#WinningWednesday Roundup: 10 Talented Designers and Their Industry Advice

By Kathleen Burns , Jul 9 2014
Talented Designers

Featured Image: Unplash/Frame Harirak

What do you do when you know several fabulous and talented designers, and you feel the rest of the world deserves to see them too? Our blog decided to create Winning Wednesday, a series that showcases one designer every week and includes samples of the designer’s work, their industry tips, and their journey to becoming a graphic designer.

After several months of posting about these talented designers and their stories, it felt only right that we collect them all and create a roundup post to pass on their interesting advice in one place.  We hope that the advice these designers shared is helpful to you on your own journey as a graphic designer.

Sometimes all you need is the right advice at the right time!

Meet Our Featured Designer X-Pert

Our first Winning Wednesday post featured a brilliant designer going by the handle “X-Pert”.

X-pert had always been interested in art, but after his pursuit to earn a Bachelors of Computer Science degree, pressure to get a decent job to support his family came crashing down on him. Buckling down to find work, he found he had trouble getting hired at design firms. Looking for something to earn a paycheck, he turned to platforms such as ZillionDesigns and quickly rose in the ranks as a top designer.

He started with designing letter heads, and from there he graduated to business cards, envelopes, and logo design, although his real specialty is in stationery design. X-pert is thankful for the opportunity to work with so many professionals and for being recognized as one. Receiving star-ratings have become a high that he experiences almost every day.

X-Pert's Advice for Designers

Down the Beaten Path with Radu

Radu Nicolae-Pindaru from Romania – a dreamer, designer, architect and businessperson, all rolled into one.

Radu-2When Radu graduated 10 years ago from school, he worked on many architectural projects. Designing structures like medical buildings, sports halls, and offices is his major passion. He would create amazing structures, however he had a wandering spirit and felt it was time to try using his graphic and visual skills on something other than architecture. He experimented in the graphic design field as a hobby, but it soon became a part-time job!

Radu’s determination is something to be admired! Every day he has to push to come up with ideas for logo designs, web design, product packaging, and more.  He has found his largest challenge is keeping up with the rest of the designers on the ZillionDesigns platform because he competes against the most seasoned designers who have been in the industry for years.

Radu's Advice for Designers

Radical Design Ideas with Marcelo

Marcelo is the type of designer that needs to start with a pen and paper in his hand and away from the computer. Marcelo-dogs

Marcelo looks intimidating with his tattooed arm, but add dogs to the picture and he looks more approachable. His personality is what drew us to feature him in our series! As one of our brand ambassadors, he is a designer who speaks his mind – logical, reasonable and passionate about the designing profession and industry, his words help enrich the designers’ community. 

Don’t let his looks fool you, Marcelo has the sharp mind of a marketing executive. He’s worked with several large companies as Marketing Manager; he’s fully aware of what is needed to make a brand work; what consumers like; and what clients really need to do to attract them. With his background shaping his skills, he has become a professional and knowledgeable brand graphic designer. 

Marcelo's Advice for Designers

A Designer’s Tale of Success

For years Adam struggled to figure out what he really wanted out of his life.

Logic told Adam that a career in art was not going to make him money. He tried other jobs such as a pizza delivery boy and more to bring home some money for a while, until he realized he wasn’t happy. He wants to immerse himself in creative art! He decided that following your passion made your life more fulfilling and changed his field. He started experimenting with graphic design and soon found himself at ZillionDesigns.

Now Adam can’t think of any other career path that would be more gratifying! 

He knows that the design field has its up and downs. Some clients will value quality and creative work, while others would just pick a redundant copied graphic passed on as original work by some designer. He finds every project can be a challenge, and they all have a learning curve. He feels all that he has to do is embrace it and go with the flow.

Adams's Advice for Designers

Life Begins After 40

designer, illustratorKathryn McHugh Van Horn is a woman who’s not afraid to take  inspiration from her surroundings, refine it, expand upon it and claim it for her own.

Back in 2009, Kathryn became a victim of economic recession, and crushed by unemployment. But she wasn’t going to let that hold her back, and  her passion for beautiful things propelled her into the design field!

Kathryn realizes, like any other profession, graphic design also has its own set of challenges. Contest holders have bad days; some will not have a clue about what they want; some clients lack communication skills or are unwilling to communicate. She won’t let that hold her back. She’s determined to be successful.

Kathryn is also a well-known member of our community!  If she is not at her desk working on a concept, she can be found on Facebook giving her two cents to other designers having difficulty with the platform.

Kathryn's Advice for Designers

Destined to Love Graphic Design

Sumera Khan, known primarily by her handle “AbsolutMudd”, gained her appreciation of graphic design from childhood while watching animated cartoons.

Image source: zilliondesigns.com

Getting involved on ZillionDesigns and staying on the platform part luck, and skill. Back in 2010, Sumera submitted two design drafts for a project called Red Rover, but soon deleted the account when she wasn’t satisfied with the concepts. However, a week later, she received an email alert about her winning logo design! 

Sumera’s skill grew over time. She admits commercialized design concepts are quick money, easy to create, and requires less conceptual work and skills. You just have to know how to pick a project. 

David Airey is her inspiration. His design style, theory, logic, concepts and ideas on brand designs fascinate her and she tries to live up to him. 

Sumera's Advice for Designers

You Know You’re a Retro Designer When…

mary's designMary is a logo designer and knows how frustrating it is to design for clients.

Mary became a designer because she found it difficult to rely on someone to create small art work when she creates her own running a small sticker/label shop.

Image source: zilliondesigns.com

She’s found her largest struggle is with clients who will choose logo designs which they think are “out of the box” when in reality, the ideas are either overly-used designs or have absolutely nothing to do with their business. When she started she had to use different techniques to please the customer and say the right things, and this has helped her make the little changes in her designs to keep the customers happy and win contests.

Mary adores everything vintage such as gas station signs, brewery, post-war type of retro designing, and is always working to improve her skills in this area.

Mary's Advice for Designers

Conquering the Logo Design World

Sheraz-KhanSheraz Khan a talented designer at ZillionDesigns.com and his journey towards becoming a designer is chaotic, yet rewarding and inspiring for designers around the world.

While Sheraz was at school, he didn’t have a clue what to do with his life except that he has to attend classes. It wasn’t until after college that someone passed along the advice to try the graphic design field.

He enrolled in a design school, learned the basics and experimented some more on his own. And the more he experimented, the more he discovered; the more he discovered, the more he felt confident with his design. While he does illustration, stationery, and website design too, his primary love remains logo designs.

Sheraz's Advice for Designers

A Walk on the Wild Site

Alocelja Designer with FamilyKnown by his handle “Alocelja”, this designer is an artist and an iconic and illustrative logo designer. He finds his inspirations in the most unlikely places – his family.

Alocelja stepped into the crowdsourcing graphic design world and found it was exciting and exhilarating compared to a boring desk job. Competing against a world of designers with varying calibers and skills is something that fuels his interest. After 10 contest winnings,  he  decided to become a freelance designer and leave the office lifestyle.

To him, every designer has weaknesses and strengths. It’s his/her own prerogative to excel in unique design, style or trademark to overcome the weaknesses. 

Alocelja's Advice for Designers

Every Artist Was First an Amateur

Muhammad Tariq goes by the pseudo name of “StarDesigns” on ZillionDesigns.com.

Mohammad-TariqMuhammad had aspirations to sketch cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Goofey or Tweety Bird. However his family had different ideas, and quickly squashed those dreams with reality at an early age. Painting, drawing, and sketching were a “waste of time”, according to them. But when times grew difficult, he had to shoulder some of the financial burden for the family and started working in the design industry.

He started as a humble helper at a printing press company when he was in 9th grade and grew in skill when he gained some basic knowledge of Freehand and some help from the wedding card composer.  From there on, it was easy to learn designing wedding cards, logo designing, and now all forms of graphic designs!

Muhammad's Advice for Designers

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Kathleen is a New Jersey blogger with an interest in brand design and a passion for graphic design, illustration, and social media. She loves to deliver inspiration to others to give them the means to achieve their branding and design goals.


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