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Where Should I Start?

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  • Where Should I Start?

    So basically I am trying to get into graphics/logo design. I have pretty good knowledge of photoshop, and I am still learning about how to use illustrator. I am not a very good artist or drawer, so I got my friend to help draw the mascots. Should I keep having him drawing, and me editing? Or would it be better going solo, and learning how to draw? Thanks, all comments are appreciated!

  • #2
    Knowing how to draw is an advantage, but not really necessary. I've been in graphic design for nearly 18 years and I cannot draw a straight line.

    This is why there are tools like Illustrator and Photoshop (and InDesign).

    It helps though if you see things as shapes, rather than as one whole design. When you see it as a shape you can then see curves and lines and mimic those using the tools available to you.

    Type can be converted to shapes and manipulated.

    I'm no logo designer, but I'd start by taking a look at the logos of popular companies and trying your hand at redesigning them. The idea is to capture the spirit of the company (or the idea) behind the logo. If you can do that, your logo designs will be effective.

    Keep it simple. The most popular and well known logos are simple. Adding complexity just for complexity's sake or because it 'looks cool' is not a good reason. If it works for what you are trying to get across then great. Otherwise it's just something tacked on that distracts from the effectiveness of the design.

    Remember, you aren't trying to design a logo for the sake of design. You're trying to design a logo that says something about the company.
    Erik Youngren Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
    2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5


    • #3
      I do a lot of logo design, but I generally don't do illustrative style or mascots because my drawing skills just aren't where they need to be. That's sort of a sub-classification of logos. That said, I am practicing drawing so I can expand my range -- but I do expect that it will take quite some time of regular practice and skill-building to digitize more complex images.

      I don't think there's anything wrong with teaming up -- an illustrator isn't always the best designer and visa versa. But it really can't hurt for you to learn how to draw, it will only serve you well if you plan to do logo design.

      First thing's first though -- master illustrator. Don't do logos in Photoshop. And work on learning foundational things -- what makes a good logo? What is the importance of branding/identity? What makes a good composition, color palette, typography? Mastering the software is the technical side of things, just a tool.
      Last edited by EC; 05-20-2017, 02:13 AM.
      You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on. --GWB


      • #4
        Logo design is not the easiest segment of the graphic design industry.
        And, logo design does not exist in a vacuum. There is far more to a brand experience than just the logo, and the designer that doesn't understand this is not ready to be offering services.

        When you offer logo design services, you are selling a commodity to a client whose entire business revolves around your professional ability to deliver a mark that is effective and properly executed. There are standards to the actual physical creation of a logo that make it easy for the client to have it reproduced in just about any method possible. Even the basic wireframe in Illustrator is part of the equation. Logos are not created in Photoshop as a general rule because doing so makes them difficult to reproduce. Yes there are exceptions, but unless you are working for the likes of X-Box, best to do it completely vector format.

        Not only are the mechanics of the design important, so are your color applications. Again, there are standards used to keep company branding consistent across all output media from web, to company letterhead, to sales collateral, to billboard and beyond. If you don't have the experience in the industry to know what those standards are and how to create a brand standard that goes along with your logo design then you aren't ready to be offering design services.

        Then there is the whole part of the logo not being created in a vacuum. What sort of business is the client running? A logo might look good on a computer screen or printed out on a piece of photo paper in a desktop inkjet, but what happens when they take it to a sign shop to have a building sign made, or a pylon sign slat, or their paper bags printed, or their uniforms embroidered, or their product silk screened? Photoshop doesn't work for any of those items. There are things you can do in Illustrator that also won't work for any of those items. ie Illustrator has transparency and raster effects that do not scale well and do not necessarily work as intended when used in the Real World. Might look great on screen, but if you can't output it, or it takes ''heroic efforts'' (read $$$) to get the file to print, then you do your client a disservice.

        As for a designer not knowing how to draw, this will have an effect on your career. A designer may not need to know how to draw a straight line but a designer does absolutely need to know how to ''see.'' Learning to draw is the most definitive way out there to learn how to ''see.'' What I mean by ''see'' is learning to recognize the visual relationships between objects, the ideas of scale and perspective, hierarchy, light and dark, light source, etc. And of course it helps immeasurably when doing even the most minimal of photo retouching. For instance, the simple matter of adding drop shadows to objects in a design to represent depth. Do you make them all the same size or do you vary them? Do you have them all going in the same direction (light source) and if not why not (''because it didn't fit on the page'' is not a correct answer.)
        Knowing how to see is just as important in logo design, especially in terms of hierarchy and the relationship of objects to one another.

        If you really want to learn to draw for real, I highly recommend picking up the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and going through the whole thing, no skipping chapters or lessons because they sound dumb. The lessons do sound dumb, but you will be amazed at the results. Once you learn the basics of seeing, it just takes practice practice practice. If you develop a style, dig into more about that style as practiced by others. Look at what they do to make their art better.
        There is no Easy Button.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 05-20-2017, 12:28 PM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Powdski View Post
          So basically I am trying to get into graphics/logo design. I have pretty good knowledge of photoshop, and I am still learning about how to use illustrator. I am not a very good artist or drawer, so I got my friend to help draw the mascots. Should I keep having him drawing, and me editing? Or would it be better going solo, and learning how to draw? Thanks, all comments are appreciated!
          Why do you want to start doing this, and how old are you?

          I could be wrong, but it sounds like you might be high school age, and wanting to just do artwork. This is totally fine, and with practice, four years of college and enough experience, you just might make a career out of this if that's where you want to go.

          If you think, however, that knowing a bit about Illustrator and Photoshop means you're up to the task of designing professional-quality work that businesses need and will pay you big dollars to get, you're almost certainly mistaken. Learning the software is the easiest part of being a designer. The hardest part is learning and mastering the judgment necessary to make good design decisions, and that only comes through years of education and experience.

          If on the off chance that you're also thinking about joining the ranks of all the other high school kids trying to make spending money on contest websites putting together stuff for the naive people who pay small sums of money for the junk they get, well, good luck. You might have fun for a while doing it, but you're unlikely to make anything other than pocket change. You won't learn anything from it either, except for a bunch of bad habits.

          If all you want to do is mess around putting together odds and ends for your own amusement, your friends and an occasional school project, great. I don't want to discourage you; I did much the same thing in high school. In the end, though, making a career in this professional field, if that's where you decide to go, pretty much requires a whole lot of work, more than a little talent, 4 years of design school, internships at various agencies, lots of stubborn perseverance and a whole lot of luck.

          If I've totally misjudged the situation and you're a 30-year-old thinking of a career change by transitioning into designing logos for business clients, um, really, you should know better than that.


          • #6
            Hi Powdski and Eyoungren and welcome to GDF.

            We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
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