Wondering how to start working as a computer graphics designer?
Or perhaps you are curious about how you can learn the basics of computer graphics?
It’s actually easier than you think.
Knowledge of the principles of design while working as a graphic designer is necessary.
It is an extremely important skill, even in projects such as CVs, announcements, reports, presentations, or social media graphics.
You do not need specialized studies to become a graphic designer. Complete a computer graphics course and you will gain all the knowledge you need.
If you are passionate about graphics, broaden your range of skills. It will encourage you to change your profession and become a computer graphic artist.
Knowing the very basics of composing the artwork is a good start. You’ll quickly discover that it’s easy to create valuable materials all by yourself.
What is computer graphics?
Computer graphics is a discipline dealing with the creation and editing of visual content. It is divided into raster and vector graphics.
In terms of the data criterion, it can be divided into two- or three-dimensional and moving graphics. It also consists of image processing. Currently, it is the basis of video games, animation, simulation, and visualization.
Nowadays “the world” communicates through images via:
What does a computer graphic artist do?
A graphic designer is professionally involved in graphic design and artistic graphics, focusing on creating works by assembling pictures, typography or animations.
He deals with photo processing, designing visualizations or covers for magazines and books daily, and prepares materials such as leaflets, posters, billboards, business cards, invitations and menu cards.
He works on advertising campaigns, banners, posters and billboards or advertising spots that we can watch on the internet, in the press, on TV or outdoors.
Graphic design also entails text composition, illustration, user interfaces or website design, creating newsletters, mailings, animations and 3D graphics.
One of the most important aspects of the work of a graphic designer is the creation of logos and charts, drawings or multimedia presentations, and the development of materials for visual identification for companies.
The person in this position uses artistic skills, creativity and IT knowledge in their everyday work.
By combining all these things, he designs graphics using specialized programs. However, it is necessary to know at least basic graphic tools, such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and others.
Computer graphics – where to start?
Have you ever wondered how you can become a computer graphic designer? Do you want to start your career in this profession? If you want to create big projects, you must start with the small ones.
Remember, you don’t have to be a professional designer to make graphic materials at the decent level. Let’s take a closer look at Instagram and the photos posted there. Who creates and shares them? Anyone who has an account wants to take good quality photographs.
In addition, thanks to the many available graphic applications, you can make matching series of graphics. It is enough to learn the basics of composition or the rules of combining colors.
The first step will be to scan job offers and internships on popular job boards. However, consider that, with no working knowledge of professional programs and experience in the industry, it will be difficult to get a job in the position you are interested in.
So what then? Where to get knowledge and experience?
You need to spend your time mastering knowledge about graphical software and the basic principles of creating a project. Even when working on projects of your own, for example, building a portfolio, consider the hypothetical target group.
Share your projects on social networks and show your portfolio on Facebook groups for graphic designers.
Don’t be shy but be prepared for valuable and constructive criticism from those who evaluate your work. Do not take criticism personally – it is crucial for improving your skills.
In addition, this type of self-promotion will allow you to find your first orders. A little patience and you see that people who need graphic designs will find you.
Graphics – how to get started?
Some people learn fast, others slower. As you gain experience, you will only work better and more efficiently. In the end, you surely will see the expected results and achieve success.
However, expect some downs at the beginning of your career. There may be times when you find out that an achieved level of knowledge is your maximum, and you cannot develop further.
Everyone experiences this sort of difficulty. The most important thing for you to understand is that patience, perseverance and experience lead to success.
Computer graphics is one of the fastest growing industries. Thanks to new technologies, as a graphic designer you will improve your skills and help the companies you work for achieve success.
You need to know that experience is crucial when looking for a permanent full-time job. The best way to start your career is to become a freelancer.
Computer graphics for beginners
Outsourcing is becoming more and more popular. The number of people who will outsource something is still growing. From the responsibilities of a human resources department to visual graphics; every service nowadays could be outsourced.
Working on this type of order you can create a lot of projects for your portfolio and gain valuable experience in communicating with the client. Burnishing the skills bears fruit in the future when you will be already employed under a contract of employment.
Starting with small orders proves to be especially useful if you are thinking about starting your own business. If you feel that you have a flair for it and you enjoy working as a computer graphic designer, you’ve got the key to success.
Computer graphics – know the basics
Knowing the basics of computer graphics is very important in the graphic arts profession. Their foundations will build your skills. At the beginning, you can easily create presentations, reports, infographics, announcements, posters, banners, invitations, newsletters or graphics for social media.
Other projects may require more specialized skills. This is the case, for example, with branding, which needs the design of a logo and the creation of an entire visual identification system. To create a perfect whole thing, you need a lot of experience and knowledge in marketing.
Print projects also require experience. It is about the ability to compose larger materials such as packaging or publications that require knowledge of technical printing processes.
Creating websites is also an important skill today and you need to have practical knowledge of Internet technologies and experience in this field.
Even designing an illustration is a laborious task for a beginner, as it requires impeccable artistic talent and creative lightness.
You need to know that works of art require combining knowledge of various areas. To create them you will need to upskill and gain knowledge of advanced programs. However, very often it turns out that even simple programs will help you. You don’t have to buy expensive licenses when if you want to start working as a computer graphics designer.
Learning computer graphics – mastering tools and techniques
It is very important to have knowledge and experience when entering the world of computer graphics. Practical and theoretical foundations are very important and you need to build them before you start working as a computer graphics designer.
It does not matter whether you undertake self-study using tutorials available on the internet, choose one of the online courses or one from the offer of post-secondary schools or universities. It is the result and the skills you gained and how you develop them that matters.
Computer graphics step by step
The first step in computer graphics is primarily the knowledge of simple tools and the basics of composition.
Creating simple graphic designs will be an excellent exercise to improve your skills.
Free graphics programs, available to everyone and offering many possibilities, will surely be useful. These tools help you gather your first experiences.
The most popular of them is Canva – an online tool for creating graphic designs.
Visme, on the other hand, is a very easy-to-use graphic editor that will be perfect for creating infographics. Thanks to ready-made blocks, you will be able to quickly put together an interesting project.
Starting your adventure with graphics you need to know that you have more and more opportunities to gain knowledge and skills via the internet.
What should you pay attention to when you are about to start working as a computer graphics designer?
The language version of the graphic program we choose to work on is important. Most of them are in English. The most crucial thing is that the text tools contain fonts with Polish characters.
The second important thing is the license terms. Even if the tool is free, it does not necessarily mean that you will be able to use your project commercially in the future. A commercial license is a document that allows branded products to be used for profit-oriented purposes.
Equally important are the packages, where the free versions are very shortened and often serve as a decoy to buy the paid versions. It’s worth checking what the differences between the account types are.
Of course, computer programs are an indispensable part of the work of a novice graphic designer, but they will not do everything for you.
To create a worthwhile project, you need knowledge and the basics of composition. Using it in practice you will understand how to choose the right colors or arrange typography well.
To create a good-looking visualization, you may only need to know the most important design principles.
With this knowledge, you will put together most of the projects and surprise your audience.
Consistency is the key
You need to learn how to treat the project holistically. What are the most important features of a good design?
Most of all – consistency. If you apply consistency in your project, it will guarantee the aesthetics of workmanship and ensure a good reception of the entire project. Do this by using similar or the same design components.
It is important to maintain a particular color and typographic consistency. As an example, we can consider four banners made for a specific advertising campaign. What does this mean in practice?
They don’t have to be identical, but they should have common elements, including the same font, colors or additional elements (for example specific shapes or icons). Visual consistency will allow you to build a strong brand and stand out on the market.
Keep your imagination always running. When other people are thinking about home decoration or nail ideas, you should constantly work on getting your projects more creative, consistent and appealing.
You are probably wondering what the tools in everyday work of computer graphics designer are. Check the list below.
A computer is an indispensable tool in the work of computer graphics.
It should be reliable, even while working with very large formats. When choosing your hardware, be sure to consider CPU, RAM, and hard drive capacity.
If you are going to become a computer graphic designer, you should know that processing material on a computer is equally crucial.
The right monitor can contribute to a better quality of the finished works and ensure an appropriate, decent level.
A graphic designer needs to have a monitor that will be helpful during processing and designing. The template is very important in the reproduction of the color depth. You should be sure that the edited graphics and photos look realistic, and the visible shades will be properly saturated.
What is important is the color gamut, which is like that of the prints. A good choice will be the IPS type, which perfectly reproduces black and contrast. It is important for the processing of photos.
The monitor should also have a wide viewing angle. In turn, the resolution is responsible for details and sharpness of the picture.
When it comes to the monitor’s size, look at a minimum of 24 inches. Setting up the equipment is important in the daily use of the monitor, so a device with many adjustment options is the best.
Some monitors on the market have a pivot function that allows you to flip the screen to a vertical position. This is useful when designing publications, book covers, or magazines.
For even better and more comfortable work, you need a foot with adjustable tilt both vertically and horizontally.
One monitor works well, but two monitors are much better, so it is worth considering your path to becoming a professional computer graphic artist.
Keyboard and mouse
When it comes to the keyboard, it should be comfortable and tailored to your needs. A mouse: preferably wireless and sized to suit your hand.
Be sure to consider a computer mouse with ergonomic shapes that relieve the wrist. When selecting this equipment, look for an additional washer to have even greater comfort.
If you are a graphic designer or photographer constantly traveling, you must always have the equipment with you. A laptop will be suitable because it’s easier to take it with you. MacBooks meet most of the expectations of the computer graphics industry.
Programs for professional graphic designers
As a graphic designer, you will need specialized graphic programs to create amazing projects. You can use the ones that requires a license or check out best online graphics programs.
1. Adobe Photoshop
It is the main program for computer graphic designers and currently it is placed first in all rankings. It is an indispensable tool for processing photos and graphic designs as it allows you to create projects in various formats. Working within one package (Adobe) enables you to seamlessly switch to other products in the series, such as InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere or After Effects.
2. Adobe Illustrator
This program is ieal for those who love vector graphics. It is especially useful when preparing visual identification, icons or graphics for an app.
It may not be the easiest to use, but just a few hours are enough for you to get used to editing curves. As a graphic designer you should know, for example, the basics of creating vector graphics.
3. Adobe InDesign
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It is a program used to design, assemble and prepare all types of materials for printing. This mainly applies to multipage publications with a complex structure. InDesign is an advanced typesetting program for publications, and it contains several useful functions that significantly improve editorial work.
This is one of the best digital and print web design and typesetting software available, which allows you to create captivating graphic designs that include typography from the world’s best collections of fonts and images (Adobe Stock). The program allows you to quickly share content in PDF files.
InDesign offers everything what a graphic designer needs to create magazines and e-books, posters, interactive PDFs, and other publications.
4. Adobe Lightroom
This is an Adobe program that is used to process images. Since it uses Adobe Camera Raw technology, it can handle over 120 different uncompressed formats. If you work as a computer graphic designer in a photo studio, you will need knowledge and skills in this program.
Thanks to the RAW format, every graphic artist or photographer can correct more errors and make more detailed embellishments of each photo. You can also edit photos and save them to JPG format. It is very useful in the processing of product photography thanks to the option of cutting out the white background.
5. Adobe Bridge
A graphic designer browses a lot of photos, documents and other files every day. That is why a browser that can display many file formats at once is very helpful. One like Adobe Bridge.
It is an advanced program that is used to manage and catalogue multimedia collections stored on any data carrier. With this tool you can view and process digital photos and most importantly, sort and filter them according to various requirements and measures.
By applying the appropriate filters, you will find photos with a specific name, those with different file formats or taken with different lenses.
With Adobe Brigde you can edit metadata and enter keywords in image files, as well as import digital RAW files, manage colors and add watermarks.
This application is an integral part of the Adobe Creative Cloud graphics package.
It is a program that allows you to easily design websites, applications or systems. It is here that the first sketches for further design can be made. The tool allows you to quickly create a beta version of a website and application or export files to HTML.
It allows you to change the position or size and format widgets (basic graphic user interface elements). You do not need to know a programming language to create a simple visualization based on your idea.
It is a free program for basic photo manipulation, which is useful for creating collages or gifs. What distinguishes it? The very fact that it can create quick collages that look especially effective on all kinds of social media.
It is a free program that allows you to organize collections of digital photos and perform simple editing operations on them. If you need a fast image viewer on your computer, you should reach for Picasa.
It is a program for quick editing and sharing of photos. It does not offer the possibility of more advanced photo editing (like Photoshop), but the program performs important functions, especially needed for photo retouching before publishing on the web. You can restore all applied changes to a photo to the original shape of the file.
We can use color correction tools, photo leveling or red eye reduction. Additionally, the program offers the possibility of creating collages in various layouts and sizes. Picasa supports most file formats.
This free, easy-to-use program is especially useful for many quick file operations. It is about renaming, resizing, rotating, color correcting, blurring, removing noise, reducing red eye, converting graphics format or adding watermarks to photos.
Thanks to this tool, you will be able to perform the same operation on several dozen, hundreds or thousands of photos or files at once. In addition, you can save the change you make as a template in case you want to use this setting in the future.
In Photoshop, you can achieve the same effect with single operations, but it would take much time. Fast Stone supports all the most popular image files.
Nowadays, working as a Computer Graphics Designer in a remote mode plays a very important role. This involves the need to transfer files over the Internet and Dropbox can help you with this. Awarded by “The Economist”, “The New York Times”, “The Washington Post” or “PC Magazine” for functionality and, above all, ease of use, Dropbox provides services of sharing disk space.
Through an ordinary browser it is possible to send, view and download files in various formats. 2GB of server space is available in the free version.
If you need more space, you can purchase a premium package. The tool itself allows you to store backup copies of your files, which ensures that you will never accidentally delete them or lose them because of an accident.
Dropbox is perfect when you need to send a large file, such as a PDF file, to a printing house or customer. You can download it to the cloud and share it with other users.
WeTransfer is an online file transfer service used to transfer all kinds of files over the Internet. It is an ideal solution for all those who need to quickly send files to their client, employer or friend. It is easy to use and makes work much easier.
The advantage of WeTransfer is that it does not require creating an account, confirming e-mail or logging in. Just go to the website, place the file, click one button and that’s it. All sent files are available in the cloud for a period of 7 days.
Of course, this is only a percentage of the programs you can use. However, the above-mentioned ones are the necessary minimum that every graphic designer should know and be able to use.
Don’t forget about proper use of photos and any other materials found online. To be safe and avoid violating anyone’s copyrights you can use free online photo banks or buy the content anytime you need it.
It is always worth having it at your fingerprints when you are working as a Computer Graphics Designer. A plain blank sheet of paper will come in to materialize your ideas. Before you start working on the computer, you can think about a project and try to draw it.
This will simplify the first stage of the creative process and allow you to make quick corrections before you even start creating a project in a graphics program.
Creating an initial sketch is the most important and creative step. Due to the need to develop spatial imagination, the graphic artist should practice drawing from time to time.
It is a pointing device that is used to draw graphic elements on the computer and it’s absolutely indispensable when you are working as a Computer Graphics Designer. It enables the transmission of external data to the computer – in this case; it is specifically about hand movements.
The user stimulates the sensitive surface of the matrix of a graphic tablet. Then the device transfers the strokes made with the stylus to the program installed on the computer.
The graphics tablet is used by people who prefer to create their projects with accessories like a pen and a piece of paper than with a computer mouse.
The device will replace the drawing accessories. You will create any virtual graphic design or sketch on a kind of card substitute, which you can quickly transfer to your computer.
In the work of a computer graphic designer, the most important thing is to understand the basics of composition and properly selected tools. Gaining all these skills allows you to start working as a computer graphics designer.