How to Graphic Design: Practicing Effectively and Efficiently | Skillshare Projects

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How to Graphic Design: Practicing Effectively and Efficiently

Graphic design is the creation of images you can use for a variety of different purposes. Instead of drawing your design on paper, you’ll need to learn how to use computer programs to create your designs. These programs are fully-featured programs that provide an unlimited amount of potential for your images. However, they can also be difficult to learn to use simply because of how much you can do. 

When you’re ready to start learning how to graphic design, you’ll want to make sure you also learn how to create images effectively and efficiently. You won’t want to spend a huge amount of time working on an image because you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to do what you want to do and you won’t want to end up changing your design just because you can’t figure something out. 

You’ll want to start by checking out the graphic design tutorials available online today. If you’ve never done any graphic design before, choose a beginner tutorial that will cover the basics. If you have some experience, you can choose to review a beginner course so you can learn how to do things more efficiently or choose a more advanced course that covers the topics you need help with.  

Play Around with the Programs You’ll Use 

The beginner online graphic design courses are going to start with the assumption you haven’t used Photoshop or Illustrator before and haven’t done any graphic design before. They’ll start at the very beginning, reviewing terminology you’ll need to know, showing you how to start a new project in the program you’ll be using, and walk you through step-by-step some of the tools you’ll be using.  

Before you start the course, however, you may want to play around with the programs a little bit just to see what you can do and what you can figure out on your own. You’ll want to see how they’re set up, how Photoshop and Illustrator differ with what you can do, and decide which one you’ll want to start working with first.  

Start Taking a Tutorial for the Programs You’ll Use 

Most of the time, the graphic design tutorials will use one specific program throughout the tutorial since you’ll need to follow along with everything they’re teaching and they won’t want the tutorial to be too complicated. With graphic design, you may be using Photoshop when you want to work with photos in your designs. However, you’ll likely be working with Illustrator more often, especially if you want to create your own designs from scratch. 

To start learning how to do graphic designs, you’ll want to check out the Adobe Illustrator tutorials available online. Choose a beginner tutorial to get started so you can learn how to software works and what you can do with it. The tutorial should cover everything you need to know to create your first design, from learning the interface to playing with color and texture. though it may not go into too much detail about any specific technique you’ll want to learn.  

Learn the Interface and Where Tools are Located 

A big part of learning how to graphic design effectively and efficiently is getting familiar with the program you’re using. If you’re not familiar with the program and don’t know where the most commonly used tools are located or how to use them, it’s going to take you far longer to get everything done. 

Whether you’re playing around with the program before starting a tutorial or you’re working your way through a beginner course, take the time to look at the interface your using and learn where most of the tools are located as well as how to find other tools you may need. You’re not going to memorize the interface the first time you start designing, but the more you work with it and play around with it, the easier it will be for you to find what you need when you need it.  

Make Sure You Have a Good Workflow 

When you're starting any design, you’ll have a workflow you generally use. This is how you start the design and what steps you take to get to the final design you have in mind This could differ based on what you’re designing, but it’s important to make sure you have a good workflow you can use when you’re working on graphic design. 

Many online graphic design courses will take you through a basic workflow to get from a blank screen to a basic design. You can expand on this workflow or adjust it to meet your needs after you’ve learned the basics of graphic design. It’s important, though, to find a workflow that works well for you as this will help you speed up the design process significantly and help you avoid having to go back and forth in your project.  

Practice Using Tools and Adding Plug-Ins 

Beginner graphic design tutorials are going to cover a lot of the tools that are already built into the programs you’ll be using. Many of these tools will be similar between the different programs, and you’ll use them in a similar way. The selection tool, for instance, is the same for both Photoshop and Illustrator. You’ll use the basic selection tool or a more advanced selection tool to select a certain area of your design so you can adjust only that part of the design. 

Despite the many tools available, there are some things you may not be able to do right away. Adobe allows for the addition of plug-ins in their programs, which are different tools you can use or different ways to do things in the program. There are many different plug-ins you can choose from, and they can be free or paid. This expands what you can do with the program and can help you do what you need to do faster so you don’t spend as much time on one part of the design. 

Once you’re comfortable with using the program, you can even create your own plug-ins to use. These can be incredibly helpful because they’re tailored to what you need and what you want. When you’re just getting started, however, you’ll likely want to stick with the plug-ins available online for you to use.  

Consider Purchasing a Tablet 

Online graphic design courses often assume you’re using a mouse as you already have one for your computer. Most people do start out using a mouse for their computer because it’s already available and they already know how to use it. As you progress and develop graphic design skills, however, you might find you’re just not able to do everything you want to do with a mouse. Instead, you may want to start using a tablet. 

These tablets and styluses are designed to work with the programs you’re using. Instead of moving a mouse around, you have a pen you’ll use on the tablet. Most of the newer tablets are touch-sensitive, meaning you get a darker line when you press harder and a lighter line when you’re pressing on the tablet gently. This can help you make sure you get the lines right when you’re drawing instead of having to go back and fix any potential mistakes to make it look right later. 

Using a stylus with a tablet is a lot like using a pencil, but it’s not exactly the same. You’ll want to find tutorials on how to use the tablet you purchase so you’ll learn how to use it effectively. However, once you get the hang of using a tablet instead of a mouse, you’ll find you’re able to create designs much faster.  

Look into More Advanced Courses for Detailed Help 

Many beginner courses are available to help you get from opening the programs for the first time to creating your first design. From there, you’ll want to play around with what you can do and start creating a few designs on your own. If you’d like to learn more and be able to more efficiently create designs, you’ll want to check out advanced tutorials. 

Advanced Adobe Illustrator tutorials are going to show you exactly how to do different tasks or use different techniques. They’re far more comprehensive compared to the beginner tutorials, but they only focus on one specific thing. These are great for learning exactly what you can do or learning a better way of doing some of the design techniques you’ve already tried in your designs. 

If you want to jump into the growing world of graphic design, you need to know not only how to graphic design but how to do it effectively and efficiently. You’ll need to really learn the programs you’re using so you can quickly create the design exactly how you want it and make sure it’s ready to be used. 

As you’re learning how to use the programs, the Adobe Illustrator tutorials are going to be incredibly beneficial. They’ll teach you how to use the programs as well as how to use them the right way to do what you want and how to quickly go from a blank page to a finished design. Take a look at the tutorials today to start improving your graphic design skills.  

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