Getting started in design?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by grimreaper1377, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. grimreaper1377 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2007

    Does anyone have any books or any tips that can help me get started in graphic design? I already have a copy of photoshop cs4 and starting to follow the millions of tutorials on the internet, but was wondering if there's something that can teach me design theory rather than just jumping in to actually making graphics. I won't be doing this for professional reasons; just as a hobby.

  2. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    The best thing is to take classes. But hey, I don't think that's something you want to do, do you?

    It's a hard path, let me tell you. You have to be really creative. Software isn't everything by the way, you could technically be a pro with the software but still sucks at design. It's also quite a large domain, ranging from printed to the Web.

    I would like to say that photoshop isn't the only app used. I would guess the 3 apps that are used the most are Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. It just really depends on what exactly you want to do. Photography editing+Complicated graphics? Photoshop. Logos+Vector drawing? Illustrator. Books and posters? Indesign. You should also consider a font managing program. Using only the system font folder can get quite messing when you're dealing with many different fonts that can significantly slow down your Mac for nothing. We're using Suitcase in my class. I completely hate it, but it's doing it's job. Adobe make one I think, called Font Book or something like that. Don't use it.

    Like I said in another thread, the serie of books: "Classroom In a Book" are really nice. Great when you know nothing about the apps. They probably won't teach you a lot about graphic design itself, but you will be able to use Adobe CS. Just take into consideration that it is made for CS3 and not CS4, so some things might have changed between books. CS4 will be coming eventually, so just wait and see. They are also 50$ each, so I would only recommend to begin only with Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign.

    Two last things: First, try to search for design graphic blogs. That way you can see what it's currently being done by artists from this domain. Second, read this blog Great exemple of what you should not do.

    And, hey, DON'T forget to NEVER use Comic Sans. NEVER.
  3. Simplesimon101 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2006
    yeah I agree with the guy above.

    I think exposing your self to as much design as possible is really helpful. Try to think what makes a piece of design good or bad? (does it communicate the right thing? does it make information easier to understand? is it pleasing to the eye?) try and work out what is it about that design that makes it that way.

    I check a blog called most days. They link to designers and illustrators websites daily and it's interesting to see what other people are doing. ...there are lots of other blogs too (manystuff, Design Observer, Creative Review) they're all worth checking out.

    I've used in the past to learn software because I find video tutorials better then books (it's only $25 a month so you could just try it for a month and see how you get on)

    But I think the most important thing you could do is keep experimenting (and try not do everything on the computer!... make something, print it out, draw on it, scan it in, have fun with it!). You'll probably make a lot of bad stuff to begin with but the more you try the more you'll learn...

    hope that helps!

    Good Luck
  4. grimreaper1377 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2007
    Thanks for the responses, guys.

    I'm not really looking for how to use the software as much as design principles, like color theory, CRAP, etc.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Go to a book store, such as barns and noble. And look at the books at their design section.

    Well, if you want CRAP, here is the MS iPod "design"

  6. Krebstar macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    First, if you want to get into design, get more than Photoshop.
  7. isharan macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Any specific books people can recommend?

    Sorry to bring up a dead thread :eek:
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Anything by Timothy Samara or Robert Bringhurst.

    Go to Amazon and do a search for GRID and Typography. Learning how to do GOOD design on your own is practically impossible. Design is mostly about learning how to solve problems and then getting crit to refine your ideas. I can't imagine going it alone.

    For the OP; instead of learning design as a hobby, try bowling or lawn darts instead.
  9. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
  10. LERsince1991 macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    Psss... Over here dude...
    I got what you need maan...
    You want CS4?

    You want to get the design workflow... ID, PS and Ai maybe Dw...
    I don't really use Ai but when I do it's handy.

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