A Graphic Designer’s Guide to Designing & Projecting a Professional Image

Carol Woodruff, from the Career Center.


It’s More Than Design

• Design Talent + Professionalism

• As a designer you will be a key partner or collaborator who can help the client, agency, department, etc. meet professional goals.

• “You’re not a monkey with a pencil”-you are a partner and they need to know that you GET IT.


Components of Professionalism

• Branding: designing the image you want to project

• Appearance

• Professional Savvy

• Communication Skills (Speaking by Phone, Person, Skype, Writing, E-mail, Web, & Networking)



• Business Attire

• Hair, Nails, Teeth, Tattoos

• Hygiene

• Be perceived as a collaborator and a design-DON’T shock people and distract people with your appearance; Instead, attract them with your work and look as professional as possible when presenting it.


Professional Savvy

• Dress the part

• Think of yourself as a PARTNER

• Meet and greet with confidence

• Listen well (Hear beneath what they’re saying and get to the context of what they really want)

• Understand the client’s goal

• Take critical comments with grace


Communication Skills

• Approachable

• Listen Well

• Develop the ability to discuss your ideas and work in a compelling and understandable manner

• Don’t hang with the slang: Use proper English

• Use field terminology when appropriate

• Look people in the eye when you speak with them

• Unplug yourself

• Answering message

• Email Address

• Email as a formal mode of communication


The Ultimate Skill

• Networking (Face to face): making contacts with all types of people (your sphere and their sphere) to forward your professional career and also to be able to provide assistance to someone else

• Know how to give a correct, firm, and professional handshake (very important in face to face networking)

• Elevator speech: talk of your credentials and what you did during your school time


No Need To Wait


• Targeted

• One page

• Error Free

• Attractive but not over-designed


• Research Company

• Anticipate and prepare for questions

• Power Greeting

• What to Expect

• What to Wear


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