Month: August 2015

Why Print Designers Should Not Hesitate to Transition to Web.

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Print designers are often intimidated by the thought of working in web design and therefore refuse to take the leap into the digital universe. Some print designers feel very web illiterate because of the additional skills that they would have to learn to be efficient at it. They fear that the rapid growth of the digital world will kill off print (which I personally think won’t happen) leaving them hopeless. Should print designers take a dip into web design or should they stick to their preferred medium and continue to practice and learn more in their specialized area? Here is what I have to say about this:

One reason why print designers should not be too intimidated by web design is that contrary to the belief, print designers should already know the gist of web design. Sure, there is still a lot to learn such as trends, basic coding, functionality, etc., but print designers do have knowledge of typography, spacing, and composition which is critical in web design.

So what if you have to learn a few extra skills? One thing that designers should do in order to be successful is learning. Always learning new things will keep your mind young, your willpower sharp, and will make you more marketable.

Learning web design today has been easier than ever with the technological advances (like HTML5) with the web and everything that comes with it. You can learn the basics of HTML and CSS in just a few weekends. A good resource to get started is Codecademy.com and reading books such as  HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett. Again, understanding and being efficient in web design will take time, but it’s well worth it since it is a great practical skill to have in your design arsenal.

I hope this brief post has given you some insight as to whether or not you want to take web design for a spin. It really isn’t as scary as it looks, and with the knowledge of the web, heck, you may like it more than what you are doing now. Feel free to ask questions to help get you started

Have Fun

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So You Want to Be a Graphic Designer? A Brief 3-Step Introduction to Graphic Design.

 

face-think-about-it-1554892-639x479 (1)Some of the things that I have learned through the trials and errors I have gone through as a visual designer are things that I wished I would have learned when I’ve decided this is what I wanted to do. Fortunately, I have been committed enough to take the facts of the industry since these types of things are the causing factors as to why alot of designers fall out of the industry or are just mediocre at best. Alot of the lessons learned don’t have to apply to design specifically, but can also be applied in whatever industry you’re in. Here we go:

1.Learn what graphic design really is.

People have this conception that graphic designers have to be skilled artists and that they exist to make posters and brochures look pretty. Now I have spoken to dozens of designers and have asked them “What is graphic design?” and have received different answers. I will tell you that the aesthetic appeal that designers come up with is only the result of everything else done right such as research, reading the demographics, planning etc.

To put this in a different perspective, a sad story in a novel isn’t sad just because of the scenario at the end of the book. It’s sad because of everything that led up to it, like getting attached to the characters and the events that would make the ending unpredictable.

If you’re getting into graphic design, I would highly suggest speaking to designers who have been doing it for a long time if you want to get more information about the industry. Just keep in mind, good design isn’t just about pretty things.

2.  Figure out what niche is right for you.

We live in a point in time where the term “graphic design” has became such a broad term, we often have trouble explaining to people what it is exactly. We tend to lump UI, web, print, video, and game design all under that term. That being said, figure out what niche interests you the most and double down on it. By focusing on a single niche, it will allow you to really zero in on your strength without spreading yourself to thin. The good news is that companies are always on the lookout for people with very specific skills.

3. Get to learning/ Build your skills

Once you feel comfortable with the field that you are interested in, start learning about it. Don’t have money to go to school? Well, fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you get started. Seek out books related to your field, Take online courses such as Lynda.com and Udemy, get involved with an online community, ask questions to experts. Learn, learn, learn! The problem with alot of people that graduate with a design degree is that they feel like they know it all when they graduate thus suspending their quality of work. Truth is, graphic design has now became a technology and trend oriented industry that advances faster than your brain can take. Continue to stay educated. This will be the difference between you getting a high paying job and struggling.

Most importantly, as you learn, execute that knowledge and start showcasing your skills by creating a portfolio. That portfolio shouldn’t be there to only showcase your work for potential employers, but it should also be an archive for you to help you measure yourself against your work for improvement. Keep your portfolio and skills updated. Those two things will get you very far.

“We can’t design experiences. Experiences are reactions to the things we design.” Amen.

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A very interesting and quite long reading about perspectives of digital design, homogeneity and patterns in a designing a user experience. There are a few quotations from it, something that grabbed my attention and resonate with my recent thoughts. You might find there something for you as well.

Everything looks the same. “Design is a chaotic field to be in as the world becomes more integrated into “The Matrix.” There’s a higher demand for better designed interfaces, but that doesn’t necessarily put designers in a more favourable position. Design decisions are scrutinized by an army of managers, marketers, UX researchers, business analysts, and even clients with an arsenal of metrics and analytics. I’m not sure design has ever been evaluated and so clearly tied to the success or failure of business.”
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