Have you ever wanted to design your own logo or website?
I studied visual communications and digital media, which is not specifically Graphic Design but I got to learn the tools and programs that a graphic designer learns. Currently I sell my services as a branding specialist and designer so maybe you want to change your career path and become a full-time designer or you just want to know the basics for your side projects. Either way I will teach you simple steps to learn the basics in graphic design.
FIRST STEP: SKETCH
SKETCH, SKETCH, SKETCH. You don’t need to take painting or drawing classes but you do need to get comfortable sketching on a notebook. Get a sketch book or notebook and carry it with you and practice drawing lines, shapes, color combinations, play with forms and sketch whatever you want. Remember not to judge your work and just have fun experimenting with markers, pencils and colors. It is crucial you force yourself to do this even if you think it is not important because this will develop your creativity and problem solving skills in design. Choose a business or theme and play to design its logo on paper.
SECOND STEP: LEARN BASIC DESIGN THEORY
Research and read about design principles and history online. If you want to get deep and fancy with it I recommend reading this book Universal Principles of Design If not, there is a lot of online content available to learn the following principles I will depict below in a deeper level:
Balance visual balance and weight of objects, elements, textures and color. A design should feel stable and balanced.
Emphasis & Movement is the part of the design that contrasts and stands out within the area and it catches the viewer’s attention. Movement will lead the eye to a focal area and it can be directed with edges, shapes, colors and along lines within the design.
Pattern & Repetition is the repeating of an object, shape or symbol within the design to convey a visual message or pattern.
Variety is the use of several elements of design to hold the viewer’s attention and to guide the viewer’s eye through and around the work of art.
Rhythm is a shape or form that is repeated to create rhythm and movement in the design, it creates a mood like songs.
THIRD STEP: LEARN ILLUSTRATOR AND PHOTOSHOP
Do not start with photoshop. Start with Illustrator since it is what designer use to make logos and graphics.
What is the difference between them?
Photoshop (pixel-based) is for modifying and editing images or graphics, like photos. Photoshop is good for web graphics, photo editing and designs since those projects will stay at a fixed size. So if you create a graphic at a certain size and you expand it it will loose its quality.
Illustrator (vector-based) unlike Photoshop, it uses a mathematical structure to create vector graphics. This program is used to create logos or graphics and it will doesn’t matter how much you expand it after creating it, it will never loose its visual quality. It cannot be used to edit or modify already created images.
Conclusion use Photoshop to edit photographs and use Illustrator to create and design graphics OR use them together, let’s say you want to edit a photograph you took to print in a larga canvas for your living room, you want to remove some blemishes, enhance the color, brightness, contrast (use Photoshop) and then if you want to add text on top (use illustrator) why illustrator? Because when scaling up the image the quality of the letters won’t be distorted.
HOW DO I LEARN TO USE THE PROGRAMS?
There are millions of tutorials and information on the web to learn this programs, but some are boring and crappy. Here is a simple guide that would be easy and helpful. You will have to be patient though, If you want to get into the design world you will have to develop this skill A LOT.
- First, download the free 30 day trial here
- Then, go through this Illustrator beginner guide here and FINISH IT
- You’re almost a pro now, go and practice this fun tutorials here
- Invest an hour or two every day to go through some tutorials, and you’ll be impressed by how quickly you progress
- First, download the free 30 day trial here
- Then, go through this Photoshop beginner guide here and FINISH IT
- You’re almost a pro now, have some fun and edit funny pics of your friends.
- Invest an hour or two every day to go through some tutorials, and you’ll be impressed by how quickly you progress.