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Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by jakeroast, Dec 13, 2016.
What apple products would you most recommend for a graphic design student?
Do you mean Apple software or software for Macs?
If you're studying graphic design there's a high probability you'll be taught with Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign. These are industry standard and there's no escaping them. However do check out Affinity Designer, I'm freelance these days and am not particularly a fan of Adobe software in general, plus Affinity is dirt cheap and has some nice features, haven't tried the PS equivalent yet though. Anyway, if you have time do try them out. Does your course have any web design modules? If so check out TextWrangler/BBEdit.
In terms of Apple software, as far as I know there aren't any specific to graphics. There's loads of software out there that you'll come across, but your best bet is to learn Adobe CC stuff, as you can take those skills and apply them to other software as needed, difficult the other way round at times.
I'd absolutely agree with the above. My day job is working for a multinational packaging design company and all our designers are expected to be proficient in the Adobe suite - Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign.
Personally, I really like the Affinity products (and I'm no fan of Adobe), but I don't know of any big companies using them in production. It wouldn't hurt to learn them, and if you plan to work freelance on your own they may be a good choice - but make sure that's in addition to learning the Adobe stuff, not instead of!
If you want to branch out from there seems to be more and more demand for 3D these days. Could be worth getting a basic grounding. I know Maya and SolidWorks are popular, but that's not my area of expertise!
None in particular except that only Mac hardware should be of primary consideration. Apple's software doesn't fit the need nor do their iOS devices, except as light use accessories to a more powerful Mac or Windows computer.
Questions only the OP can answer:
Why are you studying graphic design? For the pleasure of it or with the intent to make it your occupation?
What OS environment and what software does the school/instructor recommend?
If you intend to make this an occupation you need to consider what direction you will take. Your work life will probably center on either the Adobe CC suite or on hardcore architectural products (e.g. Autocad, various 3d products, ...). For either, you need either macOS or Windows running on a relatively powerful machine with a decent sized monitor. From Apple, for a student, that means the largest most powerful MacBook, an iMac.
For print and web, either OS will serve well. If you will be leaning heavily toward architectural design then forget macOS and go for a Windows machine.
3D Design and 2D design are still very much a separate field. Generally 2D works with print/graphics, and is increasingly taking on more web design stuff (Which should be its own field, but I see a lot of companies asking for Junior Graphics Designers with web skills). So learning basic web skills is useful, UX stuff, general HTML5 etc.
3D wise unless you plan on getting into rendering, I wouldn't bother. It's unlikely you'll get too much work out of it. Most of the visualisations are architectural based, and so you'd be expected to read a CAD file (AutoCAD), which tends to work best with 3DS Max (That one programme is a skill in of itself), also all windows based. Cinema 4D works for Macs, and I've seen an increase in the use of this, however most companies will have deployed Windows machines to use AutoCAD and so the uptake isn't great, again for freelance though it's good (Vectorworks is good for Mac too). Obviously there's other '3D' design roles, such as animations, which tend to work more with video production, or games.
Anyway, if you're studying 2D Design then focus on Illustrator/PhotoShop/InDesign, and I would suggest learning the basics of Web Design (Learn to build from scratch, but a lot of companies want Dreamweaver/WordPress knowledge). You could dabble in 3D if you want, AutoDesk do great student licenses, but as I said it's extremely complicated with a steep learning curve, and I would imagine if you enjoyed 3D design you would have picked that over 2D!
Enjoy your course
Absolutely. I was thinking of "next steps" having spent an afternoon (kidding!) mastering the Adobe suite.
I know that in the industry I work in we have no problem finding graphic designers with good Adobe skills. However, there's an ever growing demand from clients for 3D renderings of products based on what the graphic designers have kicked out. Finding good 3D people is much harder, and finding ones who have a good enough grasp of printing to have a meaningful conversation with the graphic designers is harder.
I guess that what I was driving at is that getting proficient at the Adobe suite is step one, and puts you on a level with your competition (which there's a lot of). To get ahead of that competition, find a growth area (3D, automation whatever) and brush up on that too. Having an in-demand skill that not many folks have is always a good thing.
I feel we may have gone off on a tangent here! ;-)
And that's how I make a living .
I completely agree it's good to branch out, just wanted a warning that 3D Design is very much it's own skill and not easily picked up. If you were just creating mockups of exhibition stands (Really basic ones) then you can usually achieve this easily in 3DS Max, I used to do a lot of these then render them in KeyShot for the graphics designers, it's quite simple but they do get upset when 3DS Max uses RGB, and you may or may not have stretched an image slightly in a map to make it fit... Oh and perspective, you'd be amazed how many people don't understand that something looks 'squashed' due to perspective! Anyway... I'd vote stick with graphics but keep an eye open to the basics of 3D, as it can help with the communication mentioned above.
With regard to 3D, I use C4D for Box mockups, basically folding the box into its final shape to see how it fits in 3D and iron out any cosmetic mistakes, I then usually export to Illustrator and tweak the file. I have found myself using Affinity Designer more and more, whatever you draw looks so clean, snapping is positive, disabling selection while you move and align objects is great as you get to see the object and not the selection box, I love how it shows distances between objects when you move them, simple pleasures make for a great user experience and a happy designer.