The Formula to Becoming a Great Designer

Becoming a successful designer isn’t easy. It takes dedication, passion and a constant drive to learn new skills, and hone the old ones. The following formula discusses each element that is commonly found in the world’s greatest designers.


Designing is all about presenting a message in a clear, powerful and memorable way. Creativity is vital to this presentation because it controls whether or not your message grabs the attention of the viewer and inspires them to act on that message.

Many believe that some are born more naturally creative than others, but no matter how you feel about your abilities, creative thinking can be achieved by anyone through concentration and effort. Creativity comes from our past experiences and the knowledge we have built up over the years of various solutions to problems. Achieving creativity simply requires the ability to combine these two aspects.


It is vital that you have a deep understanding of your craft. Artists like da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo studied everything they could about art, from slicing open deceased human bodies to researching the science of light and reflection. It isn’t recommended that you carry out your own autopsies in the name of art, but take the example as an inspiration for your own research.

In today’s world, many are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend college and participate in design programs that are specifically created to give students a full understanding of specific design skills, the history of the various design industries and more.

Once you have a strong understanding of your craft, you’re much more likely to succeed in your efforts to make a living from it.


Even the most renowned designers like Paul Rand and Saul Bass learned something new with each project they completed. In the business world of design, every client presents a different brief and therefore as a designer you must combine experience with new ideas to create a successful solution. 

Experience is obtained at every stage of a design career and it is important to learn something from every piece of design that you create.

The growth and development of a novice into an expert designer is influenced by the exposure the designer has to new and challenging projects, and participating in work that moves the designer forward. 

Paul Rand, the American graphic designer best known for his logo design work for IBM, UPS, and ABC, began acquiring real-life design experience by painting signs for his father’s grocery store.

Opportunities to gain familiarity and experience are common for every designer, it just takes an eagerness to participate and learn.


The final ingredient in “The Great Designer’s Formula” is one of the most important. Passion for design and the output of one’s work is incredibly vital to the success of any design career.

A characteristic of many of the world’s greatest designers is their love for the history of their industry, the way they present a message through their own creativity and skill, and what their work achieves for their clients or employers. 

If you have a passion for design, obtaining the necessary skills, education and experience to become a great designer is often an easy goal to achieve, and an incredibly rewarding one. 

External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Brian Yerkes is the Owner and Creative Director at Brian Joseph Studios, a branding and web design and development agency with offices in Fort Myers, Fla. and Raleigh, N.C. With over 10 years of experience in the design and Internet marketing industry, Brian and his team have worked with companies of all sizes from around the world - most notably Mercedes-Benz, Susan G. Komen and the YMCA. Brian is also an advisory board member for the School of Technology and Design at Rasmussen College, Fort Myers campus."

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