help with typography please.

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by AJ.G, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. AJ.G macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #1
    hello macrumors community,
    i am a 14 year old, living abroad studying in china, and have a deep interest, as well as talent, in art. visual arts. thing is ive realised as i do my research and try to enrich my knowledge of the art culture, that the world seems to going from the authentic pen on paper, to computers. Now thats not a problem, thing is, ive been drawing since i was able to pick up a pen.

    After recently loading my laptop with photoshop, illustrator, and in design, i quickly realised that this art world was a whole different world to what i had been grown up with. So i searched the internet, finding some great websites like PS Tuts, and the like. I followed a couple those tutorials that show you how to make an apple or simple objects, and i can proudly say im starting to get a feel for the software. Bear in mind ive only had the adobe creative suit for a few days.

    Sorry about the long introduction, and thank you for reading, but as i was looking around, i found a page that went something like "the 53 top uses of typography." and thats where i realised what amazing kinds of work can be made. i understand illustrator is a vector based program which simply means you can scale the image up or down it will still look sharp. And that the approach for a lot of the works done is to come up with the original design in illustrator, and add texture and effects in photoshop? am i right. im just inferring this from brief intros to articles i read/

    below i attached a few of the pics i found to be more than impressive, and was just wondering if those of you designers* could give me some tips, or advice, or even how one would go around getting these effects.

    thank you so much for your time and advice,

    AJ--

    *im a designer wannabe, hence the post:D
     

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  2. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #2
    Not sure exactly what you are asking. How to design? How to create type effects? For what purpose? If all you want to do is copy what other people do, then just download some tutorials, or buy some books. The purpose of the design is just as important as the design itself. Are looking for people on this forum to walk you through everything step by step? Seems kind of unreasonable. But anyway...

    Here's some short answers that came to mind:

    1. Study, study, study.
    2. Practice, practice, practice.
    3. Go to school
    4. Get an internship.
    5. Study and practice more.
     
  3. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #3
    right.. thank you. im not looking to copy.. im not that kind of artist/student as i see no gain from copying other peoples work. i just want to learn from them. and sorry if i wasnt very clear, my main question was if you knew how to obtain those effects, for example the one where theres the text on the dirt, do people know how to create that?

    thats all... thank you:)
     
  4. macstudent macrumors 6502

    macstudent

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #4
    I would agree with the previous poster that you need to practice a ton, but doing tutorials to recreate what you see is a great way to learn how to use the tools. I would recommend finding a good source of tutorials like lynda.com and learn how to use the correct program for the correct job.
     
  5. JustinG87, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011

    JustinG87 macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    I'm amazed and abashed that the other posters on this forum have responded like this! They should be encouraging a 14 year old to pursue their interest in graphic design, not criticizing them for their interest. How many people do you know were this enthused and inquisitive about the graphic arts at 14?

    AJ- There are a lot of great resources online as well as books to read up on the methods behind working with these sorts of programs. The big thing to remember though is concept is king. All these flashy effects amount to nothing unless the concept is sound.

    That being said, just to give a basic idea here—on the poster with the cassette tape, the poster was done in Photoshop and the type layer mode was set to "Overlay" which is what's creating the texture over it. It's the texture of the ground below.

    There is a huge amount to learn in the field of design. Here are a few of the books I had to read while pursuing my graphic design degree.

    Adobe Classroom in a Book Series
    Understanding Color: An Introduction for Designers
    Designing with Type: The Essential Guide to Typography
    Meggs' History of Graphic Design
    The Complete Manual of Typography
    Advertising Design and Typography
    Making and Breaking the Grid
    Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type

    These are just a few, and there are so many great resources out there like smashingmagazine.com. Design is an eternally evolving field, but I'm sure if you continue to study you'll find a lot of people that are very excited to find someone so young that has an interest in the graphic arts.

    Here are also a few articles I've read recently that are great for those inquisitive about typography, both courtesy of Smashing Magazine.
    Five Principles for Choosing and Using Typefaces
    25 New Free High Quality Fonts

    Good luck to you and I hope this helps!

    --
    www.justgooddesign.net
     
  6. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #6
    Thank you for the kind and informative words. i was inspired by a graduate at my school who was very proficient in photoshop and is now working in marketing FOR the school. I saw some of his work and its so clean and impressive i decided to look it up, and after stumbling across graphics design i realised its a big thing.

    Thank you for those links, and the saying "concept is king" goes for all types of art, as ive learnt. do you mind me asking how you went about starting off? and where did you get your degree? just interested:D

    all the best,

    AJ--
     
  7. JustinG87 macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    Of course! My introduction to the field was eventual but ironically inevitable. My mother owns one of the largest magazines in the coffee industry and I grew up around her designers. I always thought I'd never do anything artistic because my handwriting is nearly unreadable and I always thought I couldn't draw. Later on in life I realized it wasn't that I couldn't draw, but that I merely lacked practice. I've always been a highly creative individual though, and I started out in design with just idly fiddling around in Photoshop and realizing that there was a whole lot more to design than what I was doing. From there I started looking at schools and found one here in Seattle where I live; ironically it was the same design program that two of my mother's design interns came from back when the magazine first began in 1994. There are a lot of great design schools out there, especially in cities that have large design industries like Seattle, Chicago and New York. I didn't get a fine arts degree myself, not realizing that I didn't actually lack artistic talent until I had actually entered my college, but I would certainly recommend pursuing a fine arts degree in addition to a graphic design degree.
     
  8. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #8
    hmm i see.. sorry if these seems like a weird question but what exactly does a degree do for someone? it increases their probability of getting a job, am i right? and what kind of doors to these degrees unlock in the sense of jobs...? i guess graphics designer? but what exactly does a graphic designer do? sorry... its late over here in china, and im really curious about this!!:D

    also, does anybody have any recommendations for tutorial websites or background articles, like smashing magazine? or PSD TUTS is excellent, just want to see what else is out there,


    thank you,

    AJ--
     
  9. JustinG87 macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    Honestly I've heard a lot of people say that they won't hire a designer if they don't have a degree. It shows proof that you know the basics and had the work ethic to go through college, and have more experience for it.

    As for what a graphic designer does, that is a very, very wide field! It really depends on what you want to do. Anything from print and web design, to more specialized areas like interactive and motion design. Basically whatever you want to design, learn more about it and look for jobs in that area. Be it books or billboards, there is a whole world out there to design. The most common thing I've heard about designers though is that our job is to communicate. We use design to create something that communicates a message to the audience.

    This isn't a tutorial website, but it's absolutely great for seeing what other people in the design community are doing these days.
    Dribbblr
     
  10. Messy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    #10
    That's the normal elitist attitude that frequents this section tbh.

    Good advice, good links. Going to have a look at a few myself. Thanks for taking the time. :)
     
  11. JustinG87 macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    More than happy to! I'm just excited to see someone young with an interest in graphic design.
     
  12. thebinaryfamily macrumors newbie

    thebinaryfamily

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    US/Europe
    #12
    Other useful websites and books

    Hi AJ,

    Great that you're getting an early start on exploring graphic design. Read a lot, look at a lot, try lots of stuff out - and even though computers are great, don't underestimate the hand skills you have too! There's some great designers getting a lot of exposure now that use their hands and/or combine hand work and computer work.

    Check out this book for handmade type: Hand Job: A Catalog of Type

    But also learn as much as you can about traditonal typography: the art of designing and setting formal type. Here's a great book and a great web community about typography:
    The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst
    Typophile

    Here are a couple blogs that just collect good-looking design and/or art:
    http://www.manystuff.org
    http://ffffound.com/

    Here's a leading blog discussing design in a more philosophical and academic way:
    Design Observer

    Enjoy exploring and good luck!

    Best,
    Leslie @ thebinaryfamily
     
  13. autacraft Guest

    #13
    Personally speaking, I couldnt disagree more with that. I do have a degree, in product design, but in the ten years Ive been a (self taught) freelance graphic designer, never once have I been asked if I even went to University, and thats having worked across all sectors and in major London based agencies.

    Breadth of experience and quality of work will stand you in far better stead than an degree trust me, and for what further education costs these days I'd honestly suggest investing the same money in starting up a business and self promoting. Collaborate with people in the same boat and teach each other, play to your skills.

    Its a totally cottage industry if you ask me, and if you have the talent and are committed to chasing leads and building client bases, you'll do well.

    There is absolutely nothing you will learn from a Uni course that you cant teach yourself or gain work experience 'on the job'. Invest in cultural exploration, travel and ALWAYS sketch - key values that will enable you to become a great designer.

    Dont get bogged down with technicality and methodology (it will pre occupy you over creativity if you let it) and most of all, HAVE FUN!

    Good Luck
     
  14. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #14
    thank you all for the help and advice... those links are all really very helpful and i think im starting to get a hold of what the graphics design world is like. Its a shame about the books, because here in china, most things from amazon dont get past the border, so its not worth wasting money, and shipping is a rip-off. thats why im looking for online resources, but thank you:)

    and to autacraft, i dont think not going to University is an option in my school, as i know that the IB program prepares students for university, and the school has extremely high graduation rates, i think thats what they;re called. also, after reading quite a bit, i noticed that many graphics designers are freelancers, so that means self-emplyed, right? im not sure thats what i want to be, im not even sure i want to be a graphics designer as im only fourteen and have no real direction for now, and i dont know anything about the software, but i am very talented with my hands. so yeah,

    and if anybody would like to share their stories, on how they got to where they are, or maybe even what you do as a job? that would be really interesting, because i still am pretty much clueless as to what happens after school:D

    all the best,

    AJ--
     
  15. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #15
    Surprised? Not in the slightest.
    Abashed? Sure am. Don't really come around here any more due to a few particular posters that constantly feel the need to sour the pool with their jaded, negative comments and perspectives.

    OP: Buy some design books, look at them. Read design blogs. Get yourself Photoshop elements or Photoshop (Student) and work your way through as many tutorials as your little wrists can handle!
     
  16. george.dye macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #16
    The computer is simply a tool. Just as a pencil is just a tool.

    Both have different functions and advantages; each should be thought of when creating a project.

    Also, in the industry; those that can illustrate and create things by hand; rather than on the computer are sought after.

    Though, technical knowledge is helpful; the hand drawn element is a much more valuable skill in design.


    Good design begins on paper as a sketch. Developed from thumbnails. Based on research.

    Good day
     
  17. JustinG87 macrumors member

    JustinG87

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    I absolutely agree that good design begins on paper and with thumbnails, but what is with all the brusqueness in this forum? This is an inquisitive teen here that wants to know more about design, not some fool who came in asking for a free logo.
     

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