I'm interested in learning graphic design. I'm able to draw using pen and paper, but have never really done it on a computer. I've looked for books on Photoshop, but all I could find were books that handle photo effects and manipulation. I'll be drawing icons and 2d game characters. Is there any Photoshop book which would teach me how to create an image from scratch?

Thank you!


3 Answers 3


Graphic Design isn't just 'drawing on a computer'.

If you want to learn computer illustration, that's certainly a viable goal. The best way to learn is to do. Grab a copy of a vector illustration tool (Inkscape is a nice free one, Illustrator the main commercial option) and a raster one (The GIMP is the popular free option, Photoshop the popular commercial option) and get to creating art.

If you're looking to learn the broader concepts of graphic design, then there's a lot of theory and history to go along with your drawing skills. Topics can include:

  • illustration
  • photography
  • color theory
  • human factors
  • marketing
  • typography
  • interaction design
  • motion design
  • usability
  • user experience
  • writing
  • branding
  • design history

Google any of the above to find plenty of resources or search through Amazon.

Just a handful of many books to consider:

Think like a Graphic Designer: http://www.amazon.com/Think-Like-Great-Graphic-Designer/dp/1581154968/

Anything by Stephen Heller: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=books&link_code=qs&field-keywords=stephen%20heller

Graphic Design Referenced: http://www.amazon.com/Graphic-Design-Referenced-Language-Applications/dp/1592537421

Stop Stealing Sheep: http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Stealing-Sheep-Find-Works/dp/0201703394/

  • 1
    Great answer. Designer trivia: "Stop Stealing Sheep" gets its title from a famous comment by FredericK Goudy: "A man who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep." :-) Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 22:18

google is your best book. if you want to do something good you need to do 2 thinhs: 1. watch the ones who do it better 2. try to do it yourself

so, possible google queries:

computer graphics tutorial
photoshop effects tutorial
icon tutorial
game concept art tutorial

try and make your own queries. here are some tasty pages i've found: http://iconlibrary.iconshock.com/tutorials/100-icon-tutorials-every-designer-should-have/, http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/41-nicest-photoshop-photo-effects-photoshop-tutorials/, http://sixrevisions.com/graphics-design/50-excellent-icon-design-tutorials/, http://www.gfxartist.com/features/tutorials, http://creativefan.com/epic-game-concept-art/


There's a good reason that 98% of what's written on Photoshop concerns images: that's what Photoshop is made for. Bert Monroy is possibly the best known of a very few artists using Photoshop to create original art, and even he doesn't use PS for everything that goes into his creations.

For icons and 2D game characters, I would recommend Illustrator rather than Photoshop. You'll get much better mileage from a vector application like AI than a raster application such as PS, and AI makes creating and exporting animation sequences very simple. To get up to speed, Deke McLelland's "Illustrator One-on-One" and Mordy Golding's "Real World Illustrator" are excellent books. Mordy is the king of Illustrator. An excellent drawing tutorial he did for Adobe is here.

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