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Learning to design





Arty
How can I learn to make good designs?
When I look at other people's work, whether it is a website, a logo, a banner, a graphic, or just plain creative things, I get the feeling that I'm never going to be able to make something that good.

So can someone who is at the lowest point can get good enough to come up with great ideas like what I see here? I just want to get good at the design process. It could be anything, making a website, or graphic design, or drawing, but just design itself.

Also some tips on the thought process would help too.

Thanks! Smile
adri
To get alot of ideas (let me take the example of websites), you need to look at good sites and take some ideas of those websites.

You can find alot of ideas here:

http://www.templatemonster.com/


Adri
crossroads
I have to say that when you design a website you have to think about a lot of things before even opening any type of programs on your computer.

Here is a nice link for a pretty detailed post involving pretty much everything you might need to create, design, code, and run a website.

http://www.garysimon.net/webdesign_tutorial/1

Here is another website that seems to show pretty much every step to making a website. If you need anymore help with this please just respond to this topic and I will do my best to help you with any type of needs you have.

http://www.how-to-build-websites.com/

Good luck with your future work and I hope that everything runs smoothly.
mafialive
crossroads wrote:
I have to say that when you design a website you have to think about a lot of things before even opening any type of programs on your computer.

Here is a nice link for a pretty detailed post involving pretty much everything you might need to create, design, code, and run a website.

http://www.garysimon.net/webdesign_tutorial/1

Here is another website that seems to show pretty much every step to making a website. If you need anymore help with this please just respond to this topic and I will do my best to help you with any type of needs you have.

http://www.how-to-build-websites.com/

Good luck with your future work and I hope that everything runs smoothly.


These are some really good links to help you get started I used the http://www.how-to-build-websites.com/ one to get me started.
GB
Well, first of all, you won't ever get good unless you practice. So, definitely do that, practice all you can. In fact, its good to not just do websites or graphic design, but all forms of artistic expression. The more you can begin to think like an artist, the more you will be able to create good art and good design.

Next find someone who is knowledgeable who can give you an honest critique of your work. This can be a very positive experience if you are willing to listen and find someone who can talk honestly and openly about your work and is good enough themselves to know what to say. Taking classes is one of the best ways I've found to do this.

Good luck in your endeavors. Remember that good graphic design is not easy, it just looks easy. Be prepared to put a lot of work into it working towards your goals and you can do it.
binsmyth
The good website you can refer to is webdesignfromscratch.com. which is really good. It has all the explanation for good websites . They explain how to make the website really simple and good with all the components of the good website. You should focus on the usability.
em2am
I really like this network for inspiration.....
http://cssremix.com/
defecto
Ok so i was thinking the same thing when i started .... I was like wow how do i get to the top level of designing.. I didnt even know where to start. So what i was doing was googling everything about design, css, html, graphics. I was reading all that i could and looking at all different types of websites. to this day i still feel like im not as good as i want to be. I still find site and sit and wonder what was going throught the designers head when they started working on the site.

The best thing i can say is ... find some good sites that you like and try to make the same thing... i mean just copy the site and do it for all the sites you like... try and make it just like theres... after awhile you will start to get creative and make changes to the site and start making it your own.

I still find web images and do my best to make the same image... after time i start making my own images and sites... I guess what im saying is that you get your creative part of the brain going..
Crinoid
Arty, I'm now trying to do the same: understand how this process works, what is necessary for it and what should I do. It seems that one has to follow the next steps:

1. Have Photoshop or alternative graphic program to create impressive layout that you would really like yourself, be usable for some target audience, not just complicated curves or outdated banners.
2. Know css and html (or php, or else) good enough to be able to translate drawing into markup language so browser will show the same picture as Photoshop did.
3. Intermediate step seems involves having a library of solutions, free or paid. For example:

- how to make a expanding accordion menu, or red links html-like menu aligned to the right, or box with rounded edges, or box changing its appearance (pressed effect) on click and hover, breadcrumbs menu, tabs on the top of the content but below the header, or links in the header on the top of all page.

- same with the using background, making page looks good but still be lightweight and not to take 360KB to load. Example of options: using background hex color only, using tiled background, tiled background and sliding transparent page with visible text over it, if this is not a marble pattern but a few planets (people, items) - how to make them without making horribly large full page picture, positioning splashes here and there as pictures tied to the h2 headers, add what you have seen.

- same with tasteful typography and all other elements, and so on.

4. Have own photos to use in your templates without infringing copyright, or use a free or paid stock exchange sites to find what you will need (I wasn't able to find anything usable - for a hobby website), have a program and be able to do own drawings fast enough to finish all of this in a reasonable time - and artistic taste to do it. The last will fail if you had not enough sleep, distracted too much by something (barking dog, or singing neighbor, or children, or cat requiring attention), under pressure, exhausted (burnt out), anxious because you must to do it and finish it.
Pretty picture, eh? You have my sympathy, I'm going through the same.
babarus
Try and learn!
Ghost Rider103
I used to feel the same way you did in my first years of design. I would see amazing designs from people and wonder if I will ever even be able to be that good.

What you need to do, is use these amazing pieces you see as inspiration. Take another look at those pieces. Study the lighting, focal point, and everything about it. Try to figure out in your head how they would even begin to do it.

From personal experience, following along in tutorials is a good idea. Tutorials can help teach you very useful techniques. When following a tutorial, just remember that the tutorial is to teach you the technique, not specifically how to recreate that exact design.

Of course following the tutorial 100% step by step is not required. Don't use their exact settings that they give you, play around with certain settings and options yourself while following a tutorial to get more of a unique design.

Just reading through tutorials can be extremely useful. I got to a point to where I didn't like to follow tutorials, because I felt I was just copying what someone else had already done. That is in no way wrong, as it is only for learning purposes, but that was just me. Just read through and you'll learn a lot.

It's funny how when I look back at the designs that used to be extremely inspiring to me, they don't look very nice or professional anymore. You'll be the same way as you get better. Even with your own pieces. You'll create something that looks amazing to you, and 6 months or even a year later when you take another look, you'll wonder why you thought it was so amazing. It still happens to me even with over five years of experience. Not as often as before, but does every now and then.

Good luck.
phellipe
Arty wrote:
How can I learn to make good designs?
When I look at other people's work, whether it is a website, a logo, a banner, a graphic, or just plain creative things, I get the feeling that I'm never going to be able to make something that good.

So can someone who is at the lowest point can get good enough to come up with great ideas like what I see here? I just want to get good at the design process. It could be anything, making a website, or graphic design, or drawing, but just design itself.

Also some tips on the thought process would help too.

Thanks! Smile


try make thing on paper and you can scan the results to make ur custom 'design identify'.
magazines about design like Computer Arts is a good idea too. when you read things like this, you may can get inspiration to make your own things.

but you never will make something like your idols.
you must be yourself, use your own style.

xxx
alex_cyber
I have not read the hole text but
if you have good ideas you can create excellent site with little work
What is that I'm going to say is that if you copy design you don't create site
If you really have a Idea post it here and we will help you to create site from your dreams
pll
I'd say that you'd be better by beginning with tutorials on web sites like www.pixel2life.com , as you'll become better and better you'll learn more knowledge of the softwares and you'll be able to participate in some contests!

With those contests it's fun, because you don't need to find an idea, the idea of the contest is already given.
And you'll have more visibility while doing these contests, if you win!
medesignz
find elements from a site that you like and put them together onto your own site Very Happy
atul2242
What you need is a quick-or long course in visual communications.
Read about learning to draw.
Design basics
Edward Tufte 's website might be illuminating.

Best of luck.
Possum
When you see a site you like. Copy it. When you see another site you like, copy what you like from it and add it to your site. Eventually your site will become the site you want.

The most important visitor to your site is yourself..

My site has an Alexa rating of 453,594. I made this site for myself. I am happy other enjoy it as well..

P.S.
A website is never finished..
Ghost Rider103
I disagree with the statement above completely.

The worst thing you can do is to copy another designers design. It is indeed good to look at other designs to get inspiration, but in no way should you copy any part of the design at all. If you want to be a good designer, you have to come up with new things on your own.

Part of being a designer is being creative and having your own design style. Copying someone Else's style or work doesn't make you a designer at all in my opinion.
Possum
In regards to the comment above..

If you look at most of the other posts Above above above

They say what I said as well.. Just worded differently

When I say copy I don't mean that verbatim, more look and feel..

I went to your site Ghost Rider103 It looks professional but it doesn't look unique. Everyone copies. Some call it inspired, some call it influenced. Pablo Picasso called it stealing.
Ghost Rider103
There is a few people who said what you said. Does that mean they are correct? Definitely not. Most of the people here giving advice are also asking for advice themselves. They are giving their own opinion based off of their known knowledge, which if they are asking for advice themselves, they are in no position to offer someone else advice.

Copying another website (or any design for that matter) is not designing. It's the same thing as an artist tracing an image and then trying to call himself an artist. Copying someone Else's work does not make you a designer.

There is a huge difference between being inspired and stealing. Stealing is copying, and is actually illegal.

Have you been to school for design? Or do you have any experience being a professional designer at all? If you did, I assure you that you would not be giving someone advice to copy someone Else's work. That is frowned upon in the design industry.

Please, if you can find another website that has copied my website design, post a link. I will have no problem taking legal action against anyone who attempts to steal any of my work. In fact, I have caught someone attempting to use my logo for their own company, and I got it taken care of within hours.

If my website is not unique, it is not due to me stealing someone Else's idea. I assure you it will be the other way around, and I have every .psd file to prove it.

Here is an example of inspiration:

This piece here:http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs29/i/2008/093/c/5/iPod_I_by_alsebka.jpg (not my work) inspired me to create this piece of art here: http://www.knrdesigns.com/designs/other/images/flowingwater.png

Do these two look related at all? No, not at all, except for the fact they both involve water. The inspiration piece inspired me to work with water. Not to copy his work by using water on top of an iPod. That would be stealing someone Else's idea. Sure someone could come up with the same idea without knowing someone else did the same thing, but that makes them both designers. If they copy someone Else's work, they are not a very good designer at all.

Inspiration can come from multiple things. I've had inspiration come from the sky to be used in custom fire. If you notice, the piece that inspired me isn't even from a designer, he is a photographer.

My piece is 100% original down to the last drop of water.

A designer needs to be able to create something amazing by using their own head. Otherwise, they are useless as a designer. I can proudly say I am entirely capable of that, and that is exactly how I work. I do this as a full time job. I can't be copying someone Else's work and risk getting sued.

I'm not trying to put you down, but telling someone to copy another persons work is wrong, and illegal.
Possum
Quote:
Have you been to school for design? Or do you have any experience being a professional designer at all?


No.. Thank God

I'm self taught that way my Website, theme, design and layout is more original.
Ghost Rider103
You have got to be kidding me.....

I arrest my case. Being self-taught does not make you more original.

I won't bother telling you what design schools are for. But I will tell you one thing. Design schools do not teach you one specific style. So every designer that has been through a design course I guarantee you has a different style. They don't tell you what to design, they let your imagination do the thinking, and they teach you HOW to become a successful designer.

The whole moral of this argument was the sake to prevent people from copying other peoples work. It is illegal, don't do it.

This conversation can take a halt here.
Possum
OK I agree

Copying from others is WRONG

Edited by GhostRider103 - Stay on topic!
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