Not everybody has the creativity, vision and skills to be a successful graphic designer professionally but there are a number of ways for complete beginners to start learning.
From using tutorials to learn new tricks and practice to knowing where to source pre-created vectors, there are plenty of websites that can help prospective graphic designers learn how to use the industry standard vector design tool, Adobe Illustrator.
You might want to take a look at the following related articles:
- Creating Stipple Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator
- 20 Helpful Adobe Illustrator Text Effects Tutorials
- The Ultimate Collection Of Adobe Illustrator Action
- Features of Adobe Illustrator Your Logos Will Love
- Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – 20 Cartoon Characters
Design Your Way
This website is full of free tutorials and downloads but my favourite pages are their round-ups of the best tutorials on the web. Posts such as ‘All the Best Illustrator Tutorials’ are amazing for new Illustrator users. By working their way through the list of tutorials, trainee graphic designers will slowly get to grips with Illustrator’s rich functionality.
It takes some digging to find the easiest tutorials but most of them are so well explained and illustrated that even complete beginners can have a go. Everything from textures to shapes to icons is covered so it is a great place to start to learn some new tricks.
Clker is a useful tool in two ways. Firstly it is a huge user generated vector image library. All the images are royalty free and downloadable in a variety of sizes and file types. Great when in need of a quick image to manipulate or add to designs. There is a lot of choice; with 746 results for the query ‘leaf’ and even an editor to make quick touches before importing an image into Illustrator.
Clker’s other function is a tool for vectorising images. Simply upload an image of choice and Clker will transform it into a vector graphic. Ideally, this is something a graphic designer should be able to do themselves using Illustrator but it is handy for complete beginners or those in a hurry.
When looking for icons for web and print design, libraries such as IconArchive are essential. Often, designers will upload whole sets of icons in similar designs so that other designers can use similar logos within a design.
A site such as IconArchive is a good place to try out some designs. A set of social media icons would be a good way to practice Illustrator tutorials and then receive recognition and feedback on submitted work.
After getting to grips with vector images it is important to understand typography. The five tutorials in this typography tricks list are good for taking typography further than just choosing a pretty font and may encourage users to develop a love for typography.
However, there are also tonnes of free font sites for those times when inspiration just isn’t there. There is also the option to apply the tips in this tutorial to custom downloaded fonts.
Brands of the World
Anybody looking to develop themselves as a graphic designer needs somewhere to show off their work. Brands of the World is a Vector Logo Library that encourages designers to upload their designs for critique. These designs are free to download so commercial logos should be avoided but any practice work is worth uploading as there is even the possibility of winning design awards in the yearly Brands of the World Logo Awards Contest.