Graphic Design Classes Teach Cutting Edge Techniques

As the world becomes more technologically advanced, images and messages must change from traditional paper and ink printed texts to digital imagery and computer generated graphics. Keeping current with ever-changing methods of communication and advertising is the only way businesses and industries can compete. Consumers demand attractive methods for grabbing their attention. Therefore, employers hire graphic design professionals to meet this need, and as a result, employment opportunities for artists and designers are dramatically increasing. The most proficient designers prove their worth and credibility by completing classes at the college level.

Completing graphic design classes is a must for anyone who likes to work with commercial graphics. In these classes, you learn techniques using digital graphics, computer imaging and production so this knowledge can be applied to your job designing advertising for print and web media or for use in the film industry. In one class, Computer Graphic Illustration, develop digital drawing skills for publishing items in print, the Web or other media. You learn to draw using a vector-based drawing system. This enables you to create technical illustrations, diagrams, logos, cartoons, clip art and complex geometric patterns. As a designer, take the drawing and import it to other media software such as motion graphic designs, digital graphic or 3D software.

The course Digital Imaging Processing teaches skills using Adobe Photoshop. Become proficient in graphic and web design using digital illustrations. Create texture and bump maps for 3D models or animation and learn photo restoration. Take your study with 3D a step further when you enroll in Computer Animation Processing. Using the program Maya, you build digital models and hone your craft in 3D animation and software.

Perhaps you want to develop a 3D movie; classes such as Motion Graphics help achieve this personal goal. Study how to develop visual effects for film, video, DVD and the Web. Learn to integrate these skills among various computer software programs to produce high quality work and the movie you want. If 3D is not your first love, perhaps the course Interactive Media Design is more appealing. Plan and create animation using Adobe Flash Player. Create movies and banner ads as well as interactive presentations and websites to post to the World Wide Web. No matter your choice, a design class can teach you the art of digital visual effects and animation.

Other graphic design classes teach how to create and build a website. Develop a website and use an HTML table for webpage layouts. Learn to update and manage websites with file transfer protocol, FTP.

During your coursework, be prepared to build relationships and networks with other students while in the design lab. Here you can work collaboratively on projects, ask for or offer guidance to others. These relationships that you build can make you a better student and designer and aid in future employment opportunities. Working with various people gives you the chance to develop lasting connections that can remain with you throughout your career as a graphic designer.

With a graphic designing career, you enter an exciting and constantly changing field. No other time in history has technology played such a vital role in communication throughout the world. These classes will prepare you to participate, and possibly change, a part of history.

Designing Your Graphic Design Portfolio

When you start working, your great graphic design portfolio is going to help you land that great job. Your portfolio represents your skill and artistry, so put it together carefully because your artwork is going to speak for you.

Sort through all the work you have done – paid or unpaid, including design school assignments – and select the best work. Be critical here and take help from friends or professors to get an unbiased view. Leave out your not-so-great efforts, because it’s better to show 10 samples that range from excellent to good, rather than 20 to 30 samples which may include artwork that is passable or so-so.

Let your portfolio begin with your very best design and let the final artwork be your second best design. This way, you not only kick off with a strong impression, but you also leave your potential employer with another strong impression as his last memory of your artwork.

Graphic design is found in printed materials, on the web and on CDs and DVDs, so to make a complete graphic design portfolio, include samples of your work in all three media.

Quite a few clients need printed artwork, so select your best designs including as many different projects as you can to show off all your skills.

Include, for example, letterheads and calling cards, your best logos, any CD or album covers that you may have designed, a completed campaign, brochures, designs for paint boxes or toothpaste tubes, posters and banners, newspaper or magazine advertisements, labels, postcards – a wide-ranging selection of your work, you understand? Include a few pieces that you have really excelled at, like a random artwork or photographic study showing your Photoshop skills. The best of each project should give you 10 to 15 samples, just enough to interest a client without overwhelming him. Mount your artworks well on a neutral coloured sheet to show them off to their best advantage. Use a professional looking portfolio case to carry your samples. A case that allows you to add and remove leaves is a good idea, because then you use only as many leaves as you need to display your work.

A website portfolio is practically a necessity, with the internet being almost the main vehicle of communication, information, and most buying and selling today. Having a website in your own name not only makes you look professional, it also gives you an email address

Keep the website design simple. A neutral color background will allow your artwork to stand out. Keep your image samples at 100kb -150kb, so that they load quickly and no one with a slow internet connection will have to wait. The navigation should be easy, and available on every page, so that the viewer can go back and forth easily. The design of your website itself will display your artistic skills and add another dimension to your graphic design portfolio.

Your CD or DVD portfolio will be a slightly different version of your website. You can use the same design and pages, if you like. The image files can be larger, since no download will be necessary and you can add a little animation to make it interesting – and display yet another skill! Again, be sure to make it easy for your client to find just what he is looking for.

Have fun putting your graphic design portfolio together. Make your portfolio, website and CD/DVD easy on the eye and interesting to go through – and your clients will enjoy seeing your work!

Graphic Designer Tips: Designing Packaging

The graphics displayed on product packaging face tough competition and have to work extremely hard in the notoriously loud visual atmosphere in a supermarket and shopping centre. The packaging has to communicate usefulness and sentiment.

In the first step while developing a new package design, the graphic designer determines the client’s requirements, the message that the design should communicate and its appeal quotient for consumers. The factors that contribute towards the planning and execution of designing include the physical, cognitive, cultural and social elements. This information is gathered by meeting the clients, the creative directors and through research. Effective identification of the consumers’ needs are very significant factors for the development of corporate communication strategies.

Jon Davies, the managing director at Holmes and Marchant, a packaging design consultation firm says that product packaging design has to communicate with the consumers who are always in a hurry. To be effective, the packaging needs to get notices by creating an impression that goes beyond getting the people interested in the product. The packaging also has to create desire and get noticed for the appropriate reasons.

Print design can usually stand alone; however, packaging design is placed right next to its competitors on the store shelves. The graphic designers who work in this segment need to remember that, while they create beautiful designs on their big white backgrounds, the packaging will be placed in a completely different environment. The designers must keep in touch with reality and make sure to check that their designing will work effectively in the factual world.

The packaging design on a product must work efficiently at different levels. At a distance, it needs to have strong impact which can be achieved by using the right colour, illustration, type and icons in the right form on the right materials.

On closer inspection, it has to use the same fundamentals to communicate greater detail about what the product has in terms of a story. These stories can be functional selling strategies such as ‘wheat-free’ or ‘low-fat’, or they can be emotional narratives relating to origin, like ‘pure and fresh milk from cows raised on a small family owned farm’.

The graphic designers who work on packaging are likely to work closely with brand planners and structural designers. Even when packaging graphic designers are working on a completely graphical project, they have structure specialists on the team to help the project develop a broader view. These structure designers have the ability to provide insight about how the substrate, material or fold can be adapted to make the graphic design more effective.

The planning teams are also in communication with the designing team to ensure that the brief and the story are appropriate. At the beginning of the project, the planning brief in changed into the creative brief, however, the process is not like a relay race that goes through the various departments. All the departments and disciplines work together throughout the project.