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  1. #1
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    Advice for a graduate

    My daughter, who is a talented artist, is graduating shortly from a prestigious liberal arts university with a double major in art history and studio art. However, she has no training in graphic art software (Photo Shop, Illustrator, inDesign, etc.). I believe she should now take courses in these and perhaps other graphic programs, which I believe will open up new career opportunities. I am not an artist and have only limited skills in Photo Shop (the most difficult program I have ever tried to learn). I would appreciate suggestions as to what software she should tackle. She has a successful website with cards and calendars that have attracted interest and orders form all over the world. I have a feeling that adding graphic skills will open new opportunities.

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice for a graduate

    HP run a range of free online training courses that include some in graphics software.

    I don't work with such software much and have never tried Photoshop because of the price. But my feeling is that you choose one to learn and stick with it. At the higher end, they would all be similar in terms of functionality (and therefore the end product)

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice for a graduate

    You will most likely get different recommendations from responders because there are quite a few good programs out there. Three of the suppliers of professional level programs used by many in the graphics design industry are Corel, Adobe and Xara. With their offerings the user will probably be limited by his/her's artistic and/or design talent rather than by the software.

    The most general graphics designer today needs at least three types of programs. One is a pixel-based image editing program and a prime example of this is (apparently your favorite) Photoshop, the current version being Photoshop CS3. The second is a vector-based drawing program like Xara Xtreme or Adobe Illustrator CS3. Finally, a good page layout program to combine drawings, images and text into final form for print media is a mainstay of graphics designers. The leading program of this type is, arguably, Adobe's Indesign CS3. The particular projects will dictate whether one needs one, two or all of these program types. Since they all must talk together I think a tightly integrated suite of programs is best for a beginner and for that reason my recommendation would be Adobe's Creative Suite (CS3). A lot of what is learned in one of the CS3 programs is useful in the others so it is also an efficient way to learn. If one is going to produce graphics for the web then other programs as well might be needed.

    The above diet can seem daunting and small first steps are probably a good idea. My recommendation for the first program for an artist wanting to get into the digital world of design is Adobe Illustrator CS3. It feels (with a graphics tablet) more like drawing, sketching and painting than the pixel or page editors. It can also import and use photos, has a great text generating and editing engine and can produce output sizes suitable for stamps or logos on the small size to small billboards on the large size. It can also be used to produce graphics for the web and simple animations. You can download it and try it free for 30 days from the Adobe web site. It should be great for generating cards and calendars. You might want to take a look on this site to see some examples of good Illustrator work. http://venus.oracchi.com/Illustrator/mucha.html

    Paul

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    Re: Advice for a graduate

    Paul, that's a fantastic reply and exactly what I was looking for. You confirmed my thoughts concerning Creative Suite (CS3). I suspected but did not know, what you said about Adobe Illustrator. The website is also very helpful I will pass on all this on to my daughter. Thanks for taking the time with this your reply

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice for a graduate

    Good luck to your daughter. Remind her to keep her focus on the art, the software is just another tool.

    Paul

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