Designing

The art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.

Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That’s verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all-if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout-you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.

Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images (pictures), but they also design the letterforms that make up various typefaces found in movie credits and TV ads; in books, magazines, and menus; and even on computer screens. Designers create, choose, and organize these elements-typography, images, and the so-called “white space” around them-to communicate a message. Graphic design is a part of your daily life. From humble things like gum wrappers to huge things like billboards to the T-shirt you’re wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.

Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.

Image-based design
Designers develop images to represent the ideas their clients want to communicate. Images can be incredibly powerful and compelling tools of communication, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. People respond to images instinctively based on their personalities, associations, and previous experience. For example, you know that a chili pepper is hot, and this knowledge in combination with the image creates a visual pun.

In the case of image-based design, the images must carry the entire message; there are few if any words to help. These images may be photographic, painted, drawn, or graphically rendered in many different ways. Image-based design is employed when the designer determines that, in a particular case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Type-based design
In some cases, designers rely on words to convey a message, but they use words differently from the ways writers do. To designers, what the words look like is as important as their meaning. The visual forms, whether typography (communication designed by means of the printed word) or handmade lettering, perform many communication functions. They can arrest your attention on a poster, identify the product name on a package or a truck, and present running text as the typography in a book does. Designers are experts at presenting information in a visual form in print or on film, packaging, or signs.

When you look at an “ordinary” printed page of running text, what is involved in designing such a seemingly simple page? Think about what you would do if you were asked to redesign the page. Would you change the typeface or type size? Would you divide the text into two narrower columns? What about the margins and the spacing between the paragraphs and lines? Would you indent the paragraphs or begin them with decorative lettering? What other kinds of treatment might you give the page number? Would you change the boldface terms, perhaps using italic or underlining? What other changes might you consider, and how would they affect the way the reader reacts to the content? Designers evaluate the message and the audience for type-based design in order to make these kinds of decisions.

Image and type
Designers often combine images and typography to communicate a client’s message to an audience. They explore the creative possibilities presented by words (typography) and images (photography, illustration, and fine art). It is up to the designer not only to find or create appropriate letterforms and images but also to establish the best balance between them.

Designers are the link between the client and the audience. On the one hand, a client is often too close to the message to understand various ways in which it can be presented. The audience, on the other hand, is often too broad to have any direct impact on how a communication is presented. What’s more, it is usually difficult to make the audience a part of the creative process. Unlike client and audience, graphic designers learn how to construct a message and how to present it successfully. They work with the client to understand the content and the purpose of the message. They often collaborate with market researchers and other specialists to understand the nature of the audience. Once a design concept is chosen, the designers work with illustrators and photographers as well as with typesetters and printers or other production specialists to create the final design product.

Symbols, logos and logotypes
Symbols and logos are special, highly condensed information forms or identifiers. Symbols are abstract representation of a particular idea or identity. The CBS “eye” and the active “television” are symbolic forms, which we learn to recognize as representing a particular concept or company. Logotypes are corporate identifications based on a special typographical word treatment. Some identifiers are hybrid, or combinations of symbol and logotype. In order to create these identifiers, the designer must have a clear vision of the corporation or idea to be represented and of the audience to which the message is directed.

Tools required for Graphic Designer
There are several tools that are essential to graphic design. Below is a list of what is absolutely necessary to work in graphic design, as well as some things that are recommended.

A Computer

In today’s design world, a computer is essential. It will be both your design tool and your business tool. Using graphics software (discussed next), you will create illustrations, work with type, touch-up photos and complete layouts. The major decision here is what computer to get, and this generally starts with deciding between a Mac and PC.

Software
Graphics and business-related software are also a key to your success. Some products, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, focus on the creative end of design. Other packages, such as project management or time tracking software, will help you stay organized and manage the business end of design.
Graphics and business-related software are key for graphic design. Products such as the Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, content management software, and time tracking software will help you stay creative and organized.

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe products are the industry standard for graphics creation, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash and Acrobat. Each serves its own key purpose, such as photo editing, layout work and illustration. Practically every job in the design field will require knowledge of at least several, if not all, of these products.

Project Management Software

As client lists and project sizes grow, turning to graphic design project management software is a great way to stay organized by using to-do lists, calendars, collaboration, automated billing and more.

Graphic Design Time Tracking Software

As a graphic design business grows, using time tracking software can help you keep organized, properly bill your clients, set your rates and study your workflow. There are many stand-alone time tracking applications, as well as options that are part of larger project management packages.

Apple’s Bundled Software
The software that is included with all new Apple computers can be very handy for managing tasks beyond your personal life. Here are some tips for using Mac applications in your design business.

Font Doctor

When working as a graphic designer, you are bound to have hundreds of fonts on your computer. When dealing with so many fonts, it is common to run into problems such as corrupted files, multiple fonts with the same name, and messy organization. Font Doctor for the Mac will help repair and organize your fonts to clean up and avoid these problems.

More Graphic Design Software

The Corel Graphics Suite and Quark are also popular for design work. For in-depth information on these programs and other software visit About’s graphics software site. Remember, if you are a student, there’s a good chance your school will have a computer lab full of Macs loaded with graphics software.

Other Designing information and Best Design Practises:
DESIGN / CODE

  • Adobe  – Mainly Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro & InDesign.
  • TextMate – Text editor that I use for coding / writing.
  • Linotype FontExplorer – Font management.
  • CyberDuck - FTP Client.
  • ColorSchemer Studio 2 – Great colour scheme creator & colour tool.

WEB / SOCIAL

MUSIC

  • Spotify – My music player of choice. I subscribe to their Premium subscription so I can sync & listen to the music on my iPhone too. I use the iPhone Spotify Remote App to change songs from wherever I am.
  • iTunes – For buying music.

BUSINESS / PRODUCTIVITY

  • Skype – International phone calls and meetings.
  • TextExpander – Saves me from re-writing commonly used phrases & emails. Seehow to use TextExpander to conquer email.
  • Alfred – Launches my software & searches with speed. Super productive. I use the shortcut key Cmd+E.
  • Microsoft Office – An evil necessity.
  • Apple Time Machine – Backs up my files to external hard drives.

Web Apps

  • Google Apps – Handles my email (10 reasons you should try out Gmail), docs & syncs my calendar with my computers and iPhone.
  • Google TaskBar – I don’t use any fancy time management software, but rather use the ‘Tasks’ bar in Gmail. I use Harvest to track my hours.
  • DropBox - In the cloud file sharing & storing.
  • PayPal – Invoicing & advertising payments.
  • Shutterstock – My preference in stock imagery.
  • MediaTemple – Where I host my websites.

Working with Guide Tool in Illustrator

posted by A u d e e | Tuesday, January 31, 2012


You must be familiar with Guide Tool in Illustrator. But have you consider yourself using this feature optimally to speed up productivity, to help organize and accurate place your illustrations, and be more precise when creating artwork in Illustrator?

Here are some Illustrator Tutorials to better understand the function of Guide Tool, its customization and to learn what kind of things that you can actually make with the help of Guide Tool.

Feel free to post a comment below if you have your own quick tips to work with Guides in Illustrator, or if you want to share other tutorial resources with everyone!

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Random Gradients vol. 2

posted by A u d e e | Wednesday, January 18, 2012


It was started as experimental small project back then, and the result was a set of Random Gradients vol. 1 as part of Graphic Identity’s Free Design Box post series. It’s about time I share another set of Photoshop Random Gradients vol. 2.

Even they are randomized in colors, I decided to make simplified gradient set without too much effects since I think it will be more applicable to your design. There are 100 gradients included and they’re free to download.

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All of Graphic Identity’s ‘Free Design Box’ files are FREE (for personal or commercial use). But please read: Legal Usage to employ Graphic Identity’s ‘Free Design Box’ files before you decide to download the files.If you like my Free Design Box post series please give comment before you download them because I will appreciate any feedback from you.Graphic Identity – Random Gradients vol 2.rar (3.72 KB)
Random GradientsGraphic Identity – Random Gradients vol 2.zip (4.62 KB)
Random GradientsGraphic Identity – Random Gradients vol 2.grd (70.41 KB)
Random GradientsRelated Post:

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Graphic Identity User Showcase (Part 2)

posted by A u d e e | Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Graphic Identity Bloghas joined deviantART for 4 years, and some of ourFree Design Boxcollections are faved alot in this community.

We’ve published a post featuring some deviants works which were applying our freebies in: Graphic Identity User Showcase (Part 1) before. You can see some more now in our today’s post or visit our latest favorites at Graphic Identity User Showcase on DeviantART

If you’re also using one of our freebie collections, feel free to submit your awesome design to Graphic Identity User Showcase and be part of the Flickr group.

Happy New Year 2012 and cheers!

Happy New Year – 2012 by ~timijs on deviantART

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Subtle Seamless Patterns – Part 1 : Free Geometric Pattern

posted by A u d e e | Friday, December 23, 2011

It’s been a while since I published the last Free Design Boxpost category. I should thank you for your patience to follow Graphic Identity Blog updates and it’s time to share you the freebie post series.

I created a set of Subtle Seamless Geometric Pattern for you to download for free in .PNG file format. I reduced the contrast for each of it and scaled into 3 sizes. There are 5 different geometric style with 10 color alternatives, so basically you can have 150 total number of patterns to choose for your design.

I wrote a quick tutorial of: How to Define Pattern as .PAT File in Photoshop if you still do not know how to put digital modern pattern into a design.

You can check the demo page for quick preview of each geometric pattern style in different sizes.

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PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketAll of Graphic Identity’s ‘Free Design Box’ files are FREE (for personal or commercial use). But please read: Legal Usage to employ Graphic Identity’s ‘Free Design Box’files before you decide to download the files.Don’t miss out to download my next Subtle Seamless Pattern set post series by subscribing to Graphic Identity Blog feed!NOTE :

  • I also have created transparent pattern set in .PNG and .PAT file format. Withtransparent .PAT file, you will have more options to customize the background color of the pattern and scale it to fit your design (into smaller pattern unit dimension). If you’re interested to have it, you can tweet this post and mention @GrapicIdentity then leave comment using comment form below. Be sure to follow @GraphicIdentity and don’t forget to include your Twitter ID or your tweet permalink in your comment. I will send a download link via DM (Direct Message).
  • If you are happy enough with the available pattern colors, you can just download the .PAT file format with colored background instead.
    :D ‘sharing is caring’ so just tweet tweet to unlock the download button below ;)

Graphic Identity – Subtle Seamless Patterns Part 1 (PNG).zip (2 MB)
Subtle Seamless Patterns Part 1 (PNG) Free Download - Geometric Pattern

.PAT file (colored background) is available!

TWEET NOW by clicking the Twitter Bird icon to unlock the Download button
Twitter Bird
Download

Be sure to check this design set also
Nature Element Vectors

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Fillerati – An Alternative to ‘Lorem Ipsum’ Text Generator

posted by A u d e e | Sunday, December 4, 2011


Are you tired of using ‘Lorem Ipsum’ text generator in your design project? Why don’t you try a totally unique text generator tool called: Fillerati ;)

Fillerati is a web tool, as an alternative to ‘Lorem Ipsum’ text generator that applies random source filler text from Project Gutenburg.

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You can select any author with corresponding book title, then choose the available html tags which are: ‹p›, ‹li›, ‹h1› or just plain text. Each selected setting will have more detailed options such as, number of paragraphs, words or sentences before you start to copy the texts for your design project.


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