Discover Your Graphic Design Focus | Lindsay Marsh | Skillshare
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10 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Class Preview

      1:16
    • 2. Getting Started

      3:13
    • 3. Logo Design

      5:18
    • 4. Brand Design

      3:28
    • 5. Print & Editorial Design

      6:01
    • 6. Pattern Design & Illustration

      3:12
    • 7. Package Design

      4:04
    • 8. UX/UI Design

      3:27
    • 9. Social Media & Digital Design

      4:02
    • 10. Student Project

      1:59
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About This Class

Are you a creative, illustrator, graphic designer? Do you want to become a graphic designer or get into the creative industry? Do you want to find out what design niche you should concentrate on? This is an exploratory class that helps you find your next focus and explore many wonderful options for budding and established designers.

We are going to review some main core design categories and talk about what types of projects you will do and also what you will need to learn to leap into those design niches. 

There are always more niches to discover but we will focus on the following in this class:

Logo Design
Print & Editorial Design
Pattern Design and Illustration
Package Design
Branding Design
UX/UI Design
Social Media/Digital Graphic Designer 

By the end of this class you will have a solid grasp of what each design niche entails. You will have confidence in choosing your top three focal niches to kickstart or enhance your design offerings and know what to learn next.

Transcripts

1. Class Preview : So are you a graphic designer or want to become a graphic designer? And you want to find out what design Nishi should concentrate on? There are many wonderful options for budding and established designers to focus on. We're going to review some main core design categories and talk about what types of projects will do, and also what you'll need to learn to leap into those design nations. There are always more design issues to discover, but decided to focus on the following in this class logo design prints and editorial design pattern design and illustrations, package design brand designs. Ux you. I design social media and digital design by the end of this class, who have solid grasp of what each design nation tales, and you have confidence in choosing your top three focal knishes to kids. Start our enhance Your design offerings are no toe learn next, so let's learn together 2. Getting Started: some of these design issues overlap well, some required totally new skill set and software to learn. Master, for instance, You X Y design our user experience in user interface design requires learning new UX design theory and creating user personas, user research and creating user flow diagrams. There's also new software you may need to learn, like Adobe X'd or sketch, to be able to create delivery bols for clients that they would expect out of the u X Y designer. Some of these projects and design theory is not always covered in your standard design program. You'll learn when you go through traditional graphic design curriculum. There are, however, logo design and branding specialist niches that could work wonderfully paired together. You may have some clients or ad agencies who need to develop a logo mark. You decide to specialize in just the local design process. You may have some clients who seek to expand that local design project to include some branded elements, extending that logo designed T shirt, stationary and more. This would fall more into the brand and brand creation process. To just pick one design itch to focus on would create a narrow field of possible client work. That's why picking your top three design issues to focus on at first could be very helpful to expand your knowledge and skill sets to work on. And you can create a wider variety of client work and projects during this glass. Keep in mind what you want. Your top three design each is to be and take notes. Your student project. At the end, we'll ask you several questions that can help you create your top three list. As you work further into developing a professional client list and have worked on several projects, you'll start to develop a further concentration and specialty. It could be that the three focus areas or design issues you choose there is one that is increasing your income the most, or seems to have more opportunities open up for you or you just really, really enjoy doing that. Particular design h This could be package designed. For example, you could have several recent client package design projects that start to open up doors and client referrals to new package design clients and projects. This is when you start to create a focus, more specialized portfolio to pitch yourself to bigger clients that require more specialty skills and attention to detail and experience in that particular industry. So how do we pick our 1st 3 design issues so we can start to discover our specialist design niche? We need to understand the reality of the type of work you need to do for these design specialties. This class was created just for that reason, so you could see the realistic work life projects and requirements that each design each requires, and some of the software you may need to learn to accomplish this projects. Remember, these lessons will not cover all available design niches. There may be more to be created or discovered. There's also sub knishes and sub design categories in each one of these that you can explore further. Remember, as you watch these lessons to find out what speaks to you more with projects, draw you in with software. Looks interesting and exciting to you. Can you do one of these design issues all day and still be creatively satisfied? So let's get started with her first design niche focused logo design 3. Logo Design: a local designer will focus solely on the local design process. This could be a very profitable design specialty once you streamline your local design process. Many times there are a lot of jobs out there for this type of work. So it's high in demand. And because of this, it's also highly competitive design. That means your work needs to be outstanding to rise to the top. The logo design process. Con's start in Adobe Illustrator or another vector based program like affinity designer with sketching out of ideas. It could also start with a pen and paper and, more recently, a digital drawing app like Procreate, which you can use with the apple, iPad and apple pencil. A local designer needs to be able to take a client brief and a simple client summary and turned that into a final local design product, complete with all the design piles a company or client will ever need. A skill set that is helpful for this design issue is being able to read clients and deliver on client expectations. They may give you a vague statement on what they want, but if you can work with the client and discover what they truly need and the right balance that they want, that they could set you apart from the stiff competition. The logo design process can be quick or long. It depends on a variety of factors, like client budget expectations, industry in style. Some local designs require illustration skills and hand lettering skills as it seems to dominate recent local design trends. Being able to learn and love typography is essential to becoming a great local designer. Typography is the core of local development, so a passion for it is critical. Knowing how to Kern your tie properly. How to pair fonts together and find a style that fits any accompanying logo marker symbol like with most design issues, you will need to be detailed oriented. You'll find yourself zooming in 800% on a vector graphic to tweak a small anchor point to find the perfect curve slope for type and symbols, you will have a love for illustration and have a knack for creating complex ideas and turning them into much more simple reproducible graphics and icons. Brainstorming is at the heart of local design. Creating what are called iterations or different virgins is a big time consuming part of a local designers day, you must start off with a core concept with but with client feedback. That core concept may change many times to become something totally different. Toward the end, I could spend up to eight hours in a day creating 10 different brainstorming concepts for Locos to then only have one be picked. In the end, you could be a very tedious type of design work, but incredibly rewarding when you see your local applied in the branding process too many different things. You also need to be able to create simple logos that could be done in one color black and white but in a very small, tight, narrow digital space and also logo's that could be embroidered on T shirts and be practically applied to almost all items. Adobe, illustrator, affinity, designer, quarrel, drawl and any other vector based drawing programs are required to specialize in this. Designing Adobe Illustrator's PIN tool is the most critical of all tools, not just to learn but master in logo design. Next up would be tools like this shape builder tool in the Pathfinder tools in Adobe Illustrator to be able to build and create custom shapes and symbol for local designs that required that type of detailed work. You also need to master not only typography theory but also learn how to work with it. In a vector program. You will need to be able to draw custom type, create custom type from existing type, and also learned the type on path tools to add curves and shapes to your type. If you like to sketch out your designs on paper or an app like procreate, you'll want to learn how the digitize are used. The pin tool defect. Arise your drawings to be, then be able to create your final vector logo design from sketches. Are you getting excited about this? Nishi don't have to get excited about all of them. But if you answer yes to the majority of these questions than logo design, niche might be one of your top three focal niches. I could be in a vector program all day and not get bored. I love to create new concepts and brainstorm ideas, and you do it for long periods of time. I can take a vague client statement and turn them into something workable and likeable for all parties involved. I love the small details and building and crafting simple graphics like icons and symbols. I love spending a long time with one project, sometimes creating 30 versions of the same concept just to get it right. As you work through this class and find out if the images and project is shown, get you excited about diving further into this design category. I have additional lessons and classes that will walk you through the detail of a lot of these projects, as well as lessons in Adobe Illustrator. If this design niche interests you, another complimentary designing should be love logo design is taking that final design and creating a consistent and unifying brand theme as a branding specialist, our brand designer. 4. Brand Design: So you want to take a final logo design, whether it's the one you created or not, and see that extended out to understand in an amount of items. T shirt, social media posts, packaging design station. You may create the loco, but in some cases you're inheriting an existing brand on finding a way to freshen it up on a wide variety of items. A designer who wants to specialize in the branding process will dabble in both design. But you also need to have an idea of how business and marketing works. You will understand basic marketing principles like Value Proposition and no one understand target demographics, so you know how to best extend a designer brand out to many different categories. I think this is the most challenging design niche of all because it encompasses so many different skill sets, like package design, digital and print design, sometimes even designs that go on apparel. If you feel like you want to dabble in a bit of everything, focusing on brand extension for clients, it's great and profitable work. Not all companies need a logo, but every company needs branded assets and brand extension At some time. This may be just a nah design or a timed social media post. You will need to learn several programmes to be able to juggle the different design task you may be asked to create. It's part of a branding or re branding project. This may include Adobe Photo Shop for photo editing, Adobe Illustrator or another Vector program for creating billboards, mugs, T shirts and ads for magazines. This could even include in designed to create booklets or flip books. Also knowing how to work with professional printers to create large format items like large banners, store signs and more. You may be tasked with creating stationary like business cards and letterhead. You may also be tasked with taking that same look and feel you created for the stationary and applying it to pens cups. Then the next week, you might be extending that look into a large display banner for a trade show and then creating postcards for a mailing campaign. I usually recommend this niche for designers who already feel very comfortable in several different types of design projects, usually intermediate level designers who have at least a few years of experience or experience working with both print and digital design clients and projects. This design nature focus is perfect, but those who want to dabble in it all, you have to have your hands on all steps of the design marketing journey. You have a passion for design, but even more so a passion for the marketing side of design. If you find yourself answering yes to the majority of these questions on the branding design, it might be one of their top three local niches. You cannot settle on one type of design issue, but you wanna have your hands and all pots you love, seeing a level applied to many different items and assets. You're okay with the idea of working closely with the marketing team or a marketing manager . You are comfortable learning a wide variety of software programs, hopping from one software to another to complete a task. You do not mind hiring help or another designer to complete tasks in areas you may not be proficient in to complete a branding project for a client, and you like working as part of the team and not just a solo designer 5. Print & Editorial Design: a print or editorial designer with someone who focuses on magazine and editorial layout. Design. Ad designed book layouts will cover design or anything that requires work being sent to a printer. If you focus on editorial design, you'll most likely Do Magazine adds another type of print projects with a huge emphasis on layout. These types of projects are easy to find. They do tend to be tedious at times with larger magazine or catalog layout projects. They tend to pay a little bit less than other design niches, but not significantly less the type of programs or software required to be successful. Printer Editorial graphic designer is knowing Adobe Illustrator or another vector program and also mastering a multi page editor like Adobe in design, where you can create multiple page documents with ease. A great skill set for a print designer to have will be a knack for working with large blocks of copy. Being able to fit a large amount of text in a small area and making it still look clean and well designed and having a solid foundation and layout theory is critical. This includes blocking out of basic design elements, being ableto work in a grid system, knowing and understanding the rule of thirds understanding and really practicing great type hierarchy. You'll want to be able to work well with editors defined to in your final copy content and more as there many times with copy becomes too long and needs to be cut. It will be your role to determine the best overall content, amount and feeling for a layout. You want to learn how to work in multiple pages and spreads and know how to extend objects inside and outside of pages. To create a unified professional layout, you'll need to work with photos, typography and design elements all at the same time. There are many specialties within print design. Editorial design is just one of hm stationery catalogues, greeting cards, postcards, flyers really, anything that eventually gets printed with ink and paper. There is also a subspecialty of book cover design, which may require photo editing and manipulation knowledge. You want to know how the printing process works, how a printer can print with digital colors and offset colors. You want to have access to Pantone color book so you can be able to match the right colors were working on a design project. You want to know how to work with printers to find the right paper materials or textures for a printed piece you want. Also want to know how you ve gloss finishes look and the difference between a glossy finish and a mat flat printed finish and how that affects the look and feel of your printed piece . Lastly, some print projects required trimming at the edge, and we require you to learn about bleed and trimming to create a design file a printer can work with. There is a bigger learning curve to print design because of all this. But after working with printers and add specs for many years, starts to become second nature. You'll need and want to be willing to learn and work with printers to achieve the look that you and your client are going for. At times. It's just require a lot of emails, maybe some phone calls going back and forth to find the right project materials and ink colors with the printer. A print designer who focuses on editorial designer other print projects may find themselves with super overwhelming projects. This is not always the case, but there can be 100 plus page document that needs to be laid down in Adobe in design, and this could take you weeks working on the same project. There are, however, incredibly rewarding projects that come along where you get to design smaller flip books with a large amount of design applied to make it look slick and professional. Magazine spread Lout is one of my favorite print design projects as it requires me to practice my layout skills and really stretch my creativity to add emotion to a spread that entices the reader toe. Want to continue to read it? This is where print design can be really rewarding to be able to hold the design in your hands and flipped the pages. Unlike digital design, you could feel the texture of the paper, whether it's liquor rough and there's a beautiful, tactile nature and quality you miss when you just focus on digital design. So, in summary, learning Adobe in design for multiple page projects, an illustrator or another vector program for simple one page projects is a first step in becoming a print designer. Next would be to study layout design theory, lastly, understanding how to work with printers and sending and preparing files for print. Once again, if you find yourself answering. Yes, the majority of these questions than print design or editorial design niche might be one of your top three focal niches. I loved designing magazine layouts and spreads. I love the printing process, and I love getting quotes and trying to find the right varnish. Paper are in color for my clients printed projects. I'm OK with the occasional TV ist job that may require me to sit down for several days and work through 30 to 40 page layouts. I love metallic inks, bright Pantone colors, and I love feeling all the different paper textures I can bring on. I want to learn great layout theory, and I can balance photos, type and other design elements to create a solid layout sign. I enjoy working with large blocks of type and copy and finding clever ways to percent otherwise boring information. Brendan Editorial design could be super rewarding and flying. Most of my own design work throughout the last 14 years doing graphic design had a big large focus on Prentice Sign. So let's explore some other design niches 6. Pattern Design & Illustration: designer who focuses a pattern design and illustration will focus mostly on creating designs and patterns for T shirts, clothing, wallpaper mugs. Basically anything you can print a texture, design or pattern that is tactile. This design niche does not have to be client dependent as you can develop your own apparel line and create this is your own business on websites like Red Bubble dot com and society six dot com. There plenty of pattern design clients out there also needing high quality pattern designs as well. This is a popular and grown design nation. It's also highly competitive, as everyone wants. Toe design T shirts create beautiful patterns for products and dabble in pattern design. So you have to have a unique style that will sell well or receive high budget client work. Pattern Designers work mostly in a vector based program to be able to create seamless patterns that your scalable. They can also take photos of hand printed textures to create a non seamless texture and pattern for wallpaper. For example, this design issues wide open as you can focus on creating non seamless patterns or seamless patterns, are a little bit of both. You can create clean geometric patterns by sticking to a vector program, or can use your painting skill set to craft at custom texture. To use on a wide variety of items, you'll want to learn and master a digital drawing program like procreate or learn to sketch in photo shop, using the wakame tablet to create custom looking illustrations that could be digitized and use on products. This is a wide open design nation up to you. To be interpreted requires a creativity and ability to create something that people want, toe wear or hold or have on their walls. You must understand great color theory. How patterns Work illustration maybe had a draw paint watercolor. It can require an endless amount of creative skill sets. You can specialize in watercolor illustration or focus more on repeat patterns. The illustration. Skill set that has endless possibilities to apply to graphic design, work illustration and pattern design. Asia's most open to having your own products or business and being able to sell your designs directly to an end consumer. If that interest you at all than pattern design and illustration might be one of your top three design, H is I am attracted to patterns and illustrations seen on products in stores and wish to create patterns and illustrations of my own. I enjoy the art of drawing and sketching and using multiple different art mediums and my designs. I'm a highly creative person, prefer to feel and touch what I design. I am a self starter, and I may want to create my own product line or create illustrative design assets and patterns. One day, if you're interested in pursuing this design niche that focuses on patterns or illustrations there several fantastic classes you could take, I'll leave a few recommendations in the class notes. 7. Package Design: designer who specializes in package design designs anything that requires graphics for physical products. This could be anything from chocolate bar wrappers, toe lotion bottles. It could also include designs for products, boxes, games, software. Do you get excited by walking down the grocery aisle and seeing a beautifully designed wine bottle? For example, There's a lot that goes into package design because most package designs are three D tactile products. And to get a great package designer, you must learn to think in this three D tactile space. This is much different than digital design or local design because there's a feel and texture Ah, product and have you need to not only be able to design the graphics but also be able to pick out the type of paper used, how the product folds bins and how it fits. Overall, a great way to learn more about pack design is to study real life examples by visiting your local store. What works to grab your attention on something slick and shiny compared to something organic and textured you want have a passion for creating the package graphic design portion, but also a passion for working with clients and printers, both parties to come together to find the right package, materials and shape that adheres to the branding and message. The company requires a running theme here, with all these different design, Knishes is learning a vector based program. Once again, Adobe Illustrator is very critical and learning the patch design process or another vector program like affinity designer. Most printers who will be printing your package will supply you with templates that are vector based and will require you to learn how to work with printers templates to make sure your design folds and looks how it needs to on a final product. There could be up to four sides and a box product design, for example, and knowing how much room you need to leave for the sides in the front and the places where it folds. It's great to know templates or sometimes supplied by printers, but tough sometimes for custom package design, you need to size everything up in a vector program and create your own templates, complete with bleed marks, fold mines, glue areas, crop marks and anything that is required for a printer to get printed and placed on a product. It is suggested you learn are no basic color psychology when to use reds whites soft colors to grab attention on store shelves or racks. This design ich can be very rewarding because you get the whole design in your hand. And again, this is great for anyone wanting to get into textures, papers, materials, inks, plastics, anyone wanting toe. Learn the bidding varieties in different ways to package products. You also want to learn about different ink colors and tone colors, spot UV coatings, bleedin safety lines, textures and more. A lot of companies need package design working. It pays very well because it is a very specialized skill. They may take doing a couple simple packages signs to get started, for example, a cereal box or a simple shape product before moving on to more complex package designs. If you find yourself answering yes to the majority of these questions, then the packages I niche might be one of her top three focal leashes. You have an ability to think in three D or apply a flat design of three D Product your mind As you design. You have a desire to feel and see your final design in your hands were on a store shelf. You admire great package design. Wherever you're shopping. You don't mind spending upto one bump working on one project or a series of the projects you do not mind work with sometimes complex printer templates to fly your finish designed to, I hope seeing examples throughout this lessons or helpful, are there any that are becoming more interesting to you as we work for the class up. Next, we're going to explore more digital design issues, including social media design and you, actually by design. 8. UX/UI Design: super high and a man and high earning potential. QXC, white designer requires mastering several new skill sets like being ableto wire frame a Web over mobile website, knowing how to develop user personas and user flow charge and much, much more You x you I can feel like a natural niche to transition to if you're a graphical . Web designers require similar talents. Ah, you X or user experience Side of UX Eli Design focuses more on user research developing user personas, which is like riding your crafting a story for potential users of a mobile APP or website to be able to get into their brains to create a user centered design flow and visuals you wire user interface side of us. You, I design will be an easy transition for graphic designers, as used a lot of the same design theory and lay out principles we use to you well designed custom icons, layouts order called wire frames, wire frames, air rough designs that can eventually turn into finished designs and even working prototypes. Working prototypes gonna show off your design and user flow the clients and use user testing if you're interested in you X you I design niche there, several software programs you may want to look into, like Adobe X'd sketch and Fig MMA all which can help you design and put together these wire frames and working prototypes. Knowing how the user experience process works and being able to create user personas and user journeys and maps is critical for the U. S side of things. There are those who specialize in Jesse yr user interface design for those wanting to keep with just the visual side of things for an entire project. But even then, understanding the UX process is critical to becoming a great you. I designer, the U X Y designer has a ton of earning potential but a steep learning curve. It will take time to learn some of the new software to get started. I happen to teach several classes on you XY Y design and learning. Adobe X'd feel free to check that out. If you're interested in checking out the US ey design process in full to know if it's designed nations for you, you may wanna have a knack for user research. You wanna have a love Arteta and finding the right data to use for your projects. There is one part that's research intensive and one part that's more creative and visual. There is a unique balance in this design, each one part logical, one part creative. The U X two y design niche might be for you if you answer yes to the majority of these questions. You like surrounding yourself with data and ideas and picking out themes and finding answers through this data to help you with your project. You enjoy the creative visual design process, but you can switch between both creative and research. Focus. Task without any issues You love to brainstorm ideas to find the right user flows for APS programs and websites you like love or can learn how to research quickly to put together and finish projects. I have personally fallen in love with this design nation. Recent years I've been mastering Adobe X T, which is a wire framing Web layout program to help expand my skills into more digital design offerings. When speaking of digital design, there's another design each coming up that focuses just on that 9. Social Media & Digital Design: This design niche focuses on creating graphics for use on social media platforms, Facebook ads, Twitter headers, instagram posts and stories. You may even do display advertising ads. Which of those little advocacy at the bottom of your phone or news websites? If you love to work with limited small sizes and trying to figure out how to say less with more than this, would be a great fit for you. There's something called a V a or virtual assistant, and they're starting to take this specialty away from rap designers, and they're cheaper, too. If you like this niche, I would suggest showing off their skills and adapting to a wide variety of platforms. Instead of just showing off a single Facebook graphic, for example, you can show an entire brain of campaign across digital channels. This will show clients you offer more than just single cheap graphics, but a signer who can design create an adaptive grand to anywhere. The key attributes that a great social media designer has is to be able to adapt themes across multiple channels. You could take one at our campaign and adapted to something 1/6 of the size and still communicate the most important items without having a ton of client guidance, Photo manipulation and editing is key to the snitch as more and more custom photos and graphics are being used to lure and attract potential customers via the social media paid campaigns. Being able to understand how digital graphics need to be prepared in a raster format. A key software program to master for this is Adobe Photo Shop or another similar photo editing program. Being able to know how to create duo to in images modern, sleek looking, radiant graphics, custom photo filters and also had a edit photos to fit the oh so impossible Smaller sizes. You have to adjust these paid campaigns to take this ad, for example, as everything we need to say on it. Now we need to turn into a 100 by 50 pixel ad. How do we do this with a lot of shifting around of elements but also finding what what is the most vital information? So understanding proper layout hierarchy is key Now the smaller mobile graphic works to send them to a landing page, with more information also being able to adapt that same add to 10 to 20 different sizes and still keep the right vibe, theme and branding. You need to keep up with modern trends with social media. It moves a 1,000,000 miles a minute, and knowing color psychology can go a long way with certain colors, grabbing your attention differently. Social Media graphics are getting easier to create these days, but that also means you pay for what you get for these type of projects, not as high as other design. Each is if you really want to stand out. Creating high impact graphics is the name of the game being able to prove how effective your ads are by showing them the metrics that go along with? Um, there are several new online cloud based editing programs like Camba, which could make putting together simple social media graphics on much easier and quicker process, giving you the chance to take on more client work and increase your pay by increasing efficiency. You may want to focus on the social media design niche if you answer yes to the majority of these questions. I love a fast paced work life where I may switch client projects several times an hour or day. I love puzzles and finding out ways to fit larger designs into much smaller spaces. I do not mind creating 20 graphics of the same ad campaign. I love doing photo editing all aspects of it, and I don't mind doing photo manipulations and editing projects that clients will part That may be brainy to me. I do not mind understanding or learning the online paid ad creation process for a wide variety of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Now that we're understanding which design niches might be right for us to pursue and master further, let's do our student project. 10. Student Project: As you can see, it helps a specialize in two or three of these design niches. Air focuses and see where the client work goes from there. As you gain new clients who slowly develop a specialty, you may even develop a specialty in one particular type of industry. In my case, I continue to get referrals from other clients. I developed a specialty and high end retail target demographic end up being in the wine industry and high end shopping malls where my biggest clients and the work was very similar in style and target market. Some report fully was able to get more. Clients with a similar target audience and my nation industry were fine tuned. Lastly, have been shifting focus to us ey design work. And even after developing a specialty I had for 14 years, there's always opportunities to swish design issues, or focus is at any time to keep you engaged and excited about design. It is now time for your student project. Make sure to head over to the project section or download the Design Niche Question Guide document that contains all the yes and no questions asked for each design work through your answers and find out which one contained more yes than no responses. Put together your list of their top three design issues and focuses. Once you develop your top three choices, I want you to answer a few questions and put together your plan to shift into these new areas. Please feel free to share with me or the class your top three choices and also your game plan questions from making it happen. You can find those answers in the design niche question guide at the end of the document. If you're curious about which classes can help you master any of these design issues covered in this class, or you want to learn some of software required to make it happen, make sure check out that design is document as class recommendations will be after the yes or no questions for each design Focus. If you enjoyed this glass, I'd love a review. It helped keeps me going and helps me keep doing what I love for a living, and that's teaching others the world of design