i want to be a designer... but im only 14

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by iminimac, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. iminimac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #1
    Hey
    about a year ago I got into design and for that year I have done various photoshop and I have learnt most of photoshop and done a fair bit of work. I have made websites (myspaces to be exact) for myself and friends and my myspace tends to get comments of wow! or that is so cool. I feel pleased with my level of work but I want it to get better.

    I have learnt alot of html and some css and have been doing more work for web lately. I also just picked up a copy of dreamweaver and flash which I hope to get good at.

    I want to improve and when im older be a graphic/ web designer. As im 14 I have been unable to find any grahpic design courses which I can do (Southampton, UK if anyone knows one). What should I be doing to improve. Ive read the forums and people talk of classes and I will try and take some when I get older but they also talk of books. Is there any good books or anything else I should do/get.

    Many thanks
    David
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #2
    Concentrate on getting good G.C.S.E.'s first... as you have an interest in Design, I presume you'll have optioned a a Design type subject for one of your G.C.S.E.'s. For example I choose Design & Communication as one of my options when I was at school.

    Don't bother with Sixth Form, it's a waste of f**king time for Design.

    A good college will usually require that you have 5 Good G.C.S.E.'s (A-C) and one of those will have to be in a Art and Design subject, so don't flunk them. ;)

    Start building up your book (portfolio) now, you'll need it for college interviews, don't necessarily worry about your technical skills/technical execution at the moment, those will be taught and developed on the course... it's better to have a book that demonstrates you are capable of creative thinking.

    You should start scoping out the colleges in your area, to see if they do Design courses... it's unfortunate in that you've just missed the Design Shows that colleges have at the end of the year, that would give you a good idea of the type of brief that you'll get to work on at a particular college.

    It's never too earlier to get in contact with a College, Graphic Design is a massively popular course, and places on good courses are usually hard fought. Make an appointment with one of the Design Lecturers, so that you can sit down and discuss all aspects of what Graphic Design entails, their course and the work produced on the course. They should have examples of work produced by their students to hand, and will likely show you around their studios which will give you a better understanding of what to expect. Potentially you will also have made a contact, that could be used to your advantage when it comes to applying for their course. ;)

    I recommend that you consider a EDEXCEL National Diploma in Graphic Design, they are 2 year course that will give a solid foundation in all aspects of design (usually both print and screen) and typography. This will also allow you to go directly on to a BA (Hons) Degree course in a Design related subject without having to take a Foundation year.

    Hope that helps.

    G
     
  3. Mookamoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #3
    Hi David. Fantastic you are enthuastic about design at 14.

    Personally I got through higher education into design by doing a bTec diploma and then a degree in Design Communication at UEA (Norwich). What I would do is have a look at what courses there are when you leave school and see if you want to do them. They will teach you about design which I would suggest is more important in the long term that just learning how to use the applications. That you can do (and by the sounds of it have been doing) in your spare time.

    Couple of things you can do now are:
    1) Keep a sketchbook of things that inspire you. This will help you design and will help you get into any art colleges/universities later.
    2) Do work experience. Don't wait until you get your 2 weeks which the school offer. Spend your holiday time helping out in a real studio. You will learn loads and start making contacts.
    3) Keep learning applications. If you feel you need to do courses and can pay for them, then you will find evening classes somewhere, but they often just cover the same topics as the tutorials.
    4) Look to take on odd jobs for local people. You will find loads of local clubs, such as youth clubs, gardening clubs, local parish councils who need posters doing. You might even look to local businesses, such as kennels, riding stables, farm shops etc etc who might need stuff doing. That will get you really thinking about getting your application skills to match what you want to achive with the design, not the other way round.

    Hope that helps and good luck

    Steve
     
  4. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4
    Hmmm...at 14, I think the best advice I could give you (as a graphic designer) would be to forget about graphic and webdesign for at least a couple of years, if not more. Take those years, instead, and learn about other artistic mediums.

    Take any art classes you can in school. Take painting and drawing and general art classes. Take art history. Take sculpture.

    The most important thing you can learn at an early age is WHY things that look good actually look good. Learn about gestalt principles, and how objects relate to each other. Learn what color means and the emotions it evokes.

    I'd even say this: learn how to write. A large part of design is typography. The more you understand the words that are a part of your piece, the better you'll be able to get those words to evoke the emotion they were meant to.

    Carry a pen with you everywhere. Draw on anything and everything. Napkins and paper placemats at restaurants. Handouts in class. Learn how to draw. After you're done doing that, learn how again. :)

    At your age, I REALLY feel that learning about design should not involve a computer at all. I didn't start learning about Photoshop and Quark and Illustrator until I was 18...and even that was probably a little too early. Spend as much time as you can being creative in other ways. That will, undoubtedly, transfer over to the computer when it's time.
     
  5. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #5
    Just don't screw up your GCSE's, that's all I say.
    I'm now studying Graphic Design at Chichester College (not too far away from you!) and loving it. Make sure you chose the right options after your GCSE's, have a look in advance of courses you are interested in, and find out what qualifications they require. Go and speak with Connexions or something like that if you need to.

    Oh, and just don't give up. Graphic Design has taken up a lot of my time, but the effort you put in now, will relate to your grades, and then the future.

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  6. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #6
    sorry, I'm your average thick-headed American...

    what are G.C.S.E.'s?
     
  7. iminimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #7
    Unfotunately I am at small private school. The choice of GSCE options was poor. The school offered Design Techonlogy Grahpics but the subject was extremely. Working on 95 windows machines on Xara whihc I have learnt to hate. Also the projects they do are more like packaging and teach nothing about proper good design. So i opted not to take it because of these reasons. I also didnt take art because it was like art/ textiles and offered little drawing. In the end I chose Music, Drama because I am also intersted in Film and Video. I also took ICT and Geography.

    I will buy a book for sketching and ideas.

    Thanks. I will try and find some courses and build up like sketches and work.


    I will buy a book and sketch in it with ideas.
    This is a real problem for me. I emailed about 20 different design firms locally in Southampton and most havent replied and the few that have said they are to small to offer work experience. We have been set to get a work placement with school and to find our placement by the end of the summer holidays.
    Thanks


    I didnt see much in drawing and writing for graphic design before but I will defintily buy a sketch pad and start doing as much drawing as possible.

    Thanks for everyones help.
    David
     
  8. iminimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #8
    Fareham college looks promising for design as a college.
    Cool. Thanks

    GSCEs are exams you do at the end of secondary school (leaving at age 16) and give you grades to move onto college.
     
  9. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    Design is much more than it seems. I took Psychology and Sociology classes as part of my degree, in addition to Persuasive Communication classes and other seemingly non-related classes.

    Seldom are designers solely designers. Designers are artists in many other areas a lot of times. Painters, drawers, musicians, writers. The more comfortable you are with all of these mediums, the easier design will come to you on a computer.

    You have no idea how much the ability to draw will help your design. I'm not saying you have to have photo-realistic drawing abilities, or anything in particular, but it helps immensely being able to communicate your ideas away from the computer.
     
  10. Foxglove9 macrumors 65816

    Foxglove9

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #10
    I'm with you, what does that stand for? :confused:

     
  11. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #11
    General Certificate of Secondary Education.
     
  12. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames
    #12
    To elaborate further, GCSEs are school examinations taken around the age of 16 (11th grade, I think). You tend to take 8-12 subjects, depending on ability and the school you go to. After these, you are not obliged to remain in school, but many people do and go on to take A-Levels at the age of 18.
     
  13. kaboutertje macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #13
    Just get good grades at school for now, and continue to make websites, flyers, whatever. I was around your age when I had a site with 20k+ visitors a day. I learned a lot about that, made some sites for random people too.
    After I graduated I did a design education for 2 years, but quit because it was just too easy(crappy art schools around here). So now I'm studying Law.
    The thing is practice makes perfect, just keep playing with it/enjoying it, and you'll be miles ahead of the rest later on.
     
  14. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #14
    you should check out the thread re: advice for those who want to be designers, if you haven't already. It's a fun profession, though (and most people don't believe this) it is just as fraught with crushing deadlines and pressure to perform as any other.
     
  15. Mookamoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #15
    Emailing isn't enough. Most studio managers are either too busy or too self important (I say that having been one ;)) to bother replying to emails. You either need to call them, and keep calling them or turn up on the doorstep and ask to see someone. That could be one of the first lessons you get about how to be a designer. You have to shout and shout loud to get yourself noticed.

    Failing that, pander to their frail egos and ask to shadow someone for a few days and then ask to mentored.
     
  16. iminimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #16
    i cant find that thread - can anyone provide a link?
     
  17. iminimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #17
    im ringing various people now. thanks for the tip and hopefully someone will say yes
     
  18. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #18
    Here you go . . .

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  19. HughJ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Location:
    Norwich UK
    #19
    I've been a designer/illustrator for the past 15yrs, over that time i have noticed that being a "Graphic Designer" is a trendy job, as a result the market is absolutely saturated and has been for the past 5yrs at least

    I would suggest trying other area's simply there is not the money that there was when i first started

    An area that i wish that i had time to get involved with is 3D, you'll be able to flex your artistic muscles in an industry thats still to a degree in its infancy..certainly when comapared the traditional graphics industry.

    Just my opinions anyway, but good luck with your chosen path

    hughJ
     
  20. dew321 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    #20
    I agree with HughJ. I would say that you should be comfortable in as many different media as possible (web, video, 3D, even sound, in addition to print). Print designers are a dime a dozen these days. Five years ago, the ones that could also do web were in demand, but now you'll need to be able to communicate in any medium to really stand out. (Side note: I just found out that Autodesk offers a free version of Maya [called Personal Learning Edition] at http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=7639525 should you want to start learning 3D animation.) Like others in this thread have mentioned, having a solid base in the fine (non-computer) arts will be invaluable, so strengthen those muscles first.

    It's great that you're taking an interest so early on, and that head start puts you leagues beyond your peers. I wish you the best of luck.
     
  21. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    #21

    Yep, I noticed the same thing a while back so I pushed myself into 3D (Electric Image, Lightwave and now Maya). The field is oversaturated, you need an edge to compete. 3D is not the only edge but it works for me, I have been able to keep my rates good while many others around me have had to cut theirs. It does help that I enjoy it, that's the most important part. Don't chase something you don't enjoy just for the money.


     
  22. iminimac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    #22
    Does producing 3d work require a good sense of scultping/3d drawing? or does Maya and other programs help make it easier?
     
  23. waynesun macrumors regular

    waynesun

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #23
    I'm 15 years old, and have done some work for other companies on websites. Just fool around with Photoshop often, learn how to correctly integrate your colors into your design, look elsewhere such as (www.fantasyinterfaces.com or www.levid.com) for designs to inspire you. The only class i had was in my junior high school 8th grade year, sitting next to a guy who was pretty damn good at PS. The rest of the time before that i just played around with the program, making simple little websites and gradually building on the designs.
    If youre designing on a Mac, you're lucky! I envy you. I design on a 800some mhz HP Computer with 256 MB of ram. Not to mention my crappy monitor which doesnt display colors right. I use my PSP for evaluations :).
     
  24. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    #24

    A little of both really. It helps you visualize things as you create them but any discipline you can bring to the table will only help. It's a very complex program and takes a good deal of time to understand it. In my case it took years of working with it before I got quick with it, not a great program if you like immediate gratification. The people that do the best with Maya (or any other 3D program) are both artist and technical, ones that can visualize what they are looking for and can easily swim through a complex program to make it happen. Don't let that detour from trying it, it's a lot fun too. But the most important discipline you can bring to it is your imagination. ;)


     
  25. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #25
    After reading some of the comments above... I can't help but think of that old proverb... don't try to run before you can walk.
     

Share This Page