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Blue Velvet
Aug 5, 2006, 02:25 PM
For those of us lucky enough to earn a pay-cheque or salary from being a designer, what one piece of advice would you give to those wanting to enter this profession?

Whether you're in print, web, animation, illustration etc.; any of the fields that have visual communication at their core are relevant to this discussion.

As a print designer, for me it's a tough choice between stressing the importance of repro knowledge and learning about type but my one piece of advice would be this:


Learn about repro

Learn about how printing works and the process of how your file gets turned into a piece of printed work, trimmed, folded, bound and packed.

Learn about different presses and repro methods, learn about stock (paper) and inks, learn about trapping, learn about the different finishes that your printer can apply to the items... spend some time investigating the technical details of what's involved and this knowledge will repay you many times throughout your intended career.

All this and more will help you communicate with your printer and help to avoid costly mistakes. You can then learn to work 'backwards', taking a budget as a starting point with your brief and then produce work to a certain spec, working creatively within the limits of the project.

When you get to a certain level of responsibility, print-buying for yourself or an organisation becomes an important part of the job so to progress in the field, it's best to round out your skills by paying attention to this important, but often under-looked, aspect of being a print designer.



spicyapple
Aug 5, 2006, 02:28 PM
I think you covered the essentials. :cool:

Developing a pleasing, enthusiastic and sunny personality is also important in any job setting. It just makes working in a team environment so much more pleasant! Anybody see The Office? Just think opposite! :)

beatsme
Aug 5, 2006, 02:54 PM
as a designer, you're not making "art," per se, you're making product. Many times you'll find yourself doing something you don't really like. And many times, you'll find yourself at the mercy of the client, who has his/her own ideas about what the finished item should look like. No matter how much you might disagree with your benefactor's concept, your job is to do the best you can and give the client what he/she wants. Be flexible, be willing to accept criticism, and be willing to make whatever changes you've been asked to make.

and having said that, be decisive. To paraphrase Dave Chappelle, name your price: decide up front how much you're willing to give to a project, and if the amount of work exceeds the expected return, walk...

murdock25
Aug 5, 2006, 03:00 PM
-Know your Keyboard shortcuts-as many as you can and use them!
-Keep learning
-Accepting criticism is a HUGE one, get use to it.
-Be prepared to spend long hours starring in front of a screen.

decksnap
Aug 5, 2006, 03:01 PM
Expand Your Skillset

Increasingly, job listings are requesting designers with knowledge that goes beyond traditional print work. It seems that more often than not, employers are looking for designers with both fully accomplished print portfolios and intermediate to advanced interactive and web knowledge. This is in some cases because small companies require people to manage multiple roles, but it's also a result of a saturated design field. If you don't have all the skills and more, somebody else does, and will probably work for less. This leads us to:

Being a Photoshop Whiz Doesn't Mean Squat

If you think being a good designer means knowing all your programs inside and out and knowing a hundred key commands, you are wrong. Your computer is just a tool, and in a field where there are 500 hungry designers fresh out of school aiming to replace you, program mastery is taken for granted. It is your true creative talent that separates you from the production artists.

murdock25
Aug 5, 2006, 03:41 PM
Being very creative ain't gonna get you very far if you don't know how to create it correctly in the first place. of course you need super creativity, that's a given. But you better know your stuff in Illustrator, Photoshop indesign etc. you better know it like the back of your hand.

I f you expect to be a good designer...Being a "Super Whiz" at the Software, gives you plenty more time to do a great design because you're not wasting time going...hmmm how do i do this... hmm no that's not right...hmm okay we'll this isn't working out gee... let me try this, can i even do this... blah blah blah

You have to be just as good with the "technical" side as well as the "design" side of graphic design to be succesfull nowadays, or you'll be out o' luck, brother.

beatsme
Aug 5, 2006, 03:46 PM
Expand Your Skillset

Increasingly, job listings are requesting designers with knowledge that goes beyond traditional print work. It seems that more often than not, employers are looking for designers with both fully accomplished print portfolios and intermediate to advanced interactive and web knowledge. This is in some cases because small companies require people to manage multiple roles, but it's also a result of a saturated design field. If you don't have all the skills and more, somebody else does, and will probably work for less. This leads us to:

Being a Photoshop Whiz Doesn't Mean Squat

If you think being a good designer means knowing all your programs inside and out and knowing a hundred key commands, you are wrong. Your computer is just a tool, and in a field where there are 500 hungry designers fresh out of school aiming to replace you, program mastery is taken for granted. It is your true creative talent that separates you from the production artists.

all too true. Another helpful thing: be your own tech guy. Know how your machine works, know what it can do and what it can't, and know how to fix it if it goes bing. Tech support for the Mac is practically non-existent (at most companies anyway), so the more you know, the better off you're going to be.

decksnap
Aug 5, 2006, 04:02 PM
Being very creative ain't gonna get you very far if you don't know how to create it correctly in the first place. of course you need super creativity, that's a given. But you better know your stuff in Illustrator, Photoshop indesign etc. you better know it like the back of your hand.

I f you expect to be a good designer...Being a "Super Whiz" at the Software, gives you plenty more time to do a great design because you're not wasting time going...hmmm how do i do this... hmm no that's not right...hmm okay we'll this isn't working out gee... let me try this, can i even do this... blah blah blah

You have to be just as good with the "technical" side as well as the "design" side of graphic design to be succesfull nowadays, or you'll be out o' luck, brother.

You missed the point. Being technically good at the software is the 'given'. Of course you should know the software, but it doesn't make you a good designer. It's just a tool.

murdock25
Aug 5, 2006, 04:50 PM
Believe me I'm not arguing with you about "the Computer /Software is just a tool, sure it is! that's the first thing they teach at school...but i think that's the problem.

Kids come out of design school filled with all these great design skills/ theory.
but haven't learn, enough of the technical stuff how to save this file, why shouldn't save it like this...what's bleed? why do I need bleed? how do i set that up...That's all I'm saying...My advice is after your out of school learn the software, and the shortcuts...it will save you pain and land you that first job...

Great design comes with time and experience...Most people who come out of design school aren't going to be great designer off the bat... anywho that's my advice. That's all..

I guess it depends if your school had more an emphasis on design theory or the "tech. real world" stuff. anywho.

beatsme
Aug 5, 2006, 05:04 PM
Believe me I'm not arguing with you about "the Computer /Software is just a tool, sure it is! that's the first thing they teach at school...but i think that's the problem.

Kids come out of design school filled with all these great design skills/ theory.
but haven't learn, enough of the technical stuff how to save this file, why shouldn't save it like this...what's bleed? why do I need bleed? how do i set that up...That's all I'm saying...My advice is after your out of school learn the software, and the shortcuts...it will save you pain and land you that first job...

Great design comes with time and experience...Most people who come out of design school aren't going to be great designer off the bat... anywho that's my advice. That's all..

I guess it depends if your school had more an emphasis on design theory or the "tech. real world" stuff. anywho.

my experience has been that the "art school" kids usually know squat about the software. They know enough to get by, which is what they had to know during their studies, and that's it.

not that I am in any way denigrating art school graduates...I'm just saying. Their curriculum appears to have been geared more towards traditional art studies, which is ok though I tend to question the value of some of what they've been taught.

Pottery class is nice, but really, who gives a *****?

Blue Velvet
Aug 5, 2006, 05:08 PM
Pottery class is nice, but really, who gives a *****?

Yes and no. An understanding and appreciation of art history and the various movements is invaluable for all designers.

decksnap
Aug 5, 2006, 05:12 PM
It's funny because from what I've seen there is a lot of the opposite going on. Schools popping up all over the place offering 2 year design degrees and other such crap, that are basically teaching uncreative people how to use design software. Then these people get out of school thinking they are designers because they know how to use Quark.

murdock25
Aug 5, 2006, 05:29 PM
This is why you need to be objective and be able or at lease try to critique yourself and your designs, all the time. No one is perfect at everything. Don't fall for that trap of "oh i'm so great...I Know everything...ther'e nothing left for me to learn..."

See where your weaknesses, and your strenghts are and improve on your weaknessess. I agree with whoever said good typography is key.
If there's one thing that will scream "amature" it's bad typography skills.

If you want to be a great designer you have to be obsessed with design, and live it..breath it, baby.

beatsme
Aug 5, 2006, 05:35 PM
It's funny because from what I've seen there is a lot of the opposite going on. Schools popping up all over the place offering 2 year design degrees and other such crap, that are basically teaching uncreative people how to use design software. Then these people get out of school thinking they are designers because they know how to use Quark.

exactly, so finding someone who knows how to use the software and can also make something decent with it is getting to be rather tricky...

Blue Velvet
Aug 5, 2006, 05:47 PM
I agree with whoever said good typography is key.
If there's one thing that will scream "amature" it's bad typography skills.


And spelling too. ;)

Yeah, I was going to mention it but thought someone else could have a go; it's something I've mentioned in the past in this forum.

Type knowledge is absolutely crucial. Very few pieces of 2D design work go out without type in some form on them.

My entire first year of typography classes was spent hand-drawing letterforms and designing glyphs. Not a computer in sight.

Apart from that, there's been some excellent pieces of advice given in this thread. Please let's not turn it into a squabble about divergent approaches... ;)

murdock25
Aug 5, 2006, 05:56 PM
haha ha yes good spelling always helps!:D

primalman
Aug 5, 2006, 06:04 PM
Above all, please, those of you starting out, as well as those of you who have been doing this for a while, head this:

If you can't use your brain and your eyes, no one cares how well you use the software. Design comes from ideas and visual sensibilities.

Know what you want to design and why, how comes after.

primalman
Aug 5, 2006, 06:05 PM
Yes and no. An understanding and appreciation of art history and the various movements is invaluable for all designers.


Ditto this

Jarbo
Aug 5, 2006, 07:00 PM
Like it or not you are going to be explaining your vision to a lot of marketing busniessy types.

You should be able to talk about the visual ideas you plan to execute and why they will work so well that presenting the completed work becomes a secondary formality.

I have seen more great design rejected in board meetings just becuase the Art Director didn't have a clue how to explain why what he has done is relevant.

tjwett
Aug 5, 2006, 08:34 PM
Learn Typography
Study (REALLY study) type and its purpose and power.

Learn Grid Systems
Learn and understand the grid and its purpose.

ATD
Aug 5, 2006, 09:02 PM
Go above and beyond the call of duty. If that means working late, do it. If that means unbilled hours, do it. If that means exploring ideas outside the given parameters of the job, do it. If that means getting a little over your head once in a while, do it. Don't wait for the world around you to challenge you, challenge yourself.

I can't think of a faster way to advance in design than that (or any other field for that matter). The design field is oversaturated, you have to be willing to give more than what is excepted.

ATD
Aug 6, 2006, 05:06 PM
One more thought along the lines of going above and beyond the call of duty. Never stop learning about design (software + design skills), treat it like a lifelong learning process. I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer at the age of 13, that was 37 years ago :eek:. Design has been my sole profession for 30 years, 26 years doing movie/TV design. Yep, I have been doing this for while ;). Over the years I have seen many award winning designers who got to a good level of success in the field and decided they could coast through the rest of it. Many of these same people watched their careers slowly fade away. I have always pushed myself to keep learning new things, I actually push myself as hard or harder now than when I was younger. I can't visualize myself retiring from design because the list of things I want to still learn is very long. It almost a fact that the day someone decides they know everything they need to know, is the day they will get passed by.

beatsme
Aug 6, 2006, 05:23 PM
It almost a fact that the day someone decides they know everything they need to know, is the day they will get passed by.


true that...and I know people like that, too. They won't learn new software. Not can't, won't.

"Why should I learn Illustrator? Freehand 7 has everything I need."

ATD
Aug 6, 2006, 06:01 PM
true that...and I know people like that, too. They won't learn new software. Not can't, won't.

"Why should I learn Illustrator? Freehand 7 has everything I need."



I remember the days when designers were tying to decide if they needed to learn how to use a computer at all. It may seem like a no brainer today but 20 years ago it was not clear where this was leading to. Computers back then were really really slow and very underpowered, it was still faster to do a lot of stuff by hand. Some designers decided not pick up computer skills. I still know a few that have managed to hang on to a career that way but not many.

RacerX
Aug 6, 2006, 08:04 PM
as a designer, you're not making "art," per se, you're making product. Many times you'll find yourself doing something you don't really like. And many times, you'll find yourself at the mercy of the client, who has his/her own ideas about what the finished item should look like. No matter how much you might disagree with your benefactor's concept, your job is to do the best you can and give the client what he/she wants. Be flexible, be willing to accept criticism, and be willing to make whatever changes you've been asked to make.I could not agree with this more!

The biggest hurdle I've seen people starting out have to over come is trying to put their design "style" onto a client's project. In the graphic design arena it tends to be an "artistic style" of the designer. And in the web design arena it is either (again) "artistic style" of the designer or (worse) building sites by templates.

A client deserves (to the best of your abilities) a product that reflects them... not you. Getting to know them and what they need is very important. And do your best to stay away from a one size fits all mind set. Clients (like people) are unique... the finished product should reflect their uniqueness (and not necessarily yours).

The one thing I've always been proud of is the fact that the sites I've designed don't all look the same. Each site is different.

Also, in web design you may often be the last person added to a design team. If the client has already settled on a style or brand for themselves, don't fight it or try to reinvent it... rather use what you can from what the print designers have already done and work it into something that works on the web. Make sure that everything is consistent for the client across all media types.

If you can make a print designers branding work on the web, you'll have a lot of work.

and having said that, be decisive. To paraphrase Dave Chappelle, name your price: decide up front how much you're willing to give to a project, and if the amount of work exceeds the expected return, walk...I still have problems with this even after doing this for 5 years. :D

faustfire
Aug 6, 2006, 08:20 PM
It's funny because from what I've seen there is a lot of the opposite going on. Schools popping up all over the place offering 2 year design degrees and other such crap, that are basically teaching uncreative people how to use design software. Then these people get out of school thinking they are designers because they know how to use Quark.

This is a huge problem as of late. It seems like design is now the main choice of the "I'm not interested in anything and can't decide what I want to major in/do with my life, but hey design looks cool" people. As a result the market is oversaturated with a bunch of "designers" who have never been into any type of creative art before starting their design schooling. You can't teach creativity and originality.

Just my little rant...

bwanac
Aug 6, 2006, 08:21 PM
Seeing as I am complete beginner... I have a couple questions.

Im an amateur web design, more of a coder with a desire to learn good design. Design is the weak point in my skillset. Typography is something I would like a little lesson in, as well as this grid method. If its what I think it is that could come in handy too.

Just looking for some sites to get started than maybe pick up a book or two. Anyone have any suggestions? :D

faustfire
Aug 6, 2006, 08:34 PM
Seeing as I am complete beginner... I have a couple questions.

Im an amateur web design, more of a coder with a desire to learn good design. Design is the weak point in my skillset. Typography is something I would like a little lesson in, as well as this grid method. If its what I think it is that could come in handy too.

Just looking for some sites to get started than maybe pick up a book or two. Anyone have any suggestions? :D

A great typography book to check out is "The Elements of Typographic Style"
by Robert Bringhurst. It's full of usefull info and also very well written, makes reading about type interesting, even a little poetic.

ATD
Aug 6, 2006, 09:30 PM
It's funny because from what I've seen there is a lot of the opposite going on. Schools popping up all over the place offering 2 year design degrees and other such crap, that are basically teaching uncreative people how to use design software. Then these people get out of school thinking they are designers because they know how to use Quark.

This is a huge problem as of late. It seems like design is now the main choice of the "I'm not interested in anything and can't decide what I want to major in/do with my life, but hey design looks cool" people. As a result the market is oversaturated with a bunch of "designers" who have never been into any type of creative art before starting their design schooling. You can't teach creativity and originality.

Just my little rant...


Same feeling here. Computers are cheaper and graphics software have flooded the market. I would not be surprised these days to see try-out versions of Photoshop inside kids cereal boxes instead of toys. I have to believe that the design market will correct itself over time when people start figuring out that just knowing the software is not enough to make a living as a designer. The design market has gone through up and downs like this before just not for the same reasons.

uburoibob
Aug 6, 2006, 09:52 PM
Make your first job a non-design job prepping files for a commercial printer. Get to know the printing process inside out. Put yourself in the position of having to work on less-than-perfect designed jobs that barely make it through the pre-flight process. Learn to fix those jobs. See what great and terrible design look and feel like first hand. Learn to use Photoshop, InDesign, QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Freehand, Word, etc as a car mechanic would use a wrench and screwdriver.

Then, start out at the bottom and learn your way up an agency. Layout is first, your design gets implemented as you interpret other designers work, adapting it to layout reworks. Then, a few years down the line after you've sat through more meetings than you are comfortable with, you will be given small design jobs. OH! While you are at it, take some creative writing and copywriting courses. Learn to write effective copy. You will come to notice that most design is driven by creative directors who, 9 out of 10 times, come from the copywriting side of things.

That's about it. My qualifications? I own this agency: http://www.rtmadvertising.com

Good luck and look me up when you are ready!

Bob

bwanac
Aug 6, 2006, 11:47 PM
A great typography book to check out is "The Elements of Typographic Style"
by Robert Bringhurst. It's full of usefull info and also very well written, makes reading about type interesting, even a little poetic.

Thanks.. I checked and my school library has it so maybe at work tomorrow Ill go through it. I do work in the library and am doing web "assistance" for them, so Ill be training myself on the job! :D

ATD
Aug 7, 2006, 12:01 AM
Seeing as I am complete beginner... I have a couple questions.

Im an amateur web design, more of a coder with a desire to learn good design. Design is the weak point in my skillset. Typography is something I would like a little lesson in, as well as this grid method. If its what I think it is that could come in handy too.

Just looking for some sites to get started than maybe pick up a book or two. Anyone have any suggestions? :D


One piece of advice if I may. Books are fine but they are often not enough for most people. Seek out a good teacher. Learning design is about interaction, feedback and communication, something you can not get from a book. A good teacher or mentor can make a world of difference.

bwanac
Aug 7, 2006, 01:00 AM
I hear ya... its just that when school starts up again I wont have time for all that good stuff being an engineering major and all. But maybe I can get some feed back from the graphic designer I work with. See if he really knows his stuff or not (he's a new guy so even though Im a student I get to tease him).

ATD
Aug 7, 2006, 01:14 AM
You will come to notice that most design is driven by creative directors who, 9 out of 10 times, come from the copywriting side of things.


Some of the most creative people I have worked with are copywriters and some of the very best creative work is the result of a team, an art director and a copywriter. Although I would say from what I have seen, CDs are a 50/50 mix of copywriters and art directors.

ATD
Aug 7, 2006, 01:16 AM
I hear ya... its just that when school starts up again I wont have time for all that good stuff being an engineering major and all. But maybe I can get some feed back from the graphic designer I work with. See if he really knows his stuff or not (he's a new guy so even though Im a student I get to tease him).

No design classes at your school?

Mookamoo
Aug 7, 2006, 04:52 AM
Take a book everywhere you go. Keep a note of everything that inspires you. Cut stuff out of magazines/newspapers and keep them.

When it comes to you designing somthing, use this to jog your creative juices.

I'm not saying copy........ but nothing is original anyway.

iGav
Aug 7, 2006, 06:01 AM
I cannot decide between...

Don't stick in the same job for more than 2 years.

or...

Don't be precious.

macbookprouser
Aug 10, 2006, 04:43 PM
i start my graphic design AAS in 2 weeks, yay. thats the reason i got my macbook pro in the first place. this should be a fun two years.

shecky
Aug 13, 2006, 11:19 PM
i disagree with the reccomendation of bringhurst as the way to learn typography. bringhurst is an excellent reference for typography (in fact, it is THE reference), but trying to use it to learn type is like trying to learn english from a dictionary. i suggest either thinking with type by ellen lupton (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568984480/sr=8-4/qid=1155528434/ref=pd_bbs_4/102-4074514-6777742?ie=UTF8) or a type primer by john kane (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/013099071X/sr=1-1/qid=1155528502/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-4074514-6777742?ie=UTF8&s=books) as excellent guides to understanding how and why type works, as opposed to just a reference.

the two absolute best pieces of advice that i can give about being a designer:

make exceptional design

keep taking chances

unfortunately, you can not always do both (or either) all the time and for every client and project, which is why my last piece of advice is

be more than one you

sometimes you need to be the conservative you, sometimes you need to be the wild and creative you, some times you need some of each. until you work only for yourself and are your only client and answer to nobody but you (which is extrememely rare, if possibly at all) then you must learn to be flexible and compromise what you want to do with what you need to do.

and as far as "art" school vs. a more vocational program goes, learning software is easy, learning how to be intellectually engaged in your work is not. both are important. one takes a few months, one takes a lifetime. be prepared to spend the right amount of time on each.

aricher
Aug 14, 2006, 08:49 AM
I remember the days when designers were tying to decide if they needed to learn how to use a computer at all. It may seem like a no brainer today but 20 years ago it was not clear where this was leading to. Computers back then were really really slow and very underpowered, it was still faster to do a lot of stuff by hand. Some designers decided not pick up computer skills. I still know a few that have managed to hang on to a career that way but not many.


You mean that hand cut Rubylith is a dinosaur technology now???;)

I went back to school long after my undergrad to pick up the computer skills. Now I feel fortunate to have the hand rendering and comping skills I picked up in my undergrad art classes. I work with many young designers who have no pen/pencil/marker to paper skills whatsoever. They can't draw jack without a computer in front of them and something to trace over. To all the youngsters out there - learn to draw by imagination and hand first, then move to the machines.

decksnap
Aug 14, 2006, 09:48 AM
I work with many young designers who have no pen/pencil/marker to paper skills whatsoever. They can't draw jack without a computer in front of them and something to trace over. To all the youngsters out there - learn to draw by imagination and hand first, then move to the machines.

Amen.

And in my art school, the ones who were the best at painting, sketching, etc turned into the best designers. It is NOT about the software.

dornoforpyros
Aug 14, 2006, 09:58 AM
Well all the basics have been covered here, I'd say if your serious about this as a career there is one thing you can do

Grow a thick skin now
As mentioned before, the market is over saturated with designers right now. It's very fierce competition for junior positions, be prepared to have your portfolio ripped to shreds by creative directors.

Be prepared to do up 12 comps for one client just because "this isn't quite what we were thinking" despite the fact that you've followed their notes to a tea.

As rewording as this career can be, it can also be extremely frustrating and leave you feel completely drained.

But if your serious about this career you just have to forge on and eventually you will make it.

ATD
Aug 14, 2006, 12:00 PM
You mean that hand cut Rubylith is a dinosaur technology now???;)

I went back to school long after my undergrad to pick up the computer skills. Now I feel fortunate to have the hand rendering and comping skills I picked up in my undergrad art classes. I work with many young designers who have no pen/pencil/marker to paper skills whatsoever. They can't draw jack without a computer in front of them and something to trace over. To all the youngsters out there - learn to draw by imagination and hand first, then move to the machines.


LOL, the only piece of high tech that's still with us from those days is the telephone. My next area of study is going to relearn how to paint. I would not be the lease bit surprised if we see a major backlash to the computer generated look of design in favor of design that feels hand done.

iGav
Aug 14, 2006, 12:29 PM
I would not be the lease bit surprised if we see a major backlash to the computer generated look of design in favor of design that feels hand done.

That backlash began a few years ago, hand drawn (often badly, because it's cool :rolleyes: ) with felt tips etc etc.

7on
Aug 16, 2006, 11:18 AM
That backlash began a few years ago, hand drawn (often badly, because it's cool :rolleyes: ) with felt tips etc etc.

I hear ya, makes a lot of my designing easier as clients will just see the mock up sketches and be like "ooo, use that!" and then they sign off on it. I shrug and collect my paycheck :D

Oh and I was expecting someone would suggest "Don't" :p

beatsme
Aug 16, 2006, 11:44 AM
I would not be the lease bit surprised if we see a major backlash to the computer generated look of design in favor of design that feels hand done.


this has already happened in the garment business. Many of the more stylish firms have adopted a simpler, "made-by-hand" look, Abercrombie & Fitch being a good example.

A&F is the biggest ripoff in the world, btw...$35 for a screen-printed tee that I know for a fact cost them $1.25 to make...sheesh

The Past
Aug 16, 2006, 11:54 AM
Yes and no. An understanding and appreciation of art history and the various movements is invaluable for all designers.

Very true. Very true.

The Past
Aug 16, 2006, 11:56 AM
LOL, the only piece of high tech that's still with us from those days is the telephone. My next area of study is going to relearn how to paint. I would not be the lease bit surprised if we see a major backlash to the computer generated look of design in favor of design that feels hand done.



Yes, and computer-generated hand-drawnish designs. :)

ATD
Aug 16, 2006, 01:01 PM
Yes, and computer-generated hand-drawnish designs. :)


;) We look back but I don't think anyone here wants to give up their computers just yet. I worked that way in the early part of my career (BC, before computers), I like the new way better.

macdon401
Aug 16, 2006, 02:43 PM
ATD is spot on...I would add, BE PATIENT...so many new kids rush their work and it shows, I personally tend to put some designs away for a day or two and then have a fresh look at them....ANY design can use improvement....
take it as far as you can and then and only then present it....you will know the time when you have reached the point you feel good about it.
R

iGav
Aug 16, 2006, 03:26 PM
Very true. Very true.

See... I think it's more important to have an understanding and appreciation of design history and the various movements than art history.

shecky
Aug 16, 2006, 04:57 PM
See... I think it's more important to have an understanding and appreciation of design history and the various movements than art history.

they are clearly linked and highly indicative of each other (art history+movements and design history+movements) so therefore you should really be aware of both.

&RU
Aug 16, 2006, 07:59 PM
LISTEN! That is the most important skill of all. Your client will tell you almost everything that you need to know about what they want. And if you are listening you can ask questions to fill in the rest.

If you do this, i can guarantee that you will nail the job every time. This will result in fewer revisions, meetings, and other frustrations. This will impress your clients and they will use you time and time again. This skill has kept me in business for many years, and I do not consider myself to be technically advanced or overly creative.

The other important thing when you get a new client is clear your mind of preconceptions you may have of their industry - I have seen this blow up in peoples faces. In the end it comes back to listening.

All the best to all those who give it a go!

aricher
Aug 16, 2006, 08:14 PM
So true &RU, so true on the LISTEN factor.

ATD is spot on...I would add, BE PATIENT...so many new kids rush their work and it shows, I personally tend to put some designs away for a day or two and then have a fresh look at them....ANY design can use improvement....
take it as far as you can and then and only then present it....you will know the time when you have reached the point you feel good about it.
R

I'd add to that by saying that you should have others look at and critique your work. Fresh eyes can really add some perspective sometimes. After pulling a 23 hour day (2.8 GB Photoshop file - Ugh) last week my wife looked at the result and was instantly able to suggest alternate layouts that would have saved me hours. Fresh eyes, fresh eyes.

More advice - For your sake and others, never take critiques personally. Nothing's worse than a childish, ranting, know-it-all designer.

- If you're doing commercial work you need to be comfortable with the fact that it's not exactly "art." People ask me what I do and sometimes I just say, "I'm a product pimp." Alas. If you want to or NEED to make art set aside plenty of personal time to do it.

Blue Velvet
Aug 17, 2006, 12:49 AM
See... I think it's more important to have an understanding and appreciation of design history and the various movements than art history.

Well yes. Perhaps knowing about Walter Gropius and Eric Gill is more important than knowing about Jasper Johns... but design is such a jackdawish profession, heavily borrowing from wherever possible that the lines are often blurred.

Where would have Hipgnosis been without René Magritte?

iGav
Aug 17, 2006, 07:36 AM
they are clearly linked and highly indicative of each other (art history+movements and design history+movements) so therefore you should really be aware of both.

Yes, but design isn't art, it is a separate discipline and is deserving of being considered on it's own history and merits. Of course design doesn't exist in a vacuum, and of course at times it is linked with movements in the art world, though only as equally as it could be linked to any other social movement or trend, regardless of it's history or genesis.

decksnap
Aug 17, 2006, 07:48 AM
design isn't art

Good one. :rolleyes:

iGav
Aug 17, 2006, 07:52 AM
Good one. :rolleyes:

You are of course free to disagree with me, design is after all subjective. But it isn't.

decksnap
Aug 17, 2006, 07:57 AM
Of course. One opinion makes me an artist, and the other doesn't. Perhaps that's just the line drawn between good designers and bad.

iGav
Aug 17, 2006, 08:03 AM
Perhaps that's just the line drawn between good designers and bad.

Indeed, though some would argue that there is no such thing as good or bad designers. Merely opinion.

decksnap
Aug 17, 2006, 08:07 AM
Indeed, though some would argue that there is no such thing as good or bad designers. Merely opinion.

There are no shortage of bad designers. I could throw a rock and hit three of them right now. :D

iGav
Aug 17, 2006, 08:11 AM
There are no shortage of bad designers. I could throw a rock and hit three of them right now. :D

*begins looking over shoulders* :p

aricher
Aug 17, 2006, 09:05 AM
*begins looking over shoulders* :p

Unrelated to design but where's your 'tar iGav? Didn't you used to have a BAPE-related 'tar?

shecky
Aug 17, 2006, 12:03 PM
Yes, but design isn't art

i never said it was. and everything exists in context to everything else. therefore any good designer is aware of a lot more than just design; everything out there including art, literature, film, current events, cooking, trampolines, etc. is relevant, valid, and important to design.

the insular designer is the medicore one.

iGav
Aug 17, 2006, 01:24 PM
therefore any good designer is aware of a lot more than just design; everything out there including art, literature, film, current events, cooking, trampolines, etc. is relevant, valid, and important to design.

Oh I agree completely, as I alluded to in my post. But it's important to know in what context they relate to and influence design (and of course, vice-versa), both in an historical and contemporary context.

I don't disagree with comments stating the importance of having a knowledge of Art History, but what I do disagree with, is that in a thread about becoming a designer, that it is deemed of greater importance than a knowledge of Design History, or that the two are seemingly interchangeable or one and the same, when they're not.

iGav
Aug 17, 2006, 01:31 PM
Unrelated to design but where's your 'tar iGav? Didn't you used to have a BAPE-related 'tar?

Environmental reasons... I wanted to lessen my impact on MacRumors fragile ecology. ;)

ATD
Aug 17, 2006, 03:39 PM
My greatest influence in design comes from the person who writes the checks. :D

beatsme
Aug 17, 2006, 03:47 PM
My greatest influence in design comes from the person who writes the checks. :D



ain't that the truth...

art is a personal expression
design is tailored to appeal to a specific audience

thus, art exists on its terms...it is what it is for its own sake
whereas design has a specific purpose in mind

decksnap
Aug 17, 2006, 05:25 PM
ain't that the truth...

art is a personal expression
designed is tailored to appeal to a specific audience

thus, art exists on its terms...it is what it is for its own sake
whereas design has specific purpose in mind

That's definitely not true. 'Traditional' fine art, just like design, has a business side, and has throughout history. Much of it is commissioned for specific purposes.

And on the flip side, can not design 'exist on its own terms'?

beatsme
Aug 17, 2006, 06:27 PM
That's definitely not true. 'Traditional' fine art, just like design, has a business side, and has throughout history. Much of it is commissioned for specific purposes.

And on the flip side, can not design 'exist on its own terms'?

depends on your definition of "art"

decksnap
Aug 17, 2006, 07:38 PM
depends on your definition of "art"

Any art history book will show you plenty of art that was commissioned.

beatsme
Aug 17, 2006, 09:17 PM
Any art history book will show you plenty of art that was commissioned.

I believe the point I'm trying to make is that "design" typically has a service or product associated with it. "Art" does not...

in my mind, this is an important distinction...

would you call a Fender Telecaster a nice piece of design or a work of art?

iGav
Aug 20, 2006, 03:02 PM
Well yes. Perhaps knowing about Walter Gropius and Eric Gill is more important than knowing about Jasper Johns... but design is such a jackdawish profession, heavily borrowing from wherever possible that the lines are often blurred.

Where would have Hipgnosis been without René Magritte?

Sorry for not replying to this sooner B, I've only just noticed your post. :o

Anyway...

It's not necessarily so important to know about specific individuals, or movements et al, so much as it is understanding about how they (whatever there origination) have related to, influenced, inspired or impacted design as a whole.

Design history encompasses so much more than just the history of typographers, designers and their respective works, whether it be because of religion, an art movement or the social-political climate... it's important to have a fundamental knowledge and understanding how these things have have related et cetera, to design.

iGav
Aug 20, 2006, 03:03 PM
this is an important distinction...

I think the most important distinction is that the fundamentals of art and design are so very different, that they should be considered completely separate and distinct of each other.

quruli
Aug 20, 2006, 03:42 PM
Learn Typography
Study (REALLY study) type and its purpose and power.

Learn Grid Systems
Learn and understand the grid and its purpose.

Off topic kinda. Where can I find out about grid systems?

shecky
Aug 20, 2006, 03:46 PM
Off topic kinda. Where can I find out about grid systems?

Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Joseph Müeller-Brockmann (http://www.youworkforthem.com/product.php?sku=P0004) is the grid bible, but Grid Systems by Kimberly Elam (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568984650/sr=1-1/qid=1156106673/ref=sr_1_1/102-4074514-6777742?ie=UTF8&s=books) is an adequate book for a lot less money to get you going.

quruli
Aug 20, 2006, 04:07 PM
Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Joseph Müeller-Brockmann (http://www.youworkforthem.com/product.php?sku=P0004) is the grid bible, but Grid Systems by Kimberly Elam (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568984650/sr=1-1/qid=1156106673/ref=sr_1_1/102-4074514-6777742?ie=UTF8&s=books) is an adequate book for a lot less money to get you going.

Some more advice seeking...

I have another thread about a Literary Magazine I am designing. I am familiar with Illustrator and PS, soon I will be starting to play with inDesign.

Do you have any good book recommendations for magazine design. I am definetely going to use a grid system. I will also look for a typography book. Other than that, I don't really know what else to look for. Thanks everyone.

This book looks good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1568984480/ref=pd_bxgy_text_b/103-4208020-9181435?ie=UTF8

iGav
Aug 21, 2006, 05:56 AM
Do you have any good book recommendations for magazine design.

Rinky dink link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1856691772/026-9481775-9849230?v=glance&n=266239&s=books&v=glance)

ChicoWeb
Aug 22, 2006, 01:01 AM
How many posted who aren't actually pros?