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A Digital Design Degree
The necessary training for a high-tech art
Whether you know it or not, digital design plays a huge role in your daily life. The
Your focused digital design training street signs you see every day, logos of small and large businesses, and even the food
depends highly on your individual in your refrigerator is stamped, imprinted, marked with the work of digital artists.
educational and career goals. The Bu-
reau of Labor Statistics recommends a Design used to be a pen-and-paper field, modified more easily to meet the chang-
bachelor’s degree for those interested in with workers spending hours over logos ing needs of clients.
entry-level design positions, and notes and designs we may still recognize today. With all that convenience, however,
that those with Web design and anima- With increasingly sophisticated technol- comes some necessary requirements. Ed-
tion experience are expected to see the ogy, however, digital ucation and training become
designers can complete “The benifits of more important as computer-
best job opportunities. Kelli Smith
tasks more efficiently than digitized design aided design programs grow
ever before. are obvious” more sophisticated. With
The benefits of digitized workers aspiring to enter the
design are obvious: designers can work field, competition increases, and a strong
from home on projects. Freelance design- portfolio becomes essential for employ-
ers can move from project to project ment. Your focused digital design train-
without giving up months of their time. ing depends highly on your individual
Projects can be completed faster and educational and career goals. Kelli Smith
set the scene >>>
Essential Tips for a
Becoming a freelance Graphic Design Portfolio The Print Portfolio
To present your portfolio it is a good
graphic designer You’ve worked on some graphic design projects either for paid work, univer-
sity assignments, or on your own. Now you need to showcase your talents so
idea to have some sort of coiled book/
case where you can add and take out
pages as you need them. Black seems
you can land a job or sell yourself to clients. You need a portfolio...
Many designers see self-employment as a ficult, task of choosing a name for your to be the colour of choice, which really
goal which will allow them more creative design business. ahead of what they could do before they
sets off the samples with some strong
control, recognition of their talents and were in the program, so they include it.
also the freedom to concentrate on the There is also the question of finding the This is a huge mistake. Many pfs have
projects that they prefer to work on. time for self promotion and marketing. It been watered down and ruined because Make sure that it has a nice cover like
is interesting to note how many graphic they chose quantity over quality. leather or something professional look-
Sales and self promotion designers (including some established ing. The pages should turn easily, and
agencies) have yet to find the time to Rather choose 12 strong designs over 12
the book itself should be big enough
Graphic designers are experts at promot- even design their own web site portfolio. strong and 12 so so designs. The employ-
to give some breathing room for your
ing other people’s businesses, but many Wacom tablet by geekiegadgets.com
er will remember the 12 average designs
Others will set up their own studios - samples.
soon find that promoting themselves is Freelance contracting or the most. Those will stick in their minds
either at home or in a small office. Whilst
much harder than it seems. For the first Self Employment and your chances go down the tubes. You
others may form partnerships with other
time many creatives will find themselves might as well walk out.
There are a number of business models creatives to share skills, office rent,
in the ironic position of struggling to The laptop, A Graphic Designers best friend by SXC.hu
that designers can choose when deciding equipment and utility bills. What Kind of Portfolio should I Create?
design their own logos, business cards
to work for themselves. Some creatives A graphic designer’s working environ- Why Do I Need a Portfolio?
and web sites. There are 3 main kinds of graphic design
specialize in working at client’s premises ment is not like most other office-based
A portfolio is a showcase of the talent portfolios that students generally create.
And of course there is the fun, yet dif- – usually on a short term contract basis. professions. Designtalkboard.com and creativity that you have to offer to One that is printed, one that is online, and
who ever is looking at it. It needs to show one that is on a DVD or CD.
reccomendations >> that you are creative, but also reflect your
Graphic design software
attention to detail. But which one is the right one to cre- Portfolio by A.O’NeillMEDIA
It is important that you create a strong
ate? How do I know I’m choosing the Online Graphic
right one? The best way to approach this
representation of your work. There is dilemma is to create all 3. Design Portfolio
Finding the right DTP software to standardize on is not an easy deci- more than one way of presenting your
sion for new graphic design businesses. Graphics software is not cheap It is essential in this day and age to have
work in this industry. You see, some employers want to touch
and so it is crucial for design professionals to make the right choices an online portfolio. So what will you
and feel and interact with printed media,
early on. How Much Work Do I Show? need? Website space is a good start if
some want to have a DVD that they can
In 1985 Aldus, a company later bought you plan on presenting it on your own
plop into their computer and view, and
The general tendency for a student is to site. You can get free space at places
by Adobe, released the first desktop some don’t want to be bothered with a
show as much work as possible. Just as like Yahoo, but then you have to display
A designers desk late at night by SXC.hu publishing software. Called PageMaker, stack of portfolios.
long as it looks pretty good, right?
Misdemeanors it allowed designers to layout pages in banners which will with out a doubt in-
They think that these designs are miles Portfoliodesign.org terfere with the design and flow of your
WYSIWYG mode, rather than having to
type in arcane typesetting code com- site. Paying for a hosting service gives
Desktop publishing has often been criti- expert advice >> you a clean slate to work with with no
cized by graphic designers as being re- mands.
banner ads. Some hosting companies
sponsible for lowering design standards.
Although PageMaker was the first pro- Improve Your Portfolio worth looking at are Lunar Pages, Pow-
The reasons for this are often related to
fessional desktop publishing layout tool, Do you already have a basic knowl- Web, Globat.com, and iPowerWeb.
the ease with which DTP has made it for
it was soon usurped by a company called
amateur ‘designers’ to produce published
Quark, who had developed their own
edge of the programs and techniques
you need to become a Flash animator,
The DVD Graphic
documents. Indeed, the term ‘desktop’
has been criticized as somewhat mislead-
layout package called QuarkXpress. One Web designer, art director, or computer Design Portfolio
major advantage of QuarkXpress was illustrator? A great cheap way of showing off what
its plugin system, known as Xtensions, you can do is by sending out a graphic
Many classically trained graphic de- Career training in digital design can
which allowed publishing companies to design portfolio DVD. What do you put
signers point to increasing reliance by give you portfolio experience, a chance
purchase add-on technology to suit their on the DVD? The easiest thing to do is
businesses on untrained in-house staff to build the body of work you’ll even-
particular workflow or industry. to simply slap your website on so they
to produce everything from newsletter, tually show to hiring managers and
In recent years – well after Adobe had don’t have to be connected to the In-
to designing logos, stationary and even potential clients.
purchased Aldus – Adobe released InDe- ternet. Just make sure that it is obvious
mass distribution brochures and promo- Even if you have some existing knowl-
sign, which has been steadily challenging how they open the starting index page.
tional material. edge of the industry, an education of-
and even overtaking Quark’s dominance Call the starting index page something
For more info visit www.gdmthys.com fers proof of your talent, commitment,
of the DTP industry. like portfolio.htm. Portfoliodesign.org
Designtalkboard.com Designtalkboard.com to potential employers. Kelli Smith
Workstation Desktop Setup tip of the week >>
Even if you are young and healthy, don’t underestimate the importance of ergo-
nomics in your workspace. Starting out with good posture and work habits will pay
off in the long run.
When setting up your desktop arrange- your peripheral vision and eye move-
ment, give a lot of thought to the relation- ments to glance at the secondary monitor.
ship between all of the hardware pieces.
You will not want to make frequent Keep your keyboard, track ball (or For more information on workspace
ergonomics visit http://www.khulsey.com
changes once you have found the correct mouse), and drawing tablet as close to
positioning. The relationship between each other as possible to avoid large
arm movements or reaching. Use only
your monitor and drawing tablet is espe-
cially critical because each time you alter a small portion of the drawing tablet as Your main monitor is the one that you
their relative position, you will need to the “active” area as this will allow you to will use to draw and paint with, there-
retrain your eye-hand coordination. use your fingers instead of your wrist to fore it should be a “High Resolution”
cover a large area on the monitor. Limit- “High Definition” or “HD” monitor in
If you opt for a dual monitor setup, you ing arm and wrist movement will prevent the largest size that is practical.
will want to look straight at the main conditions known as Repetitive Stress This means that it will have a higher
monitor. This way, you will not have to Injury (RSI), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome DPI (dot per inch) rating than a stand-
keep your head at an angle. You can use (CTS), or Overuse Syndrome. K.Hulsey ard monitor. K.Hulsey
ARTICLE REFERENCES: ‘High Tech Degrees’ www.articles.com, ‘Workstation Desktop Setup’ http://www.khulsey.com/
workspace_ergonomics.html, ‘Graphic Design Portfolio Tips’ http://www.khulsey.com/workspace_ergonomics.html, ‘Desktop
Publishing Software’ www.designtalkboard.com/design, ‘Becoming a Freelance Graphic Designer’ www.designtalkboard.com
IMAGE REFERENCES: www.sxc.hu, www.googleimages.com
PRODUCTION SOFTWARE: Adobe Illustrator CS3, Adobe InDesign CS2, CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Microsoft Word 2003
GraphicPassion is designed and distributed by A.O’NeillMEDIA 2009 Copyright © All trademarks and copyrights in this issue
are recognised and are acknowledged where possible. If the issue has failed to credit your copyright please contact graphic pas-
sion.Material submitted is published upon distribution as provided from Tom Gordon for Desktop Publishing for Puublication
UniSA Magill Semester 5 2009.