another i want to be a designer thread...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by wmmk, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    yes, i know there have been quite a few of these lately, but i am coming from a different standpoint as others with similar threads. i don't need to know about the design industry, as i want do to this purely for the joy of it. i also have really no graphic design background whatsoever, and i want to learn about the principles of design like colors, fonts, page layout, and all that other good stuff. i'd also like to know what software you would reccomend for all aspects of design. thanks a bunch,
  2. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    The Adobe Creative Suite is pretty much a designers toolbox, just about all the software you need to start. Please don't confuse learning the software as learning design. There are a great many books on design but the best way is to get instruction. The interaction with a good teacher and other students will bring you along much faster and better.

  3. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    does anyone here know a good place in the chicago area where junior high or high school students could take design classes? what books do you reccomend? do you think CS3 will come with flash? does anyone here work at a design firm in chicago who'd be willing to have an intern?

    ALSO: could any of the real designers on here just go through their portfolio with me and point out how certain fonts, colors, shapes, and layouts are used? i'd be so gracious:)
  4. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Wow, that's asking a lot for an online community! You'd be better off checking your local community college to see if they have any classes in graphic design. I'll bet they do!

    Graphic design is not something you do... it's a way of life.
  5. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005

    Well said.

  6. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Seconded... or is it thirded? Anyway I totally agree :D

    To the OP check out my site im a designer from England. BTW What you are asking for is tutoring in design for which you need a tutor. Look up some local courses. I studied design for 4 years and only now 6 years since graduating am I making good my career. Its not something someone can point bits out to you and off you go. You really need to learn a lot of things. As well as the tools you will need to use. Im still finding cool things out about Photoshop and I have been using it for 10 years! Remember dont confuse knowing Photoshop etc as knowing design. Photoshop et al are tools to help you express your design expertise! :)
  7. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    only problem is, i'm not old enough to go to a community college, I'm only 13. all i mean about the portfolio thing is that i'd be nice to have a pro explain why one or two pieces of their work. considering that it's the school year, and i won't have any time to take design classes for te next 9 months, are there any fairly current good books or websites about the fundamentals or graphic design? thanks a bunch!
  8. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Going by your're probably in 8th grade? You're not even in high school yet, so already hats off to you in figuring what you're interested in. In terms of books/websites, I'll probably let a more experienced designer on MR refer you to those. But from knowing a friend (who is a fairly successful and experienced free-lancer), learn your craft and develop an identity.

    I mean, after taking some basic cookie-cutter classes, everything else you do is on your own. My friend, she learned alot by basically "fiddling" around in photoshop, again, starting out at about the same age as you (12-13 years old). Granted, the material online and in print is certainly more plentiful now...
  9. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    i've messed around quite a lot in gimp, inkscape, and scribus (open source alternatives to PS, illustrator, and InDesign), but I want to know basic fundamentals. whenever i just noodle around or follow step by step tutorials of making cool looking things, i don't feel like i'm learning anything except for making an aqua button or whatever I happen to be figuring out from some tutorial.
  10. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    There are many books on CS2 with which you can learn quite a bit on your own. I am done with school (I don't want to get back to the educational environment as I feel it is too "controlled environment" compared to actual business world). I prefer studying on my own and those books and tutorial files which came with the books helped me understand those programs. Real World series, Adobe press, basic typography books should get you started as far as understanding how to use the tools (i.e.. CS2, and other graphics software).
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you really want to learn about design, then don't concentrate on the software to the exclusion of everything else... that might not be what you want to hear but it's a simple truth.

    We've had historically-important visual communicators doing their thing for centuries without computers. The basic fundamentals of design can and probably should be taught without a computer. I didn't get to touch a Mac until 15 years after completing my degree... the entire first year was taught with paint, pencil, ink and cut-out bits of paper. :D

    There might be helpful books out there but what is more important is the doing, and then having your work subjected to criticism whether it's from a tutor or other classmates. So, as others have suggested, classes would be the best thing... if you're still in school, then take art classes.

    Also, broaden your visual skills by either drawing or photography which will teach you how to see.

    Best of luck. :)
  12. iVersa macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    London, UK
    Try to get your hands on Adobe Photoshop, as you probably well know this is the first and foremost graphical software. Once you get the hang of that and want to start progressing to illustration and print work, it would be wise to learn Adobe Illustrator & Indesign. They all come in a graphical package called Creative Suite.

    Searching for online tutorials is a great way to grasp the basics of a peice of software. Then just playing around gets you used to it. It took me about a year of messing around to start to grasp photoshop and illustrator - now they are like extensions of my body ;)

    I think the best way to get yourself involved in "the design scene" and to learn a few things is to visit a few decent design communities first and foremost. Here are a decent few...

    Newstoday Has two decent broadcast areas with links to good design portfolios and articles daily.

    Design Is Kinky also has a decent news broadcast, other interesting articles and if you find the "DIK Support and friends" drop down menu, it has a whole bunch of design community links there.

    Now Go Create Is a pretty wacky but interesting design community.

    Graphic-Forums Probably the best place to ask any design related questions.

    k10k The designers lunchbox

    Also Deviant ART is a good place for begginers to get critique on thier work


    Here are a few very valuable books on design too..

    How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul

    Grid Systems

    Thinking with type

    Do some browsing :)
  13. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    sorry, but these are three of the worst possible places for any designer, especially a new one, to visit. all are filled with immaturity and little talent if any at all. the occasional good thing may pop up here and there but in general they are wastelands of wanna-be's, talentless hipsters, and banal pop design.

    you should really read:

    speak up
    design observer

    and to a lesser extent

    be a design group

    also for new users to get a crit on work, i would recommend steel dolphin forums which is full of friendly people who mostly know what they are talking about.
  14. iVersa macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    London, UK

    I totally agree that Devaint art and graphic forums are pretty low standard places, but people have to start somewhere. Anywhere of a great standard has no time for complete newbies. And sticking someone in at the deep end doesnt do anyone any favours, the new swimmer or the experienced having to help him.

    The guy said he only plans to do it for fun too.

    I'd be interested in seeing what kind of work you consider of a "high level", btw...
  15. technicolor macrumors 68000


    Dec 21, 2005
    Go to school.

    there are too many hacks on the internet
    too many people think they are designers
    knowing how to use the CS doesnt make you a designer

    i agree 100% with shecky
    designer is the most thrown around and widely misused word these days
  16. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
  17. iVersa macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2006
    London, UK
    I thought I'd compile a list of design & illustration links. Inspirational stuff

    Here is a few friends from werkburo.

    Industrial Organic
    Basit Khan
    Just Design
    Work by lunch

    And here are some of my favourite studios..

    Trevor Jackson
    Downling Design
    Big Spaceship
    Ordinary Kids
    Johan Prag

    And heres a link to my work dump, although Ive been working at a studio for the past 18 months so all of the stuff here is simply for fun or the odd freelance logo/poster job inbetween, its just a dump page


    Here is some illustrations I did about 3 years ago when i used to simply illustrate for fun..


    I'd be happy to write a brief tutorial for you if you wanted to get into illustration work similar to that, its very time consuming though.
  18. Macmadant macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2005
    I also wish to go into the Graphic design Industry, i have tonnes of creativity, yet I'm not that good at drawing, but does that put me at a disadvantage ?
    my art teacher says I'm the most creative in the class and my graphics teacher who thinks I'll get an A in graphics, hell my idea was good for my graphics project, but is being good at drawing important, as you have such things as illustrator and freehand(if thats still around) ect
  19. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Depending on the area of design you're interested in, being good at drawing is not necessarily important, but what drawing does do is to train your mind and eye to see. It's more about stretching your ability to observe and capture than being able to draw like Michelangelo.

    You'll notice this when you get involved in projects and you start seeing things in a different, more analytical way. It's like the difference between hearing and listening, if that makes sense.
  20. Macmadant macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2005
    Most likely the advertising section, i can draw logo's and draw 3D stuff pretty well, it's people i can't draw, i'm also good at technical drawing
  21. seenew macrumors 68000


    Dec 1, 2005
    Well, for college in Chicago, there's the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A friend of mine goes there. I don't know much about it, just that he's studying digital graphics/graphic design.
  22. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    wow, that'd be amazing. i'd be so happy to have illustration talent like you!
  23. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I'm going to say memorize an ass ton of fonts then you can be a designer :p
  24. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    what kind of work as in forums? only the ones i listed above are worth a read in my experience, and even then... not consistently. as much as we all want to belive what a wonderful sense of community a web forum will allow i think its a watered down version of real, intimate dialog with people you can look in the eye. but i digress.

    as far as what kind of work "out there in the world" i consider a high level, i can list of some that come to mind quickly here (particular favorites in bold):

    jan van toorn
    martin venezky
    peter saville
    niklaus troxler
    cyrus highsmith
    makoto saito
    karel martens
    april greiman
    phillipe apeloig
    ed fella
    john barnbrook
    herbert birnbach
    am cassandre
    stenberg brothers
    leonetto cappiello
    robert brownjohn
    bruno monguzzi
    vaughn oliver
    tibor kalman
    yasuhiro sawada
    ralph schraivogel

    i have been extremely fortunate to be able to work with/work for/have a meal with/see a lecture by a lot of these designers and i have learned more than i could possibly imagine by just asking them "how?" and "why?"
  25. macaddicted macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2002
    Down on Copperline...
    I would certainly spend time learning the software, and Adobe's Creative Suite is certainly going to be necessary. But there is a great deal you need to learn that doesn't involve a computer. Color theory, drawing, basic 2-d and 3-d design all can be learned without a computer, and all are necessary parts of being a designer.

    At your age I would focus on taking art classes, either in school or after school. Local art stores often have classes, or have listings of artists who are also teaching. Drawing is an under appreciated art in design. Being able to knock out several pencil roughs in a few minutes is very useful in both time and getting your creative juices flowing.

    Most of all I would tell you that a computer is a tool, a very useful and efficient tool, but a tool none the less. Developing your skills as an artist will help your ability as a designer.

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