Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design

I was a professional photographer for 40+ years when I became disabled with a hip replacement that went south. I no longer had the mobility I once had so going back to school for graphic design was the next logical choice.

The same layout and placement of elements is very similar in many ways. Now, I design behind a big computer screen instead of a small digital computer called a camera.

I also have found the graphic art principles also apply to designing websites.

Finding Myself Through Graphic Design

I always admired the people in the graphic arts field because I saw the result of what they did swirling all around me in the world.

From labels on boxes to ads on TV, printed flyers to movie credits.

The ordinary street and store front signs and deep into the internet world of websites, social media, graphic design is all around us. 

Learning new software was the biggest obstacle when I first started graphic art school. It was a struggle at first because computers were not my strong point. I was very old school in many ways.

I had learned photography back in 1969 in high school using a 35mm camera and developing B&W film, and printing images in a darkroom the old-fashioned way. I was very hands on in a manual sort of way, like many people from my generation that started before computers came on the scene.

I think back on those computer and software struggles and it’s hard for me think of me having a hard time with them because I live and breathe with them now.

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Finding Myself Through Graphic Design

Graphic Art is Good Therapy

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Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign

They are the three big engines that drive graphic design and are all made by Adobe. All very different from each other but, also very similar in many ways.

A.) Photoshop, to work on images and photographs to make them the best that they can be through cropping and image manipulation.

B.) Illustrator, to design individual pieces as in logo’s, individual flyers, ad’s or even adding text to images as a visual graphic for social media.

C.) InDesign, the software that designs multi-page newsletters, magazines or PDF’s for print and digital distribution. I will, many times make a main template for an organization that will be used for future designs with this program. InDesign is the hardest to learn because it can do so many different things on many different levels all at once so my schooling in this program was well worth it.

After I started school I realized website design would become part of this mix. My graphic art skills would be used to make websites look great in addition to functioning as they should.

The Software Design Process

I use Photoshop and Illustrator to design specific pieces, then bring them all together in to InDesign for a multi-page book or newsletter layout.

All the programs by Adobe play together extremely well and let me cross platform to each other easily and efficiently.

Drop and drag is the name of that game when work with them all at the same time.

That is the benefit of having three software programs that are made by the same company.

Learning Graphic Design

Learning Graphic Design

Many times, I will have all three open at the same time on three different computer monitors so I can be as efficient as possible. When working on a website I will have both Photoshop and Illustrator open with InDesign being the odd man out because WordPress is taking the place of InDesign as digital layout software.

I enjoy and love what I do now because it’s like using different elements of the same puzzle when I am in the designing mode. Graphic art and website design is a combination that allows me to branch out creatively in a couple different directions when the need arises.

I also like the fact that I help people, companies, churches, nonprofits and different organizations grow and become more successful at what they do with my creative skills.

This really is my idea of having fun.

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Learning Graphic Design. Going to School for Graphic Design

Best Website.Solutions is a custom Website and Graphic Art design company located in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

602-672-9654

John@BestWebsite.Solutions

Reinventing Myself Through Graphic Design. Finding Myself Through Graphic Design

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

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Designing newsletters, magazines and books for print and digital.

I am a photographer first and always and have been for 40+ years.

I started out as a wedding photographer back in the early 70’s but found out I had curiosity and ability to photograph many things on planet earth.

I have a library of images that I have taken on landscape, wildlife and close-up macro photo’s that I think are very good.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Through wedding photography, I learned people skills. My dad had this skill also so have much to thank him for. Photography also taught me how to look at the world in very creative ways.

Later in life I turned my creative bent to the graphic design world. I went back to college and received a graphic arts degree. Soon after starting school I learned many of the same basic artistic skills I learned in photography would help me in BIG ways in the area of graphics. They are so related like kissing cousins so to speak.

 

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

While still in school, one of the first projects I started working on was a newsletter for a prison ministry that was called “Inside Out” and was sponsored by Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona.

The program I use to design the newsletter was on a program by Adobe called InDesign. Adobe is also the maker of Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro and many other visual programs for professional designers and photographers.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

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InDesign is an amazing program that lets you design multiple page layouts that are used on books, magazines and newsletters for print but also can now be turned into a eBook.

It can be a complicated program if used to its full potential. I belong to a local InDesign user group in the Phoenix area that meets every other month to help keep professional designers up-to-date on the new features Adobe is always adding to its program.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

I not only did the layout of the newsletter but I also designed its logo that sits at the top of first page but I made the graphics that you will find through out every page.

I was able to experiment with many types of font usage and “call outs” and tried to improve each issue over the years.

Our newsletter staff produced 20 issues over a 5-year period.

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines
Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

I do miss the editorial staff that helped me collaborate on this by-monthly project.

We did it all!

From article idea’s to the writing of these article’s to the layout and finally of the printing and mailing of the finished newsletter to individual prisoners.

Thank you to Kim, Nancy and Rosie whom made this project possible on every issue. I try and stay in touch with them on a regular basis.  

Designing Amazing Newsletters and Magazines

 Click the cover to down load a PDF of that issue of the newsletter.

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