With so many graphic designers now working on digital products, it’s important to understand that digital media has become the canvas upon which you design.

Graphic designers who can code are a hot commodity, constantly being headhunted by agencies and recruiters alike. Colloquially, designers who can code are often referred to as ‘unicorns’ because, just like a unicorn, they are both valuable and rare. That being said, by adding coding to your skillset, you can easily set yourself apart from other designers and make yourself invaluable to any team you join!

5 Reasons designers should learn to code

1. Launch your career

The demand for designers with coding skills, particularly HTML, CSS and Javascript, is already huge – and it’s only predicted to grow. While it can take up to seven months for a design graduate to find full time employment, learning to code will make you stand out from the crowd and help you join the workforce faster.

2. Expand your idea creatively

Understanding the medium you are working with, which in the digital world is often code, can help you make creative adjustments to your project. 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 to future employers

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, learning to code is still very beneficial because it allows you to liaise between creatives and developers – who often speak very different languages. Understanding what’s involved in the development of websites, and the terminology developers use when discussing their projects, makes you invaluable around the office.

5. Get shit done (save time and money)

Sometimes communicating your vision takes longer than just doing it yourself. The process of creating mockups, sending that to a developer, and then doing the whole back-and-forth thing – particularly where responsive design comes into play – can be a time consuming process. Bring your design full circle with coding skills and avoid all those costly and time-consuming emails.

Want to learn to code? Why not join us on an 10 day code retreat, and learn to code in Bali. Learn more here.