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  1. #1
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    Question Learning graphic design

    I have good experience with Photoshop, Illustrator and HTML. But I don't know much more about graphic design. I found several tutorial about fundamental of graphic design like - color, shape, type, balance, harmony etc..

    But I want to learn the complete graphic design, but don't want to go to a design school. Is there any tutorial or Open Course Ware for graphic design? I also purchased some books but none of them are practical.

    I found one video tutorial here, unfortunately it is German.

    Please help what to do?

  2. #2
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    MIT has a few lectures. Have you checked out the OCW Consortium?
    I've never taken any design courses, but I do plan to major in Graphic Design (and Journalism, too). I would download OCW and tutorials dealing with various topics- business, psychology, color theory, printing, drawing techniques, both Art and Graphic design history. I've seen great books on half.com for reasonable prices. IMO, graphic design isn't something you can learn in one fell swoop, it requires patience and dedication. I always keep a sketchbook and pencil around to keep track of ideas, websites and flow charts.

  3. #3
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    thanks.

    I've been exploring the MIT courseware but couldn't find that one. Can u post the link?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Blake Tallos's Avatar
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    Here is The Principles of Beautiful Web Design book.
    It's a great book for just wanting to start graphic design.
    Jason Beaird explains in full detail on how to start the fundamentals of Graphic design. I suggest you pick the book it while you can You say you have bought some books in the past can you give a list of which books you bought? I strongly recommend this book.

    http://http://www.sitepoint.com/books/design1/
    Blake Tallos - Software Engineer for Sanctuary
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast ck88's Avatar
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    Did you try here:

    desktoppub.about.com/od/graphicdesign/Graphic_Design.htm

    It may give you some starting points.
    ck
    Creative Kitten | Free Web Graphics, Icons and Photos

  6. #6
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    I learned most of my skills from books from the library or Amazon,com.

    It's cheap to just get books and go through the lessons some books are better then others but there is a lot of good ones out there.

    Also you can get last years versions really cheap, usually they only add a couple of features every year so last years book are still good to learn from.
    Last edited by resto; Jul 10, 2008 at 08:54.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot tjyobazee's Avatar
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    I learn from friends. This is because my friends are really good in 3D, Illustrator and Photoshop. Learning from example and experience is best.

  8. #8
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    I learned by being very observant from childhood on and asking this one question most often: "Why?"

    Why does something look this way, what is the character, what is the essence of it? How can I pull out the simplified version of something and use a medium (painting, drawing, Photoshop etc.) to convey the same thing only predigested for another to see?

    Designing is nothing more than organizing specifics. Start to really look at things, at how shade affects things and how shadows fall as an example. It will tell you a lot about a thing. Let us say there is a box sitting on a table. What do you see? The light comes from the left at an angle of about 120. You see the top light, the side on the left not quite as light and the right side is much darker. There is a flower in a vase sitting beside the box, the flower reaching and is right in the beam of light. It throws a shadow over the box. You see the shadow on the left side of the box in a weak way, then it bends sharply and is lying on top of the box darkly, fading just a bit to the edge where it hits the dark side of the box and is cut off, only to continue in a step on the table after it has passed the shadow of the box.

    If you take that observation now and apply it in graphic and simple shapes, stylized in other words, you can convey this whole scene with just a few strokes that you were able to lay down by having discovered how this principle of light and shadow works. And since it is a principle, you can now take it and apply it to any imaginary scene or symbol as you wish. You only have to apply it consistently. I just described this little scene off the top of my head. I was able to do this because I have those principles built in now.

    So go around and just look at the world around you. Once you have discovered it this way, you will be amazed how good your graphic work can become.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  9. #9
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    I have already done all these, but not satisfied. I have found xtrain.com has several videos on this subject. Have you seen these videos. I want to purchase graphic design videos on this site.

    I've reading several books and online tutorials, all of them say about - Line, Shape, Color, Type etc.. But none of those teach how, when and why use them.

    For example you can create color scheme using color wheel. You can make Analogous color, Monochromatic color scheme etc. I did a lot of effort to find out this process.

    I am sure every aspect of graphic design must have some rules and methods.

    What I want to achieve is Design education. I don't want to be a illiterate Designer. I want my design to follow graphic design rules.

    One more book - "Web Design In Easy steps". Whats your review about this one?

    Some school teaches 2-4 years degrees courses. I don't know what they teach during this long duration?

    Last query - Any good online school for graphic design. I've found session.edu, but very costly.

    Thanks a lot!

  10. #10
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    I have already done all these, but not satisfied. I have found xtrain.com has several videos on this subject. Have you seen these videos. I want to purchase graphic design videos on this site.
    I have not seen these videos, I am not looking much at things that are being done, because I have had a lifelong interest in those things and have developed my own ways of doing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    I've reading several books and online tutorials, all of them say about - Line, Shape, Color, Type etc.. But none of those teach how, when and why use them.
    The how and what and why are really things that life teaches you. When you work in graphics or the arts, you have to draw from the well of all of you, it is life itself that gives you an idea what you need to do. An example: You want to tell people with your work about joy and happiness let us say. What are the shapes and colors you would choose to express those feelings? Think a little bit, close your eyes and feel those emotions. What comes to your mind at this time? I see colors that are pure, that are saturated, that are bright. I see shapes with upward movement, with swoops and arching forms, dancing and even exploding. Laughing eyes and sounds of uplifting music. After this little meditation I take those impressions and convert them into a concrete now, always holding those images and impressions with me while I design. It will flow into your tools from your mind. Not easily always, it can become a real fight to reach what you feel, but you will know when you reach it, it will tell you.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    For example you can create color scheme using color wheel. You can make Analogous color, Monochromatic color scheme etc. I did a lot of effort to find out this process.
    With colors it is the same thing. Again imagine yourself being in a setting where what you want to express occurs. Imagine happy times that you had or conceivably could have. What comes to your mind? Not only colors themselves, but smells and sounds and taste and touch. All those senses will give you the colors. Think of spices that make you feel good, the colors of those give off happy vibes, music, hot or slow gives off colors, taste of a juicy fruit connects to a certain color, the touch of a certain fabric that you love gives you a color. You see where the well of your knowing lies? In your own experiences. Live your life fully aware, then you build up a reservoir to draw from.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    I am sure every aspect of graphic design must have some rules and methods.
    What I want to achieve is Design education. I don't want to be a illiterate Designer. I want my design to follow graphic design rules..
    There are many principles in designing, you can discover them all as you go along. But those rules are not cast in stone, some of them can and should be put aside now and then to brake out, to become fresh. When you brake out you can establish rules for yourself, you develop a style all your own at that point. Yes there are rules that are fast and true and must be adhered to, like the rule of never cutting an image from corner to corner with a straight line. The rule of never cutting an image exactly in half, the rule of having a line flow and not having kinks in it, the rule of creating contrast to separate individual elements from each other, etc. When you look at a piece of work try to identify why it is good or not so good or bad. Take what you have discovered and use it in your own designing.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    One more book - "Web Design In Easy steps". Whats your review about this one?
    Do not know it, as I said above, I do my own thing. I learned through working in this field.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    Some school teaches 2-4 years degrees courses. I don't know what they teach during this long duration?
    Mostly principles and methods. After you are finished with school the real learning starts, there is never an end to it. I constantly learn and discover, that is the fun in this profession.

    Quote Originally Posted by aryandelhi View Post
    Last query - Any good online school for graphic design. I've found session.edu, but very costly.
    I do not know, some other members can probably tell you more about that
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  11. #11
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    Common uses of graphic design include magazines, advertisements, product packaging and web design. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design especially when utilizing pre-existing materials or using diverse elements.
    I think graphic design is not very easy to do.It can take most of your time and money.As you said you wanted to do it for free,I think it works unless you have a good natural talent,or else it's hard.You must just practise again and again.But i can reccommend a website to you .It's <snip> that you can post your problem and you can also get your answer.
    Last edited by Varelse; Jul 15, 2008 at 13:36. Reason: url removed

  12. #12
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    Thanks a lot guys! Would you recommend any online school?

  13. #13
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    I won't make any suggestions on how you should go about learning because - as Datura said - there are many ways to go about it and you'll eventually find your own means by which you learn and take in information along the process.

    There are some very important fields that are significant to the field of web design. Site usability, typography, grid systems, compositioning, marketing, communication, colour theory, accessibility, markup languages, and all that jazz and how these elements translate to the gigantic field of web design.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  14. #14
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    I'm just starting to learn some graphic stuff myself. I know enough to do some nice simple logos and the like but not some of the really great digital art you see on some websites or on deviant art.

    A bit of a dumb question so please dont take the mickey but do you need to be able to draw to do graphic design? A lot of websites I see with loads of arty type graphics seem to be brushes and so forth.
    Last edited by jonpenny; Jul 22, 2008 at 03:44.

  15. #15
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    I know someone who paid an entire 4-year course of multimedia arts in one of the finest schools in our country. After he graduated he came up with the conclusion, if you want to learn the skills. You can save money by simply buying books and learning the skills yourself.

    Perhaps the only benefit of professional education is you have a sort of certification that you are really an expert. But for the skills to develop it's still mostly self study and personal hard work.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    I learned my skills in Photoshop by following tutorials and interacting in design communities where critiques offered new perspectives.
    Rexibit Web Services
    Don't just build it - CSS it

  17. #17
    Internet Toughguy Kevin Boss's Avatar
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    If you're looking for videos, check out lynda.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Boss View Post
    If you're looking for videos, check out lynda.com
    im a member on lynda and their videos are very helpful indeed

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabatak View Post
    I know someone who paid an entire 4-year course of multimedia arts in one of the finest schools in our country. After he graduated he came up with the conclusion, if you want to learn the skills. You can save money by simply buying books and learning the skills yourself.
    I disagree. One can learn software skills in a book pretty easily. However, coming from someone with a graphic design degree, there are some things that you learn in the classroom with a good graphic design teacher that turn out to be invaluable skills. These things are something that you can't learn from a book.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    Overall, Mven is right that experience is the best teacher. Some authors are better and more willing to share their experiences with others, but in the end they need to have more material to sell more books. So, it is a Catch-22 situation if they are as free a resource as teachers are in classrooms.
    Rexibit Web Services
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  21. #21
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    Here's a good site for coming up with color schemes http://kuler.adobe.com/

  22. #22
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    Just a few quick things (I'm a designer myself, and an illustrator, and my dad's an architect, and my wife's an animator... as you can see... good company).

    1) Knowledge of Photoshop or other software techniques does not make you a designer. Techniques are simply tools. A talented sculptor does not need the best tools. Having the best tools simply helps the sculptor.

    2) There are no "rules" in design. There are only problems and solutions. How you go about finding the latter to solve the former is up to you.

    3) Schools teach you techniques, give you ideas, and help inform you of approaches, beliefs, and theories. You can learn all this yourself if you're passionate about what you do.

    4) Design isn't something you can "learn" like a skill set (e.g. plumbing). It's like music. Either you have it or you don't (as American Idol has showed all of us). If you have no passion for it, you will never succeed.

    Basically - if you're doing it for the money or the fame, prepare to fail, badly. No successful artist / designer ever worked for financial stability. They did it out of love / passion for it. The money just came later.

    5) The competition is very, very, very fierce. I've heard lots of sob stories about "wannabe" artists giving up because they couldn't match the current level of design a good number of people are producing. Know what you're getting into first, because you realize very early on that it's not going to be a walk in the park.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    Wow, that was some really good advice Cowboy. You make a very good point that designing isn't about the money, it is about the thrill of bringing something from something that wasn't there before to touch emotions in people.
    Rexibit Web Services
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  24. #24
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    Good advice, in my opinion you can only by taught the basics of graphic design. You have to develop your only style

  25. #25
    SitePoint Zealot Ken Sharpe's Avatar
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    You're not going to find any books or tutorials that will satisfy -- the best way to learn is to do. Design things, and show them to people who are better than you are. They will tell you everything that's wrong with what you've done, and if you listen to them without getting defensive, you will get better. After a few years and thousands of designs, you'll be a passable designer. Good luck.


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