Design help

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mac15, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Location:
    Sydney
    #1
    Most designers get stuck for ideas (I'm no designer but I wanna be )
    anyway could you the macrumors community lend me some ideas on what to draw and create. I have made stuff before check http://www.ambitiouslemon.com/ it has some crap I have made but it sucks ( well not sucks but its just patterns and stuff. I know some of the macrumors community are designers so lend some help for this stuck amatuer.
    I think this is my longest ever thread :D
    Anyway looking forward to hearing from you
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #2
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #3
    I've done my share of design and I've found the best way to get going is to just do it. Practice sketching out ideas, practice playing with photo shop - actually a really good book for great instructional how to's in photoshop are the Photoshop Wow! books. If you can't find the latest version, don't worry. There are more than enough samples on techniques that aren't version dependent.

    Some good tutorials and inspirational stuff

    http://www.computerarts.co.uk

    But tell us more about what it is you want to design? That might help
     
  4. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #4
    all the above suggestions are good.

    remember infromal is more intersting than formal....if you use it right. try messing around with only 2 or 3 colors and be consistant with them....depends on what you are doing of course. try and stay simple first....to much action in a design tends to make your design look very busy and over saturated etc. etc. think about what your saying if you are saying anything.....concept is good...or theme whatever you want to call it.

    check this.....

    http://www.macaddict.com/magazine/extra/pros/


    it helps to know how the pros are doing thier art....go through the ones dealing with print media and or illustration....its gives you some help in a certain area
     
  5. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #5
    not website...but...

    I get a lot of inspiration from going to Barnes & Noble and browsing through their graphic design books...

    also, there's a magazine I love called Dynamic Graphics which offers tons of ideas & insight...they are on the web at: www.dgusa.com

    by the way....what exactly are u trying to accomplish???
     
  6. quanta macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    Designers don't just draw things... we solve problems. Everytime you find yourself frustrated by something that was designed by a troll in a cave, there's an opportunity to design something of your own.

    One of the best ways to get your mind flowing in creative directions is to take things which are apparently dissimilar and try to find relationships between the two and combine them. This may sound a bit strange, but look at the guy who designed the beer can/party helmet that everyone's wearing to the game. Also, when it comes to sketching out your ideas, don't even give a moment's pause about whether your doodle is "artistic" or "pretty" or anything like that. Your sketch's main purpose is to remember an idea and to visualise it on paper before committing time and energy into a final version. Your sketches will get better as time goes on, but as dukestreet mentioned, just doing it will go infinitely further than sitting around thinking about it.

    Another thing i would suggest is that you isolate concepts which you are interested in—patterns for example—then read up a little on theory about that concept. See what the masters have done with it, practice by imitating their work.

    Good luck.
     
  7. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #7
    spot on krossfyter :D ;) :)

    to mac15

    I use to teach new media and design to people that might not have had any experience at all with either subject..... The best way I found, was to introduce the possibilities of design and technology, show them the variety of work that is out there, and make them aware that there is no right or wrong way of doing design!! (although some traditionilsts will argue that you need to have a throrough knowledge of Johan Gutenberg all the way through to modern day design techniques before you can even consider yourself a designer!:rolleyes:

    But the most important skill of all, and this is one that cannot be taught.... is to use and trust your intuition........

    If you want to get into design, or even just do your own design work then the obvious way is to do a design course, to gain an understanding of typography, layouts and semantics......... etc..... but then again.... who says you should have to go to college and study design...... I've never seen the rule book that says "you must!!"

    One of the most influential designers of the last 20 maybe 30 years admits to having very little in the way of formal design education, and his work is very influential....... check him out, his name is David Carson......

    www.davidcarson.net

    I suppose a good way of starting is to set yourself a Creative Brief.... this may be;

    Design a 2x page magazine spread, that reviews your favourite band, sports star, actor etc........ Take the existing copy from a magazine spread of the said person so you don't have to worry about content. Then give consideration to the style of the magazine..... in other words... how would you like it to look?? if it's for a industrial band like NIN, try and take the music as a starting point and try to convert it into visuals imagine how the music would look if it was a visual????

    NINs music is f**ked up, angular, angry..... make the design represent this... down and dirty..... or if its for a NASCAR driver, how could you convey this person through the design...? Speed, lack of fear, precision, clarity etc, the design might represent the madness of the driver, or the layout might be clean, structured and uncluttered because thats the state of mind of the driver whilst racing, or that his driving is very precise and smooth.......

    By taking the subject matter and content as inspiration, the design should then flow from there, it should be an extension of written language and visual content.......

    Although remember there are no rules..... so you might decide to take it on another tangent!!

    CD sleeves are also a good place to start....... I have alot of CD's where the music is really good, but the sleeve doesn't represent the content and vice-versa..... Take the music as a starting point and imagine the sound as visuals.... and take it from there...... You may wish to look at designers such as Peter Saville, Malcolm Garrett, or Vaughan Oliver, all are famous for their music sleeve design, look at how the design works with the music..... believe me, you know when you've nailed it......

    Enjoy Designing......;)
     
  8. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

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    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #8

    DAMN PURISTS!!!:D
     
  9. iGav macrumors G3

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    Mar 9, 2002
  10. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #10
    although Gutenberg can be credited for starting the foundation for what have today....I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a necessary element in the mind of a designer....I guarantee I know lots of incredible designers who couldn't give me too much information other than he invented printing using movable type...

    now David Carson....he he he....I've got a set of his fonts on my work system....I hardly ever get to use them....but there's a bit of inspiration with him....he he he :p
     
  11. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #11
    yeah no kidding.... David Carson is brillant to say the least. I have one of his books... "The End of Print" and reading the opening pages just blow me away. What he says in it just took design to another level for me intellectualy and philosophically. WoW!
     
  12. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #12
    eyelikeart

    I know designers who'd probably think that Johan Gutenberg was the actor who played Mahoney in Police Academy.... :p

    Actually, I'm been serious......:D

    Carson is a blinding designer, although he owes alot to Dadaism!! his books are superb though!! Eye-candy with substance!!

    His last book Fotografiks was very, very good, a juxtaposition of, well gee... this is a hard one!!:p Photographs and Graphic Design!!!

    Buy it now!!!:D
     
  13. jvaska macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2002
    Location:
    Haiti/NYC
    #13
    it is about solving problems...that what "designer's" do...it's not about being handy in photoshop necessarily...that's more of a hobby for many and not necessarily actual design...

    but anybody can solve problems and be a designer...

    the most important thing though...

    remember to use your eyes...look closely at things...after much practice you will understand why some relationships work and why others don't...

    and working with no color or just a couple colors to begin with is very good...

    if you want to create something...how about trying to copy things you like (album covers, advertisements, packaging) as closely as possible...

    and read this -> http://www.brucemaudesign.com/manifesto/manifesto.html

    have fun! remember to squint and look sideways at things too...jv
     
  14. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #14
    Being handy in photoshop is just one of many skills available to the designer, not everyone is as good as the next, and everyone has their own style and favorite medium.

    mac15 started the thread, but he never really let us know what he wanted to design. Now its grown into a larger thing. But the fact remains, that you design for a reason, whether as a hobby or for work, there has to be a driving force behind it.

    The interrelationship between solid and void, color, contrast etc. all affect us at a level that isn't really apparent at first. How do you describe beauty? What is 'cool'? It means different things to different people.

    Design is not like accounting, there are no numbers and spread sheets, rules.
    Its Art. The ability to convey meaning and ideas without words.

    Sure there is theory, but that only gets you so far. Find out what makes you happy, excited and stick to it.
     
  15. mac15 thread starter macrumors 68040

    mac15

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Location:
    Sydney
    #15
    woah you guys rock....... that was way more than helpful :D

    I think I should of said photoshop ideas instead of design help because I don't have any problems to solve, I just wanna make some cool pictures for everybody .

    It's true it good to have your own style, Nobody knows their own style other people pic it up for you.

    Thanks to everyone

    I going off to draw, design, listen to music, get inspired....... whatever
     
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #16
    Heh heh.... I think we've spawned a monster!!!:p :p ;)
     
  17. MacKenzie999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    Don't Necessarily Believe What You Read

    One more bit of important advice...

    There are a lot of opinions presented here, some helpful, some ridiculous (I'm not looking to flame anyone so I will keep those particular opinions to myself).
    Listen to what others have to say but do not automatically assume they are correct. Just because someone is a professional or a teacher does not mean they know what they are talking about (myself included). I have several interns and am amazed by a lot of the garbage they are being taught in school.

    ...and as far as actual practical advice goes, here's my suggestion: become a voraciuous student of typography. In my eyes what sets apart the true pros from the overwhelming majority of wannabes is a real, thorough understanding of how and why type works (or doesn't work).

    Good luck!
     
  18. freedom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2001
    Location:
    Royal Midsommarkransen, Stockholm, Sweden
    #18
    Inspiration…

    Well… I agree with many and oppose too some…

    My personal advice is art-history!
    Browse through Gombrich´s or Jansons´
    "the History of Art" brick-thick not-to-carry-around books!
    When you arrive at early 20th century,
    look closely at dada and all -isms.
    It is inspiring to say the least!
    Continue to the Bauhaus-period,
    suck it in and grow as an "artist"/designer.
    There you have it all:
    Shape, colour, composition and even typography!
     
  19. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #19
    Re: Don't Necessarily Believe What You Read

    Good point. I don't work with print media that much, more animation and illustration, so type isn't as important for me. That was one of earlier points, you need to figure out what it is you want to do. Once you figure that out, then you can focus on getting a better understanding of the concepts.
     
  20. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #20
    dukestreet

    I don't do much print work either anymore.....

    The rules of typography and legibilty have changed for screen or motion graphics work, the whole language of legibility is been questioned now, which is what makes new media and motion graphic work so amazing to work with......

    Its kind of like what David Carson said though...... by not knowing what the accepted rules of design were..... he couldn't break them, as he simply wasn't aware of the rules....... and thus he nutured his own style, a result of his own creative process.....

    I really like that approach to work....... Design is not elitist anymore, and with the advent of the desktop computer as the new designers tool of choice.... we are seeing some incredible work coming up now, from many without formal design training!!!

    I'm really for that.... it's like PUNK Rock......... the whole DIY ethic.......:p
     
  21. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #21
    Re: dukestreet

    And what better computer to do it all on than a Mac!:D
     
  22. MacKenzie999 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    Re: dukestreet

    "I really like that approach to work....... Design is not elitist anymore, and with the advent of the desktop computer as the new designers tool of choice.... we are seeing some incredible work coming up now, from many without formal design training!!!"

    I have to sort of disagree with this. For every David Carson out there, there are 10,000 other designer wannabes doing pathetic hack work. Granted, formal training is no guarantee that you'll be good either, but you're a lot more likely to do meaningful work if you have a solid understanding of what you are doing and why.

    I'm all for diy, I lived through the whole early days of punk (and actually studied under people like Malcolm Garret and Neville Brody in London) but this great democratization of the tools of design has, in my opinion, created a hell of a lot more bad design than good. Owning a hammer does not make one a carpenter.
     
  23. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #23
    re: wannabes

    MacKenzie999 made a good point when he said for every David Carson there are 10,000 wannabes floating around...

    That's part of what's made me feel so jaded with what I do is having to deal with so many stupid people who want to "design" their own work. I would suggest for anyone who wants to get a firm grip on being anything resembling a graphic designer to work in a prepress environment as I do. Being a production artist will teach u things that u simply cannot learn in a classroom and give u valuable experience to take with u for the future when u are the one submitting work (not outputting it for print).

    The advent of the personal computer (primarily PCs and Microsoft's horrible software that magically turns the average joe into a graphic artist....in most cases it's Word or Publisher...and even in some extreme cases Excel) has turned my workdays into a virtual living hell!! The simple fact that anyone can go out and buy a computer and start doing their own work has in many ways threatened us who actually have skills and know what we are doing. Do I sound bitter yet?! :rolleyes:
     
  24. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #24
    re: wannabes pt. 2

    I reached a maximum length and couldn't finish above...

    anyway...this is the reason why I have decided to return to college with in a hopeful pursuit of another career...I don't want to become obsolete within the next 10 years. Plus, I want my work to have meaning...and I'm starting to see the desktop publishing/graphic design world to become oversaturated.

    a note to anyone...I am not bashing (I hope u realize this!!) and Mac15 please do not take offense for my rants...I mean absolutely zero harm to anyone and I honestly applaud u for wanting to find your creative side...

    a word of free advice...something that helped open my eyes (no pun intended...he he he) was when I started learning about photography. It's quite interesting to see the world through a photographic lens...it definitely helped me to let go of a lot of cr@p that was holding me back artistically... :p
     
  25. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #25
    Re: re: wannabes pt. 2

    This is very true. Artistic vision, to be able to see things as an artist are key in understanding what you are doing. In all the art classes I've taken, its always been part of what's been taught us.

    The BEST example of understanding how to 'see' as an artist can be found in the book 'Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain', its cheap and for your money you can't beat it. Its in its 3rd or 4th edition too.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...8457067/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/102-6504956-5060121
     

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