Essential skills that every graphic designer should have
Graphic designers need to be constantly updated in this competitive industry where everyday new technology is being introduced. You need to have adequate skills and familiarity with latest technology to be on top. In this article I will discuss some basic tools and skills that every graphic designer should have.
Adobe Photoshop- In the graphic design industry you should try to learn something new everyday. Even the veterans constantly experiment with the designing softwares to understand what more can be done. You should read tutorials, books and attend seminars to learn new developments. Adobe Photoshop is the most popular software for the graphic designers. You can do a lot of things with graphics if you know Photoshop properly. Every designer should spend some time every week to learn new techniques. Photoshop will let you manipulate layers, masks, channels, colors and scratches etc.
Adobe Illustrator- Adobe Illustrator is great software for working with vector images. When you need to design a logo or chart, this is the ideal tool to use. It will let you create a crisp design that is print media oriented. You can design attractive posters using Illustrator. You can convert a bitmap image into vector image, use multi step gradients etc. Illustrator is vast software and it will take some time to understand its full potential. But the more you learn the more proficient you will become.
Quark Express and Adobe InDesign- These are page layout programs. When you design a page for newspaper or magazine these softwares are absolutely essential. You can work with both graphics and text in this software. The key to success in this software is to understand how you can control text around images and create a beautiful page. You can design pre press copy and offset printing copy with InDesign and Quark Express.
Flash- Flash is highly popular video software. You can use the frames and keyframes to create simple and graphics heavy Flash design. As you learn Flash gradually, you will have enough knowledge to be able to make flash movies and interactive web content.
Typography- Typography is a very vital part of graphic design. It shows the aesthetic sense of a designer. It is necessary that you have a font management system on your computer. You should know the difference between True Type, PostScript and OpenType fonts. Read books on typography and refer them whenever you commence a new design. The more you read about typography your understanding level will become better.
Creative idea- Graphic designers are highly paid for their creative ideas. You must have a plan and a method to generate new ideas. You need to learn what other graphic designers are innovating and new areas of graphic design. Read a lot to allow your creative side to open up and flow. Remember, you are not paid for your knowledge in Photoshop but because of your distinctive design ideas.
Build a strong network- If you are a freelance designer you need to have lots of connection to keep the flow of work uninterrupted. Some people think it's a difficult thing to do but if you plan properly you can build a strong network after some time. You can attend networking events and seminars to meet other designers and potential clients. Share your email address and phone number with them and collect theirs. Send them email occasionally or visit their blog and post a comment. These activities will help you build a strong network.
Hone your business skills- You may argue that why a graphic designer needs business skills? The fact is whether you are freelancer or run a graphic design company you should have a basic knowledge of sales, marketing, database management and tax strategies.
About the Author
Debjani Singha Roy has long been associated with Graphic Design India, a reputed graphic design company. She has authored a number of articles on graphic design India.
Graphic Design Tutorials
Graphic Design Tutorial Tweening images in flash
Frequently Asked Questions...
Cheap Graphic Design Software Plus Low Cost Training?
I'm looking for a site that covers tutorials and real-world ideas with graphic design software that can get the job done fast. I'm on a tight budget and I need absolutely focused advice to help me be more competitive in the design industry. All advice appreciated. Thanks.
Combining free software with real-world training is the best way to get on top of the design industry - especially if you're just starting out, or are on a small budget.
Just as having a saw doesn't make you carpenter, it's really about creativity, perception and patience that make a good graphic designer. In my own experience since about 2001, I've used freeware like Gimp with a mid-range tool like PhotoImpact and higher ones like Photoshop, to get the best results for my clients.
So if you want a low-cost training resource, this is my personal recommendation to you: http://starturl.com/SimplyDesign
It's an awesome resource for people just starting out and offers a real-world insight into your place and potential in this industry. I've seen my design business literally take off after I learned the methods in this book.