How to Learn Graphic Design?

34 replies
I want to learn to design my own graphics so I do not need to hire people. Just another skill to save me money when building sites. What program should I use? Is Gimp(free) good enough? Any suggestions?
#design #graphic #learn
  • Profile picture of the author Martik
    Banned
    Buy some photoshop plugins and watch some youtube videos, its really not rocket science
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6775973].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author think more
    Photoshop can do the job for you.Just google for PHOTOSHOP WEB DESIGNING TUTORIAL.
    Signature
    =======================================
    I Can Deliver You 2 Whiteboard Animation Video for $5
    =======================================
    ======= 6 Tips to Boost Your Email
    Marketing Campaign ========

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6776628].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Woodward82
    Photoshop is probably the preferred solution. They now offer a monthly service if you dont have or cant afford the product itself. They also have a 30 day trial.

    Gimp (although I havent used it) seems to be the best alternative to Photoshop and of course if free.

    I also ran across another option Pixelmator which seems to offer another alternative at a very low rate. (for mac only)

    It probably really comes down to preference and what exactly you are trying to do. Photoshop offers a lot, but that doesnt mean you actually need all of those 'extra' tools for the job.

    For quick and simple logo design I suggest The Logo Creator, I have used this and if your just trying to come up with quick solutions for logo's and simple banner design this will get the job done.

    Hope this helps

    Michael W
    Signature

    If this post was useful please show your appreciation by hitting the THANKS button. ----- Right here V

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6776661].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Steve Lim
      Hey, I think you can learn from youtube vdeos, I have a friend who learn the graphic design software through youtube videos. Beside this, you can join some relevant graphic forum, learn from the expert. I have a designer background, normally I just do all the design/ website design by myself, save me quite a lot of money!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6776691].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Nics
      Originally Posted by Woodward82 View Post

      For quick and simple logo design I suggest The Logo Creator, I have used this and if your just trying to come up with quick solutions for logo's and simple banner design this will get the job done.

      Michael W
      I second this. It's a great little software for next to nothing. Making headers and banners is a breeze with this.

      http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ial-offer.html
      Signature
      List Building Demystified --> http://internetpoweredincome.com
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810089].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Gsdlady
        Originally Posted by Nics View Post

        I second this. It's a great little software for next to nothing. Making headers and banners is a breeze with this.

        http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ial-offer.html
        Thanks for sharing this! The software looks great!!!
        Signature

        Dog Journals
        Baby books for your dog. Document your dog's life as it happens.

        Baby First Year Books
        Baby memory books baby keepsakes for new mothers.
        GSD Lady

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810251].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author AJ Warrior
          Just checkout Some youtube videos.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810322].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
            Originally Posted by bathunter View Post

            I want to learn to design my own graphics so I do not need to hire people. Just another skill to save me money when building sites. What program should I use? Is Gimp(free) good enough? Any suggestions?
            Anyone can learn how to do some simple manipulation and as I like to call it "photochopping" but not everyone is a graphic artist.

            Originally Posted by Martik View Post

            Buy some photoshop plugins and watch some youtube videos, its really not rocket science
            No, but it does require an eye for color and elements and style. Not everyone has this.

            I would recommend learning how to use some software simply for the matter of small edits - but I wouldn't go gung ho unless you want to be a full time graphic designer.

            I can spend $10-$200 and get some really nice graphics made for me by someone who has an eye for it, or I could muster around for WEEKS trying to make all my own graphics.

            You have to factor in the learning curve, and whether you really have style to make something beautiful.

            Personally, I know I could make something beautiful with enough time, but my time is better spent on other things.

            Pick your battles wisely.
            Signature

            "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810366].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Zulfus
              I used to be absolutely useless with graphics, as in I was literally the last guy to go to for anything remotely arty.

              However, after slowly learning bits and bobs along the way, I found it's actually easy (somewhat) once you've got the basics down.

              A few things that I wish someone would have told me when I started:

              - Alignment: this is one of the first "aha!" moments I had. Make everything into grids, and align everything pixel perfect, to get a general professional feel.

              - Color: Pick a decent colour scheme, and stick to it. Look into colour theory. This is something that takes years of practice, but there's plenty of sites out there that can help you cheat with ready made palettes.

              - Fonts. Use professional fonts, look at places like dafont.com, good fonts, like Arial, Helvetica/Helvetica Neue, will transform something as simple as plain text on a white background to something classy and elegant. Play with the font weight, and size. I basically always pick a good font before making a logo to get a professional feel straight away, and save tons of work.

              Read up on basic design principles at places like smashingmagazine.com, and look around at how other things are designed for inspiration.

              Spacing is important too, you get different feels depending where you position things.

              And finally the last little tip i've gleaned is use shapes like lines, and circles/dots to add little finishing touches & make things pop, like an underline on:hover on a nav bar, or little dots/squares/triangles next to a heading to make it a little nicer and less plain.

              That's about it, i'm sure someone more experienced can give you plenty more tips.

              They're definitely some core things I use thoroughly every time I do something now.


              Zul
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810673].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
              Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

              Anyone can learn how to do some simple manipulation and as I like to call it "photochopping" but not everyone is a graphic artist.



              No, but it does require an eye for color and elements and style. Not everyone has this.

              I would recommend learning how to use some software simply for the matter of small edits - but I wouldn't go gung ho unless you want to be a full time graphic designer.

              I can spend $10-$200 and get some really nice graphics made for me by someone who has an eye for it, or I could muster around for WEEKS trying to make all my own graphics.

              You have to factor in the learning curve, and whether you really have style to make something beautiful.

              Personally, I know I could make something beautiful with enough time, but my time is better spent on other things.

              Pick your battles wisely.
              Some of the best advice yet ^^^ I did graphic design for a living for a while - I'm really good with photoshop and can produce volumes of work with PS quickly. I'm one of those who doesn't have a great eye for design. My designs were mediocre at best, but I could produce lots of mediocre work in a short time :rolleyes: After an honest evaluation of my own design skills, I stopped doing that for a living.

              Are mediocre design skills enough to make it in IM? I might try, but I kinda doubt it...
              Signature

              I just added this sig so I can refer to it in my posts...

              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810861].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
              Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

              Anyone can learn how to do some simple manipulation and as I like to call it "photochopping" but not everyone is a graphic artist.


              No, but it does require an eye for color and elements and style. Not everyone has this.
              ^^^ This. There are lots of people doing graphic design with little or no aptitude for it. I can do a lot of stuff with photoshop. I can even occasionally come up with a nice piece of work. But occasionally isn't good enough. And that occasional good work might take me four hours when it would take a pro 20 minutes. Sometimes it make sense to hire people who are good at what they do.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6816563].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Arief Ramadhan
    I recommend Photoshop for the design tool and you can learn about design in tutplus.com it's really great place to learn design. Good luck.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6776679].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
      Gimp is a free graphics design program. You can probably do whatever you would need to do with it. However the documentation is somewhat sparse and the program is not being kept up to date, so there are a lot of bugs.

      Photoshop is primarily for digital images and it is an expensive program. It also has a very steep learning curve. You will not be able to create professional-looking graphics without investing tens or even hundreds of hours. However when you develop some skills you will be able to create a variety of graphics for your sites.

      Graphics artists typically use a program like Illustrator. Illustrator is primarily for creating images, rather than editing photographs. So it is a tool of choice when you want a unique image created from scratch.

      You should remember that the really fine graphics that you see so commonly on the web these days are created by professionals with years of experience.

      Often you can get graphics created by these artists for surprisingly few dollars that are much better than what you will be able to create with photoshop. If you are able to generate revenue with your time in any other way you will usually be ahead to hire someone to create graphics for you.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6776759].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author TaraR
        If you want to learn how to design its best to start on paper. Sketch ideas out first before scanning them in and working them up on the computer. For drawing graphics, like someone else mentioned, illustrator is great, there is a free vector program called inkscape which you can use instead. Then use photoshop or gimp for photos and putting everything together.

        Do a search for "web design gallery" and you will find sites which show some great looking websites which you can use for inspiration.

        Lynda.com and udemy.com have tutorials on using software. If you decide to buy/subscribe to Adobe sofware they have a lot of free tutorials at http://tv.adobe.com/channel/how-to/

        You might also want to have a look at ready made graphics and photos from royalty free sites such as istockphoto, 123rf, fotolia, bigstockphoto etc. They generally only cost a few dollars each and you can also get photos for use totally free at Morguefile.com
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6809753].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zavhoz
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6809772].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
      You can find a previous version of Adobe Creative Suite for pretty cheap - I got the Developers version of CS3 a couple of years ago for about $60. It's more than you need, but it comes with Photoshop and Illustrator, each of which used to sell for $600-$800, and between the two, you're covered for graphic design.

      And like others have said - there's plenty of tutorials and info online - especially for photoshop. Search Youtube if you learn well by videos, there's tons of tutorials there.

      Good luck! I used to do that for a living, and found it quite rewarding.
      Signature

      I just added this sig so I can refer to it in my posts...

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6809946].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Nickels
    Cheaper alternative is using Paint Shop Pro from Corel. Alot of people thing PSP is just for stay at home mommies designing scrapbooks and whatnot lol but its really a very good tool.

    No doubt Photoshop is better and you will find waaaaaay more tutorials and resources to help you but PSP is definitely an option to consider if you want a good, solid tool but dont have not alot of $ to spend on it.
    Signature
    If you don't build your dream
    someone else will hire you to help
    build theirs.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810027].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    this is going to seem obvious and simple but type gimp tutorials into yoube
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810041].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Gsdlady
    I use Corel Paint Shop Pro it has many of the features as Photo Shop but is much more easier to learn and does not take a big chunk out of your pocket. I have been using PSP for many years and do all my graphic design with it.
    Signature

    Dog Journals
    Baby books for your dog. Document your dog's life as it happens.

    Baby First Year Books
    Baby memory books baby keepsakes for new mothers.
    GSD Lady

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810088].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Nickels
      Originally Posted by Gsdlady View Post

      I use Corel Paint Shop Pro it has many of the features as Photo Shop but is much more easier to learn and does not take a big chunk out of your pocket. I have been using PSP for many years and do all my graphic design with it.
      Yes..it does have alot of the same features as Photoshop. The biggest downside to using PSP is its text capabilities...Photoshop def outshines them on that. Also, you pretty much stuck on your own to learn it because of the lack of tuts and resources on the web.....whereas if you wanna learn photoshop.....theres a million resources lol.

      Now that were talking about it though...if you are starting from scratch and you really want to learn gfx design...you may want to go ahead and just go for Photoshop...because in the end, you will find more help/resources and any products like plugins and whatnot will be compatible with Photoshop.

      I love psp and am an avid user but if I could go back, I wish I would have learned photoshop from the get go......
      Signature
      If you don't build your dream
      someone else will hire you to help
      build theirs.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810135].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    I've been using Photoshop and Illustrator for some 16 years now. They do much more than you will need for basic graphics. Folks have give you some good options with GIMP and others. Paint.net looks good too, and it is free.

    The challenge is learning the "art" part of graphic design. Without any background knowledge about how shapes, color, texture, line, lighting direction, shading, perspective, and balance work together, people can product some truly ugly designs. An yet think their designs are wonderful.

    I remember reading a thread in the copywriting forum in which someone wanted a critique of her website's design and copywriting.

    The OP obviously had no understanding of design elements or copywriting, and the site looked atrocious. Yet, no matter what helpful suggestions people made, the OP had some argument as to why her own ideas were better. And she took offense at people giving her the critique for which she had asked.

    Google is your friend. I strongly suspect you can also learn the elements of good design online too - and copywriting as well. They will all help you create better looking and converting sites.

    You're on the right track. It just becomes a question of whether or not your time is better spent on other parts of IM, and let designers do designs, and copywriters write converting copy.

    Of course, that becomes a case of "do as I say rather than do as I do." I enjoy dcreating my own designs, I have a background in it, and use it to relax. I can play in Photoshop for hours on end, and love it.

    :-Don
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810177].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dbx3
    Use Photoshop for the design tool & Google for great tutorials!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810333].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author KickAss Marketing
    Photoshop then once you get to master using photoshop you can try to explore other software to extend your knowledge. And yes, youtube will be a big help.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810347].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author guntisdread
    Photoshop is the best but it costs money. Gimp they say is a free altrenative but I never worked with it, so maybe other people will comment on that.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810354].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Photoshop would be best, but Gimp is good too. Gimp cant easily customize PSD files like Photoshop can.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6810968].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author alllyc
    You shouldn't think small. You can start with Photoshop. There are so many great tutorials on Youtube you can take advantage of. I prefer video tutorials over article tutorials. It helps me to see how the things are being done "live". There is also a 30 day trial period on Adobe's website. Plus, Photoshop comes with many useful plug-ins that help you to create amazing results.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6811263].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Use GIMP or Paint.net (both free) and then PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE....
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6815063].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeThomas
      Photoshop and youtube tutorials...that's all you need!
      Signature

      P.S If what I posted you found helpful you might want to check out my daily web marketing tips. Go to www.influencedigitally.com

      P.P.S If you'd like to discover how to create high converting money-getting video salesletters you should check out my most recent WSO Video Conversion Cash Machine

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6815700].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dviraz
    start playing with Photoshop learn the basic from youtube and continue from there
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6816359].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HostWind
    Design in its self requires creativity. For example, I love a sweet looking website - and I like to critique things. However, I cannot create a pretty looking anything for the life of my. Regardless of how good I am at photoshop!
    Best of luck.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6816370].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tygeenguyen
    Spiderman here will help you
    I will show you only one website

    Lynda google it!

    be a pro and give me your email list first contribution to this forum(feel so good)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6816523].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Becky Rogers
    Photoshop is wonderful. I recently took a class on designing with Photoshop and using Web Expressions to then add the coding. Not sure what's available online, but there are plenty of Photoshop how to books available.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6817005].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jarvis Edwards
    I'll add to the Photoshop recommendations; dive in with a tutorial and just learn as much hands-on as possible. A total beginner can spend enough time "testing, trying and tweaking" and end up coming with good and often surprising results.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6817230].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author source47
    Creativity can't really be learned but it can be acquired through practice. However, the software to create graphics can be easily learned. I recommend Photoshop. Lynda.com is a great website to learn software programs. Also, psd.tutsplus.com is a good resource.

    Use web design blogs for creative inspiration. I've listed some sites that I like below:

    smashingmagazine.com
    abduzeedo.com
    naldzgraphics.net
    vandelaydesign.com/blog/
    Design Tips, Tutorials and Inspiration - Hongkiat.com

    I hope that this helps!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6817479].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SKM
    Originally Posted by bathunter View Post

    I want to learn to design my own graphics so I do not need to hire people. Just another skill to save me money when building sites. What program should I use? Is Gimp(free) good enough? Any suggestions?
    Corel Draw is a really good package for beginning graphic designers (pros use to too). It is cheaper than the Adobe suite, and a lot of folks believe the learning curve is much smoother as well. With some tinkering, you really could learn it yourself in a matter of days. There are tons of youtube instructional videos too.
    Signature

    Market yourself with the clothes you wear. Custom embroidered jackets and embroidered polo shirts can build brand identity every day.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6837319].message }}

Trending Topics