gets what they want.

Have a look at our Graphic Design services in the meantime.