With so many graphic designers now working on digital products, understanding the digital media that has become the canvas is now essential.
Agencies and recruiters actively seek out graphic designers who can code, leading Monkia Nakamine of The Creative Group to assert that “if you are a designer with coding skills you are a hot commodity”. Colloquially, designers who can code are often referred to as ‘unicorns’ because just like a unicorn, they are both valuable and rare.
5 Reasons Designers Should Learn to Code
1. Boost your employability by expanding your skill set
2. Expand your idea creativity
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, really understanding the medium you are working with (which in the digital world is often code) can be an adrenaline shot of creativity. Just like a painter needs to understand the paint, the brushes and the canvas, a graphic designer needs to understand HTML and CSS. Approaching the design process with a solid understanding of how it will ultimately be built can help you explore new design possibilities you might never have otherwise considered.
3. Show off your non-technical skills
Learning to code is useful for more than just its practical applications … it also demonstrates to current and future employers, and to your co-workers that you have strong problem solving skills, analytical skills and attention to detail. When you show that you can push beyond your comfort zone and learn new skills, it clearly shows that will be able to learn and adapt to the future challenges presented to you.
4. Talk the Talk with developers
Even if you work at an agency that has a team of developers, and it’s unlikely you will ever be building websites on a regular basis, learning to code is still very beneficial because it puts you in the perfect position to be a liaison between creatives and developers who sometimes feel as though they are speaking different languages. Being able to understand what’s involved in the development of the sites you build, and understand the terminology developers use when discussing it makes you invaluable around the office.
5. Save time (and money!)
Have you ever felt like communicating your vision took longer than if you were just to build it yourself? The process of creating mockups, sending that to a developer, and then clarifying back and forth what is expected particularly where responsive design comes into play can be a time consuming process. Bring your design full circle, and you can avoid all those back-and-forth emails where it would have been quicker just to do it yourself.
Want to learn to code? Why not join us on an 10 day code retreat, and learn to code in Bali. Learn more here.
Written by: Tina May
Co Founder of Institute of Code