« Back to Blog October 20, 2015 | Design Career

Choosing a Niche to Gain Focus

Some of the best advice floating out on the internet for young designers is to only put work in your portfolio that you want to do more of. Find the work you want to do, and show the world you can do it.

I’ve found “my thing.” It’s something that people associate with me and I *want* to be associated with. But it was far from easy to settle on that one thing.

Deciding on a niche or a focus was incredibly difficult. It took a lot of time, thought, and work to evolve my focus to where it is now. I thought I was taking a huge leap when I decided to just focus on logos late last year. After designing about a dozen logos that turned into focusing on visual identity design. After completing a self-initiated branding project for a fictional brewery, my focus changed yet again into visual identity design for breweries.

Why breweries? It combines two of my favorite things, design and beer. Beer has a very rich design history, and the surge of craft breweries in the past few years means even more beautiful logos, labels, and visual identities need to be designed for them.

Choosing to focus on branding and visual identities for breweries and beer brands means I can focus all my efforts on becoming great at the one thing I really want to do. It may seem like I’m limiting myself, but it’s actually very freeing. I know exactly what kind of work I do. There is little guesswork when deciding on what kinds of projects I want to work on.

Even though I will only be sharing projects from my focus, I will still be working on projects outside of my niche. There’s no rule against that. (That I’m aware of at least.) I just won’t be sharing the work I do outside of my niche. Staying as focused as possible with what I share online is very important to me and I’ll be doing my best to continue that moving forward.

Think about the type of work in your portfolio and the work you’re doing right now. Now think about the kinds of work you’d like to be doing. Do those things match up?

If not, take the time to really think about what kind of work you want to continue doing and focus on that. It will be tough. You might miss doing things outside of the niche you choose, but know that having that focus means moving forward in a direction you choose. Control your own destiny. Choose a niche.

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