Dec 22, 2021

6 Ways to Improve Your Design Skills Over the Holidays

The holidays are coming up, and this is our last MONJI blog post of 2021!
Today we’d like to bring you some simple suggestions for how to keep improving your design skills over your winter vacation.

Really look at the designs around you

Graphic design is everywhere! From the label of that box of Christmas cookies in your pantry, to the website that you used to order a present for your cat, we are surrounded by designs every day, but we often don’t take the time to really examine them. Really look at the design. What sort of layout are they using? How much margin space is there around the various elements? How are they using font size to convey the importance of different sections of information? What things did they do well? What things could be improved upon?

Read a book or magazine

The chilly weather and continuing need for social distancing means that this holiday season is the perfect time to stay cozy at home and read up about design. Take some time to sit down and really look at those books collecting dust on your shelf, or take a trip to your local bookstore or library (after all, we all need to get out of the house once in a while) and pick up a new book to check out.

Take inspiration from other sources

Other graphic designs and websites don’t need to be your only source for design inspiration. Sometimes great new ideas can come to you through movies or art. You might even find some inspiration from getting out into the natural world. Keep your eyes peeled and jot down any ideas that come to you in a notebook so you can reference them later when you’re feeling at a loss for ideas.

Follow design accounts on social media or subscribe to design blogs

The more you see good designs, the more ideas it will give you to draw from when creating your own designs. Keeping up with accounts like this on a regular basis can be a good way to stay updated on current trends and sneak a little extra study time into your everyday life.

Trace designs for practice

Tracing is often seen as a bad thing in the western world, but here in Japan, design students and illustrators know that it’s one of the fastest ways to improve your skills. Start with a design that you like, and then try to recreate it (in Illustrator, XD, Figma, or even with coding) as closely as you possibly can.

As long as it’s only for your own practice, and you don’t copy anyone’s designs in your work or post them online, this is a great way to more deeply understand what makes a good design good.

Ask someone for feedback

It can be useful to get opinions from a fresh viewpoint. Ask someone what they think, and encourage them to really give constructive criticism. To make it easier for them to share what they think, you could even use MONJI to make it easy for them to point out some of the points that they think you could improve upon.

Don’t forget that MONJI is free to use for anyone, not only designers! They can make an account at


The end of the year is always a busy time, both for companies and in our personal lives. Make sure to rest up and stay healthy so you can avoid burnout and start off 2022 with a full battery.



Thank you all for reading our blog this year, and we hope you’ll continue to enjoy our articles in 2022!

Take care, and we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.



The MONJI Team

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