What are the best free resources for someone exploring graphic design? At what point is it worth buying software?
I'm experimenting with graphic design, both for my business and for personal use. For a particular project I am working on, I'd like to see if I can effectively create my own designs. What are some of the best free resources to experiment with, or should I invest in software or classes right away? At what point should I consider investing, and does anyone have any good tips for getting started? Thanks!
About soft, you can pay monthly for the creative cloud suite from adobe.
You don't pay the soft but you rent it, it's new
You wil have access to Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Fireworks, ....
When a soft need to be update, there is an alert on your PC or MAC that tell you.
It's about 80 USD per month.
I'm not a graphic designer, but I think Sumopaint is a basic online free (for now) design tool that's very popular, and there are a variety of tools for basic wireframing with design, like in powerpoint.
I'm pretty sure the creative cloud suite from adobe is the superior product on the market if you're willing to go the paid route. I'd say it's worth paying for as soon as you a) specifically need some of the creative cloud's features you can't find elsewhere b) need to start sharing your design with other people in a professional context and c) hope to start using design professionally
If you are making the effort to learn graphic design then I suggest you learn on the best software, Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard. InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop are essential to any design business. Adobe no longer sells their software but makes it available on a monthly subscription basis, I pay $53 USD a month.
To be effective in the programs takes time and I would stay away from freeware and join the Adobe CC. Its the industry leading and offers the most support. You tube is full of free tutorials.
In the end though unless pursuing this as a full time profession you will end up spending more money than just hiring a designer. Time is money and at some point time is worth more than late nights trying to figure out a design problem that a designer/developer can knock out in minutes.
If you still want to pursue learning then try the Adobe classroom in a book as they walk you step by step from opening the program to finished project and supply the templates and files that correspond so you can follow along... or lynda.com
I have wrestled with this same question for years now, despite having been in the field for over three decades as both employee and freelancer. There are free software packages that are "open source" and maintained by large user communities, and some of them work very well:
- The GIMP, a GNU/Linux-based image editing program designed to provide at least most of the functionality of Adobe Photoshop without the hefty price tag. I have used it myself quite often for creating or editing images.
- Inkscape, a drawing program. I found it a bit clunky and harder to use than Adobe Illustrator or Freehand, but most open-source software seems to have this problem; and if you can get comfortable using it, it is very well equipped. (This may simply be a matter of personal taste or skill level; your mileage may vary.)
- Scribus, a layout program similar in function to Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, PageMaker et al.
- Also, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint offer a surprising amount of design capability for programs not purpose-built for designers, and the Office suite often includes Microsoft's own layout program, Publisher. This suite is usually available far more cheaply than Adobe's products (that is, if you insist on locally-stored software as opposed to subscription).
All of that being said, there all too often is simply no substitute for the industry standard...and with its Creative Cloud subscription model, you can now have access to ALL of Adobe's popular programs without laying out nearly a grand for the box and discs (I pay less than $30 a month) - and much more convenient, faster and cheaper upgrades as they are made available. My advice? Do what I do: get a Creative Cloud subscription and keep the freeware on hand as a backup. And if you have to invest in training or courses to learn the commercial software, it's well worth it...and you can find such instruction for free in many places online these days (including Adobe itself, if you subscribe).
I've been learning GIMP myself. It is free, open source software... But that is only the software aspect of graphic design. One should also learn the best practices for optimum visual appeal. TutsPlus offers design courses http://courses.tutsplus.com/topics/design/courses that are reasonably priced as modules.
Hope this answer helps!
From a slightly different perspective, I would recommend http://www.lynda.com as a great way to learn whatever program you are considering. I've used them for years, and even if I'm contemplating a new software, I'll go in and watch a few videos to see if I can truly accomplish what I'm looking to do.
Just go free for the start .
Learn from udemy.com
get a free software on which you can do the basics .
Outsource the design work , and make sure it is done according to your mindset .
I know people in the third world countries who are authentic .
Contact me if you are interested to know more .
When I first started in the Graphic design world I began by using the free open source platform Gimp. It's the closest you can get to Photoshop.
Take a look at canva.com. They're great for non-designers to get out some of the more basic items.
However, if you are looking for more serious design work, or for something really important (logo, website, etc.), I would suggest looking for a designer.
The best free resources are the Internet and your eyes.
This is not meant to be flippant - but good designers spend a long time looking. Looking at different example, Looking at trends and looking at how different designs work in practice.
With responsive design now the defacto standard, I'd recommend looking on different devices as well.
One you can distinguish good design from poor design and have worked out the type of designs you wish to work on, then consider the software.
Before buying any software, I suggest taking courses at your local community college. Then you can use the software and also have a knowledgable person there to help you learn it. And you will be given projects that force you to use the various tools and expand your knowledge. The creative cloud is great because you don't have to purchase the software outright and can "rent" it. But before doing any of that, try a college course. Then you will have an expert readily available to guide you through the software and the designing process. Good luck! If you ever need anything, please message me!
If you're experimenting with design, you'll want to pick up some of the foundations that make design what it is. lynda.com has the best of the best online classes and tutorials you'll find out there. Also, take some time to go to your local Barnes & Noble and take a look at some design books (they're pieces of design in themselves!). Ultimately, for software I would have to recommend Adobe Creative Cloud mostly because it's the most up to date with technology and design standards.
If this is for a project with a pressing timeline, however, you're better off finding a designer to work with you. Truth is that you'll spend way too much time "playing around" with design, more time than you probably have. And that will end up costing you more money in the long run.
I hope this helps! Feel free to message me if you have any questions!
Hey Carrie Dunham , you can check a few free design stuff from my website. I hope it will be useful for you. Check out my website...
Be observant first. Learn by being aware of graphic designs all around you. Look at that logo on the top of this website. What makes it work?
Sketch out logo designs on paper to start. See if you have a feel for it. Study and be observant of fonts. See what typeface projects what feeling. Think about how to communicate ideas graphically. Study, research, learn, draw, experiment with type and illustration.
You can download a trial of Adobe Illustrator CC for a month I think. Be sure you are ready for it and have the time to explore in that month.
If you think this is what you really want to do you can subscribe to the software through the Adobe Creative Cloud. Go to Adobe.com for more info.
Carrie, to answer your question regarding free resources, you can find videos by searching a specific topic/design need on youtube or any search engine like Google. You can also look at sample works that other designers have created as inspiration to get your own ideas going. Copying designs, of course, is not an option, but looking at a variety of samples can spark your own creativity. If you feel you have exhausted free resources, lynda.com is excellent, and I would highly recommend it if you have no formal training in design. I wouldn't recommend free software. If you're going to design, do it right and use Adobe. Cheers!
If you use a Mac download art "art text 2" it's worth every penny ($29), you can pretty much create anything you need for web/print. I have exported 900dpi logos and artwork for vehicle wraps, and 72dpi images for the web. If you spend 30-60 mins playing around with the different options on the right side of the app, your 90% the other 10% is split between these two things: 5% learning the layers (bottom of screen) simply click and drag images left and/or right and they are sent back/front of each other... The last 5% is your ability to have the final product visualized in your mind... Pick your colors (logos generally 2-3 max) and the modal (symbol/image) you want to use + words... Remember, it's best to keep things simple, when people start out... They tend to put way too much detail into things... Hope that helps... also if your looking for something that has alot more options like photoshop, download "gimp" <- I use it to edit psd/ai files