Social media is one of the greatest inventions of the modern computing world. There are so many networks to choose from and ways to keep us connected. The improvements in communication have allowed us to create daring projects and collaborate with people who live both in our communities and around the world. While there are several social networking platforms, I’ll be focusing on the advantages of Pinterest today.

Pinterest is primarily a search engine, but it has some very useful social features. Think of Pinterest as Google, but with pictures. As graphic designers, we can appreciate the appeal of a visual layout. Looking through search results in a visually pleasing way can be very enticing. It’s easy to see why people are more inclined to make purchases from pins that are displayed in their home Pinterest feed.

As designers, we can harness the power of Pinterest to improve our designs and gather new viewpoints and fresh experiences. Here are some tips for getting the most out of Pinterest as a graphic designer.

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1. Follow Other Designers

When you visit pinterest.com you’re taken to your personal feed of recommended pins. These recommendations are comprised of pins that are posted from accounts that you follow, as well as some pins that Pinterest thinks you’ll like based on your past activity. By following other designers, you can not only get some inspiration from their work, but you are also telling Pinterest that this is the type of content that you would like to see more of in your feed. As you follow more and more designers that you like, Pinterest will start to become more customized and show you similar accounts. Having a constant stream of inspiration can be a huge help when you’re stuck, or you have creator’s block. The inspiration you get from looking through your Pinterest feed can also give you some new ideas for projects you’d like to work on, or things you’d like to create.

2. Connect With Other Designers

After you’ve had some time to follow the designers that inspire you, it’s time to start connecting with those designers. Remember, Pinterest isn’t only a search engine. It’s also a social network. You can use the messaging and commenting features to reach out to other designers. You can also click on their pins to visit the website associated with the pin. Many designers pin their portfolio pieces as well as work from other designers and design companies. You can visit the link of a pin to see where it came from and who designed it. You can then start looking for a contact form or social media links to reach out to that designer. There are so many awesome designers out there who would love to connect with you. These connections can lead to more inspiration, potential collaborations, and even some future jobs.

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3. Share Your Designs And Portfolio Pieces

Just as you can gather inspirations from other designers, they can gather inspiration from you too! The graphic design community is all about sharing, uplifting and inspiring each other. There are tons of websites in existence for sharing your portfolio pieces, but no other website has the exposure and large user base of Pinterest. I encourage you to keep posting to websites like Behance and DeviantArt but share a link to your work on Pinterest as well. The benefit to sharing your work on Pinterest is that the Pinterest platform is more universal. It will give the biggest number of people the chance to see your work and provide you with some useful feedback. Since you can share a link to any website by using Pinterest, there’s no reason not to share your Portfolio pieces on the website.

Pinterest is an excellent tool for improving your graphic design skills. Designers can gather inspiration, connect, network, collaborate and even find paying work. Most importantly, you can engage with a community of like-minded people by commenting on the links shared by others and visiting the different websites and pages attached to the pins you find on Pinterest. When used correctly, Pinterest can open new doors and lead to amazing possibilities for designers and other creatives. I encourage you to give it a try and see what incredible things you can create in your next project.

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