For exceptional graphic designing you must have an instinctive ability to exercise good judgment in manipulating the formal elements of visual communication such as contrast, scale, color, pacing, and typography. You must be able to use them effectively to develop new and appropriate visual solutions to complex communications problems. You should master the current tools that are necessary to produce and implement your solutions. Technical skills are a moving target because design tools are constantly changing. For example, twenty years ago the tools of graphic designing included T-squares, stat cameras, waxers and Rapidograph pens. Eventually all of those went out with the trash. Today’s basic tools are primarily digital, including such things as QuarkXpress, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, and Flash. However, twenty years from now these in turn will be gone—replaced by even newer tools.
You should be a good listener and a good verbal communicator who is able to build and sustain positive and productive relationships with others. It means being able to establish and maintain mutual respect. It means having a positive outlook and exhibiting grace under pressure. These positive qualities will motivate others to seek you out. Co-workers will want to have you on their teams and clients will want you on their accounts.
In order to advise our clients, we need to clearly understand their business challenges, trends and options. On each new account, we have to come up to speed very quickly. We need to be just as smart when it comes to our own marketing, financial and management issues.