Jump to content
aberdeen-music
Sign in to follow this  
framheim

Graphic Design

Recommended Posts

Yo, I'm trying to learn a bit about graphic design and so i'm trying to learn a bit about flash and illustrator. anyone got any handy tips? any sites or tutorials which are really useful? any books that i simply must get? or you can just link to some inspiring examples if you like.

I also use photoshop and quark xpress. I'm a fairly advanced photoshop user when it comes to editing photos but are there other things it can do on the graphic design front that perhaps i'm not aware of? any tips for quark? is indesign better?

there's no real reason for this other than self-development and it'll look better on my cv to be at least partly capable in these packages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Getting into vector graphics?

I find wikipedia an excellent resource for finding out terms and techniques to search for and Instructables - The World's Biggest DIY & How To Show & Tell

trying to, thought my lack of drawing skill would be a drawback but the ease of editing in illustrator makes up for such things.

thanks for the links!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my advice (and this isn't the practical "how to learn a new program" thing), but if you are going to learn graphic design, you have to live it...

be aware of everything you look at (grpahics etc)...you've got a great photographic eye, so apply that sense of composition, colour and balance to your work...

looking at other's work, whether you like it or not, will inform your practice (contextualising it)...

you can reflect on your work through others, and self assessment (critical evaluation).

know WHAT you like, and WHY you like it.

look at billboards, magazines, tv ads everything...get a favourite font!

you've got to live it to be one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At home I use Photoshop CS3, and Quark primarily, at work I use Photoshop CS2, Adobe Illustrator, and Indesign. A favourite font is definitely a good idea, I've always liked arial which is quite dull but does what it says on the tin. A mix of photoshop and illustrator is best for artwork, depending on whether you're drawing from scratch or manipulating pre-existing images. If you can draw a scanner is good as its often a good idea tio draw the design on paper. scan it in and then touch it up and add to it on photoshop. I'm not a trained graphic designer but have been doing it for 7 or 8 years now just by virtue of self teaching myself and building up a portfolio.

Cheers

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my advice (and this isn't the practical "how to learn a new program" thing), but if you are going to learn graphic design, you have to live it...

be aware of everything you look at (grpahics etc)...you've got a great photographic eye, so apply that sense of composition, colour and balance to your work...

looking at other's work, whether you like it or not, will inform your practice (contextualising it)...

you can reflect on your work through others, and self assessment (critical evaluation).

know WHAT you like, and WHY you like it.

look at billboards, magazines, tv ads everything...get a favourite font!

you've got to live it to be one!

couldn't agree more.

If you're familiar with photoshop then Illustrator wont take a massive amount of time to get to grips with in terms of interface. CS2 & CS3 now allow you to use many photoshop features (filters, layer effects etc) in illustrator too. On top of this I'd maybe suggest getting to grips with InDesign rather than Quark. I know a lot of studios that use Quark but IMHO InDesign is better and as it's adobe it works with AI and PSD files with a bit less hassle. It also has a great preflight feature which is very handy (dunno if Quark has this?) For type design I've only used Fontshop but it seems pretty good and Adobe AfterEffects is a great tool for animation/video/title sequences etc. Personally I can't stand Flash but it is a good tool. At the end of the day you can be 100% versed in all of these programs and still be a crap designer so take LePeepe's advice and try to keep your eyes open. Suspend your judgement and just produce idea after idea. The more you have the more you can edit through.

bookwise, there's a big difference between inspiration and tuition. I'd recommend checking out analogue books in Edinburgh. They've got a great selection of books online. A good textbook on Grid systems will be of great use to you as would a concise history of typography if you're thinking of designing your own typefaces/layouts. It might sound silly but I've always found if a book is well designed itself then the content is usually worth listening to. Avoid anything that claims to be "the ultimate graphic design resource" like the plague. It's far too big a subject to cover in one book.

I can highly recommend these studios/authors:

Adrian Shaughnessy

Daniel Eatock

Non-Format

Experimental Jetset

Designers are Wankers

North

Spin

Robert Bringhurst

Finally, the web is a great resource for just looking at other peoples work, from student to professional work. Analysing the work of your contemporaries will be of just as much use as reading someone else's opinion. At the end of the day it's YOUR design work, no-one else's so it's important to be confident in what you like and why you like it. Technically there's not a right and wrong so learn to trust your gut instinct. Also, don't be scared to take inspiration from other art forms and music, no-one can produce a brand new radical idea from nothing. As long as you're not ripping anyone off, nobody will ever mind you taking their ideas as a starting point to develop in your own style.

sorry, that was a rant, I just love graphics and hope that over time you'll develop the same feelings for it. It is a genuinely modern, relevant art-form and one that allows you to cross many boundaries into other specialisms (photography, animation, sculpture, crafts etc). I wish you the best of luck. :up:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a subject I'd so like to get into for helping with my site design, banners ads etc. Hard to know where to start really. ?(

Some great poster designs on here sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a subject I'd so like to get into for helping with my site design, banners ads etc. Hard to know where to start really. ?(

Some great poster designs on here sometimes.

get a book on grid systems. sounds dull but it'll make your site easier to navigate, more consistent between pages, better looking and easier to design (after the initial difficult bit of learning about the grid).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you do, get a font manager instead of installing tons of fonts - it's quicker to preview fonts and doesn't slow down the system. Linotype fontexplorer X is the best one I've found but at the moment their PC version isn't online as it's just out of beta. It's also free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
my advice (and this isn't the practical "how to learn a new program" thing), but if you are going to learn graphic design, you have to live it...

be aware of everything you look at (grpahics etc)...you've got a great photographic eye, so apply that sense of composition, colour and balance to your work...

looking at other's work, whether you like it or not, will inform your practice (contextualising it)...

you can reflect on your work through others, and self assessment (critical evaluation).

know WHAT you like, and WHY you like it.

look at billboards, magazines, tv ads everything...get a favourite font!

you've got to live it to be one!

This is very true. Around the start of the 00's I was heavily into web design....the theory behind it was easy but my presentation was shit. So i got into graphic design and acted in a very similar manner...I was then able to design things which i thought looked great, but I could no longer code. Then a change of job and I could do neither. Obsessions are good....but the second you turn your back on something like that, it goes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks so much for the response folks, very helpful indeed. at the moment it's just for fun and to help develop my style and general skillsbase. a bit of cross-platform action never hurt anyone so i figure if i can develop some graphic design skills as well as continuing to develop as a photographer i'll be all the better for it. plus photography and graphic design seem to be converging artforms anyway.

a site which i've found particularly useful since starting out is BLUE VERTIGO | Web Design Resources Links

it's a resource site which lists tons of places to get brushes, textures, vectors, fonts and stock photography for non-commercial use. great for practicing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Adobe Elements Range, cheaper but with much the same features

i've used elements and photoshop and frankly elements just doesn't cut it if you want professional standard images. it's great for learning and for basic adjustments but photoshop and the other full version programmes just work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Learn List

I'd recommend subscribing to Computer Arts as well, they give out free CDs with every issue often containing pretty decent tutorials and basic training for things like Illustrator from the site lynda.com for example, as well as 100 free stock photos etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...