Everything You Need to Know About Graphics Design
If you plan to pursue your career in graphic design, then you should bear in mind that it is not easy, as it is not an ordinary field. Graphic design is based on the principle of developing and building blocks of models, where you have to align and put together different creative layers to develop something that could uplift the visual outlook. But that shouldn’t surprise or discourage you. In this article, we are going to help you to start your journey with graphic design.
No matter whether you are planning to be a UI designer, logo designer, or custom design illustrator, there are plenty of things that you need to learn before jumping into the field.
Moreover, graphic designing isn't just about coming up with the required designs; you would have to alter your thinking perspective for every design you create.
Before you begin your journey in graphic design, here are the key things you need to put into consideration.
Key General Things to Consider Before Starting to learn Graphic Design
#1 Know The Reason/Purpose for Learning Graphic design
There are so many reasons why one would decide to learn graphic design. Maybe you are tired of your current job and are looking for something else? Maybe you are an artist, and graphic design is just another step to broaden your horizons? Or maybe you just want to design a logo for yourself? Any reason is a good reason. All you need is to find motivation and the reason why you want to dedicate yourself to this new skill.
It’s important to find motivation as it will help you start the journey in the first place, and then it will keep you focused. Regardless of what motivates you, having graphic design skills will be of great help in your professional life.
#2 Learn the basic principles of design
Every skill requires you to master its basics that serve as a foundation upon which you will learn more advanced techniques, and graphic design is no different. It is the basic knowledge of the rules required for one to achieve successful results as a graphic designer. Those are the concepts that guide designers on what generally works and what doesn’t.
If you follow these concepts, then you will be able to create more effective, memorable, and appealing designs. There are different types of design principles, and the most important ones include:
We will not focus on each and every one of the principles mentioned above. Instead, we will take a closer look at the most important ones.
It is imperative to identify the most important part of your design for your target audience. For example. If you are creating a poster for some vent, you should ask yourself, what will be the most prominent in this graphic? What will be in the foreground? Is it the name of the event? The date? Venue? Once you decide what needs to be emphasized, you can plan out the rest of the design when you will know how much space you have left.
Balance is how you distribute the weight in the design. You have to ensure that there will be a balance of colors, textures, and size. The goal behind this is to ensure that all elements of the design are properly structured and to make it feel stable. Without it, your audience will not know what to focus on, and their eyes will slide off the image.
Balance in graphic design can be achieved in three ways:
Symmetry- This is where you make sure that both sides of the elements have the same alignment. For example, both sides of the graphic may have the same objects and elements.
Asymmetry- It is the opposite of symmetry. Here, the composition achieves a balance by using contrasting elements within the art. For example, you can balance a circle on one side of the design with a rectangle on the other.
Radial symmetry- Here, all the elements are placed around a central point.
By aligning individual pieces of your design, you will create a visual connection between its elements. In addition to that, the alignment allows you to organize the elements and bring order to the design.
Contrast allows you to highlight various elements of your design using the positions and colors. The background should always be of a different color from other elements of the design so that the graphic is readable.
Proportion is rather self-explanatory. It refers to the weight and the size of the elements of the design and their relation to each other. It is better to approach the proportion of your design in sections rather than the design as a whole.
For example, in Photoshop, you can approach the elements of the design in layers. You can modify each element independently, without affecting other elements. Furthermore, there is an option to group elements based on their importance, which can be very helpful when designing.
If you have mastered the Contrast and Alignment, learning the Proportion section will become much easier. You will master those principles as you develop your software skills and learn different formats and techniques, so you don't have to learn them before starting with the software.
#3 Have the passion and zeal for design
To become a professional, however, you will need a little more than just motivation. To become truly successful, you will need passion and zeal to constantly learn new skills and the curiosity to search for them. In this digital age, where there are freely available resources, anyone can become whatever they want to become as long as they have the passion and courage to pursue your dreams.
People do not tend to fail because they lack talent. No, it is more often due to the lack of passion. An easy way to prevent that is to find a specific area of graphic design that motivates you to work. For example, you might be more interested in logo design than poster design, which will naturally make you more motivated to work in this area. You have to find the area that interests you the most early on and then specialize in it.
#4 Explore and learn the available tools for graphic design
There are dozens of tools available for graphic designers, each designed for performing different tasks. In contrast to that, there are only two 'main' software. The first of them is Adobe Illustrator, designed for editing vector graphics, and the second of them is Adobe Photoshop, designed for raster or pixel editing.
Both programs are the standard when it comes to graphic design, and most employers will require you to know them before your employment. Vector graphics are usually used for designing digital illustrations like logos, technical drawings of objects, as well as stylized texts. Pixel graphic graphics, on the other hand, are used in photo editing and creating realistic renders such as magazine montages, photographs as well as manipulation of images.
It is fine for one to master one of those programs, but it is vital to at least grasp the concept of how both of them function. And though Photoshop and Illustrator aren't free, you can use one of their free alternatives to get a hand at how they function. Programs like Gimp and Inkscape, even if they are not as powerful, they still can get the job done.
If you are interested in creating graphics meant for brochures, or business cards, then Photoshop might not be the best choice for you. In such cases, I would recommend using Adobe Indesign.
#5 Get Inspiration from others
One of the best ways to learn graphic design is by observing the work of others and emulating it. Once you see various types of designs, you will be able to know which ones you’re much interested in and what can work best for you.
Imitating what others have done can help you improve and polish your skills. So as you begin your journey in graphic design, look for inspiration, and learn what you like the most and what you don't.
You can find inspiration by following specific keywords on social media. Hashtags like #logodesign and #vectographics are a great start from where you can search for artists to draw inspiration from. You can also do image searches for keywords like best website designs and best logo designs. Another way to find inspiration is to follow social media websites like Behance and Dribble.
#6 Utilize and Make good use of the Online resources
There are so many resources available online that you can use to learn and create your own designs. A good example of them would be Freepik and Shutterstock.
You can find their available templates for almost every design there that you can modify to suit your needs. In addition to the templates, you can also find and download other design resources like abstract backgrounds, vectors, and even photos that you can use in your work.
You can also get many fonts that are not available in the graphic design software on websites like fontsquirrel.com, fontsfree.net, and dafontfree.io.
There are many free courses available online that you can take to master graphic design. If you are not satisfied with them, then you can find more courses on websites such as Udemy and Coursera that you can make good use of.
#7 Learn by doing
The best way of learning any skill is by doing it. This way, you will be able to grasp their concepts and sharpen your skills at the same time. You can just come up with a project you can work on so that once you’re through it, you can use it as a portfolio.
In addition to that, you should take into account the following:
a) Learn the different formats for designs
There are different formats that you will be required to save in your designs. Here, we will cover a few of them. Let's start with Photoshop file formats.
Photoshop .PSD and Illustrator .Ai
This is the most important file format supported by Photoshop. PSD is a short form for Photoshop documents. This file format supports most of the powerful features of Photoshop, such as layers, adjustment layers, layer masks, paths, channels, and more.
PSD serves as the master file that you can use as a working file. You can make changes to such documents much easier than in any other format. If you are working on a project that requires you to reuse the same document, then keeping it in this format is almost a must. It will allow you to import all of the details from documents to Photoshop with much ease.
In Adobe Illustrator, the .Ai is the editable file format. It works similarly to the PSD format from Photoshop. The difference between them is that Illustrator supports vector-based files, while Photoshop supports raster-based.
In addition to the above two file formats, you can export your images in PNG and JPEG formats as well.
Other Important Considerations
#1 Space between Elements
The first and foremost thing that everyone needs to know that one can be creative while designing any element, but along with that, you would also have to create the design by having a balanced approach.
When it comes to UI/UX design, you would have to align the elements in a way that there must be some space within those elements. Every element should be easily distinguishable from the other one. There must not be a flat appearance in the design. Therefore, taking care of the space and alignment of elements must be balanced, and there should not be too many elements on a single page. It would not be a good approach to incorporate all the elements.
The logo designing is quite a tough process, and building alignment in the shape and lines is also a laborious core,
Especially when it comes to designing a website's home page, you need to place the logo at the top of it. The alignment could fall at the left, center, and right side of the page, and it depends on your overall design layout. If you don't have enough time to create a logo, you can use a free logo maker online web application.
#2 Visual Hierarchy
After getting to know about the space and how to have a balanced approach while designing, you also need to work on visual hierarchy; the bigger the element, the more attention it will grab. The same case is with the logo; if you are dealing with two elements in a single logo, keep one of them more prominent. However, you can also utilize a 3D logo maker. You also need to know that an element's placement also has a crucial role in building up the hierarchy.
If you want the user to get registered, you need to present the Sign-Up button more vividly so that users may not have to search for the button back and forth, and they must be able to get registered easily. In a visual hierarchy, the logo's placement also matters a lot; no matter if you are working on website design, business brochure, or a visiting card. Moreover, if you are out of time and also need to incorporate a logo in the design, then you can use logo maker tool to get the job done in a matter of a few minutes.
#3 Color Scheme
Colors are the baseline of design, and you should know how to use them because they have a great influence and power to shape the ideas and thoughts. You would have to be careful while using the colors. It not only aesthetically appeals but also lets you know how to connect with your audience and resonate with their thoughts and ideas.
Therefore, colors are crucial, and you can write off their indispensability from graphic designing. Especially when it comes to choosing the color scheme of a logo, you would have to go with the brand's personality and image for selecting the right colors. If you are designing a water park logo, you would need to use blue color in the logo to build a connection.
#4 Lines and Shapes
The foundation of any shape or design is formed from lines and shapes and how these shapes can be used will transform how the final design will look like.
For example, an all-rounded design will portray a different message that a design that has sharp lines
The words and fonts you use in your design are very important. Typography covers everything from the fonts being used as well as the layout of the fonts.
Typography helps communicate who you are and what you are about, hence it’s very important to get it right.
Textures allow you to make your designs much more realistic. It will help you also add dimension and depth to your models and this makes them visually appealing.
Graphic Design and 3D modeling
3D printing technology is becoming affordable as easy to use 3D modeling software are being launched and everyone can easily get started easily without taking much time.
Many companies and organizations now need graphic designers to integrate 3D modeling in their designs. 3D modeling is the process of creation of a three dimensional design by the use of a CAD software.
3D modeling is very helpful when you want to create 3D mockups and these designs are then rendered and included in product catalogues. Other projects that can be created include environment mockups, pavilions, expo sites and these can also be printed.
3D product mockups. Image source: Quora/
The purpose of all this is to communicate the ideas of your clients.
A 3D environment of Volvo done using 3D modeling and graphic design. Image source: Quora/warren Hyde
SelfCAD is a proficient CAD software for graphic designers. It’s easy to use and it’s a wonderful program for those who don’t want to learn much about 3D modeling. It’s user-friendly and you don’t need to spend many hours or have any skill set in 3D before you’re able to create something interesting.
What’s much interesting about this program is its ability to do 3D rendering. This will allow you to produce realistic designs much easier and soon HDRI will be added. This will allow graphic designers to add lighting to their designs in a natural manner.
These days, graphic designing isn't confined to not only creating designs, but one has to go the extra mile for making it appealing and attractive through creativity and by standing in the shoes of the user.
And if you are a newbie to graphic designing and you don’t have enough time to learn every aspect of design, or have been stuck in a situation where you need to make your own logo, or deliver a custom logo design in a few minutes I would recommend visiting Smallseotools.com. This free logo maker doesn't ask you to pay any additional charges. You can use this logo design online tool from your browser as there’s no need to install any software.
Moreover, if you are working with clients, they will surely ask you to design something that could have a strong impact on their audience. The free logo maker online utility is always available at your service for this purpose.
Do you want to learn 3D modeling? Check out our interactive tutorials.
Haven't tried SelfCAD yet? Register now, and try it out for free!