So you want to be a designer? Let’s see how and from where to start. It really doesn’t matter if you are old or new to this, design as a process just evolves with new trends, new skills, new platforms, new programs. So you can never stop learning. And this is a beautiful feeling; if you always wanted to be an eternal student, you are here. And that’s great. On its own.
Personally I never have the feeling that I know enough. On the contrary, I feel I lack in many fields, especially since design in overall consists of so many different elements such as layout, typography, drawing. In these fields there are so many and so different directions to go; like layout is a whole system of its own. Typography is not just combining fonts but actually getting into creating them. Another system.
Drawing has to do with art. And everything that has to do with art has to do with observation, with hand skill and learning, a lot of learning. And for a new designer who wants to start right now a new career it can seem like awful a lot. Like what should I learn first?
My suggestion is start from the basic. You can’t go on if you don’t know the programs. Adobe Illustrator is perfect for SVG’s. Photoshop is another career (as it name says editing photos) but you can also create great posters, invitation cards, leaflets…all within a pixel based environment. In the older dates Photoshop was also used for drawing with a tablet but nowadays is outdated. If you are really new to design, yes you can start from here but Photoshop is a really heavy program to do this job and it’s brushes are not the best.
If you enjoy drawing you can go with an iPad and Procreate or if you can afford it, buy a Cintiq Companion. Why? Because they are going to give you most flexibility as a designer and better control over your lines.
So my suggestion is get Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and a good drawing tablet. They are a very powerful set to start your career as with these 3 you can create almost everything you wish with no limitations and no failures.
Online tutorials sites have full packs for each program so you can start practicing. It’s really important as a digital designer to know what you export. Dimensions, resolution, vectors, pixel based, raster, all of these should be engraved in to your mind if you want to sell right. Export right. Have a good knowledge of your programs.
Is the design about knowing programs?
No it’s not. They are the first but probably also the last wheel of the wagon. They are fundamental in a digital age and they can’t be skipped but apparently designing is far more than this. See the programs like your oven. You must know it to make a crispy dough. But the recipe, the inspiration, the ingredients are a whole different conversation. So I will keep it short and sweet ( yes, God make that please) and I will encourage you to focus on 3 programs that can give you the power to make that dough crispy: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and a good drawing tablet (with a software on its own).
Thank you for reading * May the force be with you.