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39

There's a seperate question on which is better: Are Macs preferable to PCs for handling graphics software? For the question of why Macs are more popular, there's a very simple answer: Almost all art colleges and design schools bought Macs back in the days when Macs were unquestionably better for design (Alan G's and Horatio's answers below detail how) Art ...


29

Super short answer: History. In 1984, when the Mac was launched, it was the first computer that was ideal for desktop publishing needs. This included a GUI, WYSIWYG drawing tools, decent typographic tools (for the time) and a nice relationship to the laser printer (The Apple LaserWriter). It got a foothold, and that's that. Today, it's just a preference. ...


27

One useful tool is Color Scheme Designer: http://colorschemedesigner.com/ You specify a starting color and a type of color scheme and it will generate a palette for you and allow you to modify that palette. The nice thing about this tool is that you can see how it chooses the other colors based on the color you select. There is also a tool to simulate how ...


18

I'm primarily a web developer and designer, so I do most of my work directly in Photoshop/Gimp cutting and clipping and filtering. I eventually stumbled upon the opportunity to purchase a very inexpensive reconditioned Dell Latitude XT, and my experience has been pretty positive. It allows me to much more easily create masks, draw layers, make my selections, ...


16

I think a lot of the legacy reasons have been established here, so I won't address that. I recently purchased a new computer (after asking this community about what hardware matters to a designer), and I went with a Mac Mini. My full-time job for four years had me working on a PC, I like Windows 7 just fine, and I'm comfortable with Ubuntu as well, so when ...


13

I'm going to disagree with everyone else and say that, if you're serious about graphic design or digital illustration, you should get a tablet ASAP. If you're the creative type, then it's unlikely that your first experience drawing is going to be in a digital media, as you were probably exposed to analog media in art classes likely as early as kindergarten ...


13

Two things not mentioned in other answers that were keys to establishing the Mac as a DTP platform in the early days: The original Mac supported PostScript out of the box due to a brilliant collaboration between Adobe and Apple, so that it could provide hinting for low-resolution output on screens and laser printers (300 dpi is low resolution in ...


12

How about a light box? They are cubes made of some sort of semi-translucent fabric that diffuses the light. You can probably find something like that in your local photography equipment store. Here is one: http://www.ezcube.com/ I made my own, though, out of cardboard and velum paper. And I used plain 100W lights instead of professional ones. Here is a ...


11

You need to read about a good book of color theory to understand at least the general principle, for example on what is Primary and Secondary color, Complementary colors etc... otherwise you will not get the importance of some palette choices that you will make. On the web my favourite at the moment one is: Kuler of Adobe , as well I used to use ...


11

Couple months back I bought myself Wacom Intuos4 (Large - A4 size) and I absolutely love it. For photo editing in Photoshop, it's huge difference. It will allow you to a lot of things which just aren't possible with mouse, which is basically any manual editing. My biggest issue while working with Photoshop was, that I just didn't like the way I had to ...


11

If you need help identifying a font sample, there are lots of resources. Some are automated, you submit a sample screenshot or go through a series of questions that help narrow the possibilities: http://identifont.com http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ http://www.bowfinprintworks.com/SerifGuide/serifsearch.php http://typenav.fontshop.com/ Some software ...


10

As someone working in printing, one of the biggest for me is the Pantone Color Book Regardless of of how well your monitor is calibrated, it is crucial to know what your printed colors are going to look like. The discrepancies of the RGB values between Photoshop and Illustrator for Pantone Colors is bad enough as it is. I always check my formula guide ...


9

What you are looking for are "flatbed cutter" or "flatbed cutter plotter". The "flatbed" part is important. Standard vinyl cutter do not need a flatbed since the vinyl sticks to a backing paper. This enables the cutter to roll and unroll the material(vinyl) without having to worry about loose pieces of material jamming the mechanisms. The backing paper ...


8

For lightweight usage, I love Dropbox. I can create a folder for a particular project, and then share just that one folder with those who need to get into it. They can't see folders I haven't given them access to. Dropbox syncs in the background, so I know they'll always have the very latest. I have my Mac set up to notify me if anything in the folder ...


8

Absolutely, unequivocally, definitely start with pen and paper first. Art programs are great tools that can enhance skills by exponential orders, but nothing—nothing—beats the immediate results and response of working with pencil and paper. I have yet to meet a designer that didn't start with rough pencil sketches first. Being able to draw by hand is a skill ...


8

The main reason for Apple having a large design presence is "tradition." Apple went all out inserting their computers into the design school workflow as far back as the late 1980s. Because of this, the OS became the standard target for prepress and commercial printing hardware and the Windows versions of the drivers for these RIP devices (etc) was a ...


7

I believe many years ago Mac were better suited to Graphic Design. I remember hearing about the screen being superior at least. These days there is no difference as the majority of features and software are comparable. I think once you establish yourself in an industry as the go-to brand, old habits die hard. It is like Bing trying to compete with Google - ...


6

I don't know why Photoshop has never had a "rounded rectangle" selection tool. Seems like it ought to, doesn't it? But it doesn't. So, to answer your questions: "Smooth" is designed to even out rough edges. It doesn't do effective job of rounding corners because that's not what it's for. To create a selection with rounded corners, you have to start with a ...


6

Don't buy netbooks/laptops, they aren't built to last as long as normal desktop pcs and can be more expensive for half the power. To counter the power outage problem (I had the same thing in Bulgaria) buy a UPS system for each machine. Two 23' monitors might be a luxury, but I'd say at least 21'. In my office I have one 23 and two 21, they offer a lot of ...


6

What you need will depend on what you take, and who you have. Some schools will have better supplies than others, too. Lots of people will probably come up with great answers, so I don't feel the need to be exhaustive. Some items that were and/or are essential for me: X-ACTO knives (get lots of extra blades) Black mat board Spray adhesive (stock up on ...


6

Layers Magazine had a good article on this a long time ago when I wondered the same question. Step 1 Begin with the Product Art For this tutorial, we created the artwork for the box in Photoshop that we’ll apply to a 3D object in Illustrator. The art consists of three separate flattened PSD files that we’ll place in Illustrator. The file for the front ...


6

I made this in about 3 minutes using the circle tool, direct selection tool and live paint. I don't know if there's a faster way, but this was pretty quick. Basically, draw a circle and a smaller circle inside that circle. Draw a new circle that is the exact width between the left anchor point of the inner circle and the right anchor point of the outer ...


6

Most Adobe creative suite/CC software has tools for things like this. Here's some of the main ones: All applications Actions, which are like recordable macros - saving a set of actions then executing it with one button. Photoshop: Smart objects (bundles of layers and vector data that can be re-used) Adjustment layers (layers where the purpose is to ...


5

BaseCamp http://www.basecamphq.com is a must see for you, you can use 37Signals all tools for your needs, they are a digital agency that created Basecamp for their own needs, it can cover most areas of your stuff. But they are not renovating it as fast as market goes i think.. so there is competition.. Lately ApolloHQ is a great workflow application with ...


5

Lauren's answer is correct, in that InDesign is a layout program, but in the last few years InDesign has taken on many more tasks than just layout-for-print. With CS3, Adobe built a "headless Photoshop" (the actual Photoshop code) into InDesign, giving us drop shadows, bevels, glows, feathering, etc., and they expanded these capabilities greatly in CS4 and ...


5

They're two completely different worlds. I'd go for the electronic stuff first, and do the pen&paper whenever the electronic stuff wasn't available. This is only because you propably do more with the computer skills than with the "traditional" cave painting methods. I'll clarify I started drawing with the tablet after 12 years of experience in ...


5

I have been modeling 3D characters for many years, and the best tool I can recommend to anyone, beginner or not is actually a free opensource program called Blender. It has many useful features and is easy and quick to learn, but the best part is the amount of keyboard shortcuts it has as standard to really speed up development time. You can create your ...


5

There is nothing particularly special about making icons - they're just bitmaps on small canvases. And there’s certainly no need to submit yourself to the torture of MSPAINT (which should be reserved for free-handing intentionally bad drawings. ;-) ). Depending on your budget, I would suggest these programs: Paint.Net (free!) Relatively simple & ...


5

Paper, qualities and types, is a rabbit-hole that is very deep. Be warned. A high quality coated paper designed for ink-jet printers would take inks very well to reduce or eliminate the possibility of smearing while still keeping the lines crisp. Uncoated paper would absorb inks very well also, but would tend to bleed at the edges. Heavier paper in general ...



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