I just recently became interested in graphic design & I know very little about it , I’ve been doing research and practicing a little but I just want to know if anyone has any tips or anything on where I should start or exercises I can do to practice. Anything would help , I appreciate any feedback that I can get , thanks
If you are thinking about making a career out of it, you should start by looking at colleges.
If you are interested in the fun of it, you should start by researching the scope of the skill.
Thanks , so you think even if I don’t know much about it , going into college courses is a good idea?
I only mentioned college because your chances of getting hired are slim without college these days. There are too many people with the exact same interests as yours. There’s lots of competition. The college degrees are ways of weeding out who’s serious and who’s not.
If you don’t know much about graphic design, start with the wikipedia article I linked. It’s the broadest, yet shortest honest summary of the scope of the skill and profession I’ve seen on the web. There’s many directions you could take the skill in. See where you would most likely fit in.
That makes sense , thanks for the information I appreciate it , I’m going to start researching with that link. Thanks
I guess you wonder at some stage, do I like looking at graphic design, or do I like creating graphic design?
Sounds like you want to research about GD at this stage but aren’t sure if GD is right for you yet. You’re not looking to get a degree or a new career, just want to dip your toes in and see what all this fuss is about?
Just keep browsing online. Watch some videos on graphic design, have a nosey around these forums. Study successful designs.
When I first noticed graphic design on my radar, I got out books from the library, bought design magazines, looked at all the real world graphic design around me. These days, you can do that from your computer
Yeah that’s how it started. My girlfriend needed a logo and posters for her company & I made her a couple just off my phone and they came out pretty decent and I enjoyed doing it , so I want to pursue it I just don’t know what my first steps are , mostly everyone’s telling me to just research and take courses but I kind of wanted to get pretty good at it before I took a college course so that it would be easier for me and I feel like I’d learn more if I knew about it before I started. & also what are some books that you would recommend to help me out with this ? Thanks for the feedback!
Are you looking for inspiration, or are you looking for instruction?
Logos on a phone…
[ le sigh ]
Our local library provides free Lynda.com vids.
Here are a few artist “tricks to live by”.
- Draw something, anything, by hand - once a day. Even if it’s a doodle or it only takes 5 minutes.
- Take regular breaks and get away from the design in order to reevaluate it.
- Turn the whole design upside down and reevaluate the design composition. Often one will see a blaring focal point to fix when shifting perspective this way.
- If you are using anything as a reference, when you are 90% done, put the reference away, focus on your design to make the referenced design element(s) look right on the page as part of your design.
- Realize that the design is being bought by someone else to their specifications. This means while you might think your design ideas/tweaks are better, the client decides, not you. You are being hired for your expertise yes, but you are being hired to complete their “vision”. If this is too rigid, look into fine art (though that is a real tough road).
Also, don’t give up. Look for internships while in school. Go to any design events you can. Volunteer anywhere “art” is prominent. Don’t limit your education to design but try a couple fine art electives (drawing/painting/even stone carving) in order to more quickly understand design concepts like composition, depth, diagrammatics…
Finally, don’t think you have a style yet. Don’t worry, style is an never-ending advancement based on one’s own knowledge, sensibilities, and abilities. So gain knowledge and practice, practice, practice and that will all come in time.
I’ve found with designers, having a “style” relegates them to niche work. If they are known to have a certain style, they may not be offered other gigs that would fall outside of that style simply because future clients will think they can’t do anything else. It’s as bad as typecasting for actors. Don’t fret style. Do good design.
Read these blogs until your eyes bleed.
Thank you for sharing these, Steve_O.
Yeah I agree with you. Style isn’t something you aim at, it’s a natural progression. You can learn techniques in order to recreate styles - and we all must. This was just a common complaint in art school - that many students want to “work in their style”. Well if they were that advanced they wouldn’t need the schooling.
I guess I’m saying not to limit oneself with conceit, which seems to be your comment (not to limit, not the conceit part lol).
I got my BA from the art institute of colorado as a Graphic Designer and the only good thing i got out of it was a piece of paper to show employers. But if you actually are really good and have a decent portfolio that piece of paper shouldn’t be an issue.
A lot of students like art or are interested in the field, but only 5% turned out good at it.
Anyways to answer your question, there are a lot of elements in graphic design and they all depend on each other. I’d recommend you start with learning about Layout, Typography and Color theory. But before that learn how to use illustrator + indesign + photoshop.
Theory before practice.
There is no use trying to learn software until you know what to use it for. Some of the better design schools out there don’t let their students anywhere near a computer for the first two years, at least not for design layout purposes.
Sure you can learn to use photoshop for sig type work. But even with that, if you don’t understand the concepts of hierarchy, perspective, color and lighting angles, it won’t do you any good.