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Thread: Graphics

  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict elemental70's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Graphics

    So here's my question: I develop e-commerce apps and am lovin' php/mysql. But graphics (beyond simple stuff) as eluded me. Its the abstract thing. I've got a subscription to Computer Arts Magazine (love the content) and it does help. But can creativity be trained?(y'know 'graphic artist classes' that you see some schools offer).
    thoughts gang?
    Erik

  2. #2
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    I am in the exact same boat you are... I am a programmer with very little graphic design experience although I read through tutorials and try to figure everything out as best as I can. I think that you slowly pick up on certain things... You may not be trained in them but I certainly think that when you sit down and you try to figure out how to make a graphic look a certain way that technique sticks with you. I also think though that a lot of the graphic artists on this board grew up enjoying things like drawing, painting, etc. so they have a one up on people like you and me. Who knows though, I say take a shot at it, it can't hurt.

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    ********* Shroom mydster's Avatar
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    I pretty much sucked at graphics and know how to program well... I took a good Saturday morning back in the day and learnt Photoshop. I played around with it and it was amazing what I could come up with. The layer styles really did aid in my creations, however, i prefer to make non-bevel presentations with just simple colors as it seems the main design range is getting at now.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    <opinion>
    Classically "trained" graphic artists will claim till they're blue in the face that only proper "training" will do (well, they would, wouldn't they?).

    I believe that there are core principles which are very useful to know, but these can be picked up through reading around the subject and taking an interest (which is, after all what "classical training" would do for ya anyway).

    I'd say the most important aspect is having a good eye. Many (but by no means the majority) professional GA's imho simply don't have this, and rely on applying "learned" rules.

    As has been said, play with PS, read read read (especially about use of colours, use of fonts and whitespace, before you start going deeper) - eventually you'll start having fun!
    </opinion>
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

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    SitePoint Enthusiast afishinsea's Avatar
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    Graphics basics:

    Keep it simple.

    Get inspired by others. Check out colour combos that work, fonts you like etc.

    Be original.

    Play with Photoshop. Its a great tool, and you can achieve good results quickly. Layers are a good first step - you can see changes and ammend individual items without destroying the rest.
    Some people are more creative than others, but, you can learn how to get the ideas you have out there...
    We have a graphic design student with us at the moment - her ideas are fantastic but she doesn't yet have the skills to implement her ideas, that comes with time!

    Keep your file sizes down. Optimise .gifs. Work in RGB then index to web safe colours. If you only use a few colours knocking the no. of colour channels down 256>16 or 32 can pay dividends when a lot of images are used.
    Example: http://www.afishinsea.co.uk/Templates/Portfolio.html

    There is no right or wrong with style - if it works for you and your audience, its cool.

    Get Wet : Dive In
    Graphic Design : London : UK

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    In addition to Photoshop, I'd also strongly suggest that any aspiring designer (whether just by need, or by interest) poke around in Adobe Illustrator, or a similar vector drawing program.

    You don't need to be "trained" to be a great artist, but it doesn't hurt to take some classes, especially simple sketching courses where you can learn about perspective, contrast, and all the basics of graphic design. If these aren't available to you (most community colleges run them as night school programs) then, as stated previously, jump headfirst into the software, and stumble around for a bit. You may never know what you may come up with!

    geof

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    SitePoint Enthusiast afishinsea's Avatar
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    Useful font finding tool:

    http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/
    Get Wet : Dive In
    Graphic Design : London : UK

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    SitePoint Enthusiast afishinsea's Avatar
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    "Imagination is more important than knowledge"
    - Albert Einstein
    (on a bag I got from a shop this morning and thought it quite apt!)
    Get Wet : Dive In
    Graphic Design : London : UK

  9. #9
    ********* Shroom mydster's Avatar
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    Those are some pretty nice logos... Guess you really played with PS a lot... hehe

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    SitePoint Zealot jinx3's Avatar
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    Just start trying to create. Make sure and look at other people work for ideas, and try to figure out how they did it. You will amaze yourself how fast you will learn.

    Personally, I have always found it easier to create in vector programs such as Illustrator (although I do use Photoshop a lot).
    jinx
    superbubba.com
    If you want to learn something . . . start doing it!

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    SitePoint Addict KelliShaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    <opinion>
    Classically "trained" graphic artists will claim till they're blue in the face that only proper "training" will do (well, they would, wouldn't they?).
    Yes, and with very good reason. A good graphic design program, or even a good art program at a university level will teach you far more about design and art than you could ever pick up on your own. In addition, a good program will also make available to you with valuable resources, teach critical thinking and problem solving skills, technical specifications, industry standards, design theory, introduce you to other creative professionals in the feild for assistance and networking etc. For you as an individual to go out and research all of that on your own and make all of those professional connections without any assistance it would end up taking you much longer and costing you a lot more.

    I don't doubt the fact that there are talanted people out there who have never had a professional level design or art course in their life, who are knowledgable about design, pre-print, usability, etc. There are naturally talanted and intelligent people who are like that. Good for them, but there's a reason that on average in the US, graphic designers who have recieved professional training, such as a 4 year bachelor's degree, make 70% more money than those who don't.

  12. #12
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    In my opinion creativity cannot be taught so to speak but it can be developed. What Graphic Design classes or programs do is teach you what has worked before and what has not worked. You also have a chance to work on projects that help cultivate you skill and be critiqued by people who are or have been in the business. Just like anything else theory is pretty much useless if you don't put it into practice.

    I'm coming from the other side. I was into fine art, design, and photography long before I've ever even heard of HTML or the internet Learning programming was dificult at first because it's such an abstract way of thinking. For me it was like one day it just made sense, and from then on I was ok.
    (2==b) || (2!=b)


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