Industry skills & software compatibility

Great graphic designers do more than play around with already existing artwork - they sketch unique, inspiring, original and effective solutions based on ideas gathered from their clients and then use those sketches as the foundation for what will ultimately appear in print or online.

 

Design and Layout
A well thought out, effective design requires professional planning and a basic understanding of the design process from concept to delivery. Understanding the client objectives, and breaking the requirements down into manageable chunks will ensure a smooth process with successful results. Defining our clients objective is the first step in the process. Collecting data, background information, making sketches, taking photographs and finding inspiration is the second step in the process. Brainstorming and analysing ideas as we begin to formalize our client objective is the next step. Presenting our draft to the client is the fourth step in the process and receiving feedback, making improvements and polishing the final output is the fifth step in the process. The sixth and final step comes when the client has approved the creative and we move to implement the idea either in print or online.

Typography

It might seem like a relatively small detail, but typography is one of those skills that are often overlooked by younger designers. People will react positively or negatively to type depending on how well it matches content and images and having a fluent understanding of font families, line-height, line length, tracking, kerning etc. are essential in providing a successful campaign.

Color Theory
Understanding color is not just for painters. It may be subtle, but knowing how to utilize, contrast, juxtapose and mix different colors based on context is an invaluable skill, and one I have perfected over the course of my career. We subconsciously appraise color decisions and factor them into our split-second decisions, so selecting the correct color combination will affect the success of any campaign.

Web Design and Basic HTML
Since HTML & CSS are the programming languages of function/structure and style, graphic designers should know them so they can go behind the hood of the site or CMS they may be working on. They will then be able to use their skills to manipulate the page and the destination of the image. They might need to change other elements of the site too so that everything meshes. Either way, this skill will broaden your array of opportunities.

Software Compatibility & Technology
Keeping up with the latest technology is necessary for both print and online design. For both, it is necessary to use programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For print understanding the latest advances in the printing process will help achieve the best results and for web knowing what our programmer can and cannot do will help achieve the most effective web pages. I am proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat both on PC and Mac platforms. I am also fluid with Microsoft products like Power Point, Excel, Word and Outlook, as well as multi-media software such as Adobe Premier and Camtasia.

Printing
Understanding the printing process and how to properly format a file for print is extremely important to the success of your project, and hiring a designer that has this type of experience, such as myself, will ensure your project runs smoothly from start to finish.  Although as a client you will not need to understand print terminology such as pre press, pre flight, pms, separations, dpi, cmyk etc., having a clear picture of your desired outcome is important. For example, the type of paper stock chosen will have a bearing on what resolution is used for photographs, and what press is used for printing, and will ultimately affect the way the file is setup.  So understanding what each client expects to receive at the end of a project, will determine how the project is managed from start to finish.

Communication
Graphic Designers have a tremendous role in communicating the ideas of a company or individual. An image is sometimes worth a thousand words and nothing can underline that more than a vivid design that practically brings the content to life. The ideas of a company or individual. An image is sometimes worth a thousand words and nothing can underline that more than a vivid design that practically brings the content to life.