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  • How to start?

    Hi boys & girls.

    I just wanted to try become a graphic designer.
    For now I know how to use photoshop (worked a lot with photography)
    All I need is good tutorial from beggining to Adobe: Illustrator & InDesign.
    And if possible some kind of homeworks.

    Don't asnwer "google it man... You have an internet right?"

    Thanks

  • #2
    Hi Limbov 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.

    Knowing the programs doesn't make you a designer. You need education on design principle, color theory, etc. For that, I would recommend college.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

    Comment


    • #3
      A balanced education will incorporate art history, criticism, aesthetics and technique/tools. Adobe's Classroom in a Book series is a good starting point for tools. The best way to get the other stuff is to sign up for classes.

      Comment


      • #4
        There should be far more focus on the business part of design.
        Design isn't pretty pictures. There's all kinds of theory put into the solutions you are creating for your clients so that their business is a success.
        And for freelancers, the whole business side of running a freelance business is often totally overlooked.

        Comment


        • salsa
          salsa commented
          Editing a comment
          Ooooh, this is such a good point. Even if someone never intends to be a freelancer, they really need understand that graphic designers are more closely connected to the business world than the art world. I think this is why a lot of graphic designers become disgruntled quickly.

        • LuckyMedia6
          LuckyMedia6 commented
          Editing a comment
          THIS! Exactly this.

      • #5
        Originally posted by limbov View Post
        All I need...
        There are countless people with 4-year graphic design degrees working in foodservice and retail. You might need slightly more than some beginner-level software tutorials.
        I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by limbov View Post
          All I need is good tutorial from beggining to Adobe: Illustrator & InDesign.
          And if possible some kind of homeworks.
          Damn! If I had only known this sooner, I could have saved a $100,000 and six years of my life on that stupid university design education, not to mention all those countless hours of underpaid internship work. Live and learn, I guess.


          Comment


          • #7
            There is so much more to graphic design than just knowing the programs. That said, if you want to simply learn adobe, places like Lynda.com will give you tutorials as well as youtube.

            Comment


            • #8
              I too have a similar question - trying to learn Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Is there an order in which to learn the software, like a curriculum? It's something hard to find online (free of charge that is), a hierarchy of steps in learning the basics or intermediate levels in Adobe software.

              I do not have the money to attend classes or do expensive degrees, hence trying to do it on my own, and thankfully there are numerous free tutorials left and right.

              The trouble with it is that watching a few random videos doesn't stick, while trying to do a practical project and looking for the answers as I go along can help, however sometimes it is hard to figure out what you're looking for or what the correct question to ask is, so a step by step guide to basic topics would be helpful.

              Many thanks.

              Jools

              Comment


              • #9
                Hi Jools 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.

                I learned Photoshop first, but only because that was the first program available for me to use. Illustrator came next, then PageMaker (precursor to InDesign). I learned by trial and error. I also learned these programs back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, so I had no online resources. I would say learn the program that appeals to you most first. I loved altering images, so learning Photoshop didn't seem like learning to me. Once you're comfortable with one program, you'll notice similarities with the others.

                But keep in mind that becoming proficient in computer programs will not make you a designer. You also need to learn about design itself. Many of us do most of our design work on paper and in our heads and don't touch a computer until we're ready to put together a final piece. You also need to study design principles, design theory, color theory, spatial relations, marketing, a little psychology never hurts, too. If you plan to freelance, you need to learn how to run a business. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but you will be in competition with other designers who know these things.
                Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

                Comment


                • Jools
                  Jools commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Photoshop 2.0, it figures why you speak of an era when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth :P

                  Thank you for the insightful comment, I have been and still am studying more than how to work with the Adobe software - principles of design, colour, typography, analysing visual art, what makes designs appealing, drawing, sketching etc.

                  I am aware that Graphic Design isn't as simple as some people believe it to be and I respect all the designers that put in hours (at uni and studying on their own) into this field. It really is complex and takes years and lots of practice (and patience) to become a good designer, if only GD degrees were a bit more affordable. That is why I was looking for a bit of advice here and yes, you're right about learning the software that I might relate to most - I have been doing a few tutorials and Illustrator has been my fav program so far.

                  If you don't mind, I would like to ask whether learning one or two programs very well is enough for a less demanding GD project? I am asking because I have seen projects where the designer starts in Illustrator, then uses Ps to edit a photo, which will later be used in AI again, then he might use After Effects or Lightroom for a different photo etc, hope I'm making sense. Which software is more than enough to help you digitally produce a good GD project?

                  Thanks, keep well!

                  Jools

                • KitchWitch
                  KitchWitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign regularly. Those three are all necessary and can all be used in one design, depending on the needs of the design. They all do different things well. Photoshop is for editing and working with photos. The work I do in Photoshop almost always ends up placed in InDesign or Illustrator.

                  Illustrator is primarily for creating and working with vector art (like logos) and can be used for pieces that are art-heavy and text-light, I use Illustrator for logo work and to create design elements that get placed in InDesign pieces.

                  InDesign is a layout program and is best used for text-heavy projects like books, menus, brochures, manuals, etc. I would say 95% of what I do is done in InDesign, but 95% of that work contains elements from either Photoshop or Illustrator.

                  But what you really need to produce a good design is a good designer. The tools you use only work as well as your skill, knowledge and creativity will allow them. I'm not sure if that answers your question. If you want me to say learn this one program and you can start being a designer, I can't answer that for you. If you enjoy Illustrator, work on learning that to start and see what you can come up with.

                • LuckyMedia6
                  LuckyMedia6 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I second your suggestion to learn marketing and psychology along with everything else. Graphic Design is, by nature, meant to convey persuasive messages to a target audience. Understanding what gets people to behave or think a certain way can be quite useful and powerful.

              • #10
                Originally posted by KitchWitch View Post
                I also learned these programs back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, so I had no online resources.
                Hah! Waxing reminiscent about a period in my life when a lot of time was spent reading software manuals cover-to-cover...at least twice.
                I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

                Comment


                • KitchWitch
                  KitchWitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I never read a manual, probably should have. Photoshop was installed on three computers at my college, and we had to sign up for time on the computer. I think it was Photoshop 2.0. Assignments were all still done on paper/paste-up.

              • #11
                This video always makes me laugh
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtA46JT2q_0

                I learned Illustrator first because my first internship involved making clip art for a trash and trinkets....er... schwag broker. This was before Internet and even pre-PhotoDisk. With Photoshop, I'm still in the ''use club as hammer'' level and continually looking up online tutorials to make it do what I want. Because you can never let the software limit your creativity. If you can't find a way to do something, there is a whole slew of things online to sort you out.

                InDesign came after years of using Quark. The trade over was [nearly] seamless and I've never looked back (well not unless a client sends me files in Quark...) The Quark manual is the only one I've read cover to cover, and only because I was to be a TA in the computer labe the following semester after Quark was installed at the college and I had to know how to use it.

                To learn Illustrator, back in version 5, Adobe sold a set of VHS tapes you could play along with. Best beginning step-by-step tutorials I'd ever seen. Too bad not available now. There is still Adobe TV, but you have to figure out what order to learn the stuff. I also had the Illustrator Bible for a few years. Is that Bible series still around? Helpful.

                Like Kitch said, no amount of learning programs will make you a designer. And there are a lot of bad things to be learned online. Adobe even has a nasty ''make a logo'' tutorial that I've written to complain about but it's still out there, teaching all you wannabees bad form. There is skill and a whole lot of theory involved.
                Last edited by PrintDriver; 07-10-2017, 09:46 AM.

                Comment


                • #12
                  I do have an artistic inclination and a love and flare for aesthetics, from drawing, sketching, photography and playing guitar to knitting (please don't laugh about the last one), I didn't just pick to study Adobe software and Graphic Design at random

                  I appreciate all your input guys, thanks!

                  Comment


                  • KitchWitch
                    KitchWitch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Even if it sounds like it, no one is trying to insult you. We get a LOT of new members who want to watch a couple videos, learn a couple tricks in Photoshop and start charging money for their design work. We try to give them a more realistic view of what GD is, and it often makes us sound old and snobby.

                    If this is your passion - pursue it. Learn everything you can, eat it all up. Practice like crazy. Anyone who wants you to do work for them for ''exposure'' isn't worth working for and you will always lose on that deal. Crowdsourcing websites are a bad idea, but we aren't usually real successful in getting people away from them. I don't know what your situation is, but if you can get a job in any level of the industry, do that. You will learn more on the job than you would in a classroom.

                  • Jools
                    Jools commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks Witch, all good, I also wanted to let you guys know that I'm aware of what it takes, the years of practice, learning, skills, eye for aesthetic etc.

                    It will be a long while before I start charging for this type of work and I would love to do an internship, unpaid even, just for some feedback, practice and a reference. I'll get there!

                • #13
                  Is there a way I can paste work I've done in order to get some feedback whether I'm on the right track or not? I think that's the one thing that could help learners better their skills, is input from professional designers.

                  Comment


                  • KitchWitch
                    KitchWitch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You can post your work in the Crit Pit or (since you're starting out) the Student Forum. We're a teeny bit nicer in the student forum. You'll get the most feedback if you post images of you work. The link feature doesn't work well. If you have a link, paste it in the body of the post. Or, upload your images to a hosting site and copy the IMG tag in your post so your images show up.

                  • Jools
                    Jools commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Witch, I'll do so! You're very helpful, thanks a mil and I look forward to your feedback once I post some work in the Student forum (will probably do it a little bit later today, tomorrow the latest). I've got about 7 different small projects, some of which have taken me a lot of trial and error, as you named it, lots of reading and searching, but I am more interested in how good or bad the concept (rather than the execution) is.

                    Many thanks again.

                    Jools

                • #14
                  I learned MacDraw first (1984) because it was the first thing of its kind on the first Mac (yeah, I go back before the dinosaurs to when trilobites ruled the earth). Next came Illustrator in, I think 1987, which we immediately bought, along with Aldus FreeHand in the next year. Photoshop came out in 1990, but by that time, I was in Adobe's beta release testing program, so I was using it in, I think, 1989.

                  I've not taken any classes or tutorials with any software. Everyone learns differently, I think, and I learn best just by jumping in and figuring it out. When I got stuck, I'd look it up in a book or, today, search for the answer on the web. Of course, I had the luxury of learning all this stuff gradually as each version of everything got just a bit more complex than the previous one.

                  How to start from scratch with already fully developed software packages, well, I'm not quite sure -- it might be intimidating. One thing to keep in mind, is that 95 percent of the time, you'll only use about 20 percent of the features in most Adobe software. Over the years, a whole lot of bloat has been added that, for most people, is only marginally useful.

                  It's my bias showing through, but I'd suggest starting out with Illustrator. Photoshop is great for working with bitmapped (raster) images, but it's too easy to start feeling comfortable with it and begin using it for things that really should be done in Illustrator (or InDesign). I'll also suggest concentrating on learning the various tools in the toolbar first since those are the things that are most important and that you'll use most often. I no longer even bother to master some of the hidden-away things that I know I'll rarely use. Instead, I'll glance at them, remember they're there and what they do, then, down the road, if I ever find myself needing one of those features, I'll quickly look up how to use it, then not bother with it again until the next time.

                  Comment


                  • KitchWitch
                    KitchWitch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I forgot about Freehand!

                • #15
                  Read some of the posts already in the student forum.
                  We get a lot of stuff posted to that and the crit pit that aren't really design.
                  Remember, Design is NOT about YOUR ART. It's about selling what the client needs to sell to the people they need to sell it to. In other words, the piece has to have a message that is clear and focused and has nothing to do with your likes or your personal style.
                  Be sure to post the brief you were working to so that we can accurately give a critique.
                  A pretty picture only has to please you.

                  Comment

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