Design 101

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Grade, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. Grade macrumors regular

    Grade

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #1
    Hi

    I want to start on Design and web design and I want to learn by myself.

    So Any books that you might recommend me to learn Design and web design?

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Norfolk, UK
    #2
    Do a course, you will learn far more from a person than a book.
     
  3. Grade thread starter macrumors regular

    Grade

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #3
    That is said then done. I live Portugal, where there practically none of those courses exists.

    Also the the only places that exists is impossible for me to go.

    So any books?
     
  4. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    Amsterdam, NY
    #4
  5. Grade thread starter macrumors regular

    Grade

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #5
    Thanks jerry.

    I also want some books that might teach me some basics to expand my imagination or something that craft my abilities in design.
     
  6. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #6
    i find magazines much more stimulating, inspirational and frankly more useful than textbooks. Books can get very boring very quickly, but magazines are full of variety each month.

    DigitalArts
    ComputerArts
    3DWorld

    are all good. I'm sure someone can come up with a much better selection of magazines avaliable to you in portugal - most magazines offer a European/Global subscription package.
     
  7. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #7
    I also get Photoshop User when I can, any graphics based mags are very useful.
    Good Luck.
     
  8. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    Amsterdam, NY
    #8
    Stick with learning the basic software first. You can have all the imagination in the world and not be able to express it in the form of design because you lack the tools of the trade. You have to put in the hard work, there is no way around it. It is not all fun and games.
     
  9. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

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    #9
    I disagree... I've always heard from every creative director and believe myself that any monkey can learn the software, but its the creative/ original thought that matters. Its not about the tool. You can do great design without a computer... Its tv concept and idea that matters.

    Magazines:
    communiction arts
    cmyk
    print
    graphik
    I.D.

    -je
     
  10. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    May 24, 2003
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    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #10
    exactly. knowing software does not make you a designer. any moron can learn software.
     
  11. klymr macrumors 65816

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    May 16, 2007
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    Utah
    #11
    Hence the reason the tech schools around here output terrible "designers" after 8 months of school. A friend and I were talking about just that. We decided it'd be nice to go to one of those school to better learn PS, Ai, etc. only to learn the programs better. I would never replace that with the design classes I've taken so far at school.
     
  12. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    #12
    So your idea of a Graphic Design education is reading magazines?

    Great answer! How does this help the OP?
     
  13. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

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    #13
  14. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

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    #14
    Actually, if you read what the op asked for, you would realize he asked for books and resources to expand his knowledge of design and creative thought. I was giving him those resources. Sure, i can rattle off books and tell him to go to classes, but i subscribe to lots of magazines and those give me the inspiration i need and help me over-come my creative challenges. Actually, if someone wanted real advice...i would say step away from the computer, live, and become active in society. Those life experiences and understanding of people will get your further in design than any teacher, magazine, book or application will ever get you.

    -je
     
  15. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    #15
    Another suggestion about learning design would be to learn how to draw.

    A recent experience designing my own website brought home the realization that the visual skills of creating art and drawing translate well into design. Art teaches you all the finer points of discernment in translating ideas into a visual language. Art will give you the confidence in your own thoughts and judgement because every mark you do in a drawing is self motivated. It exists for a reason. If you do a bad drawing and understand why - when you work on your design work, you'll know why as well. Design is built on the same visual language as art. They are blood brothers.

    My journey with art spans over ten years and the visual ability to see is slowly built up in tiny increments. Every once in awhile a great leap forward takes place. But it is hard work and the willingness to learn that moves you forward. Apart from all your other studies, I sincerely believe that nothing would help your design education more than picking up a pencil and paper and drawing the world around you.

    What's to lose - the basic drawing materials are the smallest expense you'll ever make.
     
  16. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #16
    As do I, all my design work starts with a few sketches, these may be simple boxes with angles to represent lighting directions etc but they speed up the final process no end.
     
  17. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #17
    All of my fellow posters have given good advice and solid direction. Im just going to give my .02 cents as well.

    1. Learn to draw if you can not already do this. The ability to sketch, no mater how rudimentary is nearly always essential. Focus on scale, proportions and placement first off.

    2. lynda.com is a great place to learn the tools of the trade, but like most people said, knowing the tools doesn't make you a designer. A story I often tell my freelance clients is about a man who was driving through the desert when his vehicle began making a horrible racket. He pulled into a gas station and the attendant came out. He listened to the car for about a minute, got under the hood and turned a single screw, the car began to purr like a kitten. The driver was amazed and asked how much he owed the man. The mechanic said 50.00. The driver was outraged, complaining and asking how exactly turning a screw is worth 50 bucks. The mechanic smiled coyly and explained it was only a nickel to turn the screw, but it was 49.95 to know which screw to turn.

    3. Start looking at magazines and books. Begin to get a feel for design (notice I didnt say "good" design), take in ALL design, because only then will you learn to separate the good from the bad.

    4. NOW start reading design magazines and websites devoted to design. Granted not all that you see is going to strike you as good design, just like artists everyone has a unique taste, this is why I refuse to follow "rules." Sure there are a few decent ones, no rivers in texts, rule of typography, etc. But rules in art are stupid for the most part, like A cant only go in area B, or C only works if the background is D, etc. If we truly believed this then Picasso and van Gogh's work, not to mention 75% of modern art, would be largely considered crap. Find your own niche, and your customers will find you.

    Books:
    The two books I personally swear by for the beginner are ...
    how to be a graphic design without losing your soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
    Forms, Folds, and Sizes: All the Details Graphic Designers Need to Know but Can Never Find by Poppy Evans

    Hope this helps.


     
  18. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #18
    I don't know what it is about some graphic designers but they have a real attitude problem sometimes - can we stop all of this "the only way you'll ever be good at design is with 349 years of experience, oh and design schools are crap" attitude

    I really hate that in 'senior designers' - not willing to help us younger designers.
     
  19. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #19
    I completely agree, this is a great point. But still there are plenty of people out there who honestly think that knowing the software is the 100% of being a designer.
     
  20. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #20
    Knowing software is a large part of being an excellent designer. A designer is ONLY as good as the tools available. If a designer doesn't know how to use tools effectively then the results will be fair at best.

    Creativity and software knowledge go hand in hand, one cannot exist without the other.
     
  21. klymr macrumors 65816

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    Utah
    #21
    I don't know if I agree with this statement. There are some amazing designs that I have seen done by people with no computer involved, except for maybe printing purposes. My personal belief is that great design can be born without the aid of any more tools than a pencil and sheet of paper. A computer, in my opinion, is a terrible design tool. It is a tremendously useful production tool though, and graphic design would not be what it is today with the aid of a computer, but it's not necessary to come up with a killer design. Of course, as I've mentioned a few times already, this is my opinion.
     
  22. jerryrock macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    Location:
    Amsterdam, NY
    #22
    I totally agree with this statement. Too many people call themselves graphic designers and have no idea how to us the software that is required in the industry. If you do a job search for Graphic Designer, you will see that the software skills are required for the job.

    The tools of this industry are computers and software. It is no longer pen, paper and physical typesetting or manually creating color separations. Plate-setting has gone digital as well.

    This is not saying that drawing skills, knowledge of color theory or design principles are any less important. It is critical to be able to express these components digitally.

    A "Designer" that cannot use the required software is unemployed.
     
  23. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #23
    I read "Layers" and "Photoshop User" magazines.
    I also have a technical book for Flash called "Learning Actionscript 3.0" by O'Reilly.
    (I highly recommend this book for artists that want to work effectively with Flash)

    Software should become second nature to a designer, in the same way that woodworking tools are second nature to a carpenter.
    Desktop Publishing is a technical skill.
    The more skilled you are with the software, the effective you will be at converting your creative ideas to high quality finished pieces.
     
  24. stargurl84 macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2008
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    PA
    #24
    You could learn a lot on forums like these and reading articles online
     
  25. klymr macrumors 65816

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    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    #25
    Hmm...I see what you are saying now. I guess I agree that software knowledge and application is an absolute must, but that's not all that design entails either. Like you said, other skills are also required.

    I see the designing as being done on paper with pen/pencil and the computer producing and bettering that design. I think the tools of design are still pen and paper, however the manual typesetting, etc. has been replaced with the computer and other digital means for finishing the design process and then producing the idea. Does that make sense, or am I just crazy? LOL! :p
     

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