SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Graphic Design for those with IT degrees

    hi - I'm similar to many on here I'd expect, I've done an IT+business degree and have no formal training in Graphic Design how do I compensate for this?

    Pottsy

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I appreciate I've worded the first post badly does anyone here know of a good book which covers basic graphic design theory at a reasonable depth (ie 1st year degree level)

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast thomasfrank09's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ames, IA
    Posts
    91
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Look at the reading list for first year GD students at major universities. If you're just looking to learn some skills, pick up a photoshop book.
    I run the blog College Info Geek.

    You can find me at:
    My personal site | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast shigamoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Up north
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Red face

    If you do not wanna spend anything try downloading Inkscape and follow the many good tutorials online. Good luck!
    SWPicks.com - Open-Source Software, Freeware and Cloud services.

  5. #5
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by carlpotts View Post
    I appreciate I've worded the first post badly does anyone here know of a good book which covers basic graphic design theory at a reasonable depth (ie 1st year degree level)
    You do not need a formal training really to get into designing. The only thing you need is time and the willingness to change your ways a little bit, then you will be able to do some of the graphics work yourself

    Usually people who work in the field of graphics had an interest in drawing, painting, sculpting and design from childhood on. That is where the groundwork is laid. Years of doing visual things, seeking out challenges to create and with that unconsciously picking up what works and what does not. Often people who start as children will have mentors along the way who already guide them and teach them many things before they ever start thinking of a career in this field. With that foundation it is much easier then to continue and become a professional.

    But you can start now, you will have a hard time catching up, but it is possible, since all the knowledge in this area is acquired. You will need to devote many hours to this though, because graphic design, like all designing, has principles at its base. Those are what you have to learn in order to create decent visuals. You have to learn how to abstract ideas into shapes and colors and express with them what the idea was to start with. Start by observing yourself, what certain colors do to your emotions as an example. See how you react and then try to take that knowledge and use it, apply it to a concrete project of some kind. Look at shapes around you, the shapes of buildings, nature, art. See them, not just look at them, analyze them. Feel the way you react to these shapes, what kind of emotion do they evoke in you? That is knowledge you can then apply to the shapes you use in designing.

    Designing has as prerequisite a mind that is alert and observing at all times. What you observe is what your reference material will be, collect observations in your mind consciously, then you have a library of impressions to draw from later on. Designing means taking reality from around you and abstracting it, pulling out the essences, taking impressions and converting them into concretes of shapes and colors.

    I am an artist and have done these things from early on. My lifestyle is such, no matter what I do or where I am, that I am on auto pilot to see things, to capture them in my mind just like with a camera. I look at things, try to figure out why they look the way they do, why the shadow is a certain way, why colors shift from this one to that one. I figure out the principles underlying the visual effects, the nature of things. I try to observe people and their reactions. All of that is part of designing. Of course you also must master the media that are required to translate all your thoughts. It would not hurt if you started with the physical medium of paper and pencil to get a good foundation. I find it easier to start with paper and change things around. You also must learn to work with Photoshop and/or other programs to create your ideas and turn them into a concrete visual from the concept. Because often a design does not look finished on paper as it does when you work with software, the danger of accepting something that only seems to be finished is not as great with paper. The dazzling perfection of the effects one can achieve on the computer are very deceptive. A bad design can look slick without having any bones in it. Just surf the net and see how many designs are out there that look fine at first glance but with a second look start to really show themselves as what they are: bad.

    I can not give you a title of a book or a site where you can learn any of this. But you can start on your own by just adapting a way of becoming alert the way I have described above. That will go a long way towards your development as a designer. If you see something that appeals to you, sit down and copy it, but only for exercise. Try to use simple things first, the more complex things can wait. Sit down with a piece of paper in front of you. Take a simple object of some basic shape, a ball, a cylinder, a cube… Have a light source from one side and observe.

    • What makes this object look three dimensional?
    • Where is the highest or lowest level of light?
    • Is there more than just light and dark?
    • Is there back lighting?
    • How does the shadow fall on a slick surface, on an uneven surface?
    • Has the shadow just one color or many?
    • How can this object be drawn in a simplified way?
    • What are the essences to portray this with just a few lines and still be read as a three dimensional object?

    Those are a few basics to get you into the thought process of abstraction. Before you can abstract, you must understand.

    I wrote a few tuts that might help you to see a little bit of what I was saying above:

    Picking Colors: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...43#post3418543
    Setting The Mood: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...05#post3445105
    Colors And Their Implications: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487023
    Schematic Landscape: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...3&postcount=18

    Last edited by Datura; Jul 18, 2009 at 14:06.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •