Tips To Teach Yourself Graphic Design

The art of graphic design is everywhere. Graphic design is used in marketing, image branding, signs and everything from product packaging to online electronic media. This specific design niche is both creative and practical. A graphic designer creates print and computerized visual concepts while assisting with overall layout and organization in advertisements, magazines and other media. Learning graphic design can be a lucrative career option that is as fun as it is prestigious.

Tips for learning graphic design on your own

Graphic designers specifically create their art as a communication tool that can be universally understood and interpreted consistently, regardless of audience. They differ from fine-art artists who leave interpretation up to each individual. Becoming a graphic designer can be self-taught by:

• Collaborating with other creative professionals on projects

• Accepting entry-level assignments and industry experience whenever possible

• Research graphic design projects and become familiar with styles you favor

• Begin the design concept in your mind rather than getting down to business on a computer; and

• Know when to recognize a final-quality design without spending excessive time in production mode

Additionally, while being a creative individual is requisite for this career, personal drawing talent for example, is not as critical. Actual drawing skills in graphic design aren’t necessary since the designer only needs to imagine a rough idea to successfully create a graphic design concept. Teaching yourself to be a great graphic designer is as convenient as reviewing books, visualizing the end product and absorbing online resources.

Making a portfolio

A graphic design resume can be presented to prospective clients as a collection of examples neatly bound together portfolio style. Showing clients the quality of the work that you are able to produce will entice them to allow you opportunities and work with you on their campaigns.

Design-software literacy

It is vital to know how to utilize design software well. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign are three of the most prevalent graphic design software systems available. Being able to edit images and create web design attractively is where graphic designers become successful at their trade. Specializing in one area of graphic design is also an important consideration. Since the industry of graphic design is so vast, knowing how to perform a specific task such as typography for example, at expert level, will become invaluable.

Teaching yourself graphic design can be an endeavor that results in a highly valuable, enjoyable career. Moreover, becoming a graphic designer doesn’t have to stop there. Graphic design has a broad range of specialties and positions such as:

• Content Developer

• Web Designer

• Illustrator

• Interface or Logo Designer

• Visual Journalist

• Brand Identity Developer; and

• Package Designer

The more experience you gain as a graphic designer, the more responsibility you can take on including titles like, Art Production Manager, Art Director and even VP Executive titles.

Graphic designers perform a multitude of tasks and there are a myriad of professional possibilities. From free-lancing to corporate positions, the job security is limitless. Since image based design has the ability to powerfully communicate through pictures and images while other aspects of graphic design use symbols, logos, and image type to represent a message, graphic designers have the luxury of learning a little bit of many styles and determining which one works best for them when exploring self-taught graphic art concepts.

Tips On Teaching Yourself Web Design

In today’s every growing fast-paced internet world, the growing need to be able to run your own website, and to create enticing content, is key to a successful online business or charity. It can be used for anything from your local book club meetings or key events in local neighborhood watch programs. There are so many services online to order yourself a nice professional with the skills to not only create a beautiful layout but also with the skills to rob your wallet of money you want to keep. Therefore, instead of shelling out those hard earned dollars, teach yourself the basics and beyond of web design.

An individual can learn today’s web design on their own time and at their own pace but must realize that the process will never be fully over as it is an ever changing field that grows with time. New technologies and programs become available at an alarming rate which must be kept up with consistently. Formal education is advised if you want a business in web design but is not necessary to get started as long as you can produce a portfolio of your work to potential clients. Show not tell.

There are several key tips to begin learning web design. There are extensive books and hundreds of web pages to read out there, but just a few things need to be understood to begin:

XHTML/HTML:

Without learning the very basics of HTML code, you will find yourself floundering in the water very quickly. There are amateurs in the design world that use WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors and think they know how to do it all. This is so far from reality. It is a cheat sheet only. You can write very nice websites with it but you won’t be able to cater to real clients that have more extensive demands without this knowledge. You need to be able to write the coded language to make your page do what you want and how you want it. You want to be able to stand out above the average person using editors. In the beginning, it is an invaluable resource to look at the source code of a favorite website layout. This is done in various ways through different browsers but is a good way to look through and see how the designer arranged the code to make an element work.

CSS:

CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets. This is to be learned after the HTML is mastered to a level where you are comfortable writing language code to create a basic web page. CSS is used to give the designer much more control over how exactly a web page is displayed. When performing the code within your web page it is important to test out your creation using different browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer to make sure that the code works good on all.

GRAPHICS SOFTWARE:

Hardly any professional looking website that are out there are all text based. To be visually appealing, graphics and pictures will make the page look appealing , welcoming and certainly more user-friendly. A good way to be able to incorporate the best photos and images into your website is to invest time in learning one of the popular graphic software programs out there. Two of the best known ones are Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. When you start out on these programs, it is fun to take a few family photos to practice on with wonderful results that make your family albums stand out whilst learning the new skills needed for your projects in web design.

PRACTICE:

Getting up and running with proficiency in the early stages of learning the skills for designing requires trial and error and is very much hands-on with different techniques. There are a lot of resources out there for free and tutorials with examples on many different sites catering to learning it. The most important thing is to begin by having fun with it (and wowing a family member or two), understand ing that there are many steps to becoming an expert. Practice different codes for different effects, copy some code from the sites you love and see how they work by tweaking it to your own desired outcomes. It can be fun and exciting learning the new skills.

Top Schools for Graphic Design

Interested in going to school to learn graphic design? Well, if you want a degree in this subject, you will find many schools offer this program. Check out my ranking of the best ones below.

1. Rhode Island School of Design

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Tuition: $42,932

The Rhode Island School of Design was founded in 1877, and is one of the oldest and best known 4-year art colleges in the United States. They’re a private school and very selective (they admit 27.3% of applicants each year). The RISD graphic design program offers a four-year undergraduate BFA degree, a two year MFA degree, and a three-year MFA degree in graphic design. Students of RISD have access to astounding facilities that revolve around bookbinding, screenprinting, and papermaking. Students have access to any resource involving digital and traditional printing. RISD has programs for undergraduates, graduates, and students who would like to pursue their graphic design degree in the summer.

2. Art Center College of Design

Location: Pasadena, California

Tuition: $35,052

The Art Center College of Design is a private, 4 year college that has created a strong reputation for themselves for 80 years since they were founded in 1930. They train artists and designers to make a large, positive impact in their chosen fields. ACCD accepts more than half of their applicants (63%). The graphic design program and ACCD tends to go over and beyond the typical graphic design degree teachings. They have a philosophy that if they teach non-traditional design courses such as design history, pop culture, the language of moving image, and design research, they can prepare their students to become leaders in the graphic design industry.

3. Parsons The New School for Design

Location: New York City, New York

Tuition: $64,021

Parsons The New School for Design focuses on training students for a rapidly changing world. They help students collaborate with industry leaders and communities around the world in order to jump-start their career. Parsons is a 4-year private school with an acceptance rate of 69.3%, and they were founded in 1896. Their graphic design program focuses on more traditional graphic design teachings. They incorporate logical, real world challenges into the curriculum in order to prepare the student for their future career.

4. Maryland Institute College of Art

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Tuition: $40,890

Maryland Institute College of Art is a private, 4-year college, and accepts about half of the students who apply (55%). It was founded in 1826. Their philosophy on teaching is that students learn best when they exercise their thinking, doing, and questioning skills simultaneously. MICA influences their graphic design students to view themselves as the visionaries of the future. The graphic design program is all about personal image and growing each graphic design student as an individual.