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Graphic Design Resource Guide

Author: Evan Brown

Graphic design is the fusion of art and technology to communicate a message through visual interpretation. Graphic designers work with several different types of images, including drawings, paintings, photographs, and computer-generated images. They also develop letterforms that are used in a variety of places, including movie and television credits, books, magazines, and menus. Designers work with a variety of tools to carry a client's message to its audience. The main tools used are image and typography.

Graphic design as a career path can include a variety of job responsibilities but much of the focus is on the arrangement of visual elements, be it images, colors, graphics, and/or typography, into some type of media. When attending courses in graphic design, students are often taught subjects which range from photography to interactive design. Students are encouraged to learn as many design types as possible in order to be successful in a very competitive industry. Upon entering the job market designers may find themselves working in a variety of different environments. While many companies today do hire designers to work directly with them, other businesses outsource design work to branding and design consultancies for which designers may opt to work. Other designers may be able to earn a considerable income by performing graphic design tasks on a freelancing basis.

Graphic designers often report to a creative director, art director, or senior media creative. As they progress in the industry they will likely work less on creating media and will instead begin to focus on directing other designers on a broader spectrum of creative duties which may include identity and brand development.

The following provided information will give you a brief generalization of what graphic design is all about.

History

The History of Graphic Design and Its Audiences: This resource is the provided by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and features a comprehensive overview on the graphic design industry including tools and event listings.

The History of Graphic Design - Print Magazine: PrintMag gives an artistic synopses with a focus on magazines and modernism.

A History of Graphic Design Infographic: Business Insider shows the history through pictures and dates.

Printing to Computers: Parkland College details graphic design, paying attention to the details of the printing process. 

History of Posters: Posters and graphic design go hand in hand. This page details some of the history of posters and graphic design.

For Beginners

Digital Media Resources: Learn a variety of Adobe programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

My Life Graphic Design: An artist covers all you need to know about Photoshop including formats, tutorials, and image resolution.

Color, Text, and Layout: Covering all the basics on making an awesome design.

Making Use of Shapes, Tools, and Vectors: Getting comfortable with the details of Photoshop.

Comprehending the Toolbox: Mastering the basics with InDesign.

Tutorials 7 Tips

Connecting the Real World with Art: Take lessons from our lives to make the most of the design.

Graphic Design Typography Tutorials: The information gathered here is compiling graphic design tutorials that emphasize color.

Creating Effective Visual Aids: This Power Point presentation discusses using color effectively when creating visual aids.

Tutorial – Color Theory: Find information on what color theory is and how to use it in graphic design.

Color and How to Use It: Additional information on utilizing color in design is provided on this resource.

Understanding the Color Wheel: This simple tutorial explains how the color wheel works and what it can be used for.

Typography

True to Type: why letters are a labor of love: Changing words from just text into an art form.

How to Choose a Typeface: Picking the best font for your work can make a huge difference.

It's Not All in Your Head: Why choosing the correct text makes a difference.

Mastering the Message: Customizing your chosen font even further.

Which Font is Right for You: Making the most out of your fonts and texts.

Layout

The Science of Design: Get to know why layout and clarity are important when making your image.

Messy Images are Bad: Learning to make the best layout in Illustrator.

Moving Away from Freehand Drawing: How to make the most of grid based layouts.

Now We're Looking Good: Forming an ideal web page layout with ease.