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Week 4 Discussion – Developing Your Design Presence

Week 4 Discussion – Developing Your Design Presence

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Initial post due by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. (MT of Week 4
Two replies due by Saturday, 11:59 p.m. (MT) end of Week 4 (60 pts)

Due Dates and Participation Requirements

Learning Objectives Covered

  • LO 03.02 – Discuss the importance of maintaining a professional graphic design presence

Career Relevancy

In this discussion, we will discuss the importance of establishing a professional network and presence as a graphic designer. This is relevant to your career as a professional graphic designer because if you do not have a presence in digital spaces as a graphic designer, you most likely won’t be found by clients. Potential employers also will most likely scour the web looking for information on you to see examples of your work before considering to hire you, thus your digital presence can also become a way you might be “interviewed.”

In addition, when beginning in graphic design much work comes via word of mouth. By cultivating a professional network of design contacts, you have a larger field of contacts who are much more likely to recommend you to clients and keep their eyes open for projects that might be a good fit for your skills.



Graphic designers most often help others build their own personal brand and digital presence. That said, it is equally important that designers themselves have a strong personal brand including a professional graphic design presence.

The following five reasons outline why maintaining a professional presence is particularly important:

  1. Stand out from the crowd
  2. Position yourself as an expert
  3. Show professional commitment
  4. Set expectations
  5. Build connections

Stand out from the crowd
The graphic design world is extremely competitive. Maintaining a personal presence helps you showcase your unique abilities and qualifications. This helps to set you apart from the thousands of other designers out there. In addition, showcasing your unique abilities helps clients find what they are looking for and ensures that you both are a good fit to work together.

Position yourself as an expert
Showing that you know how to effectively market yourself and showcase your own presence as a designer increases your credibility as a designer because it shows that you know how to practice what you preach. By being an expert in your own personal promotion, clients know that they can trust you to apply the same care to their brand and needs.

Show professional commitment
Having an established personal graphic design presence as a professional shows that you are committed to your work and the field of design. A sense of stability helps to increase trust within the client relationship because clients know they can work with you long term on their brand or project needs.

Set expectations
Using your graphic design presence to showcase your own unique style and abilities means that you can give clients a sneak peek into who you are and how you work before they even meet you. This is very valuable because it helps to clarify expectations and again build trust amongst you and your client.

Build connections
Your personal graphic design presence acts as a marketing and promotional tool that works around the clock, showcasing your skillset and capabilities. In this way, you never know who may come across your work. Other designers may see your projects, be interested, and ask you to work with them in a collaborative manner. Clients may see your projects, be interested, and ask you to work with them to develop a design piece they need. Opening the potential to these connections is key because you never know where they might lead.

The design world is extremely competitive. If you do not maintain a strong presence as a designer, you will quickly fade into the background and be passed over. On the other hand, if you consciously cultivate a presence as a professional designer you will most likely reap many benefits.


For this discussion, imagine again that you are attending a networking event with several other designers. In the course of a conversation, one of the designers mentions that they are not comfortable sharing their work with others thus they have no professional design presence, online portfolio, etc. They ask your thoughts on the subject.

  • How might you explain to other designers who are resistant to an online portfolio why maintaining a professional design presence is so important?
  • What benefits might you highlight and why would you highlight them?
  • How might you describe the current professional design world?
  • Why might someone be hesitant to maintain their presence and how might you help them become more comfortable?

For your citation, you might use articles that show examples of the importance of a graphic design portfolio. You can also find articles from experts that suggest how designers go about marketing themselves.

Your initial and reply posts should work to develop a group understanding of this topic. Challenge each other. Build on each other. Always be respectful but discuss this and figure it out together.

Instructions (if needed) to upload and embed images to the discussion: (make sure you reference all images you use)

Reply Requirements

Per the Due Dates and Participation Requirements for this course, you must submit 1 main post of 150+ words, 1 citation, and reference, as well as 2 follow-up posts of 50+ words. Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be your own words (no copy and paste), each reply unique (no repeating something you already said), and substantial in nature. Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time (20%) and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. (20% per post).

Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.

Click here for info on the Institution Writing Guidelines (IWG) if you have questions.


Task Benchmark Examples below

The files below are PDFs showing A-level work by fellow students. The examples are provided to illustrate the quality of work needed to get an A on this task. Copying from the samples is considered cheating. Use the examples to inform your plan to create your own work. Look at the pieces for writing quality, use of citations, weaving outside sources and the author’s position together, ability to meet the goals of the task, and cohesion.

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