How to learn Graphic Design

Discussion in 'Education' started by Adam Ford, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Adam Ford

    Adam Ford Kapellmeister

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    Hi guys hope you're all fine.

    As the title says I would like to learn how to make graphic design for album covers, cover artworks, etc.

    I'm good with spending some money to buy a software and some courses to learn from scratch.

    But what should I learn?
    Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects, Pixlr, Première? I don't know.
     
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  3. mrpsanter

    mrpsanter Rock Star

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    Photoshop and illustrator.

    Go with Lynda or Udemy.
     
  4. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    I learned Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, etc for graphics. Then also Premiere, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, etc for video.
    I dove head in first. Info is everywhere (manual, youtube, tutorials, magazines, books, etc).
     
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  5. SmokerNzt

    SmokerNzt Producer

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    I really love corel draw , amazing product they got user friendly
    plus you can buy drawing pad with pen
    you have many tutorial on youtube , the best advice start with just paper drawing faces/nature .
    then move to software !
     
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  6. Nana Banana

    Nana Banana Producer

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    I used a combination of VUE Esprit by e-on software (3D Rendering), and of course Adobe Photoshop for the few CD covers I've made. I had to throw in 3D rendering options because if you dedicate time to understanding how to use it, it has amazing results. But that all depends on what your vision of "album art" is of course :wink:

    https://info.e-onsoftware.com/vue
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  7. EddieXx

    EddieXx Platinum Record

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    have you any initial experience of your own, or education in design?

    if not (imho) software should be your last priority

    you can use any of the excellent packages out there, the free ones like krita, gimp or the affinity package. (after effects and premiere are for video so skip those and focus on design first, that alone is going to take you a while but you will save lots of time if you focus on that first instead of mixing all sorts of workflows and areas in vain)

    this is just like producing music, people who dont have a clue think they should get the most expensive or download/pirate the "bestests" daw/vst/libraries to no use whatsoever, after years tinkering with software they cant even make a freaking twinkle little star-level arrangement

    after years they cant even use a compressor or have any real useful knowledge, why? because they spend they time testing new plugins and "updating" all sorts of crap chasing shortcuts that do not exist

    focus on developing your art learning the basic principles and developing your style/look/taste with the most convenient program and those techniques will translate perfectly to any software in the future if/when you finally truly "need" to have them professionally.

    most of the time the difference between the expensive "pro" and the free packages is just a matter of work-pipeline and that is easily learned when the time comes.
     
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  8. noize2sound

    noize2sound Ultrasonic

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    QUartz COmposer
     
  9. tzzsmk

    tzzsmk Platinum Record

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    honestly? fck Adobe with their scum Creative Cloud subscription pricing,
    learn Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, they are seriously better in all ways compared to Illustrator and Photoshop,
    similarly, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve (since 15 now with integrated Fusion) is great alternative to PremierePro and AfterEffects (and also free!)
    EDIT: for 3D, don't hesitate to give try to Blender, it's surprisingly powerful yet free
    if you want free alternative to Illustrator, free app worth checking is Gravit Designer
    (all softwares I mentioned are available for both Windows and MacOS, some also Linux-friendly)
     
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  10. madfreak

    madfreak Noisemaker

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    Learn Photoshop and Illustrator
    Cheaper alternative: Pixelmator / Affinity Designer (but i think they are both mac only)
    Watch tutorials on youtube

    For motion stuff use After Effects / Premiere

    For 3D and motion stuff > Cinema 4D (free alternative would be Blender)
    For C4D you can download and analyze some of Beeple's project files - and do some "reverse engineering" :)
    He is an absolute genius > https://www.beeple-crap.com/resources
     
  11. DJK

    DJK Producer

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    i agree, i have affinity photo and designer and i love working with them,
     
  12. meow

    meow Guest

    For 3D go with Blender. Photoshop CS2 is free, or The Gimp. Krita. And a cheap and good graphic tablet like we find today.
    A medium pc with 8Go Ram is ok, you don't even need a big gfx, unless you go for 3D rendering big projects.
     
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  13. Legotron

    Legotron Rock Star

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    Learn both Illustrator and Photoshop. And understand the difference between programs and technology, i.e vector vs. raster graphics. Then only your imagination is your limit.. Good luck on your journey
     
  14. Riot7

    Riot7 Producer

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  15. mercurysoto

    mercurysoto Audiosexual

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    Learning Illustrator and Photpshop is basically learning software that has been around long enough to prove to be "industry standards." That's a concept lots of people hate, but it's also the best investment in terms of learning. However, like it was stated before, more than the software you need to develop (if you don't have it already) an "eye" for design and if at all possible line drawing skills on paper. Just like music, where people with an ear and a natural talent will tend to produce much better music much earlier than the average joe, there are aesthetics and taste in graphic design that matter a lot more than knowing how to tweak a piece of software, and there is material about it online too. That could be a good starting point.

    Here's an example of a Linda.com course on Web design, but it illustrates the point of learning about graphic art above graphic technique:

     
  16. huschiwuschi

    huschiwuschi Platinum Record

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    Affinity is also available for Windows
     
  17. famouslut

    famouslut Rock Star

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    Graphic design dumbed down & oversimplified? I'll try!

    1st principles? Learn the difference between art (pretty pics) and design (overall, pleasing "function".) Remember mnemonic: all design is CARP: Contrast, Alignment, Repetition, Proximity. (Or CRAP if it's easier =) Try to make bold, eye-catching contrasts. That means (ie) black & white, thick and thin, "complicated" and simple. Make sure things are aligned neatly. Repeat individual (design) elements to give more pleasing overall effect. Put similar information together.

    In effect, you would (for example) make sure that (for a poster advertising a concert) you'd make sure that the date, time & place are grouped together. That the important info (name of the band) is eye-catching and front and centre, "bold". Try to "show" not tell, be economical with words, brutally. They say that a good poster has five words on it. A brilliant one has just one. Try to look at designs (ie album covers, poster, packaging, store fronts, the world! =) and learn from design ideas you like. Look through print/web advert space (classifieds etcs) and stop when something "catches your eye", and work out why it did? It's often down to what's called "white" space, "economy" of words. Try to discover (when you see a design you dislike) the reasons why. And, like they say, genius steals! We all stand on the shoulders of giants, so don't feel too bad ripping off designers *ahem* when first starting. It's a good idea to read a few books on the subject and watch a few YT videos. Mainly learn by doing, mistakes are the best tutor.

    As to which software to use to assist, it depends on whether you are focused on print, web or art. It's pretty easy to learn Photoshop, and it won't ever be "wasted" knowledge. Knowing about layers etcs is bread and butter stuff throughout. There's loads of tutorials (some accessed from within the program itself) online to do anything, pretty much. If you plan to make posters, pamphlets, printable art / merch and such, then learn Illustrator. It is a complicated, neverending headache! :P But it is the best thing if you plan to ever use a printer. If you are interested in photography and (ie) making nice pics for Bandcamp etcs, prolly Photoshop will be enough. If you plan to do a lot of web selling, try Dreamweaver & learn XML too. Almost all of these will be of some use, though, there's no real wasted time. The difference between Illustrator & Photoshop is a bit like the difference between Cubase & Audition. They do overlap quite a lot, although AI is much more technical and confusing to dive into, imo. Much easier to learn AI after learning PS.

    Anyway, you can get away with a lot of stuff, and design pretty easily for print w/ Photoshop if you wanted to. It comes a bit unstuck with anything complicated and fancy, tho. I'd use Identifont and What the font? et al when you start to feel confident enough to make ur own logotype, invaluable resources rly.

    Oh yeah, mustn't forget colour wheel. With primary colours (ie) you get complement by mixing the other two primary colours together. On the wheel, it just means opposite colour = complement:
    [​IMG]

    Also: never evah use centre-aligned text! Well, unless wedding invites and passive-agressive notes are ur main jam? =)
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  18. Legotron

    Legotron Rock Star

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    Just learn basics and what they´re for, CMYK or RGB, Vector or Raster and how to edit and scale them. It´s then easier to understand use of them. Then it really doesn´t matter what program or effects you are using to accomplish the output.
     
  19. EddieXx

    EddieXx Platinum Record

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    oh btw! i forgot the "bestest" tip I have.
    its so incredibly effective as it seems obvious..

    at any cost, get yourself real life orders/commissions. starting now, make those simple, free even, but whatever real life task you can get hold of, then escalate as you get better

    that my friend will make an ace in record time! thousands times more effective compared to the "sitting at home preparing your craft".. that will most of the times end in very little if anything
     
  20. EddieXx

    EddieXx Platinum Record

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    great guide!

    the only problem for me would have been i (and some others) function the "wrong" way, when I start some new "thing" I must do first, and learn as i go. total opposite to my girlfriend, she will first learn how its supposed to be done. its a matter of characters and both have their pros and contras.

    also, people with short attention span will have serious difficulties learning how to first.
     
  21. tooloud

    tooloud Producer

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    If you have no training, please don't try "designing" anything or it will look like a 14 year olds MySpace page from 2001. Find an image that represents your style and place the name and title in either black or white using a medium Helveticaa font.
    This is all you need to know.
     
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