When it comes to discussing design, there’s a common misconception amongst non-designers about what being a designer involves “Oh, you’re a graphic designer? You must be good at photoshop then, yes?”
Yes, indeed, using photoshop is part of a job of a designer. However, it is not as simple as being a photoshop expert.
You see, Photoshop is just one of the software tools that can be used. And like every tool, it has a specific purpose.
So let’s introduce you to my everyday tools: Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. These are the main software tools I use.
You might not know it, but Photoshop is an image-treatment software. We use it as a tool to modify elements of an image such as its colours, lighting, shadows, contrast, and so on. What you can do to a picture is almost endless with Photoshop (if you’re really good at it). It enables you to transform a picture from A to B and it can also be used to create a digital collage, draw, or cut out an image from its background.
Illustrator - as its name indicates - is used to creating illustration. It’s a drawing software but not any kind of drawings - vector drawings. Long story short; it uses Bezier Curves which are mathematical equations. What it allows us to do (and this is why it is such an interesting software) is draw with maths. This means that you can basically expand or reduce the size of your drawings at ANY level. The quality will never be compromised. While you can draw in photoshop too, the image will be created of pixels, which means enlarging it up to a certain point lowers the quality of the image and that’s why logos or icons are drawn in illustrator. (This is also why you might here a designer cry every time someone else says they've designed a logo in Photoshop!)
Drawing with Illustrator looks like this:
Now Indesign is a very specialist tool; it’s the software we use to lay out a composition. It is made to support heavy text and text editing.Posters, brochures, magazines, books, flyers… You name it, they will be created in Indesign. It allows us to works with grids if we want to.
But what is designing and what does it entail?
Well, being an art director and graphic designer doesn’t only mean handling the execution and using these software tools to create the end product. It’s so much more than that.
First of all, before starting any project, a detailed brief must be written to identify the concept and the direction in which the project is heading. This is followed by a phase of research to understand, acknowledge, and create definitions and hypothesis about the project. This leads to sketches that will evolve into a number of options. Then there are further developments and alterations which result in the first proper design propositions.
In other words, there is a strategic and consultative stage that plays a significant role in any design project.
Bringing our ideas to life - whether it’s a drawing or a digital sketch - is a result of a creative process. Ultimately, it’s solving a problem through design. The end product is the third and final part of my job - this is the technical part.
This is basically how it works:
See the tools are coming into the very end production of designing and this is why you can be a Photoshop expert and not necessarily be a designer at all. This isn’t because you know the tool that you can think and resolve a problem through a creative process.
Hopefully, that has given you some insight about the creative and design process and into what you can expect from working with Bonjour Lucie and other Brand and Design specialists.
Before hiring a designer or a design agency, we highly recommend you to do some research and ask them questions about their process: are they here to solve your problem(s) or simply sell you an amazing looking design?
If you have further questions or want to find out more, get in touch!
Thank you for reading!
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