(Closed) Design bees: Need advice

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 1999

If you have GIMP that’s a great place to start.  Learn it, love it, you will ALWAYS be able to use it if you master that, it’s extremely powerful.  A lot of the features are the same as the Adobe products, that’s why it was created, so the learning process of switching from one product to the other is much smaller.  You CAN do pretty much anything in the universe in GIMP, some things are easier in one product some in another, but overall if you want to beef up a resume put Adobe products on it.  Most important thing is not what products you use but how WELL you use them.  Create loads of samples, build a killer portfolio, set up a blog/website, PINTEREST the crap out of your own stuff, give out freebies for scrappers, wedding girls, photographers, whatever.  Just create, create, create.  There are some fabulous graphic designers that just set up websites with beautiful templates for invitations, for photographic layouts, for christmas cards… you can monetize right away if you create something nice enough that other people want it, once you spread the word.  πŸ™‚

 

Post # 4
Member
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@ms_protea:  I’m a graphic designer and I only use the Adobe Suite. In fact, most graphic design companies only use the Adobe Suite (and maybe Quark). I’ve actually never heard of GIMP, but I’m sure it’s a good starting point. Some printing comapnies use Corel and Quark.

If you’d like to learn how to use the Adobe Suite lynda.com is a great site to use. It costs so much per month – I think its $25/ month. Which, is much cheaper than having to take classes. In fact, when I was in school – I used lynda for learning new things.

If you want to do some reading – for typography I would recommend books by Ellen Lupton.

Also, howdesign.com is a great site to look at for all things graphic design – tips, business, inspiration.

If you have any more questions – I’d love to help!

Post # 5
Member
750 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I see you’re not in the US, and I don’t know if this is possible in SA, but might there be workshops you can afford? I go to software classes when I can afford them, each is only 1 day and $200. This is through a local university, but they’re not credit classes for degree students. They teach Adobe Suite and a lot of other programs for professionals in many fields. A lot of universities here are getting on board with “continuing education” or “adult education” programs, and they can be VERY affordable.

For learning on your own, some of the “___ for Dummies” books can give you a good foundation on the functions of each program. I used them when I started messing around with Adobe software and found them very helpful for working through the basics.

Post # 6
Member
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

I’m a graphic designer too and I only use the Adobe Suite. I use Photoshop mostly as I specialize in web design, but I also often use InDesign and Illustrator.

I also use GIMP for many personal projects, but I think using the Adobe Suite is pretty necessary in the corporate world of design.

If you’re already using GIMP, the Adobe Suite should be easy to step in to with some practice. πŸ™‚ I’m self-taught in almost everything I know, so I know it’s possible… just takes time and a lot of fiddling around! I’m not officially “qualified” either, and neither is my BIL who is an EXTREMELY successful Designer. What matters most is a strong portfolio.

Post # 8
Member
64 posts
Worker bee

I am a professional graphic designer. I do product packaging/marketing as well as teaching graphic design courses at night at a few local colleges. I would defintily say Adobe creative suite would be the way to go since it is the most widely used set of programs. It is also very important to know how to navagate through corel/pagemaker/QuarkXpress, etc… to incrase your job chances. The programs can be intimidating at first, but with perserverence it will become more easy to use. You will get frustrated, but anytime you find yourself smacking your computer monitor with your keyboard, you can walk away and take a break. lol

You can download a free trial version of photoshop, illustrator, etc… straight off of the Adobe website http://www.adobe.com/downloads/ and click “try”. I believe it runs for about 30-45 days. And if you are a student, or know a student, Adboe offers steep student discounts on their programs.

Edleweiss is correct, just create create and create! Good things to focus on for beginners is proper image quality/resolution and image porportions (never stretch an image to fit, ALWAYS crop the image to fit). As well as typography (VERY IMPORTANT). And the media chosen to view the work (web, print, mobile, etc…) And of course, delivery of the final product. There is a difference between good graphic design, and bad graphic design. Good graphic design communicates a message or feeling wthin a fraction of a second of viewing, whereas bad graphic design is just bad. If it looks bad, re-do it. Don’t be sloppy, tighten up your lines, and don’t sell your work for less than you think you deserve.

Also, to increase job opportunities get into website development. Have a nice matching (brand consistency!) set of resumes business cards portfolios & even a website to showcase your work. You don’t NEED a design degree to land a job. Some employers look solely at how strong your portfolio/experience is.

Also, for example, i’m a “product development manager/graphic designer” at my regular job, and i work in excel spreadsheets all day πŸ™ with numbers πŸ™ all our product packaging labels have had the same template since i’ve started working here (over 2 years), so there is not very much “creativity” involved. It gets creative when i do my freelance work, or teaching work. But even then, what a client wants is what a client gets, even if you know the design is wrong. If they want a certain font, use that font, or find a way to creatively suggest something different without offending the client.

Oh, and just google what you want for your tutorials, there is a TON of info available on the net.

Post # 9
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

You’ve gotten great advice already, so all I would add is that if you can add some sort of technicalskills (programming, java, etc), it will put your marketability through the roof. The design part is important, but someone who can design and then build systems around it is the hot ticket right now.

Post # 10
Member
1544 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

it really depends what you want to do in graphic design…. but learn the entire adobe suite. A coworker of mine uses the lynda tutorials to learn the new tricks. Theres a lot of features and there always coming out with new ones – I’m still learning new things and i’ve been working in photoshop for years.

Once you figure out what you want to do with it you can dive more into a particular program. But photoshop you’ll need to know completely no matter what. I wouldn’t rely on gimp – theres some similarities but its best to know photoshop. You may want to look into taking some night classes. A certificate would be good – show employers and clients you know what your doing. But all you really need is a good portfolio.

 

 

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