Top 5 Tips For New And Young Graphic Designers

Gnomie Matt Hart writes:

I (known as ‘thelast1uthinkof’ at geeks.pirillo) was searching though your videos the other day, and realized that when I typed in’ graphic design’ to search your videos on YouTube, only one video came up. I noticed in the community there were quite a few graphic and Web designers, so I thought a few tips could go down well.

By any stretch, I wouldn’t call myself an expert. I’ve only been teaching myself for two or three years, and thanks to the Internet, I’ve been learning more than any school could ever teach me.

In no particular order, here are some of the most valuable things I’ve learned, either from the Internet, or personal experience.

Start local
Don’t try and go global and entirely Internet based from the word go. Start by designing things for your school, local bands, and events. Making MySpace layouts for bands is a great start for Web based designing. This works as advertising by word of mouth, and if you like, you can ask bands to put a small ‘banner’ advertising yourself up in their MySpace pages.

Internet portfolio
I set up a deviantART account as soon as I started making pictures in Photoshop, because deviantART is a great way for a community of designers and artists to help each other out and spread good advice and tips and tricks. Having a deviantART account also lets you showcase your works for people to see if they request.

Helvetica, as most should know, is a font. Although it is no longer available for free on Windows as it is on Mac, there are still ways of getting it. You could purchase it, or you could probably find a free version on the Internet somewhere. Anyway, the thing with Helvetica is that it can make anything look good, and I mean anything. Any word, given the right thickness and the right spacing, can look extremely professional. If you look around your local shopping centre you should be able to spot Helvetica many, MANY times.

Never, EVER use Comic Sans
On the topic of fonts, Comic Sans is a terrible font that even has a whole Web site devoted to the banning of Comic Sans. I myself have deleted the font files off my computer.

Free resources
Resources are a great way of getting work done faster. People create resources to be used, so why not use them to their full potential? Brushes, vectors, fonts, stock photos — many of these can be found for free — not just on deviantART, but millions of Web sites all over the Internet. The term “resources” doesn’t just refer to things you can use in your work — it also refers to tutorials. Many Web sites are made just for free Photoshop tutorials; one of my favourites is Planet Photoshop, but YouTube is definitely plenty full of tutorials, tips, and tricks.

I can be found on devinatART at
I can be found on YouTube and MySpace under the same name
I am on Twitter under the name thelas1uthink… the ‘of’ wouldn’t fit.

Thank you for reading, and I hope that the word can be spread to all the Photoshop geeks in the community.