Every designer wants to be able to work faster, as time is valuable. Check out our 5 quick tips to help speed up your design process.

1. Save often-used graphics rather than recreating them

If you’re making a series of 12 Christmas cards, do you really want to create a snowflake and a Christmas tree 12 separate times? Of course not! While it’s not always acceptable to recycle graphics you’ve already designed, if you are finding yourself falling behind, having ready-made artwork can be a lifesaver.

2. Organize your files

It goes without saying that a little organization goes a long way, but so many people don’t seem to understand this. Having your jobs organized into their own folders makes things ten times easier to find. With my own work, I have a folder for each client, and within that folder, each project for that client, and within that project folder I have all the assets for that project. Sometimes I have to take it a step further because there are multiple versions or copies of a project, so I will usually attach a visible date to the file name.

3. Utilize your “Home” and “End” keys when typesetting

If you’re a regular user of InDesign or find yourself editing a high volume of text on a daily basis, these two keys will make a huge difference. I will admit, it took me some time to get used to using them, but now that I am, returning from my desktop keyboard to my Macbook’s keyboard (which lacks both of these buttons AND the number pad) slows me down immensely.

4. Create actions for often-performed tasks

In my current design position, I am required to remove backgrounds from clothing items hundreds of times per day. To speed this process along, I created an action in Photoshop that, once I have selected my background area, deletes the background so that it is transparent with just the click of a button. I also have an action to expand the bottom of my canvas by a percentage of the image size so that I have room to label each picture. You can create actions in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign alike, as well as in several other Creative Cloud programs.

5. Use multiple artboards for multiple concepts

If you are going to be showing a client 3 unique logo concepts, using multiple artboards will be helpful. You can design one logo per artboard, and then quickly export them as jpg proofs by checking the “use artboards” option in your save dialog box. This prevents you from having to create, name, and store 3 unique files, and then export or screenshot each one individually.

What do you do to speed up your design process? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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