No announcement yet.

Advice on learning design.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Advice on learning design.

    Hey sports fans.

    I've been learning graphic design on and off for quite a while now. I'll be resuming my degree in design come July. (Took six months off to move interstate to get into a better school)

    In that time I've been trying to self teach myself the art while I wait for uni to start up, though I usually find myself getting lost and a little overwhelmed every time I try. There's a lot to learn. It's hard to know where to start.

    In saying that, I've still made some decent progress, though I really want a more structured learning experience.

    I was wondering if you guys had advice on the best way to learn design or even a few links or something to point me in the right direction?

    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

    Cheers guys.

  • #2


    You can find the resources from one of the closed forums here - they did a really good job of putting up that list and its up to you what works.

    Check this out:


    • #3
      Design is such an interesting concept... if you have the creativity, the eye for design and have a vision already in your head for something then you are on the right track. The programs is usually what sets people back. I would suggest starting with Adobe Illustrator. It is by far my favorite program because you can make anything come to life. Try starting with the pen tool... either look up some tutorials or find a simple image to replicate. After that, mess around with gradients, overlapping them to create more shading and then when you feel brave try our the mesh tool. Best of luck!


      • #4
        Honestly, I'm glad I did not listen to either of the prior posters. LOL Honestly, I did not find the concepts of design that hard to figure out. In fact, I find this field of study quite interesting and fun.

        The first thing they had us doing in school is using two little known design tools...a pencil and paper, not a program. Once you begin to understand the basic of things, then you can move on to programs.

        Design knowledge will begin to make you dangerous in Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop. But, you should understand the basics.

        I suggest this thread, since it is about that basics:

        Once you learn those, then you can learn about Web Design.
        "Go ahead, make your logos in PS. We charge extra money to redraw your logo into vector art so it can be printed on promotional product. Cha CHING! " - CCericola


        • #5
          You never stop learning. Trying to learn everything all at once can be overwhelming and put you off. Eat up the basics of theory first. Then move onto software. After that, you'll have a good idea of what you enjoy and what you want to stay clear of.
          It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


          • #6
            Keep breathing. (You'll thank me later)


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob View Post
              Keep breathing. (You'll thank me later)
              Geez Bob, you saved me again!!
              Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.


              • #8
                Usually someone begins talking about learning design for the graphic arts by mentioning the various applications a designer has to master. This is important but they are only the means by which a design is executed—not the design itself. Within graphics, "design" refers to the basic plan—the visual solution— for a specific communication.

                A successful design solution can involve many different factors—everything from typography to the use of color, from negative space to the photos used. As involved as this sounds, we all see designs that appeal to us. I believe that one of the best ways to learn design is to study designs you think really work. Ask yourself why various decisions were made. What makes the design have impact. Study the negative space employed—the type faces used. This is a practice that you should continue throughout your career. Also, you should be studying the work featured in Print magazine and Communication Arts magazine. Dissect some of the designs to see what makes them tick. These magazines will keep you stay aware of the current trends in design.

                You can learn the applications. You can learn what you need to know about color. You can learn typography. However, design comes from within you.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sully1251 View Post
                  Usually someone begins talking about learning design for the graphic arts by mentioning the various applications a designer has to master. This is important but they are only the means by which a design is executed—not the design itself. Within graphics, "design" refers to the basic plan—the visual solution— for a specific communication.
                  Exactly. Never start off learning design by learning the software. Anyone can learn the software. It takes a whole lot more to learn design. I took two years of design classes before we even touched a computer.
                  "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
                  -Steve Jobs


                  • #10
                    Yes yes. Programs will come and go but the principles behind making marks in space remain.


                    • #11
                      Well put Sully. That helped a lot.


                      • #12
                        It is a planning skill. But every successful plan also requires great execution. Performance and performers. And a good production crew.

                        My daughter's training in a theatre production school. She says one of the favourite sayings among the tech sides is, "Without a production crew, all the performers, no matter how talented, are just a bunch of naked people singing and dancing in the dark." (Maybe the corollary for design is printers and web tech. But there used to be a whole lot more skilled supporters in the 'wings'.)

                        I think that the digital acceleration of design work is, and has been stretching (on top of still keeping up with and developing prod. skills, client skills, business skills, etc.) designers more and more into a kind of 'performer status'. Design school is still one of those places where a budding designer can take more time to hone things, but the real lights, camera, action fun comes with the real 'show' of actual client work.

                        Sully, your comments about studying what works is so valuable. But it's a bit like watching pro sports--be careful you don't become an 'armchair designer'. Nothing beats 'doing it' in gaining real chops.

                        It also makes me think about how 'easy' a highly skilled performer (that includes athletes) makes things appear. Most people are aware of the real work (and workers) behind that 'illusion' for singers, actors, dancers, athletes but most are completely clueless to the tons of work behind things as 'mundane' as a finely crafted logo or layout.
                        Last edited by Bob; 04-22-2012, 07:18 AM.


                        • #13
                          Bob— When I started there were no computers. The only university in the U.S.A. offering a major in graphic design was Yale. In fact, "graphic designers" were not even called "graphic designers". At that time, to get in the door of any studio you had to first be an artist with an excellent portfolio. Then you started in production work, doing paste-ups and learning how to prepare art for reproduction. Then, if you were lucky, you had a chance to design something—maybe a price sheet.

                          During this time, the 60s and 70s, graphic design was evolving at a terriffic pace. It was truely the golden age of American graphics for the print media. One of the reasons for this was because the budgets were focused on the print media. You had to continually study the current design trends in Print and CA just to keep up with what was happening. Most of the fonts that we consider contemporary were introduced during that time. The introduction of "concept advertising" took place during that era.

                          I have spent many years designing before desk computers were invented and many more years designing with the aid of computers. As most of us know, the computer is just a tool. Much of the work done is really not designed at all. This may sound harsh, but many of today's designers are actually graphic technitians. One way to rise above the mundane is to study work that is truely excellent to find out what makes it great.
                          Last edited by sully1251; 04-22-2012, 12:46 PM.






                          Incredible Stock

                          Latest Topics


                          • B
                            Reply to Is Assymetrical strucutre MODERN??
                            Asymmetrical layouts are likely more common than they were a hundred years ago. Whether or not that qualifies asymmetry as looking modern is probably a matter of opinion. The letterhead layout you've...
                            Today, 10:27 AM
                          • B
                            Reply to Font Identification - What font is this?
                            The typeface is Microgramma.
                            Today, 10:05 AM
                          • PrintDriver
                            Reply to What does this look like?
                            That depends. Do you want your watermelon to have seeds or not? Or better, Does the purpose for which you are creating a slime dripping slice of watermelon require that it has seeds?

                            Today, 07:31 AM
                          • Troep
                            Reply to What does this look like?
                            Should I add some seeds??
                            Today, 01:18 AM
                          • PrintDriver
                            Reply to Just Graduated... What Now?
                            It isn't so much the fault of the schools. There is just so much out there these days beyond the realm of corporate identity work. Yeah it all revolves around ''The Sell'' somehow but it isn't all business...
                            Today, 01:00 AM
                          GDF A division of Mediabistro Holdings Adweek | Mediabistro | Clio | Film Expo Group Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy Copyright © 2016 Mediabistro Holdings