Graphic designers/illustrators

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    Jun 25, 2009 8:59 PM GMT
    Graphic designers/illustrators


    Hey guys I trust that your all OK?

    Just wondering if there are any graphic designers or illustrators on here, if so do any of you have any advice for someone who’s finished their degree and is just starting out?

    Cheers Lee
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 26, 2009 12:28 AM GMT
    My brother did his degree in graphic design.

    My recommendation:

    Design a beautiful double-sided colorful business card... do a lot of pro bono work... and ask the people you design for to keep you in mind and give out your card when they hear someone needs some work done.

    You don't want to settle into a crappy design job in a corporation. Typography is boring, right? Work for yourself.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 26, 2009 12:33 AM GMT
    do you have any website programming experience?
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    Jun 26, 2009 12:41 AM GMT
    Timberoo saiddo you have any website programming experience?


    meaning XHTML/CSS right? Most designers dont really get into programming languages.
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    Jun 26, 2009 12:48 AM GMT
    Before I went exclusively into professional photography, I used to also perform graphic design. Eventually I left it because my heart was more in photography. But I would most certainly do the following, if these suggestions help:

    * I would surely take Danisnotstr8's advice in designing a wonderful business card to have ready for networking at many functions around town. Remember, the key to getting your name out there is outright networking!

    * Gather your best work, and design a website to showcase your visual abilities as well as saturating your resume with both client names and industry-standard experience (computer, software, traditional tools, etc.) to place on a section of your site in a section called About Me or Resume.

    * Website programming experience can help increase both your hiring status and is a well-noted attribute to your skillset, like knowing ActionScript for Flash when designing multi-interactive websites. Or simpler coding, like HTML, JavaScripting, CSS usually can help toward creating a simple, user-friendly site (like mine).

    * Try NOT working for jobs which will make you sign tax form 1099 -- those are the worst!! W-2's all the way!! At the end of the year, you have to practically pay back every dime you earned during your time with that client because the client is not liable in paying your taxes from their payroll -- YOU ARE! And the stinging pain of working all those long, hard hours is almost not worth it despite earning $15 - $35 an hour, unless you can claim some work-related expenses. At the point, performing quality pro-bono work (with restrictions from you to the client) is better.

    * Don't be afraid to burn bridges with a client who maybe under-handing you by being meticulously picky, or cheap, toward your work, especially when you know you're damn good! You can always find more commendable clients elsewhere!

    Hope what I've mentioned helps, and Good Luck!
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    Jun 26, 2009 12:49 AM GMT
    charlitos said
    Timberoo saiddo you have any website programming experience?


    meaning XHTML/CSS right? Most designers dont really get into programming languages.

    and yet they really should, it gives them a good understanding of what is capable in the browser as well as letting you becoming more desirable to an employer.

    Flashy business cards don't work unless you really think outside the box and I mean you really put in the effort and money to make something that really sticks out and make people go "cool"

    I'll be back to give more useless info
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    Jun 26, 2009 12:55 AM GMT
    A business card helps, and having your own website detailing your resume, your work you have done and illustrations might prove useful for those small businesses out there...

    Ads about what you do and the website url can help but those are mostly free lancing. It can help if you want to make quick cash aside from full time work.
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    Jun 26, 2009 12:59 AM GMT
    lilTanker said
    charlitos said
    Timberoo saiddo you have any website programming experience?


    meaning XHTML/CSS right? Most designers dont really get into programming languages.

    and yet they really should, it gives them a good understanding of what is capable in the browser as well as letting you becoming more desirable to an employer.

    Flashy business cards don't work unless you really think outside the box and I mean you really put in the effort and money to make something that really sticks out and make people go "cool"

    I'll be back to give more useless info


    thats true, but it really depends on what kind of company you want to work for. Big companies, wont really care if you know this or that, they already have someone(specialist) taking care of that specific area. I would say that as a designer its really good to know some XHTML/CSS for web design in general but thats about it, the rest of your time dedicate it to become a better designer than you already are.

    However if you really enjoy some programming then for sure get into it, as long as you dont loose focus and still remember youre a designer and that Im guessing is what you really like.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 26, 2009 1:01 AM GMT
    charlitos said
    lilTanker said
    charlitos said
    Timberoo saiddo you have any website programming experience?


    meaning XHTML/CSS right? Most designers dont really get into programming languages.

    and yet they really should, it gives them a good understanding of what is capable in the browser as well as letting you becoming more desirable to an employer.

    Flashy business cards don't work unless you really think outside the box and I mean you really put in the effort and money to make something that really sticks out and make people go "cool"

    I'll be back to give more useless info


    thats true, but it really depends on what kind of company you want to work for. Big companies, wont really care if you know this or that, they already have someone(specialist) taking care of that specific area. I would say that as a designer its really good to know some XHTML/CSS for web design in general but thats about it, the rest of your time dedicate it to become a better designer than you already are.

    However if you really enjoy some programming then for sure get into it, as long as you dont loose focus and still remember youre a designer and that Im guessing is what you really like.


    I think it's good to have the skills to pull double duty, you can be a greater asset for your company or client - especially in this economy.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 26, 2009 1:03 AM GMT
    Restaurants, real estate agencies, and many other small businesses who advertise frequently in newspapers, newsletters, and magazines often have really crappy ad/illustrations.

    Pick some, design a solution, send it to them, and tell them you're looking to work as a principal ad designer in the area.

    When I was a college senior, I hated the music department webpage. I redesigned a front page for them and showed the department head. She was like "Go for it! Can you do the whole site?"

    I said there would be a price, and she said they probably couldn't pay me because I was a current student rather than an outside contractor.

    However, they agreed to waive my tuition for the year.

    MARKET yourself.
  • metta

    Posts: 39167

    Jun 26, 2009 1:14 AM GMT
    I'm not one but from talking to people in the industry, I have been told that much of the freelance work has dried up and the jobs with companies are difficult to come by as well. One of my friends that works for a printer told me that the designers are having to settle for much less than what they can actually do. This is a really bad time for new people since the experienced people are having so much trouble right now. The economy has caused the industry to shrink.


    Build your portfolio.
    Build your contacts....network.....network.....network!
    I wish you much luck!


    I almost think that it might be better to start your own business that requires graphic design services in order create the work you need to make money.
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    Jun 26, 2009 1:23 AM GMT
    metta8I'm not one but from talking to people in the industry, I have been told that much of the freelance work has dried up and the jobs with companies are difficult to come by as well. One of my friends that works for a printer told me that the designers are having to settle for much less than what they can actually do. This is a really bad time for new people since the experienced people are having so much trouble right now.


    Build your portfolio.
    Build your contacts....network.....network.....network!
    I wish you much luck!


    I concur what you said here, it's not easy and yeah it's likely you won't be seeing any freelancing work especially in this economy. Build your portfoilo and contacts, and communicate with people. If it doesn't work, build your work history/experience. Volunteering is great for your resume and it will help while you search for a job. Meet people while volunteering and see if they know others or friends or family members who can help you achieve a job. All in a network...
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    Jun 26, 2009 1:29 AM GMT
    oh damn, I forgot to give you some advises,


    collect some of those designs you really like and feel proud of. Try to have your own portfolio online. Also talk to your friends, ask them if they need you to design something for them, can be anything. If you dont have a strong portfolio yet then do it really cheap just to build up your reputation and later on you will eventually feel the need to increase prices as customers begin piling up.

    things you can start doing right away:

    business cards
    logotypes
    publicity banners
    web templates(study some stuff about usability and how to design for the web if you havent already).

    good luck!
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    Jun 26, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    Make a portfolio of your best work, but actually bind it, book format. Use your knowledge of layout, grids, and formating to your advantage.

    Companies want to see something other than a folder portfolio of work.

    Do something out of the ordinary, something they can hold.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 26, 2009 1:39 AM GMT
    Adnoh saidMake a portfolio of your best work, but actually bind it, book format. Use your knowledge of layout, grids, and formating to your advantage.

    Companies want to see something other than a folder portfolio of work.

    Do something out of the ordinary, something they can hold.


    I COMPLETELY argree. Stand out, do something different, and give them something they can hang on to.

    If you do business cards... make them a square. Or a circle. Be the cutting edge.
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    Jun 26, 2009 1:55 AM GMT
    Adnoh saidMake a portfolio of your best work, but actually bind it, book format. Use your knowledge of layout, grids, and formating to your advantage.

    Companies want to see something other than a folder portfolio of work.

    Do something out of the ordinary, something they can hold.


    I Completely Agree some Designers follow a trend because it's safer and sometimes required, but many companies are always looking for something new and innovative. So Fresh talent that can help them progress and stand out from the rest is always a plus for them.

    I'm more of a illustrator but a novice graphic artists but I believe they share certain rules/guidelines when it come to promotion.

    " New Innovative talent" and "Trend Starters"
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    Jun 26, 2009 2:02 AM GMT
    CADude is giving you some very practical and actionable advice.

    CADude "* Gather your best work, and design a website to showcase your visual abilities as well as saturating your resume with both client names and industry-standard experience (computer, software, traditional tools, etc.) to place on a section of your site in a section called About Me or Resume."

    This one is very contemporary. It is an excellent idea to make use of social media to get your own personal branding going. The AIGA, Print, and really all of the design-oriented journals are present on Twitter and you can learn a great deal by just following links.

    CADude "* Don't be afraid to burn bridges with a client who maybe under-handing you by being meticulously picky, or cheap, toward your work, especially when you know you're damn good! You can always find more commendable clients elsewhere!"

    Triple kudos to CADude for saying this. It is very hard for creative people to be objective about this particular issue. Finding yourself in a value trap or what I would call a creative liquidity trap is really destructive and not worthwhile.

    ***

    In my professional life I have been fortunate enough to have encountered a long series of very interesting mentors. It has just barely been possible to meet and learn from some seminal figures in the design world. This is something I have been working at since I was 18 and I can tell you at 45 some of those experiences are the ones I treasure the most. Many of those teachers are now departed and I had an opportunity that few others had and cannot be replicated.

    Of course, mentoring and apprenticeships are available to every generation and I would highly recommend seeking out a superb studio in which to work for awhile. You may make less money, but the practical knowledge will be priceless.

    @danisnotstr8 "Typography is boring, right?"

    I don't think so and neither do most of the designers that I know.

    Last bit regarding digital media. The canard that says graphic designers are terrible at digital media is partially true. To the extent that a project is design and not based upon communication theory or communication architecture the application of design principles from one media to another can be fraught.

    However, designers who understand how to use a grid, how to organize information, how to tell a story, and how to think a problem through both in a linear and non-linear fashion have a great deal to contribute to the digital universe.

    Actually it is an enormously exciting time because the rules of media are rapidly changing. Understanding how to layout a book in the very near future is going to require careful thought about what a book actually is, how it might work on different kinds of screens, etc. Idem for newspapers, magazines, and really all media.

    XHTML and CSS are certainly worthwhile awarenesses to cultivate but try to avoid getting into the cul-de-sac of becoming an expert in coding at the expense of communicating. If you know how to organize communication and achieve a level of proficiency that is adequate to collaborate with and perform basic coding tasks that is likely going to be sufficient.

    A rule of thumb that I use for myself with regard to technology is whatever I can teach myself to do adequately will allow me to draft, sketch, and storyboard ideas that younger experts can implement in seconds. The quality of my work in a leadership role is an exponent of my core knowledge (what I can do myself) and how well I can communicate my ideas to the people I work with.

    Hope some of that may be helpful.

    Terry
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    Jun 26, 2009 8:07 AM GMT
    gayroy saidGraphic designers/illustrators

    Hey guys I trust that your all OK?

    Just wondering if there are any graphic designers or illustrators on here, if so do any of you have any advice for someone who’s finished their degree and is just starting out?

    Cheers Lee

    Did you focus on any specific areas of design? Print? Web? Packaging design?

    It's a tough market in all industries right now. I agree with the others.. be versatile in your skill set. Create an awesome portfolio. Market yourself. Network! Take on small local projects, to help you gain some experience. Try not to do anything for free, or low ball your rates. Often times, the cheap clients are the ones that give the most headaches.

    I would love to go back to school and learn motion graphics or user interface design. I think those two areas are still hot at the moment.
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    Jun 26, 2009 9:43 AM GMT
    What kind of graphics do you work on?

    And I don't exactly recommend too much versatility. There's only so much you can handle. Instead of learning too many stuff at low expertise levels, learn SOME stuff at expert levels and some at basic levels. Makes you much more hireable.

    My field is in 3d game art - environmental modeling and texturing to be precise. And I'm focusing on it, then probably would try my hand at character and organic modeling later on. I'm not too sure I can help you though, as 3d and 2d digital art are usually quite different fields for very different industries (my only overlap with it is that 2d skills are needed for making texture maps for my models)

    And yes, pro bono work is definitely recommended. Or even better, freelance work (there are plenty of job listings in sites for digital artists). It'll help your name get known and you get to have an awesome portfolio as well. Join artist sites like DeviantArt in addition to having your own website, a lot of people get noticed there and have gone commercial including several 2d artists I know.

    Also if you're more into webpage design, learn basic programming. ActionScript for Flash especially. These days it's not enough that your art looks good, it has to move as well. LOL