I had some spare time so I just wanted to leave you a couple of suggestions, because I started from zero, 100% online self taught and alone, as many of you, and I know howw much it can be hard to design something acceptable.
The approach many of you have right now is:
- watch tutorials
- know all about Photoshop
- I’m a good graphic designer
Unfortunately is not that easy.
Many of you still think knowing perfectly Photoshop means to be a good graphic designer, but no it doesn’t work like that. Or that who sells many files here is a good graphic designer, or viceversa. but is not neither… Many Authors who made a ton of sales are terrible graphic designers, and this may confuse some of you.
Look Blogs and websites like Behance, Dribbble, FFFFOUND, Creattica etc… to try to understand what is considered good graphic design today, and you’ll see the difference with what’s here right now.
I know how many of you work: you open Photoshop or Illustrator and start to design random, with no criteria, with no concept behind, with no idea of what you’re doing, just make a remix of something you saw and liked, just copy a bit that thing that I saw and liked.
Good, but you’ll never be satisfied, neither unique or considered a designer. Once you’ll start understanding others people designs, you can start making yours.
Most common errors are inconsistency and lack of concept: if you’re making a flyer for christmas? So every line, every element, the typography, the message, the colors, must be consistent each other and linked by the main concept: the clearer it is, the better your design.
In graphic design and communication design there are 2 main aspects: -1 the concept -2 the threatment
The concept is the idea behind your design, wich connections you’re doing and what is the message, while the threatment is how you translate the concept into graphic signs and language. I want to design a “burning flyer”? My concept is: flames-hot-burning-onfire-dangerous…. The threatment is the fun part because you can stay illustrative, you can go for realism, or both mixed…this is the most fun part, but there must be a concept behind. Many of you only talk abot the threathment, and ignore the existance of a concept. Is so eveident some of you just start directly into Photoshop, without even scratching an idea, or making some brainstorming and research before.
When you design don’t recycle old things, start always from a new concept and design new elements, you’ll get better faster and earn more much faster, otherwise it means you’re mixing the same things over and over, this ain’t design and you will loose time and skills.There are A TON of free books about design and graphic design. They will teach you how to improve, and what’s behind the graphic design process, or the history of graphic design: https://www.google.it/search?q=graphic+design&tbm=bks&tbo=1&hl=it&oq=graphic
Graphic design is awesome in this aspect because is “forever”: once you learn something basic, it’s yours, forever. So focus on improving, you’ll get better from year to year.
Follow your instinct, design what you love, in the style that comes more easy, and try to change style always, challenge yourself: change your perspective (style) continuosly, you will find your own style.
The more culture you have, the better designs you’ll do, because you’re able to make more connections, lateral thinking and deeper concepts. Search and accept critiques from people much better than you
Hope it helps!
While I agree with you on some points, I also disagree. For instance the part about some popular authors being bad graphic designers. On one hand it “might” be true. But the MAIN issue is sales. If an author is making Envato money, who cares if they aren’t the best graphic designer in the world.
Just like with all things art. Look at movies. Big blockbuster movies that make lots of money but might not have as much depth as a small budget movie with it’s intentions being artistic rather than making money. Look at music. There are some indie music, underground rap etc that have more soul and deepness than the music that is “Selling”.
I also think that the “great designs” you speak of from dribble, Creattica etc. are made maybe more for artistic purposes, either that or they are paid alot to create something like that, vs a couple dollars per sale here at Envato vs the time it takes to get your items reviewed. People just start popping out items like crazy just to make some money and move on.
What I guess I’m saying is. That is like the difference between a custom burger vs cheap fast food. Each of them has their own place in society. As you wouldn’t expect top quality ingredients and execution of you food at a fast food joint, why would you expect top designs here? Because surely Envato is all about making “custom” designs, right?
Would you like some fries with your quickly put together flyer? Thank you come again.
great article I enjoyed it a lot. The most important part in graphics design IMO is brainstorming, put your ideas on a paper first then try to get something unique out of it. In logo design for example I tend to write down keywords and then I try to combine these keywords together.
The hard part is to find an idea/concept, the easy part is to implement that idea in photoshop/illustrator.
I disagree and also agree with your post. Alot of items approved here, and I don’t want to trash anybody by any means I’m just being objective here, are a disaster when it comes to basic typography. The heavy use of skeuomorphism, using more than 3 different typeface sizes on one page, mixing sans-serif fonts etc. pp. I doubt terms such as apex, ligature, ear, acender, terminal, counter and the rest of the pack are known to the majority of the authors and it SHOULD BE.
So if you really want to learn something about design and increase your skill – start with a book about typography, Erik Spiekermann for instance, and forget about the rest. This is what you want to “master” first or you will always be an amateur and I’m self-taught myself. and if you guys want some motivation – some of the world’s most known typographic designers slash graphic designers are self taught.