I’ve been eating, sleeping and breathing design for more than two decades now. From the moment I first opened Microsoft Paint as a young doodler, we fast forward to this morning when I opened Photoshop to complete my latest design. I’ve had the pleasure of working on some incredible brands with an amazing bunch of colleagues and mentors that have guided me through the years.
I want to share a few things with you to grow and be a better designer. I hope these will help you find solid ground as that young doodler reaching for the next level.
To become a designer, you need to start with the basics, knowing how to design for print and online with the tools that are available. Most designers will use the Adobe Suite, there are some free options available that you can easily find with a quick google search, but the hardcore trio of design is Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
InDesign is a publishing program for creating layouts and multi-page documents such as magazines, Flyers, Leaflets and posters. Photographers use photoshop to edit photos, designers use photoshop to enhance rasterized designs. While Illustrator is used to create vector-based graphics for creating logos or infographics.
Most designers have their preferences for the software they use, but you wouldn’t want to design a poster in Photoshop or a website in InDesign. Adobe’s interface can seem scary at first, but once you know the basic tools it’s easy to start running with the ball.
Fonts are your friend
The essential building block of design is typography, every designer has their own favourite font, and it won’t be long until you start to become attached to all things type.
The master of images
Images can provide you with inspiration and bring quality to your design and enhance fonts and colours. Learning the basics of Photoshop will get you started in the right direction.
Colours aren’t just for hippies
Fonts, graphics and colours are the holy trio of design. Use the three elements as the foundation of creating any layout. Colours are the moods and personalities of a layout and it’s important that they complement each other in one way or another.
Once you are in the thick of things you will get a sense of your strengths and interests. But never limit yourself by focusing on something specific. Design is an open book of possibilities with no limits but your own imagination.
If there is one thing, I’d recommend you take away from this article, it’s to get out there and connect with people who share your passion for design.