Graphic Design Tools

Essential Gadgets for every IMA Student

Whether you’re new to the Interactive Media Arts program, or an esteemed second year student well on your way to escaping, there are a few neat gadgets and products that can help you with designing, editing and content creating. My eventual goal with this list is to help new and old IMA students know what tools are helpful for the program, and what they can be used for.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

1, A Drawing Tablet

Drawing tablets are helpful for more than just what the name suggests. Tablets are useful as they allow you to streamline your movements in applications in the Creative Cloud, and are also extremely useful for creating unique shapes and designs for various different results. What adds to the appeal of using a tablet over a mouse and keyboard, is that tablets allow for much more natural movements, and can make jobs like drawing assets and animating much easier than it would be with a keyboard and mouse.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

2. A Laptop

Laptops make college work a lot easier, as it allows for students to take their work on the move with them. Having a laptop means you can work with all of your files in multiple different locations without having to worry about cloud storage or external drives, and the transferring, uploading and downloading that comes with it. Having a laptop allows you to keep everything in one place, helping you be much more organized then if your files were spread out across multiple different storage’s, making files harder to find.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

3. A Sketchbook

While this one isn’t really a “gadget” by conventional standards, it’s an extremely useful tool when it comes to the design process. Having a sketchbook allows for students to make their ideas have a tangible, rough draft before heading onto the computer, where creative decisions can be a little hard to implement and change then when you’re working with traditional means. Being able to make drafts of designs before the actual design is implemented is extremely important for the design process as well, as an individual can come up with more ideas quicker than they could working on a computer.

Image Courtesy of pexels.com

4. Headphones

Headphones are incredibly useful for being an IMA student for a variety of reasons. The most obvious being that they come in hand when dealing specifically with the audio courses, like Digital Audio or Digital Video. A good set of headphones will allow you to fine-tune your audio choices so much more and really deliver a clear, high-quality final result that you can be proud of. Another reason why headphones can be considered to be important to the IMA program is they allow you to listen to music, which can be a huge inspiration and motivator for the creative process. Music can help inspire designers in so many ways, from the overall feel of a product, or something smaller like the colour palette of a piece.

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The Top Five Things A Graphic Designer Needs!

Whether you are at the start of your career, or you are designing for fun, it can be hard to find a starting point to get into the proper work flow to excel and impress the people that you are doing it for. Below are the ‘Top 5 Things’ you should consider using if you are interested in becoming a Graphic Designer.

1. Sketchbook and Pencil

Image of a sketch book.
Credit to: Google Images

If you are considering doing any sort of design work, you should have a sketchbook with you. If you’re anything like me, and can’t draw for the life of you, don’t panic. A sketch book lets jot down those ideas that would take too long for you to do on a computer. This is important because if you are working with clients or are limited on time, you shouldn’t waste time waiting too long to come up with a concept that will work.

2. A Computer and Mouse

Having a device that is strong enough to handle your working tasks is always nice to have. Whether you are creating catalogues for your client or drawing new designs for a clothing brand, having a computer to be able to create these media files will be well worth it. The mouse controls your movement through the designs so that you can do them precisely.

3. System Software

Image of Adobe Creative Cloud Logo's
Image Courtesy to: Adobe Creative Cloud

As simple as it may seem, having software that enables you to create your designs. In terms of software that is out there, I personally suggest using Adobe Creative Cloud. The reasoning for this, is due to its simplicity but the functionality of what it provides for the user is incomparable to other software that are available. Some programs that may sound familiar are Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro.

4. A Thinking Space

With life as it is, being creative can have its hardships if it isn’t always practiced or is interrupted by others. So at number 4, having a thinking space allows for you to have time and pull 100% of your thoughts to achieving what you are wanting. The space doesn’t have to be large either, whether it’s your bedroom, in your living room, or if you do your best thinking in the shower, it’s all up to you, and that’s the best part of it. Once you do happen to find this space, make sure to use it. Actively practicing creative skills will help you in the long run!

5. Headphones

Having headphones allows you to focus on your work, and can have your own headspace in a busy environment. This is fantastic for designers because a lot of our work happens in our head and having that clear space to think about it allows for better efficiency when you work, which could eventually allow you to get more jobs.

Why Adobe Creative Cloud is so great

Are you tired of having to pay for individual Adobe Programs because of how expensive each application is? Do you ever think, “I wish there was a way to get more out of my money by just spending a bit more money for something bigger and better?” Well I have a solution for you! Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Creative Cloud is an application which everyone in the Interactive Media Arts program whether Interactive or Media all have and all need to purchase in the beginning of the program in the first semester. This application has all of your graphic designer, video editing, web design and many other needs along with mobile applications.

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Chromosphere Isn’t Just A Science Thing Anymore

I’ve always love the idea of creating your own art style and own identity that makes you stand out from the crowd. One day while was I scrolling through YouTube I came across this video:

I fell in love with this video, but also with the animation and style. So, I decided to do some research into finding out who created the video, it wasn’t until one day when @rebeccasugar on Instagram tagged @chromosphereLA, was went I drove head first into this creative and wonderful world of Chromosphere.

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Connect & Empower Your Creative Mind with Bēhance

Much like writers, designers and developers can experience a period of time when they can’t access their inspiration or bring themselves to create new work. This creative block can be brought on by a mental block, an emotional barrier, personal problems or even communication breakdowns.

Adobe has done their best to build their creative community with multiple mobile apps, allowing for easy access and shareable content between team members. They even have an app (and webpage), dedicated to inspiration and sharing projects between Adobe users.

Behance gives you the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the minds of other creatives in the Adobe community. With the capability to explore millions of design projects created by designers all over the world, Behance is the answer to my creative block and encourages me to try new projects every day.

Discover
Upon signing into Behance, you are encouraged to follow as many creative fields as you would like from the following list:

  • Graphic Design
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Branding
  • Editorial
  • Infographic
  • Poster
  • Exhibition & Signage
  • Logo
  • Music Packaging

All content posted is tagged under these categories.

Now that you are following different fields from the industry, Behance turns the landing page into a sea of innovative and inspirational posts from other creatives. As you browse through different projects, you can appreciate other artists content with the thumbs up icon and establish creative connections in the Adobe community.

You also have the option to search through content based on creative tools, by schools and organizations or through curated galleries.

Live
Behance offers a live video blog with scheduled tutorials and a live chat to encourage you to ask questions. Learn new ideas, techniques and trends from Adobe professionals on a daily basis. They keep an updated schedule available for you at all times, so you never miss an opportunity to better your skills.

Profile
Your Behance Profile is more than just a picture and a short ‘about you’ section. Behance offers you the opportunity to show off your skills, your work experience and even your references. You are able to create a shareable portfolio and even apply for jobs. The profile tab also gives you access to statistics of views and appreciations of your projects.

Behance gives you the freedom to showcase your designs and imagination while feeding your creative inspiration. Check out the Behance website today or download the app below.

App Store

Google Play

Inspiration in Your Pocket: The Subtle Art of Adobe Capture CC

As a Graphic Design student, Adobe Capture CC has quickly become my most reliable ally. Capture is part of Adobe’s mobile App family and easily the most beneficial for designers on the go. In 2016, Adobe combined four of its mobile asset building tools into one, forming a single app that can capture colours, patterns, materials, brushes, and shapes.

Adobe Capture CC opened the door to unlimited possibilities. With a few simple clicks on your mobile device, you can now create project assets from anywhere that are accessible all across Adobe’s mobile and desktop apps.

 

Shapes

Originally, the shapes function was the reason I downloaded this App. Capture takes your sketchbook doodles and instantly turns them into vector shapes, you can also create shapes from high contrast photos.

Quick tip: Make sure to outline your doodles with a dark coloured marker before using the app, it will pick up the lines and curves easier.

 

Colour Themes

It’s so simple, just point and shoot for colour themes. Pulling colours from the real world has never been so easy. Snap a picture in the moment or use a picture from your camera roll on your phone and let Capture do the rest. Six movable circles will show up on the screen, once you’re happy with the colours picked, you can save your colour theme and use it over and over from your CC Library.

 

Patterns

Create new and authentic patterns using the digital kaleidoscope with the Pattern tool. Select one of five geometric real time templates at the top of the screen and move your camera around until you find exactly what you’re looking for. The app prompts you to refine your pattern before saving it to your CC Library.

Furthermore, Capture goes above and beyond by building  textures and materials in seconds and also allows you to create customized brushes, forever creating original and authentic designs.

To top this digital sundae off with the perfect cherry, all assets created in Capture are instantly saved to your Creative Cloud Library making them accessible in all of your Adobe mobile and desktop apps. Creating genuinely original designs has never been so simple.

Adobe Capture CC is a designers dream and it fits right in your pocket.

There is more information available on Adobe’s website:

https://www.adobe.com/products/capture.html

Top 5 Design Trends for 2018

As designers, we all have certain styles we love, and once we find our own signature style, we tend not to stray too far from our comfort zone. But staying in one place for long, my friends, is not so comfortable after a while. You may start to feel left behind, or obsolete in certain areas. Interactive design is constantly changing, and as this new year starts, we are all probably looking for inspiration and new avenues to explore. There is no longer any excuse for not creating user friendly, interactive and visually stunning websites. So here are some insider tips from Digital Synopsis and 99 Designs on trends to start incorporating into your work now.

1. Bold Typography / Intersecting Elements

With web coding technology so far advanced these days, it is easy to use more than just the basic web fonts. Custom fonts are very widely used on many websites now, creating strong visual tones for your page and to help portray the overall feeling of your site. Now start playing around with these fonts and types – break them up in different ways and use intersecting elements of type and graphics to create interest.

2. Vibrant Colours / Duotone

Many large companies, such as Spotify, have pushed trends such as duotone to the spotlight. A trend that started last year and will continue on into 2018. Vibrant tones online are breaking out of those web safe colours. Technology is allowing us to use thousands of colours, so why not take advantage. Bright colours are sure to attract attention.

3. Split Page / Asymmetrical Layouts

Image Source: sitepoint.com

Grids are made to be broken in 2018. Splitting your page and grid layouts to create asymmetrical sections on your page is distinct and unconventional, and will set your site apart from traditional sites. It’s risky for certain markets or brands, but very striking when pulled off correctly.

4. Custom Retro-Modern Illustrations


Image Source: dribble.com

Gone are the days of clip art. Trending now are simple, line images, which combines sleek, modern lines with retro colour schemes to keep things playful and friendly. Customizable to fit any concept or business.

5. Thoughtful / Interactive Animations

Animations have come a long way and in 2018 will focus more on intentional movements and directions. Signalling interactive content to engage users, helping them move through your site with ease and purpose.

Now give it a go! Explore! Create! Be wild and free my dears.

xo M.