Applications Every Graphic Designer Should Know

Adobe Photoshop.
Photoshop has become more than just a tool used for photo retouching. It is used for digital painting, illustration coloring and even page layout. It is extremely versitle and needs to be experimented with a constant basis.

Adobe Illustrator.

If you want clean looking logos, Illustrator is your best choice. Also if you have any original graphics you need in a large output, Illustrator is going to insure those graphics look tight and give you no pixelation.

Adobe InDesign/Quark Xpress.

This is a bit of a cheat, but every designer needs to have a good page layout application in their arsenal. Quark Xpress was leader of the pack for a few years, but since InDesign works hand-in-hand with Photoshop and Illustrator, it has been making inroads into the market. Which one is better? That argument can go back and forth, but since InDesign is packaged with the Adobe CS3 suite, along with Photoshop and Illustrator, it makes it awfully tempting.

Adobe Dreamweaver.

Web design at it’s simplest. Dreamweaver makes it simple for the novice designer/developer. It is also an Adobe product, so working in tandem with Photoshop is very streamlined. The step-by-step setup for new websites in intuitive and the templates can be saved for any number of designs you create. It is web development program for beginners and pros.

Final Cut.

Wow! It’s not an Adobe product – it’s Apple. A versatile graphic designer should know video. Final Cut is the best video editing software I’ve used. You can learn the basics with Imovie or similar programs, but Final Cut gives you more options for editing tools and exporting formats.

Honourable Mentions:

Adobe Flash – Those animated banners at the top of the websites you visit? Those were created in Flash. Flash has moved beyond just dressing up sections of websites. Many sites are mostly Flash, and designers should be familiar with it for future career opportunities.

Adobe After Effects/Motion – After Effects is also an Adobe product – used for video editing and special effects. It has overlays, transitions and title effects that can charge up your video presentations. Motion is the Apple equivalent, and handles certain things (such as type effects) a little better than After Effects.

Apple Keynote/Powerpoint – This is a category where Adobe doesn’t have a dog in the hunt. Keynote and PowerPoint are visual presentation software applications used to create presentations for seminars, small meetings, stage productions, etc. PowerPoint is widely known to most, but Keynote offers a better experience. Keynote gives you more video and animation options to add to your presentation than PowerPoint.

While this may have read like an ad for Adobe, this is simply because the company has created or acquired very good design products and offered them in bundles which give the user focused design modules. All of the applications mentioned above will give the designer a solid foundation in their chosen craft.


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Discover the Power of Keywords for Web Design

I never really understood the impact of keywords until years after webdesign. Due to the optimizing of search engines as of late, keywords are the structural integrity of your website regarding whether you’ll be at the top of the list or buried under a pile of old Disney movies that were rejected from Hollywood.
What amazed me more is that as advanced as search engines (like google yahoo msn metacrawler and more) have gotten they still can’t seem to filter out the sites the use keyword abuse. I never even considering doing such a thing, but there are a lot of sites out there that flood their keyword list like a catholic mass at the vatican in Italy or…wherever the Vatican is. I don’t think it’s in florida, though I expect if it were the pope would get some wicked discounts on carnival cruise lines or at the very least some discount passes to universal studios. He’d certainly be golfing a lot more. I digress.

The most common abusers of keywords are pornographic websites. If you could view their keyword lists it would be a monster string that looked something like: lesbian skateboard skatepark movies vhs dvd lolita homedepot walmart hockey football baseball laptop computers free photography dell acer toshiba sony sanyo viacomm and many many more filthier words that I just can’t put here.

Keyword abuse is stifling, and an unfortunate thing that prevents more credible websites from recieving appropriate page ranks on search engines.

Ebay is another killer of placement. Do a search on google, yahoo or msn for products and you’ll end up with more ebay auctions than you would sales on sites like amazon or Amazon for short, or Overstock. I dont know how many times I’ve tried to find product from companies like verizon Sprint and Nextel and ended up pulling dropship and wholesale sites offering cellular phones at discount rates.

Keyword abuse makes it extremely difficult to find what you’re looking for, leading you through srings of irrelevant blog sites and worse. Keyword abuse should be dealt with by search engines so they filter these things out. Sites like my article here, filled with keyword flooding.

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Looking for Freelance Graphic Design Jobs

Freelance graphic designing is a job that is really catching the eyes of all the talented people who want to do home business. Graphic designing requires lots of skills. You will be asked to design templates for the websites. I must tell you that a single web template is sold for more than $3000. But their average cost is around $200 to $800. You can also be asked to develop logos. Logos are the symbol for the company and it should be hard to copy. In fact it should be unique. Animation is also a part of graphic designing.
You must now ask that what the requirements are for becoming a graphic designer. I must tell you that requirement can be as high as an engineering degree and can also be as low as a high school certificate. However you should have knowledge of the computer graphics in detail. Without the knowledge of computer graphics you cannot do the job. You should have knowledge of graphic software like dream weaver, Corel draw, Photoshop and so on. Once if you have knowledge of all these software then you can really do the job.

As far as freelancing is concerned you must be familiar with it. And the freelance graphic job is really very popular. I must tell you that website designing is at the top as far as the freelance is concerned. For this job, you don’t require anything else except computer. In fact it is the highest paid freelance job. And graphic design is the most important of the website design. Rest of the coding is quiet simple. The website designer has the graphic designing as one of its talent. One who does all the coding is called web programmer. They all have to work as a team to complete the job.

The experience of the graphic designer increases with every project they complete. But as far as freelancing is concerned the list of project is very important. You are required to create a portfolio and you will have to maintain it. You previous work will win you then new projects. You should add all your skills and projects in the list which is contained in your portfolio. You will be required to have a bank account and you will be paid through PayPal or similar payment technique. You are paid in slots. For example you will be paid 25% of the total cost in the beginning and in the middle you will be paid 25% more and once you finish the job you will be paid the rest 50% of the total amount.

I must tell you that due to internet the home based business is really becoming very popular and I will tell you that the day is not far when it will become the biggest industry.

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Floral Design – How Much of a Salary Can You Earn? Is There Future Earning Potential?

Experience counts for a lot when it comes to a designer’s salary. Geographic location also plays a part in salary differences. Floral designers on the East and West coasts traditionally enjoy higher than average salaries, compared to floral designers in other parts of the United States. Stores located in large urban areas tend to have higher annual sales than those in rural areas, resulting in higher pay for their employees.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, florists had median annual earnings of $18,360 in 2000. Well-established floral designers with a steady customer base can earn more than $27,860 annually. Less experienced florists may earn less than $12,570 annually. The department also reports that florists employed in grocery stores earned a median annual salary of $20,160 in 2000.

Depending on the store, designers may be offered sick leave and vacation time, health and life insurance, as well as other benefits.

Flowers can be purchased almost anywhere, from small strip-mall flower shops to large national chains to the neighborhood grocery store. This availability means that floral designers can work almost anywhere-from remote, rural areas to busy cities.

Retail floral designers can expect to have comfortable work surroundings. Most floral shops are cool, clean, and well decorated to help attract customers. Glass refrigerators filled with fresh flowers, live plants and flower arrangements, and arts and crafts are typical items in any flower shop. Work stations for making floral pieces are usually found in the back of the store, along with supplies, containers, and necessary equipment.

Expect to spend the majority of the time on your feet-either standing while working on an arrangement, consulting with customers regarding types of flowers, or on a flower-buying expedition. Most retail-based designers work a normal eight-hour work day with a day off during the week. Weekends are especially busy for weddings and holidays are notoriously so. Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day are peak times for floral orders. Long work hours are the norm during these times to accommodate the heavy demand for flowers.

Most designers, if contracted to work a wedding, will travel to the church or the banquet hall to make sure the church arrangements or the table arrangements are properly set up.

Floral design is expected to grow faster than the average for all other occupations through 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. At least one flower shop is situated in even the smallest of towns. The emergence of full-service floral departments in grocery stores, as well as international floral wire services such as Amlings, FTD, and Teleflora, contributes to job availability. Floral experts who are able to create exciting and original designs will be in high demand. Certified designers may have an edge for the best jobs.

A growing population with large disposable incomes is good news for this industry. Sending flowers to mark an occasion is an old tradition that still has impact today. However, advancement in this career is limited unless you choose to enter management or open a business. Also, starting hourly pay for floral designers is considerably lower than in other design fields.

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Applying Typography Styles to Design

Typography in a design sense simply means the type, as in the ‘font’ used in a design or document. Despite being a crucial aspect of many pieces of work and an integral component of written work, the impact of typography on design is often overlooked. However, a document’s typography can radically strengthen or weaken the overall composition. Similar to how colours should be chosen carefully for a design, typography should also play a major role during the design development process.

Basic Typography Styles
Serif typography has tail strokes on the letters and is the best choice for long stretches of printed text. They give the impression of refined elegance and traditionalism. An example of the serif computer font is “Times New Roman”.

Sans-serif typography lacks tail strokes on letters and is best used for electronic text or to emphasise certain stretches of short printed text, such as titles. They give the impression of modernism and stability. An example of a sans-serif computer font is “Arial”.

Ultra-calligraphic typography normally attempts to capture the artistic qualities of handwritten calligraphy and often has many decorative or exaggerated serifs as a result. They give the impression of elegance and grandeur. Since they are difficult on the eye, they should be restricted to use primarily for artistic reasons on short stretches of text. An example of an ultra-calligraphy computer font is “Lucida Calligraphy”.

Script typography may or may not be ultra-calligraphic but attempts to capture the essence of actual human print. There are many styles of script fonts, so the impression they give can range from fun and casual to refined and conservative. Since they are quirky and add a human quality to the text, they are popular for artistic reasons or when integrating text into a photographic design.

Summary Overview

The typography style used in a design or work is not only important for practical reasons such as readability, but can also be used to reinforce the message of a text or evoke certain symbolic meaning. For instance, a technology company that uses a sans-serif font within its logo would help reinforce the idea that it is a modern, stable company.

The best way to become better at using typography to add to a design is to notice how it is already being used in the surroundings. Review works that may not only be pleasing to the eye but also functional in some way. Pay attention to the way typography is used in certain contexts, and take note of any disconnects between the message of a text and its appearance.

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Applications Every Graphic Designer Should Know

Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop has become more than just a tool used for photo retouching. It is used for digital painting, illustration coloring and even page layout. It is extremely versitle and needs to be experimented with a constant basis. Adobe Illustrator. If you want clean looking logos, Illustrator is your best choice. Also if you […]

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