The largest event in the NGD community is NGDX, and it is now 9 days behind us.
It featured the best of the best in the creative world like Kelechi Amadi, NGD co founder and Market Guru Daniel Emeka and homeboys from the NGD universe, Victor Ajala, and Juliet Godwin.
Several nuggets of wisdom were dropped at NGDX23; you can catch the action on YouTube, but in this article, we dive into 5 nuggets too good to let go.
We feel these nuggets should be recapped to give creatives a strong sense of direction going into 2024.
Some of these nuggets aren’t new, i.e., you’ve heard them before, while some, like the marketplace nuggets as unveiled by NGD CEO and co founder Laolu Obende, are hot new features you should know.
5 Nuggets Revealed At Ngdx 2023:
- Uniqueness is the new design skill.
- Purpose is attractive in 2024.
- Prove your design thinking.
- Make your business investment-worthy.
- The Marketplace is here.
These nuggets boosts your design career in 2024, and we break them down below.
Let’s dive in.
1. Uniqueness Is The New Design Skill.
NGDX featured speakers from fields like marketing, film, and graphic design.
But despite the diverse fields, most speakers, like photographer Kelechi Amadi, filmmaker Malik Afegbua, and marketing director Kunle Adenmosun, hinted at a crucial feature creatives should possess in 2024 – uniqueness.
What is uniqueness according to NGDX?
The approach to design work is what uniqueness was themed at NGDX23.
Kelechi Amadi explains how hard work and deep thinking create exceptional and eye-catching artworks as opposed to ordinary or ‘just there’ works.
We also find uniqueness in Malik Afegbua’s session through his use of artificial intelligence to generate artwork in contrast to traditional forms of art like photography or graphic design.
While everyone’s dancing to Photoshop, step into the less-explored ways of expressing creativity.
Ulu from the NGD community did this and narrated his decision to dove into video content. According to him, homeboy Ajala Victor dominated the NGD community with brand identity designs, and he sought a niche few designers explored. In the community, Ulu discovered that his niche was video content, and he churned out video content instead of graphics.
Take Home: In 2024, the crowded formats will be more crowded.
You can stand out from the crowd by diving into a field fewer people pay attention to and thrive as you grow.
Here are the top forms to look out for in 2024:
- Video content with AI
- Social media content creation
- Image generation with artificial intelligence.
Avoid entering these fields with the aim of ‘dominating’ or seeking fame.
The next nugget below tells you the power of a genuine reason for creating.
2. Purpose Is Attractive In 2024.
Want to get interviewed by the biggest TV stations on the globe and work on dream jobs without hustling for them? Someone is doing that now… Malik Afegbua of the Elder series is currently engaged with top names like Marvel Studios, Cadbury, and IBM for his skill in utilizing AI to create works of art.
But Malik didn’t start with the goal of working with top brands. His goal was a selfless one of representing Africans in a better light by creating photographs where Africans were noble, wealthy, and sophisticated, in comparison to derogatory works.
This purpose brought forth the Elder series, a work posted on Instagram and picked up by broadcasting networks like CNN, winning notable interviews.
So what’s purpose : Purpose is the ‘why’ behind a work. The ‘why’ you design, the ‘why’ you polish your skills, the ‘why’ you deserve to earn huge figures.
The less ‘why’ you have as a designer, the less your innate purpose, and ultimately the less impact your works create.
Possessing a greater why is a springboard to creating valuable works too important to be ignored.
Take Home: Stop thinking about money or fame and work from a place of purpose.
Kunle Adenmosun also confirmed this at the conference by stating how AI now gives clients the power to do what creatives do.
This means clients won’t approach you in 2024 because of your skill. They approach because you possess a ‘why’ that makes your work valuable or adds value to their business.
How to find your why in 2024:
- Interact more to get insights into the various problems your creativity can solve.
- Appreciate design thinking.
- Put purpose before goals.
- Be user-focused.
- Reflect some more!
3. Build Trust To Win Clients.
Most designers struggle to answer or solve the question of how to land clients , more designers might quit shop in 2024 if no answer is found.
The result of seeking how to land clients is frustration or a lack of decent pay to justify why you should continue your craft at all.
Luckily, Daniel Emeka offered a remedy in his trust-building session by proving this hidden fact: You don’t have to look for clients if you show honesty and build trust.
What’s honesty according to NGDX 2023? : A demonstration of how design work is arrived at, a proof that you didn’t stumble upon a final artwork but progressed towards it.
In 2024, with thousands of graphic designers to choose from, clients are spoiled with options.
An attractive feature will be designers who show deep thinking and originality in their portfolios.
Daniel took attendees through a previous work where from pencil shades, digital artworks were created. By detailing his thought process, Daniel shows how his final artwork was arrived at and his ability to develop original work.
Take Home: Prove honesty in your portfolios, and clients will definitely seek you out.
How to build trust in 2024:
- Use the Google Image search test to prove your unique work
- Use tools to document your process.
- Use disclaimers if uploaded works are pure imitations.
- Tell your story online.
4. Make Your Business Investment-worthy.
In 2023, startups raised over $848 billion in financing, and figures could explode next year.
A basic feature of startups is their investmentworthiness, i.e., the ability to be invested in.
In 2023, any business solution can attract the right investment if presented as a serious business capable of generating or increasing in value.
Graphic design businesses fall into this lot, but there’s a gap in the documentation process that hinders the ability of design businesses to attract funding or attract clients; Poor bookkeeping and credibility.
Trackeet co-founders delivered an investment nugget for designers to help document their process – free sales tools.
These tools, built to record automatically business transactions, are essential for designers desirous of scaling their businesses . Luckily the tool offered by Trackeet to the creative community is completely free for use.
Take home: In 2024, the need to offer credible books detailing the value of a business is a huge investment lure.
How to make your business investment-worthy:
- Use tools that offer your financial health at a go to investors
- Use tools to record business transactions
- use tools that offer free business account to create trus
Plus, the free tools described by Trackeet co-founders offer free business accounts to help present your business with that touch of credibility that builds trust and attracts clients.
5. The Marketplace is Here
The Marketplace is NGD’s latest creative product in the NGD ecosystem, revealed at the just concluded conference. It offers creative assets like stock video and images, motion graphic templates, and PSDs.
But while popular creative marketplaces like Shutterstock offer African content relatable to the West, e.g., African Americans, the marketplace by NGD or relevant to them. NGD’s CEO Laolu Obende teased the economic potential for African creatives , stating how the young and imaginative could finally start creating assets for sale rather than for fun. The economic importance of the release comes at a time when the creative economy is touted at a 100 billion dollar potential in Nigeria alone, requiring only commitment , and platforms with offerings such as this to to utilize this potential.
For creatives searching constantly for images depicting local African scenes, the creative marketplace is a lifesaver, as most assets like stock photographs or videos are works by Africans depicting local scenes… another advantage the platform offers to the continent.
Take Home: In 2024 marketing will be more tailored to audiences and local creative assets will hep this objective. Designers can easily achieve this in 2024 by purchasing creative assets on the marketplace.
You can find the following in the marketplace next year:
- Unique stock photos (free and paid)
- Color grading packs for African skin tones
- Helpful motion graphic templates
- InDesign and Adobe Illustrator templates.
- PSD files
Stay tuned for new releases on the marketplace.
Step into 2024 Fueled with the NGDX Spark.
The purpose of NGDX is the ignition of the creative spark in graphic designers. The first NGDX titled, finding X, revealed reasons for being creatives in the first place. This year’s liftoff is an elevation of design careers with tools and insights for performing better.
Luckily, NGDX is held around the close of the year to give creatives something to reflect on.
Above are the top 5 nuggets you can chew on as the year draws to a close.
Here’s a recap:
1. Be Unique – Explore new forms of creativity.
2. Be purpose-driven – Find a why.
3. Be trustworthy – Showcase your thought process.
4. Look professional – Use tools to look professional.
5. The Marketplace – Use Relevant stock content.
Which of these smacked your mind the hardest? Let us know in the comment section