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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cool Illustrator Tutorials

Found these wonderful Adobe Illustrator tutorials thanks to 

@DesignNewz and I wanted to share http://www.vectorious.net/blog/illustrator-tutorials-roundup-february-2012/ They layer in some basic techniques to create more detailed drawings.  Kind of gets the imagination going with all that can be done in Adobe Illustrator. 

If you are a newby I have some basic videos posted under tutorials to get you started.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Measurement in Graphic Design

Graphic Designers often have to deal with different types of measurements like Point, Pica, Pixel, and Inch when doing design business in the United States.  If you are working with someone outside of the US it is very possibly you will have to work in the metric system.  Early as a designer I was just getting a feel for the US standards for measurement in design and had a client from overseas give me a small design project all in centimeters.  So what are all of these measurements and how does a designer use them?
Point: Is the smallest measurement for type.  1 point = 172 inches = 25.472 mm = 0.3527 mm.  As a designer I use points when I specify type sizes. For example the average measurement for body text in a design is 12 Points in size.

Pica: Is another measurement for type but larger than the point. 12 points = 1 Pica = 1/6 of an inch = 4.2175mm.  Printers use the Pica in determining how much type fits in one section of the design.

Pixel: Is a digital measurement unit for web page sizes and imagery.  Technically it is the smallest unit a screen can display.  It is a tiny dot not visible without enlargement of an on screen visual.  In building web pages standard screen sizes can vary based on viewing device but in the past a web page dimension was set at 800px wide X 600px high.

Inch:  Is a measurement unit for print page sizes and even image sizing.  Anyone in the US has probably worked with inches in other endeavors since it is so widely used.  Letter sized paper is 8.5 inches wide X 11 inches tall.

Just in case you meet the metric system in a creative project a quick review of elementary school math shows 1 Meter = 10 Centimeters = 100 Millimeters.  Approximately 2.5 Centimeters = 1 inch.

Hopefully this little run through will help you get a better grip on measurement in graphic design.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Template Designs

Whether you are a small business owner, new designer or even an experienced professional sometimes you need a little help getting a creative project done. A great find to help you get up and running is using a template.  You can use it as is, or add your own personal touch to it.  Check out  http://www.website-templates-store.com/ for a huge range of templates to choose from.  You can find templates for websites, flash, blogs, power point, even shopping cart templates.  Purchase the template you like, upload it to your site, add your own content, and you are off and running.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What software is used for what? Part IIII

If you are new to the design biz you might be overwhelmed by all the software out there and not sure which is the best option for your project.  I know I won’t cover everything on the market, there is just too much out there but I will touch on the industry standards in this four part series.

Multimedia Development

Multimedia is a place where Adobe had not been the forerunner but has gradually taken a place.  There are a multitude of applications out there that could do similar jobs so there can be a lot of end user preference in the decision of what program to use.

Web design WYSIWYG applications have been a competitive market.  Early in the game Adobe came to the table with PageMill to compete with Microsoft Frontpage which was the forerunner.   Both programs were clunky, added unnecessary code and not as scalable as a web designer might like to work with.  PageMill had a short life span and was eventually replaced by GoLive.  It appeared like every software company had some sort of WSYIWYG program be it a free editor or a full paid application and none really cut it as a robust interchangeable option.   Programs like Netscape Composer, Macromedia HomeSite, BB Edit, and Claris Home Page were widely used as well.  Finally in 1997 a Mac only version of Macromedia Dreamweaver was released.  Although there were plenty of bugs it quickly became the software of choice for creating web pages.  Along with Dreamweaver came Flash which offered an animation and interactivity component to web design.

Macromedia developed several multimedia applications including Director, Authorware, Final Cut Pro, Fireworks, and acquired components from other companies like Cold Fusion programming, and Freehand which was direct competition with Adobe Illustrator.  In December 2005 Adobe acquired Macromedia adding these programs and more to its repertoire moving Adobe to the top in the multimedia forum.

Today the widely used multimedia applications used by professionals are from Adobe.  Dreamweaver for web design, Flash for animation and interactive applications, with Premiere and Final Cut Pro for working with video.

Not much posted for Dreamweaver or multimedia tutorials at this point. There are some basic HTML and CSS tutorials and more coming.  Download the trial version and get started.

If you missed any part of this series about software check out the last four parts of this series that covered off on Page Layout, Image Manipulation and Line Drawings.