Are you down with bitmap and raster? I am! Photoshop was the first design software I studied from a how-to-Photoshop book in a pre-youtube era. When it comes to design software it’s one thing to grasp the concepts and another thing to be a solid producer which only comes from practice and projects in an endless loop that contributes to overall experience. Nothing was more humbling than those first projects with hours and hours on file only to discover ppi vs dpi. Photoshop is one of those vast programs where there’s always something new to explore. As the industry standard go-to photo editing software, designers must have solid footing in Photoshop to hold a professional title. To stand out from the sea of Photoshop attempting individuals, one needs a firm command of Photoshop’s core ability with selections that are achieved by multiple methods and distinguish the alphas amongst the design herd. Blending modes, filters, effects, brushes, styles, there is no shortage on how to apply changes to an image. The ability to precisely effect change is controlled by selections and the better the selections, the better the end result. I’ve been studying Photoshop since 1999.
If I had to choose just one design software, Illustrator would be at the top of that list. Adobe Illustrator CS was the second design software I learned on my first-gen iMac. I liked Illustrator and was good at it, but I became great by continually challenging myself with vector projects that required a higher level of software knowledge. Today, it’s rare to meet others who can shop talk blends and opacity masks with the grit that only comes from thousands of vector projects under one’s belt. Subtle nuances like spot vs process, appearances and styles are invaluable and sadly overlooked by so many designers, but fluency in all things vector isn’t enough. To be a great designer means knowing when and where to use vector with precision, accuracy and control. I started working with Illustrator in 2000. I use it every day for advanced and light projects. If Illustrator was Kung-Fu, I would be up there with Bruce in terms of speed, quality, knowledge, and dedication.
So you have the chops for vector and photo editing, now it’s time to put a bow on it. There’s an obvious saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. If a graphic designer is not using digital publication software to compose, package and export work, they should refrain from using the title graphic designer. Digital publication is the third pillar in the triad of graphic design with equal if not dominating importance. Vector programs are sluggish by design with pixel images. Photo editing software doesn’t produce a drop of clean vector geometry. Digital publication software is the arena where pixels and vectors come to play. When I was a newbie in design software, I didn’t see the immediate importance of digital publishing. I was the person who did vector and photo editing. Time and experience changed everything. To work in a professional industry as a designer means to play by the industry standards. File management and efficient workflows cannot be expressed enough as a local matter, but it transcends to external professionals. When you hit a time crunch and the printer requests the working art file to be packaged with links and fonts, the person who does vector and photo editing is doomed to falter. A seasoned graphic designer understands the value and power of digital publication and practices it daily.
The manner or style in which a design is displayed can occupy countless hours of work, but it will always be judged in an instant. Perfection alone doesn’t make a presentation great, though it is expected, so it better be free from blunders. Knowing your audience is key to crafting any profound marketing piece. As a designer who has produced countless presentations for various industries, the importance of a polished and professional presentation is a staple for every industry and a skill all designers must possess.
APÉRO is a monthly published fine art catalogue featuring artists and their work from around the world.
Senior Graphic Designer
Broker Opinion of Value
Logos & Branding
Multi-Page Print Collateral
UI/UX (Mobile & Web)
Vector, Raster & Digital Publishing Pro
Video Effects & Editing
Web Ads (Animated)
After Effects / Element 3D / Trapcode
Industrial Paint Applications (Auto & Marine)
Weld (TIG & MIG)