by Carina Santos . January 2nd, 2012
Last updated on November 24th, 2022
When starting as a designer, one of the hardest things to do is to get your name and work out into the world. It can be an intimidating feat, as more designers are popping up all over the globe, but here are a few things you can do to get people interested in your work.
“Misha” by Dan Matutina for GOOD MagazineView Source
This is a cause for argument, but putting your work up online is one of the easiest, most immediate ways to circulate your work. Dan Matutina, or Twisted Fork, says that much of his work was commissioned because of the samples he posted on his website and Behance portfolio. Clients stumbled upon his work, were impressed, and hired him.
While you run the risk of copycats, chances are you will reach someone you might not get to meet otherwise. It helps if you get your stuff out there. If you’re not comfortable yet, try uploading 400-pixel-wide “screenshots” of your work on Dribbble.
Setting up blogs is easy and free. See what happens when you do.
“Self Portrait” by Mark WeaverView Source
From March 2008 to December 2009, Mark Weaver created Make Something Cool Every Day, a collection of exercises. This helped him work on his style and get people interested in him and his work. Another designer, Nicole Meyer, started Branding 10,000 Lakes.
“Woodpile Lake” by Nicole MeyerView Source
These projects challenge you as a designer, and you end up creating output even during your downtime. Plus, when you generate buzz for these fun personal projects, you also pique a widespread interest in your other design work.
Networking is a big and important part of this line of work. Getting to know similarly-minded people will help your growth as a designer and also helps you create ties with the current scene in your area.
When someone respectable gets to know what you can do and can vouch for you and your work, it will go a long way in terms of support, credibility, and circulation. If your purpose is developing a brand for your business, take advantage of some discovery workshops. Keep in contact with experts and learn from them.
A common argument may be that the main source of communication these days is done over some digital means. But this doesn’t mean that business cards are obsolete.
Put your contact information, website, or portfolio on these babies and hand them out at gatherings, events, and parties. After a busy night of socializing, it will help new acquaintances and potential clients attach a name to a face. It also puts your contact information—literally—right at their fingertips.
“Fitzgerald Business Cards” by The Heads of StateView Source
You The Designer recently posted 35 Quality Business Card Design Templates to get you started. Look through these You The Designer posts for even more inspiration.
Once you’ve established connections with the people in your industry, branch out and meet other people from different walks of life. Small businesses, enterprising individuals, and companies outside the creative bubble need design services, too!
It’s a big world out there, and it may be tough to start, but these steps will help you at least get your name out there, ready for possibilities.