VisionMyEye: 6 years as graphic designer, from group enterprises to start-ups, from web designers to senior visual designers to design directors, and to today’s independent designers.
Different design posts in different organizational structures of the company can be said to be self taught throughout the whole process of graphic design. There are also some detours in this process, hoping to pass my one.
Some experience and thinking help some people who are interested in graphic design and want to work in graphic design.

First of all, I think it is necessary to mention a few common misunderstandings about graphic design , and how to learn graphic after a more correct understanding of graphic design.

1. Graphic design and artistic creation are very similar
Many beginners, even some of the more senior graphic designer, often confuse graphic design with art. When I met my friends, I was ridiculed by my friends, “artists are here.” Graphic design and art are really similar on the surface, and even sometimes very much like, for example, the graphic design of some fashion brands, museums, and art festivals is always full of artistic sense.

In essence, however, graphic design is very different from art. Their purpose is different, and the purpose of art is self expression. The purpose of graphic design is to solve problems.
Their audience is different, the audience of art is all, but each person can have a unique understanding of the art, and it is not very important to understand whether it is in agreement with the artist.
The audience of graphic design is often a particular group, requiring the audience to correctly interpret the information that graphic design wants to convey. So, the artistic technique is only necessary in the poster
It will be used when it is necessary, and when we are going to make a clear promotion posters, the artistry often makes people lose their minds. Please compare the two promotional posters below. Which poster gives you a glance?

Do you know the discount?

2. graphic design ideas come from inspiration

If you understand the difference between graphic design and art, it is not difficult to understand that the idea of graphic design is not from personal inspiration, but from the understanding of the problem and the information on the information.
Tidy up. When a designer faces a problem to be solved, it should not only float on the surface to see what the problem is to be solved, but it should be traced to the source and understand the “why” behind “what is”.
Experience, this is the root of finding excellent ideas. After the graphic designer understands the “why” of the problem and collates the information obtained, the solution will naturally surface. But this
The information included is not limited to the product and customer information obtained by communication with the demand side, through the Internet or by observing the existing solutions that are seen around it, or graphic designer itself
The mastery of visual expression.
Interested in how to organize information, you can look at the Japanese graphic designer Koshi Sato, who is a great “organizer”.

3. graphic design is important for self expression

This problem exists in many of the graphic designer I’ve seen, and these graphic designer may have a good visual performance, but they often do not invite the boss or the customer to see them.
It will fall into a state of inability to communicate. Because a graphic designer who loves self-expression is fundamentally different from a demander who is eager to solve the problem of visual communication
Designer is hard to come up with effective visual solutions. If you love self expression, artists will be more professional than designers.
To sum up, graphic design is not art, but science; brain hole is not a necessary factor for graphic design, but understanding of problems and sorting information; graphic design is not for self.
Expression, but to solve the problem of visual transmission of information. So I think that as graphic designer, what we need to learn is how to organize information and how to convey information.
At the beginning of my study of graphic design, I was puzzled about how to learn graphic design by what kind of priority, and to search a lot of information. The most common suggestion is to “look at it.”
More practice, more thinking, but few people mention what the specific steps should be done, and what should be paid attention to, so here I want to talk about what to do, how to do and the reasons for self study.
I suggest that the learning process of graphic design is:
At the same time learn graphic design software and graphic design principles, focusing on learning principles of design.
Use the learned graphic design principle to look at design and bad design.
Graphic design can be copied completely.
Try to do some redesign.
Explain the elements and principles of graphic design that you use.

Step one: learn software and design principles at the same time, focusing on learning principles of design.

1. graphic design essential software — Photoshop
Software is not design. I copied a work about three years ago. The original drawing was made with three-dimensional software Cinema 4D. I used Photoshop.

At that time, a financial circle who wanted to be a designer actually finished copying with Excel.
So I think that as long as we can ensure that the final output results, what software can be used. But looking for a graphic design work, and in the process of learning, we need to do some necessary exercises.
So Photoshop is at least used.
How is it going to be used? When I used Photoshop, I used the following 8 functions: a mobile tool, a zoom tool, a layer, a mask, a font, a texture, a superposition, and a transparency.
. When I studied graphic design, the knowledge of these functions was almost used after seeing some practical tutorials on Tutsplus, and then in the graphic design work application
Slowly, you can grasp the necessary degree, and you can produce graphic design according to your own ideas.
Proficiency in software can better improve the efficiency of the output link, but in the correct graphic design process, the proportion of output is actually not high (for me, usually the output process is only occupied. ”
The whole design process is less than 20%), so there is no need to put too much energy on the software itself. I think it’s good to be promoted in practice, and I can’t do what you want when you have a mastery of the software.
If you want to learn more about the knowledge, you can also consider other ways besides software.
As for Illustrator, I seldom use it personally, and only after LOGO’s graphic design is confirmed will Illustrator be used for final output. And in most cases, business cards, posters and biography.
When single, packaging, and other graphic design, or in the process of designing the emotional board tools, the basic use of Photoshop, so far has not encountered problems that can not be solved. So I recognize it
As a graphic designer, the priority of learning Photoshop is much higher than that of Illustrator. Indesign is a publication typesetting software. It is not necessary to learn at the moment.

2. graphic design needs to understand design principles and design elements.
I suggest learning basic design principles while learning graphic design software. With the understanding of design principles, when you look at software tutorials, you can gradually understand and teach.
What design principles are used in the process.
The principle of graphic design is the use of design elements. In the early days of being a graphic designer, if the goal is to make usable designs, you don’t need to know all the design principles, you just need to know
The most critical part is enough.

Graphic design elements include: line, shape, size, color, lightness, blank and so on.
The principles of graphic design include: contrast, repetition, alignment, intimacy, etc.
I would recommend that almost everyone around me who is a beginner in graphic design read at least once the book Basic Graphic Typography. This is the fastest and most effective graphic design I know.
A Book of principles. The book explains the design elements and design principles of the plane in a simple way, and its case is Japanese, which is more valuable to Chinese design than the case of western language.

The second step: use the learned graphic design principle to look at design and bad design.
There are many platforms to find a good graphic design, and my personal habit is to Pinterest. According to your personal habits, Behance or petals, standing cool, I think all can be.
So, it’s not necessary to hold more and better attitude every day to all over again, the initial stage can be careful to look at a platform is enough.
Be sure to use the design principles you learn to look at the quality of the design, reverse the information it wants to convey from the final design, and then analyze the design principles used by graphic designer to show these
Information, how to highlight the theme, how to do visual guidance, and so on. Don’t think a design is good simply because you think it looks good, and just learn the visual effects it uses.
That often leads to a good design in the future but not easy to use.
The two posters in the picture below, the same clothing brand, the same minimalist style, the same promotional poster, look at what Zara and Acne Studios do. If you only look at the promotion effect, which poster?
Will the promotion effect be better?

Third step: graphic design can be completely copied
The good design that is seen through design principles can be copied exactly as possible. If you cannot find the same elements (for example, patterns), replace them with the similar patterns as possible.
If you can’t find the same font, use the similar font as possible. But for position, size, weight, spacing, line spacing, color, transparency, projection and other effects, be exactly the same
Doing so can help beginners really understand the details of the design, not just the general concept of “making contrast with larger words and words”.
The following picture is Yummly App, which I copied “about 4 years ago”, a delicious food product born in the United States. You will find that the picture has been replaced with Chinese characteristics, such as fried bread sticks, sour and hot soup.
Copywriters have made corresponding modifications according to the pictures, but other designs have tried to be exactly the same.

The fourth step: graphic design can try to do some redesign.
I sometimes take some design that I think is not good enough to redesign, consider the design elements and design principles that are not considered in the original design, and optimize the original design.
But in fact, graphic design can also be redesigned for its own excellence. In design, the right solution is often not the only one. As long as the design principles are followed,
Design output often has many different solutions in form. For example, although the following design is different, but I think it’s a good promotional poster design.

If you are interested in redesigning, you can read another article: how to design a high grade and high standard poster? The answer also explained how to arrange information when making poster design.

The fifth step: graphic design needs to explain the elements and principles of its own use.
In real work, if you don’t want the boss to show your design, if you want to improve the probability of your design, stop saying, “because I feel so good”, “because everybody’s all.”
Do it. Instead, try to explain the specific considerations in your design. This is a necessary factor for the boss and colleagues to convince you of your design. In the past, the boss and the colleagues will be able to do it.
Work rest assured that you are responsible.


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