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41

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 ...


31

One useful tool is Paletton (previously known as Color Scheme Designer): 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 ...


31

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. ...


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, ...


18

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 ...


14

You can align to a specific dimension (horizontal or vertical) using the "Distribute Spacing" selection in the "Align" tab. Select the objects you want to distribute, single-click on one object to set it as the anchor object, and enter the amount you want them distributed. Click on either the distribute vertically or horizontally button. You can also use ...


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

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 ...


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

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

(BTW - nuns also made illuminated manuscripts...) Very interesting question. I have studied old manuscripts for years, and there are a few things to keep in mind; either as explanations or as interesting anomalies. I think a general history of illuminated manuscripts might also be interesting, but that would be a different question. Vellum and ...


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

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

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

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 ...


8

There's no simple way that I know of. You can, however, create a rectangle of the same dimensions as the artboard, change its colour to one that works better, move it to the back (Command/Control+Shift+[) - or even to a lower layer - and lock it. It's not a perfect solution, I know, but it works for me.


7

Ink cracking is very common and is always an issue if the paper is not previously run through a scoring or creasing process. The problem is low ink penetration. The ink is just a coat on the paper. It does not really wet it and that makes it crack on the surface. The cracking is even more pronounced on digital non-offset prints. Your example has less ...


7

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 ...


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 - ...


7

I have had some luck "hacking Ikea" for similar projects. For greenscreen-effects, they even have bright green tables :D. This is but one alternative, and you find instructions here, at IkeaHackers With the use of two hampers, this is the result: But here is the real crux: succeeding with this, lighting is alpha and omega. You will need at least three ...


7

You can "tweak" the artboard color by this way: Select File->Document Setup... On the popup window you will have Transparency sub-menu: Choose the upper color (I set it to rose) and Mark "Simulate Colored Paper" - You will get this image - There is no any other layers except of text ones...


6

There is a way with the Rotate Tool (R) Select your triangle Click the Rotate tool Pressing alt click where you want your center to be. A dialog should popup prompting for an angle. You can go on an fill it out. When ready press the "Copy" Button and then Ctrl+D for transform againas many times as you want copies. Edit: After understanding that the ...


6

Doesn't look like there is a way to permanently alter an object's rotate point. You can use the Rotate tool or Free Transform to change it temporarily, but it resets to the center of the object once you change to a different tool. If you just do a simple rotate using the selection tool instead of Rotate or Transform Each, it will use the bounding box. ...


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

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 ...


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 ...



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