Graphic Design for Beginners: Learn the Fundamentals through Poster Design | Smitesh Mistry | Skillshare

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Graphic Design for Beginners: Learn the Fundamentals through Poster Design

teacher avatar Smitesh Mistry, Illustrator & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Orientation


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      Class Project


    • 9.



    • 10.



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About This Class

In this digital age, everything is visually consumed. Anyone can make a small online business overnight with the aid of social media, web design platforms and many more. Graphic design is such a powerful skill to have whether you are waiting to make your business profile pop, design a poster for your children’s party or create a website. 

Join graphic designer and illustrator, Smitesh Mistry, as he teaches the fundamentals of graphic design to set you up with a great foundation for your creations.

In this class, you will learn the basics of graphic design including:

  • Balance
  • Alignment
  • Hierarchy
  • Contrast
  • Colour
  • Typography

Smit takes you through all sections step by step, explaining when each element is and giving you visual examples of the elements and showing you how you can implement it into your work whatever you are designing. 

The skills you learn in this class are transferable to any graphical project you are working on, from designing social media posts to start a business, packaging labels, websites and many more.

This class is perfect for the beginner who knows nothing about design or for someone who wants to refresh their knowledge on the subject.

Let's get you on the way to creating visually appealing designs with your creative flow!

Meet Your Teacher

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Smitesh Mistry

Illustrator & Designer

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Hey, I'm Smitesh Mistry a Graphic designer and Illustrator. I like to create content that is fun and abstract that conveys a message.

During the day i am at work designing all sorts for stuff from online to print, In my spare time I enjoy learning new skills, drawing or planning my next video for my youtube and instagram page.

I plan to make many more skillshare classes on how to get started in certain aspects of design for the beginner or the intermediate wanting to improve your skills.

If you'd like to find out more, please do 'follow' my Skillshare profile, and if enjoy my content and you've got ideas for classes that you'd find useful, drop me a message/email and I'll see what I can do

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Within this digital age where many things are visually consumed and people can make an online business just overnight through the aid of social media or online platforms, laying the basics of graphic design is a great way of expressing your self creativity, but also gives you more opportunities. Whether you have an idea, it allows you to communicate your idea more effectively and efficiently. Hi, I'm Smitesh Mistry, graphic designer and illustrator based in the UK. When I came to learning graphic design, I didn't go the traditional way. Having done Product Design in the university, I spent a lot of time on my own bouncing around from different ideas and different ways of learning. It's has given me a way of seeing the fundamentals for what it is and seeing which parts are important. Learning the basics of graphic design is such a useful skill to have, whether you're going to make your business profile pop, create a poster for your children's birthday party, or even create a website. Learning the fundamentals of graphic design will set you over the great foundation to help you with all your creations. In this class, I'll be teaching the basics of graphic design from typography, to color, hierarchy and much more. I'll be taking you through each section step-by-step, giving you examples of what each one mean, along with visual examples so you can see for yourself and ways that you can implement into your designs. In this class, we'll be designing a poster. All the skills that you'll learn in this class are all transferable across all graphic projects you do in the future, whether that's from designing social media, a poster, or even a website for your portfolio. I'm excited to teach this class, not because I'm a pro, but because I was in a similar situations where you were a couple years back. For me, it's exciting knowing that all the skills I've learned now and how it's helped me and the fact that I have an opportunity to teach you this, that gives me great pleasure. The one thing I love about graphic design is it gives you a way of expressing yourself in a way that's structured, whether the idea that you're trying to communicate or whatever you're trying to create, it allows a user to understand that as communicating your idea visually can be difficult sometimes. This class is perfect for the beginner who knows nothing about design or maybe you knew something about it before, you just want to recap or refresh your memory on it, or sometimes recapping a subject that you've learned previously helps you step back and open your mind to different ways of creating or seeing your project. I promised after venturing in this class, you'll see the world in a whole new light. Having done it myself, my perspective on anything from like menus, to shop signs, it all changes because you see it for the way that it's being created. Grab your laptop, pencils and paper, and let's get you creating beautiful designs in no time. I'll see you in the next lesson. 2. Class Orientation: Within this class, we work on a multitude of different exercises which will all play its role in educating you on the subject and giving you practice with each element along you to understand the class properly. With each lesson, there's going to be a little task that you can follow along with as I've put a working file in the description below. Don't worry if you don't have the exact same software, as the features that I will be covering are transferable across all softwares. For the overall project, we'll be designing a poster as a field. This is the best way to incorporate all the skills we learn in this lesson into one project. Also, it gives you something to display. Once we've covered all the different elements within this class, I guarantee you'll feel more confident in creating your own designs in the future. The tools for this class I'll be using will be my laptop, and software-wise will be Adobe Illustrator. But don't worry if you don't have this software, as there is plenty of other free vector softwares out there. One I do recommend is Affinity Designer, which I think is just a one-off cost. The reason I chose this project is I feel like it combines all the skills that you learn into one, and also gives you something you can display on your wall. Grab your laptop or maybe head over to your computer, and let's get you creating beautiful designs in no time. I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Balance: In this first lesson, I'm going to be covering balance and the importance of it within design. The end behind this lesson is to give you a good sense of how balance works within design and the importance of it, whether it can make and break your design. I'll be showing you the different ways in which you can tell whether your work is balanced and different aspects and ways in which you can balance your design. To begin, I'll be showing you all the different forms of balance there are within design, showing you for each element and how they work, and then we'll move on to a practical example where you can have a play around to get better understanding of balance. As a field working on something on your own is better than you just watching me. So what is balance? Balance is the distribution of visual weight of an object, color, texture or space. If the design was a scale, these elements should balance to make the design feel stable. Within design, there is three main types of balance, you got symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. Let me run through how each one works. To begin, I'm going to be running over the three types of bonds that can be used in design. I'm going to be showing you this with simple shapes, just so you can get a better understanding. Firstly, we have symmetrical. This is where both sides are equally balanced as you can see here. Secondly, we have unsymmetrical or asymmetrical. With asymmetrical balance, the layouts are different. They're not symmetrical and they're not the same. But by being equally weighted, they still feel balanced. Finally, we have radial balance. This is where all objects are scattered or arranged around a central point. The purpose being to draw the eye, or the attention of the user towards the center of the image. Now you know the different types of balance. Let me show you examples of how it can be used in context. The first example I have using symmetrical balance is this illustration of this character that I made. The reason why I chose symmetrical balance for this is, as humans we nearly find anything symmetrical attractive. It's proven that people with symmetrical faces or symmetrical objects or items is generally more attractive when looking at it. This being an illustration, I wanted to come across keep an attractive, drawn at the user end which is why I chose a symmetrical and balance for this illustration. Similarly, here is an example where I was creating a marketing material for a restaurant. Again, because it's an event for Valentine's Day, it's perfect to choose a symmetrical layout for this. Secondly, moving on to the asymmetrical. Here are two examples I've created. Here's the front of a business card for a company. The idea behind this was to keep the user's eyes engaged because the image isn't symmetrical, but it's still promoting an overall sense of balance. With this, I want to keep the audience engaged for as long as possible hence why I chose this design. As you can see here, I've highlighted certain sections showing like you have a big section, a medium and then a small. But bringing it all together, it feels fill visually balanced. Finally, going back to radial balance, we have some icons here that I created. I feel like icons or logos are perfect for radio balance because they do tend to draw the user into the center of the image, which is generally what you're wanting. Pro tip, when it comes to balancing, say if you got three objects on a page, I always like to keep these three in mind. One really big, one medium and then one small. For me, I always feel like this just balances out and it's a great way to get started. What I'm going to do here, I've put together this file which will be attached in the description below. You can follow along with me if you just download the file. A pair of 3 art boards where we're going to practice doing asymmetrical balance, and then here with this single one, with these elements here, we're going to be practicing a symmetrical balance. I've given you three art boards, you can explore as much as you want, but I'm going to explore two or three different ones that could be potential. But again, it's just feeling and seeing if both sides or the whole art board looks visually balanced. I'm going to make sure this arrow here, this selection tool, the black one is selected by clicking on it once. Then with each object, you can just click and drag it wherever you want. We're going to start with this one here. I'm going to click and drag, I'm just going to place them onto the art board just to get a feel of what we're working with. The first here one that I've done, I was just going to say, it doesn't really feel balanced because there is a lot of whites pace here and a lot going up here. I'm just going to start moving some of the elements around again, just clicking and dragging wherever I like. Feeling a lot more balance now, it does feel a lot more empty of air so I can do. I'm going to click and hold Shift here at the same time, I'm holding Shift and clicking. I'm just playing with different orientations which you can do. I'm going to hold space and click. This allows me to drag the canvas to the left. If not, you do have the hand tool down here. Do have the hand tool where you can just click and drag. But for shortcuts, I'm going to hold space and move the art board. I'm going to click hold Shift and hold Shift again. What we're going do, we're going to duplicate this onto this art board. Holding Alt or option, depending on which software you're using, I'm going to click Alt and then drag and then we have a deep color. Again pressing space and dragging. Now let's work on a different one, which you may think may work. I'm happy, with the way these three look. Again, it's best in space just to move around. To view this with all of these parts are outside the art board and cut off. If you head over to "View" and you click "Trim view" that way you get to see what it looks like with the elements chopped off. You can just go in and do some decent fine tweaks. But to me, this was quite a visual balance. There's enough white space between everything and the almonds that are filling certain sections do work well together. These are three different ways I explored the asymmetrical balance. Now, let me run to the symmetrical balance. I'm going to turn the trim view off by [inaudible] view and Trim View. Now with these three here, we want to do a symmetrical balance. The main way to do this is to line everything up. Start off by placing that there, this one here, move this down a bit lets cut this one-off. Through this one in the center and then there's places at the top. Again, there's probably a few ways you can do this, you can all other ways the shapes are, you can move on here and maybe move on there. There is only possibilities you can do, but as you can see there is a line of symmetry here, which makes the overall thing feel symmetrically balanced. You deserve a play around with [inaudible], you can do as many different options as you want again holding Alt or option, dragging across, and then you can play around with the different orientations of this. As you'll quickly exercise with shapes, not going to detail with pictures bodies of text, anything like that. Keeping a quite simple, just so you have a better understanding of visual balance and the way to use it. This was the first lesson completed. We've covered balanced, the importance of it, the different ways in which you can balance your design, and we showed examples, and you worked on a file to give you a better understanding of balance within design. I'll see you in the next class. 4. Alignment: The concepts of this lesson, we'll be building on the previous lesson, and I'll be showing you different ways in which you can align your designs. Aligning the different elements within your design is key to providing a robust structure to your work. All elements within your design need to be aligned, whether that is text, images, elements, assets, or even background images. To begin, let me run through all the different ways in which you can align your work. I will run through all of these in a working file which can be found below too. See the thing is if a design is badly aligned, it's going to look cluttered and horrible to look at. Whereas if it's aligned, it's easy to read, understand, and visually pleasing for the user to look at. A little task for this lesson will be just playing around with using the align tool within Illustrator, or it can be used in whatever software you will be using. As mentioned before, I've attached a working file down below so you can follow along with the steps I'm taking. Let me show you some visual examples of different types of alignment in use. We're starting off with central alignment, this is where all elements on the page are aligned to a central point. As you can see here by this purple line. Moving on to left alignment, again, it's quite self-explanatory. All elements are aligned up against a line which is on the left or the left side of each element, is lined up against this line. This applies for the right-hand side too. This is where all elements are aligned up along the right side of each shape. For our purpose of example, all these elements are just shapes. But again, this could be a logo, this could be a heading, subtext, and then maybe a call to action or whichever you like. These are the way of center, left, and right aligning and the same thing can be done for top and bottom. Let's move on to distributional alignment. This is where if you have a bunch of assets that are all identical, that you want to be distributed equally, this is one thing that also can be done. Here we have said this could be testimonials or it could be icon to the explanation, it could be anything. This is horizontal distribution, and here's an example of vertical distribution. These are the main types of distribution or alignment that I like to use within my designs, and is a great starting point for you to use. For the task, I'll start with this Illustrator file for us to do it together. We're going to do one left-aligned, one central aligned, one right aligned. Then we're going to try the distribution, vertical, and horizontal. Starting off with the first one. Let me run through this together with you. I'm going to select each object by clicking, "Hold" and "Shift", and then keep clicking and again and again. What we're going do, we're going to head over to the right-hand side where you see this icon here. If you can't see this icon, if you just head over to Window at the top and then you click," Align", it should pop up. I click it just for a brief. There we go. We have selected all these items and unaligned all these objects to this left-hand line here. All of these selected, let go of all your buttons and then just click once on the object. As you can see, this has got a nice blue line around it now. That shows that we're all going to align all these assets to this one selected one. Let's head over to the Align panel here, and then we're going to click on the "Left align". We click once, everything will move to that. I'm going to click my "Selection" tool again, click off, and then zoom out. That's what we did for the left-aligned. Let's move on to center-aligned. We're going to click, hold "Shift", click, click, and click. All of these are selected while I was holding and Shift. One option here, we have aligned to, so here, this is the selection, so that's going to align everything here to this selection. If I press the central line tool now, you'll see everything will move to the center of this selection. But we want it in the center of the Artboard. Let me control our Command z. Down here we can select to "Artboard", as you can see here, Align to Artboard. If we click this now, everything should shift to the center of the Artboard. As you can see, there's two options, there's one here and there's one here that comes up part of the interface of those two here. You choose, I'll feel free to choose whichever one you want. I'm going to select the one up here. There we go, it's snapped to the center of the Artboard. Now for the right aligned. It is quite repetitive, but it's good to do this just for you to get familiar with how these things work. Again, click, hold "Shift", click, click, and click. We're going to align it to the right-hand side this time. Without pressing any of the buttons, just click once on the shape. Then you want to make sure this one is selected. Then we're going to click on the "Right align". There we've got everything is aligned to the right-hand side. Now for the distribution alignment. As you can see here this looks quite messy. It's not been aligned properly. The gaps or the spacing between each one isn't consistent. I'm going to click and drag to highlight everything. One thing you need to make sure, say if you've got a cluster like this, you want to make sure each one is grouped. I'm just going to ungroup this. If you click and drag or if you click on each one holding shift, you can right-click and click, "Group". This is now putting all these items together as one. It's going to come out like that, let's hold and drag. Then for this one, we're going to work on these ones down here, the distribution objects. This one, I'm going to select the horizontal distribution along the center. You click that once, everything will align up to themselves, but you can see it's snapped to the outside of the board. I wanted to keep the distance that we already had. I'm going to press "Command" or "Control Z". I'm going to make sure the selection is selected this time. Now if we press this, these two objects here on the outside will stay at the same place, but these objects in the middle will align with equal spacing, just like that. Now each element is nicely distributed with an equal spacing. Now we're going to do the same for the horizontal one. Again, click and drag, making sure selection is selected, and then this time I'm going to use the ones on the left-hand side. The vertical distribution along the center, if we click that once. There we go. This is just a quick example for you to work on, just to get used to how to use the align tools within Illustrator as I found myself too using these quite a bit. This lesson was a quick one just covering the basics of alignment, understanding how it works and different ways that you can align assets within your work. In the next lesson, we're going to be covering one of the most important aspects of design, which I feel is hierarchy. I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. Hierarchy: In this lesson, I'm going to be covering the importance of hierarchy and how you can create that within your design. Hierarchy can be used to guide users through your work, add structure, highlight important areas or add emphasis to certain parts of your design. I'll be showing you how you can take your design from this to this, just by incorporating different elements of hierarchy. There are a multitude of ways hierarchy can be created within your design. This is needed to create a sense of importance or order for your users to interact with. This can be done by simply manipulating these five aspects: size, shape, color, texture, and space. Bear in mind, these are the five aspects that we'll be using in this lesson. But this can be used or applied to other aspects of design, including web design or illustration. To begin, I'll show you each aspect separately, the five that we mentioned. I'll be showing you different examples of each one, where you're just manipulating that one aspect and how that adds to hierarchy. Then to end, I'll be showing you how we can incorporate all five together to make your design more robust and structured. As in the previous lessons, I've attached a working file below so you can follow along with the steps I'll take. I'm going to be reading through each element that I manipulated in order to get from this to this. Let's begin. Firstly, we have size. This is where you can increase or decrease certain elements on the page in order for it to stand out. Secondly, we have shape. This is where you can change the shape of objects or elements on the page. Thirdly, we have color. In this example, I've changed the color of two of the shapes. You can get enough difference and contrast to draw the user's eye around the page. Fourthly, we have texture. This is by altering the texture of some of the elements. Finally, we have space. This is where you can increase or decrease the space between elements on the page to make them stand out. By referring back to the previous example I showed at the beginning, let me show you how by manipulating some of the objects, you're going to add hierarchy to work. Bear in mind, the way I'm showing you isn't the only way it can be done. You can manipulate any element that we just discussed that you'd like in order to add hierarchy in your choice. All the creative freedom is in your hands, which is the beauty of this. You can make it look however you like and however you feel to add a hierarchy works best for you. For this example, we're going to start off with a bunch of text and images on this page. As you can see, everything has the same size and there's no real order to anything on this page. Everything seems to be the first important. Before we start, we need to decide the order in which we want the user to have a look around this page. For this, I want this to be a top priority. I want these guys to shine through, and then I want these to be quite subtle. Let's get started with these elements. Manipulate them in different ways to create the Hierarchy. I'm going to start by the part I want. I want to start by this, Get Lost in the World of Photography. Let's call it tagline. I want to start with this tagline. I'm just going to make it bigger, I'm going to click and holding shift. Just making it bigger. Let me move these guys out of the way. Sorry, a little messy. We got the logo. I'm just playing around first, just potential where it could go. This is how it works, not the one working with it. I'll just drag items around just to see how it looks. Because it is a landscape, maybe it's good separating these elements out into long sections. As you can see here, we've got three main sections. We've got the title, we've got the main section, where it's the images and the description about the images. Then we've got the logo. Subject from what we discussed prior, we have three main sections. We've got a medium, we've got a large and we've got a small. Now that we've got a rough structure out of the way I want it to look, I'm going to go in and start tweaking a little bit. I'm going to stop by. I want this to be bold. I want this to stand out a lot more. What we did, we increase the size with this. This is definitely standing out a lot more on the page. We're just going to align these to the edge of the pictures. Again I want to align too this one. This text right now, I want to separate a little bit. Then I'm going to head over here to the character panel and then I'm going to increase here the line spacing. I will be covering this in the next lesson, but just for this example, I do want to increase the spacing just a tiny bit. I'm going to decrease the size a bit. I'm going to make this a tiny bit bigger because it's getting lost. Maybe make this bold as well. These are tiny tweaks. This is how it works. The best thing is just to lay out initially and then go through it. I'm just making tiny tweaks here and there. Right now, this looks as one section. Nothing really stands out a lot. The caption is a tiny bit bigger, but it still blends into one. I'm going to make these bold just by clicking and dragging, and then putting them to bold. What I'm going to do? I'm going to increase the font size, just up here just by a little, maybe a bit less. Now within this section itself, this hierarchy within here. I want the users to look at the image first, then read the caption, and then read the description, which is what we create here. Again, large, small, medium. Even with the main composition, you can still have elements within that where the user's guided through the information on the page. I'm just going to go and finish off with this now. Now I'm quite close to where I'm happy with it. Where there's a clear hierarchy of where the user's eyes go. One thing I didn't notice is, these two do get most quite together. I don't want this to be as permanent. What I'm going to do? I'm going to start going in and changing the color. Which color? Click on the text, double-click the color swatch over here, and then I'm going to go for a gray, maybe a bit lighter. It's a bit more subtle. Maybe go and change it to medium. I'm going to make this a tiny bit smaller. What I'm going to do? I'm going to go in and change colors. I'm selecting the text. I'm going to press I on my keyboard. Then I'm going to select a color from one of these images. Just like that. Again, these final tweaks must go in and reduce the text one more point because I feel it's bit too prominent still. There we go, I'm quite happy with the way that's looking. Let's just see what we started with and where we ended up. We started off with a composition like this where everything looks the same, there's no hierarchy. Everything does look the same level of importance. But here what we've done, we've freed the elements that we discussed in the beginning. The five different ways that you can manipulate an object or an image or text. We've added that to this, and now we've ended up with this final bit. Let's go through and discuss what we've done. To start off, we've got size. These, these, these, and these, we've increased the size of these to make them more prominent. We've decreased the size of this text and the name of the event to make it less prominent. Secondly, we have changed the color. Radically I had to make it stand out a bit more. We really added texture or shape to this one but we have added space. Creating the space here, does allow the user to process this part of information first, then this, and then eventually they head over to this. That's what we wanted. We wanted them to read the tagline first, then we want to head over to the images and read the captions, and then we want them to look at the logo. This a successful way that we added Hierarchy to this information and then ended up with this. Here's a little tip I like to use when I'm playing around with the hierarchy of my design. I show my work to people around me, friends, family, or even work colleagues, and ask them, where does your eye go first, second, third, or depending on the number of elements that are in there, just for them to list the order in which the eye travels around your work. As a recap, we covered different ways in which you can add hierarchy to work by manipulating certain aspects, including size, color, and space. In the previous lesson, I recommend you spend some time playing around with this, manipulating different aspects: the size, the color, or the space. Just to get familiar with different ways in which you can add importance or structure to your work. But remember there's no fixed way of doing this. It's all about just having fun and letting your creativity flow. In the next lesson, I'm going to be covering the basics of typography. Again you have to scratch with just the basics so you can understand certain terminologies that I'll be using. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Typography: Within this lesson, I'm going to be running through the basics of typography so you can start adding it to your work. To begin, I'm going to run through the three main typefaces and then run into a few more terminologies and different ways it can be applied. Typography can be split into three main types. First, we have serif fonts. These are the ones that have the little flicks at the ends. These little flicks are called serifs. Secondly, we have some san serif fonts. Sans mean without so these are the fonts that don't have the flick. Then finally, we have decorative fonts. These are ones don't normally fit into the constraints of the ones that we previously mentioned. But I'm going to leave it at that for now. For this lesson, we're going to mainly be focusing on san serif and serif fonts. The reason for this is these two fonts are the main ones that are used throughout different designs. You do have a decorative fonts, script fonts, and many other different types but I feel that these two are the main two that are used. So as we are keeping it simple, we are just going to focus on these two. As mentioned previously, I feel like it is good to master the basics and the foundations so you get a greater understanding before you do develop into more advanced parts. Some of the terminologies which are good to know when dealing with type are tracking and line spacing. Tracking is the looseness or tightness of a selected block of text whereas line spacing, also known as leading, refers to the space between your lines of text. Moving on, one more important aspect when using type is to make sure that when you're pairing two fonts together, they work, whether that's as a header and body text, or body text subtitles, or captions, or anything depending on when using type, it's important to understand that the pairings that you choose work well together. When pairing fonts, I think it's best to keep it to a maximum of two different typefaces to keep it consistent, but also easy to work with or using both body text and header as a serif or sans serif font. Now, let me show you a few examples of font pairings I've used previously or ones that work well together. When choosing a typeface, whether it's the same or if it's a different typeface, you want the font to complement each other but still have enough contrast. This can be done by altering the weight of the font by combining a bold font with a regular font, as I'll show you now. As you see in this example, both of these, the headline and the body text are both set to medium as you can see her. Just by altering the way of these, it can really add a good contrast to this. I'm going to start by clicking on the headline, clicking on the drop down menu and making this bold, and then reducing the way of this one to regular. As you can see here, we've added contrast between these, even though it's the same typeface and it works very well. Now for the different font pairings. Let me start by showing you some examples of font pairings that work well together. Here we have an example of Helvetica Neue and Garamond. For the title font, I've set it as bold, and then for the body text, regular. Just like we discussed prior, having this contrast between the two fonts works very well. This font pairing here is very classic, using Helvetica for titles and headlines and Garamond for body text. The reason why these two work together with Helvetica being a san serif font, and the body text the Garamond being a serif font, it really does help up the contrast with the smooth straight lines of this and then the curvy serifs on the edge of most of the characters really does bring these two together. In this example, we're using the same type of font. Both of these are sans serif fonts, but as you can see they're slightly different. Here at the top we have Roboto as the headline and for the body text, we've got Montserrat. These two work well together because as you can see, this font is quite narrow and this one is quite wide, which creates a contrast there. But then also like we've doing prior, making the headline bold and then the body text regular or light in this situation, it really does help to add contrast between the two, making them stand out, helping with the hierarchy which we discussed in the previous lesson. There are many more different font pairings you can explore as the amount of fonts out there is endless. There's many websites out there where you can search popular font pairings if you are struggling to get started with this. Following on from font pairings, here are a few of the points that you need to know when working with typography. First, we have font weights. I like to refer to this as how fat or how thin the font is. Generally, when you choose a font, it comes in with other options like regular, medium, bold, and it goes all the way up to heavy or black. This comes in handy when applying principles that we learned in our previous lesson about hierarchy, whether you want to make something bold or make something stand out. First, you just select the item that you want to change. Here I'm going to select this headline, and then here on this top section next to the form, it comes up already. There's a pop down here where you can select all the different ways as you can see how it's changing as I'm hovering over the different ones from thin, light, medium, bold, and then black. These terminologies here are quite common across most fonts, which makes it easy for you to understand. Thin, light means the weight of the font will be less, and the higher you go so bold and black, the greater the way of the font will be. Secondly, we have white space. This is important when working with typography because it's important to let your text breath. I know this sounds silly, but increasing the line spacing by one or two points makes the biggest difference when reading the text. By this, what I mean is, not having the text too close together as you can see in this example. There's two ways this can be done. Firstly, by moving items away from each other. In this case, moving the headline away from the body text. Secondly, this can be done by increasing the line space in which we discussed earlier, which can be done up here. Click on "Character", and then as you can see this icon here, where these two layers above each other. If you just click up on this, as you can see, the line spacing is increasing. Now that looks a lot more easy to read, a lot more east to consume just by letting the text breath a little bit. Finally, we have aligning your text. There are three main ways that a text can be alignment whether that's left, center, or right. There is other ones such as justified text, but I'm not going to cover that in this lesson. Similar to what we discussed in the previous alignment lesson, but I just want to get you familiar with the different icons and the way it works. It is quite similar, but I just want to run through this just so you know. We're going to start by selecting both of these items. Up here, it automatically shows the alignment tools for your text. You have left aligned, central lines, and right-aligned. Me personally, I do like to use left aligned or centered mainly, I very rarely touch right aligned as our eyes generally do, read from left to right. having the text left aligned, it gives some structure and some way for the user to know where to start reading. But just for example, I'm going to show you. You simply click, holding "Shift" again and click again. You can tap the central line bottom and as you can see here, it's all messed up. This is because the center of this box is here, and then the center of this title is here. There's two ways of doing it. You can drag this across until it snaps as you saw there. Now there we go. The both of those are central lined or pressing Command or Control Z, I can highlight both. Then what we learned in the other lesson about alignment, if we click on this box and then we head over to Align, and then central align them. There's another way that you can align your text. Here's two tips I use regularly when working with typography. Firstly, we're starting with the font weight. When we try and add hierarchy, add emphasis or make something stand out, me personally, I like to skip a weight bracket. Whether the bold text is medium or regular, and I'll skip a weight bracket. I'll go from medium to bold, or go from medium to semi bold, to bold. As you saw, I skipped away bracket, I skipped the semi bold. The second tip is line spacing. Me personally, to find the right line spacing can be difficult. As I mentioned, it is importantly your texts breathe. But times in the size of your font by 1.4. For me, I feel like it works best. With this lesson, there isn't really much of an exercise to do. It is just familiarizing yourself with these keywords as this was more about understanding the basics of typography when you are using it in your designs. One key takeaway I hope you got from this lesson is font pairings and understanding how they work. But you also having fun with and understanding what you feel is most visually appealing, but also incorporating aspects of the hierarchy lesson into your typography, making sure there's enough contrast between the type that you're using. Like previously said, have a little play around with it, play with different fonts. Go with your own font pairings which you feel work but also familiarize yourself with these different terminologies. When you are using type, you are more comfortable. In the next lesson, I'm going to be running over color, the basic terminology and different ways it can be used. I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Colour: In this lesson, I'm going to be covering color. It's about giving you a better understanding of different terminology that's used when using color or describing the color in your work. Firstly, I'm going to begin by reading through some terminology that's used within color. Then we'll move on to color pairing, color schemes, and color palettes. To begin, three main ways that color can be described is with hue, saturation, and value. Hue generally refers to the color itself. Within Illustrator, these are three bars, here we have the hue. This is all the colors you have, whether it's green, red, purples, this is your hue. Secondly, we have saturation. This is how strong or how weak the color is. Finally, we have value. This is the way of lightening or darkening your color. These three elements were hand in hand when using color within your work. But it's also good to get an understanding of how altering one or two of these sliders will affect the color that you're trying to choose. Within design, sometimes your project could be monochromatic, like in these examples here where it's all using the same color, but maybe the value or the saturation has been changed. But then in some projects, you may want to use multiple colors, maybe two, four, maybe even more. But if you are choosing more than one color, it's important that those colors will work together as it can make or break your design. Let me show you a quick example before we jump into different types of color combinations with one good example and one bad example of how choosing the right color or the wrong color can make or break your design. The three main types of color schemes you can get are opposites, adjacent, and monochromatic. Let me run through each one and what they mean with examples to show you. For this example, I'm going to be using the color wheel. This is a common thing that's used within design, just to understand colors a bit better. Before I get into it, I'm going to show you in Illustrator where you can find the color panel and how you can use it similar to how I'm explaining it. On the right-hand side, if your arrow is like this, you just press to expand it. Here you have the color panel. If you don't, again, you can go to Window and then click on Color. I'll be explaining color and how I use it with hue, saturation, and value, which can be found over here. If you press these three lines and then head down to HSV, here you have your hue, your saturation, and it's labeled B here for black, but we're going to be working as value to get your HSV sliders. Firstly, we have hue. This refers to the color itself, like greens, reds, yellows. This is the color I choose first before starting or messing around with the other sliders. Secondly, we have saturation. This is how strong the color is. I adjust this one if I want to change the brightness or make the color dark. Then finally, we have value. This is how much black is added to the color. This is a great way of making the color you're working with a lot darker. All these sliders work hand-in-hand. Playing around with these sliders to understand how they work will really be beneficial for you. Do take your time and just have a play around with these sliders. Now that you know how to change the color and select the color. Most designs that you'll be working with may have one or even more colors. Let me run through three main types of color combinations to get you started. But then again, it doesn't stop there. There are many more. But for this, this is a good starting point. To begin, I'll be referring to the color wheel for a lot of these examples. This color wheel is quite common within design of explaining colors, color theory, and just the best way to use them. This is the color wheel. Firstly to begin, we're going to be talking about the adjacent color schemes. This is, as you can see on screen, where your certain colors which are next to each other on the color wheel, with this, you can do endless combinations. You could have purples and blues, you could have reds and pinks, you could have yellows and oranges, or even blue and green. The options that are available are endless. It is useful referring back to the color wheel when choosing colors. But I've taken these two colors and played with the saturation and value to create a full new color combination. Let me show an example of previous work that I've created using these color schemes. I want the purple, blue, and pink. As you can see, they are all next to each other in the color wheel. Here's an illustration which I created using this color scheme. You have the blues, you have the pinks and you got the purples. It's a great way of bringing a whole concept together as it works really well. Here's another example, choosing another color combination, where you got yellow and oranges. Here's a color palette that was used and here's the illustration that we created. Here we have the doughnut with the yellows and oranges. It really works well together because these colors are next to each other on the color wheel. Having them in one illustration together does work really well. Just by altering the saturation and the value of these colors really brings the whole thing together. As you got the darks, the light, you got your mid tones, and they all work well together. Here's another combination. I've used adjacent colors, but the adjacent colors I have used are a lot more greater. I'll start from orange all the way down to green. But then again, these work really well together because they are a mixture of different saturations and values. Having them all together work really well. They don't get lost within each other. The second type of color combination that you can do are opposite colors or contrasting colors. As the name suggests, these are the colors that are on opposite sides of the wheel. These colors are very contrasting but work very well together when used correctly. In this example, on the wheel, as you can see the opposites of each other, I've been selected. You got red and green. These are contrasting colors, so you going to be careful when using these together. When using these in contexts, I'll show you some examples of illustrations that I've done using this color combination. As you can see with these, these are all using the same color palette. But one thing to bear in mind is, I would advise selecting one main color and then having the other color that you select as a highlight or an accent. As you can see with this one, with the sock, the main color is the red, and I've got little highlights of green here and there. Moving on to a dumpling, the main color here is the background, which is red, and then as highlights or as an accent color, I used the green. Then here with the watermelon, again, the main color is the red, and I've used the green as an accent. Showing another example. Going back to the wheel. We have purple and yellow, two opposite colors. But let me show you examples of how I've used them in previous illustrations. So here, two examples I've done, both combining purple and yellow. In both examples, I've used purple as the main color, and then I've used the yellow as an accent by adjusting the value and the saturation of these to give enough contrast between the colors. But also allowing the colors to work well together, allowing them to pop. Finally, we have monochrome. For this example, I'm going to refer to the wheel because you'd pick any hue you want, and then with that, all you do is adjust the saturation and the value. With these monochrome combinations, it is [inaudible] selecting the hue that you want. Then adjusting the value and the saturation of those colors to create a palette. Here's some examples of illustrations I've created with these color palettes. This one on the left is very blue, by adjusting the saturation and the value of these gives enough contrast between the colors, allowing them to stand out amongst each other. Then here on the right-hand side, we have this heart made up of different values of reds and pinks. Again, by adjusting the value and the saturation. They worked well together because I've made sure the contrast between the colors is high enough so they don't get lost within each other by adjusting the value and saturation sliders. But don't worry if you find it quite hard to put a color palette together. It can be quite tricky when it's your first time off with it, but there are multiple websites out there that help you with color palettes. Here's a few websites I've used previously just to get you in the flow of understanding colors and different ways that you can pair them together. The first one is Color Hunt. This is a great website because they give you presets already, you don't have to search anything, you simply go on the website and you can just scroll and scroll and scroll, just searching for the color combination you like. One thing I need to mention though is when you are selecting color palettes, when you're hovering over these colors, it just pop it with these codes, and you may be wondering, what are these codes or how do I get these colors into Illustrator? Let me show you, so you can click on this. Here you have your color palette, it's giving the breakdown down here below. These codes here, this is called a hex code. This is how the software knows what the color is. As you saw there by clicking on it, it copies the color. I'm going to head back into Illustrator. If I want to get this color across, I'm going to click over here on the shape. I'm going to click and drag, just to make a shape, and now I want to fill it. I'm going to go over here and click the Fill. Now it's white. But I want to get it to this color here. Again, like we said, we copied it by clicking. Now here on the right-hand side, we're going to go back to the color palette, but this time we need to go into RGB, as you can see here. As you can see at the bottom, you can see this hash, where you can input the code. If we paste by pressing Command or Control V, the code into that, then pressing Enter. The color that we saw online has been pasted in. We can do the same for the rest of them. I'm going to Alt-click, just to create four shapes. Let me just reduce these. Now we can go back. Then we can do the same for these. We can click Copy, click on the shape, and paste the code in here, pressing Enter, and then for the next one, the exact same, so Copy, paste, Enter, and last one, click, Copy, then paste into here, pressing Enter, and there we go. That's how we got the color palette from the website to Illustrator. Here's one website, we've got Color Hunt. Another website I like to use is one called Coolors. This is a similar concept, but with this one, it gives you a bit more freedom. You start by start generating and then with this layout is different. You've got the colors here, and you tap space button to change the color palette. For example, you like this red, you can hover over this and then click Lock. Then when you are pressing space again, that color is going to stay the same, but it's going to give you different combinations of other colors. You can go endless, keep pressing space until you find a color combination. Then it's the same as what we did in Color Hunt, the code is here, so you click, you can copy that by Command C or Control C, and then head back into Illustrator, and you can do the same again. One tip I like to use when creating your color palette is to play around with the value or the saturation of the colors you've chosen as it makes it quite interesting. Finally, before I wrap up this lesson, there's one more point I want to mention. Colors can convey emotions. Whether it's warm, cold, loving, stern, it all depends. I'm going to touch on it briefly. But the main two categories I do like to put them in is warm and cold. Because you got warm colors such as orange, yellows, reds, and you got cool such as purples, blues. But these can be used in your design depending on what the idea there is and how you want to communicate to the audience. Here is an example of warm poster. I'm trying to convey happy emotions. Imagine that you're using warm colors and cold colors and see which one makes you feel happy. The exercise for this lesson, I'd like you to create a color palette consisting of maybe three to four different colors, incorporating the things that you've learned in this lesson. As these are the color palette that we'll be using for our final project. Now that we're coming close to the class project, I want you to start by creating a color palette. Everything that we discussed in this lesson, I want you to put together. I want you to put together a color palette of three to four colors, that you want to use once we create a poster in the next lesson. Create a new artboard, so you could do this by going home and create new. For this one, say if you want to post on Instagram, we're going to create for that. We're going to head over to the panel on the side. We're going to call this poster. Our width, we want to set to 1080, and our height, we want to set to 1350. That's it. We want our artboards to be one, in case it isn't already at one. These pixels and everything else you want to leave the same, then we want to click Create. Now we have our canvas that we are going to be using in the next lesson. But firstly, I want you to create a color palette. By doing this, I'm going to go over to the shapes panel. You can use a circle or you can use the square. I brought that up by long-pressing the shape. You can see there's like a tiny arrow there, this means under each tool, there's another tool or more tools under that. You can reveal that by long-pressing when you click. I'm going to hold, click, and slide across and I'm going to click square. I'm going to square now. At the top or the left-hand side here, by holding space, just moving the canvas around. On my square, I'm going to click drag and I'm going to hold Shift to snap it into a square. I'm holding Shift and dragging. One, I'm going to go back to my selection tool, clicking and holding Alt or Option and drag down and same again and one more time. I want you to go in and create a color palette. You can either take one off online, you can make your own. You can play around with the sliders, up here on the right-hand side. It's totally up to you. Great freedom is in your hands. Before the next lesson, before we move on, I want you to put this color palette together, which we will be using in the next lesson. In the next lesson, we're going to be combining everything that we've learned so far into this poster. I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Class Project: In this lesson, we are going to be putting everything that we've learned so far into our work. I'm going to be running through the way that I would put this poster together incorporating all the different elements and aspects that we've learned from the previous lessons. Here's all the information that we're going to start with, and here's what we're going to turn it into using the aspects that we've learned. Let's get to it. For the class project, we are going to be making a poster about an event or function that may be happening. I've attached a file below of the one that you can see on the screen now. The reason for this is so we can work together on this. As you can see on the right-hand side, I've included a bunch of illustrations that you can use unless you want to make your own, then feel free to help with your color scheme or to your poster depending on what you're going to make it on. Before we begin, I want you to fill in all this information on the left-hand side. This is what my post is going to be about. I've created this event. We're going to be having a dessert party. I've gone in and filled in all of these things. I've got a logo, I've got the title of the event, I've got the tagline, I've got a little description about what the event's going to be about, I've got the day and the time. This is the illustration that I'm going to use, and then this is the color palette which I chose from the previous lesson. Now I want you to go in and answer all these questions. Go replace your logo, create a logo, or take one off the Internet. I want you to decide on your event name, your tagline, a little description about it, the time and date. You can either choose one of the illustration from the right-hand side or you can add one of your own and then your color palette. This will all help us when we come into making the poster. Let's start by doing this first and then we'll correct them. Now that you've gone in and filled in all the information on the left-hand side, what we're going to do next is decide the order in which we want the user to see the information on the page. I'm going to do this just by rearranging all the information that we've already typed just from top to bottom, top being the most important to bottom being the least. What I have here, I've printed four sections. Firstly, for me, I want the name of the event to stand out, so that's at the top of my list. Secondly, I want the audience to see the illustration. Thirdly, I've grouped all these together into one section. We've got the tagline, the description, the date, and the time, because all these bits of information work hand-in-hand together. Then finally, the least important is the logo. I want you to do the same, set yours out like this. Most important to the top, second, third, and fourth, and so on. Now that you've chosen the order of all the information that's on your poster, this is where the fun begins as you get to manipulate different aspects, the size and the color of these elements to create the hierarchy that we discussed in the previous lessons. Now this is where the fun begins. I'm going to start putting all these elements on the left-hand side onto the page and just getting a feel for how everything's going to look. This is what I like to be first, should place everything onto the screen just to get a feel of the amount of information that's going to be on there. What I'm going to do now is play around with the size of all the different elements just until I feel that there's a clear hierarchy for where the user's eyes would go. Right now, I want the size of this to be a way smaller because right now it's taken up too much space on the page. Right now what I'm thinking is, because the donut is a circle and I put it in the center of the page, I am feeling that a symmetrical balance is going to be the best option for this. I'm just going to explore it by central lining or making things move towards the center. What I'm going to do, I want this title to be way bigger than actually is. I'm going to split it into two separate parts. Now that I've got a rough layout, which I'm happy with, I feel the hierarchy is quite clear. First thing, my eye is drawn to this title. Secondly, I'm like, what's this illustration? Then thirdly, I had done the information on the bottom, talk about the food, talk about the tagline, the description, and then the event, day and time. Now that we've got the hierarchy in check, we just need to make sure the overall poster feels balanced. This is generally done by the increase and decrease in the size or maybe moving few elements around. Let's balance it. What I'm going to do is I'm not feeling this white background, so what I'm going to do, I'm going to add a background to this. I'm going to head over here to the shapes. Click the rectangle tool. I'm going to click and drag, and I'm going to set the color using my color palette down here, I'm going drag this up to the top. I'm going to go in and set it as the yellow. I'm going to press the I button on the keyboard and then click on the yellow. I'm going to have this background, has made the illustration less obvious, which is what I wanted. I really wanted this title to pop. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to go in and change the fonts. I'm going to click and click whilst holding shift to select the title. I'm going to go for the combination that we discussed in the topography class. I'm going to start off with Roboto. I want to go with the bold. I'll go for medium, and then the body text, I want to be Montserrat. As you can see here, the text has gone out of the box by this little red square. I'm clicking on the box, I'm just going to, whilst clicking option, click and drag. Right now this block seems quite heavy. What I'm going to do, I'm going to change this to white by pressing I on the keyboard and then clicking that. I'm quite liking the way this is looking now with the white but I still want the title to stand out a bit more. What I'm going to do, I'm going to make it a lot, lot bigger. What I'm going to do is I'm going to play around with the layers a little bit. I'm going to move this behind the donut. I'm going to move this behind the donut, I'm going to right-click and arrange and send to back. Then I'm going to click on the background, right-click, and then send this to the back. Now that's moved it behind the donut for us. I'm going to go in and make tiny tweaks just until I feel that everything works well together. Like we discussed in the topography lesson, I'm going to increase the line spacing to 1.4 times the size of the font, so 21 and then the Asterix times 1.4, then press "Enter". Right now this text is getting a little lost. I'm going to change the color of this to purple. Now I'm quite happy with this. I feel like everything feels quite balanced. There's a heavy section here up the top, but it's the bottom section here because it is quite concentrated and quite dense, it does balance out this top section up here. But then as you can see, I've gone for a symmetrical balance. The reason for this is because as mentioned in balance class, I do want this poster to be attractive. Hence why I've gone for the symmetrical option. Now everything looks good, but we just want to go in and make sure everything's aligned to the center. All dependent if you went for asymmetrical or the radial, is up to you. Now that the hierarchy has been done and we balanced out the overall poster, let's go in and finally just align everything, making sure that everything's rigid and structured. It may look like it's aligned already, but let's just go in just to double-check. I'm going to do for this, because I'm going for central lined, I'm going to click and highlight everything. Then I'm going to head over here to this icon here. I want to change this to artboard. I want everything to be centered to the artboard. I'm going to click "Align to Artboard". Now I'm going to click the central line. Let's see what happens. There was a slight misalignment between everything, but making sure everything's aligned just brings it all together nicely. Again, click, there we go. Depending if you've gone for the asymmetrical, you go ahead and align it the way that we discussed in the lesson. As you saw then, I was making some small tweaks here and there, just making sure everything is aligned and feels balanced. Here is a poster I've created where I wanted the title and the illustration to be the main focus. Now let me show you some other examples of the same poster, the same information, the same color palette on the same illustration, but where I've changed the hierarchy, where I wanted the tagline to be more important or I want the description or illustration to be more important. Here's another example of where I wanted the title to be more prominent. But this is my asymmetrical balance. Again here what I've done is I've added space. I've altered the size and played around with the layout, so it feels a lot more balanced while I've got a big item, a medium item, and then I've got the small item. Now here's two examples of where I wanted the illustration to be the main focus. As you can see here, what I've done, I've made the illustration huge on this one and on this one. I've made this the main focus and I've put all the other elements on the outside because I don't want that to be of importance. As you can see, there's plenty of different layouts that you can do. You're not just stuck to one in the example I did where I made everything centralized and the bans were symmetrical. As you can see here, I've played around with the size a lot, helping to add the hierarchy where I want the user's eyes to be drawn in. I've just put this together just to show you that there is so many different ways in which the same information can be presented, all depending on the way in which you want the users to consume the information or to see the information on the page. Here we're just doing the simple poster, but this applies to everything from illustration, web designs, business cards, and the list goes on. But here's just to show you that it is possible with the same color palette, same demonstration, same information, all we've done is manipulated those five elements that we discussed in the hierarchy lesson; size, shape, color, texture, and space. With these, you can create endless possibilities, playing around with the order in which you want the user to consume your information. This is one of the biggest parts of design, making your idea easy to communicate and easy for users to understand. Now we've got our final poster. We're happy with it. Now I want to exploit it. Let me show you how to export the poster so you can share it wherever you like. I recommend you spend some time just playing around, making sure everything feels right, incorporating things that we learned in the previous lessons just so you feel happy and it feel balanced and the hierarchies in check before moving onto the next lesson. In the next lesson, we're going to explore in your file so you can share it and use it wherever you are. 9. Exporting: Now that we're coming close to the end of this class, we've created our poster, we've run throughout hierarchy, we've matrix balanced, essence, nice and aligned. Now let's get this poster exploits so you can share it wherever you like. Go a poster, let me show you how to exploit so you can share it wherever you like. We're going to start by heading over to the top. Clicking on File and Export. If you hover on export, you get these three options. Because we want to share it online, you're going to go save for web. I'm going to click on Save for web. This is the screen you presented with when you click export for web. We want to change the file format to JPEG and then everything else we're going to leave it the same. We want the quality to be 100 percent and maximum, and leave the width and height as is like we created the beginning. All we're going to head over and press Save. There we go. There's the poster I've created. I cannot wait to see the ones that you created. Please do share it down below in the project's panel below, along with a list of the hierarchy which you intended the user to see your work in. Let me see if that happens. If so that's amazing and if not, I'm going to give you some feedback and ways in which you can improve your poster for future designs. Now that you know the three different ways you can export your file, why don't you go ahead and explore the way that you want, depending on where you want to share. I'll see you at the end where we'll wrap up this class. 10. Conclusion: Congratulations, you made it through this class of the Fundamentals of Graphic Design. I feel like we have covered lot into this class and there is a lot to understand. If you feel like you have to go back and re-watch some of the lessons, then please do, so you get a better understanding as it can be quite overwhelming. Most of these skills in this class will need practice over time, and the more and more you do it, the better you will become at it. Say for example, balance. The more you try balance your work, how you're training your eye to visually see if something does look balanced or not as it is visual way, not actual way, but the more you do it, the better you become at it. We have covered a lot in this class, everything from typography to balance. But for me, the king is hierarchy, and if you master that, I feel like you'll make a huge difference to all the work that you'll create in the future. If there's one thing I hope you take away from this class is I'd hope you feel more confident in the designs you create with a bit more understanding and more knowledge going into it, and just making it look pretty. This class was here to show you the basics. But that's important because this is building your foundation to creating any designs you do in the future. You can always advance these skills as each section here here does have an advanced part, so you can learn further and further. By understanding these basics and building strong foundation, will definitely help you moving forward. Now that we've created our poster, do upload it down below on the project's panel, so I can give you feedback and see what you created. But also, once uploading your file, write a list of the order in which you'd want my eyes to travel, and let me see if that happens. If not, I can suggest ways in which you can improve it for future projects. Don't forget, if you do want to follow me or support any other creative work that I do, do follow me on Instagram @design_with_smit, where I do have a lot of illustration work there, but you can follow me as I go along my journey too. Whether this is the beginning of your creative journey or you've been on this road for a while, I do feel express yourself creatively is one of the most satisfying feelings. I hope you did find this class useful. I wish you all the best and stay creative. Bye.