20 New Tutorials To Improve Your Graphic Design Skills In 2017

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Learning is an ongoing process that renews your knowledge about new features, tools and techniques. As a graphic designer, you will certainly want to master the required skills, whether you are using the myriad of digital platforms out there, or the traditional pen and paper to create your designs.

The creative artists over at Creative Bloq, Tutsplus and Spoon Graphics have posted a number of tutorials to help you develop your style, increase your skill and inspire you to do something different. You would not want to miss out on new techniques to help you improve design work, and save time and energy in the process. If you are interested in mastering pattern design, learning to use textures and geometric shapes, or want to add a retro style to your new project, the following tutorials will come in handy.

Illustrator Tutorials

So first off, let’s see what the talented people are doing with Adobe Illustrator, even if there is competition from apps like Sketch and Affinity Designer. A few tutorials where Illustrator is used to maximum effect are listed below:

The Art of Creating a Geometrical Pattern

This Spoon Graphics tutorial by Chris Spooner, demonstrates the art of creating vector geometric patterns in a concise way. His easy-to-follow instructions help you get to grips with the essentials of creating geometric patterns, whether you wish to re-create his design or apply them to your own projects. You get several ideas to play with if you are working with geometric designs.

Master the Art of Dynamic Gradients

Depth and beauty in vector graphics can be built with the help of soft gradients. Russian artist Alexandra Zutto makes a beautiful image of an owl with the layering procedure, by slowly and carefully building small segments. This tutorial shows how you can create something almost magical with simple forms.

Creating Digital Particle Waves

Abstract wave graphics can also be created with Adobe Illustrator. This time, Spooner makes use of the blend tool to explain the sci-fi-inspired effect from digital particle waves. Illustrator is used to begin the project, and then moves to Photoshop for some color enhancement.

Optimization of SVGs

When an SVG image is created in Illustrator - even if it is to be used for print - make sure it is also optimized on the web so browsers can render it. Ivaylo Gerchev teaches the concepts of building fundamental SVG optimization into your creations, and starts off by reminding us that full optimization starts with its creation, and ends with its export.

Designing Graphic Figures

In another Creative Bloq tutorial, Ben O’Brien uses ten steps to explain the designing of graphic figures that will easily adapt into any scene. Attention is paid to physical proportions, body language and the positioning of various body parts.

Creating An Editable Style Of Retro Text

In another tutorial by Spooner, the technique of using fillers and strokes to create editable permanent graphic texts in the Illustrator panel is well laid out. This results in the formation of retro letters, giving them a trendy look with a 3D effect.

Photoshop Tutorials

Now let’s take a look at what you can do with Adobe’s Photoshop, which is synonymous with image editing for design professionals. While it might be associated with some hilarious, if not cringe-worthy material, it made its name for very good reason. Read on for some of the best Photoshop tutorials.

Fast Selections

Every designer should master the skill of cut-outs and masks, as most day-to-day design work focuses around it. Luke O’Neill explains three main techniques for quick selections, investigating the mask option and using them to create great effects.

Making Animated GIFs

It is quite simple and easy to make an animated GIF in Photoshop. Monika Zagrobelna explains all the steps you need for creating a GIF-based animation. This particular tutorial focuses on creating glowing eyes on a wolf.

Create A Repeating Pattern

Learn here how to make a single tile and build it into a repeating pattern, which can be used to cover a small or big area according to your needs. Christopher Pinn has used a black and yellow pattern to explain this technique with Photoshop.

Creating A Duotone Text Effect

One of the latest design trends at present is the duotone text. The tutorial consists of five steps where you are taught the use of gradient maps, texture images - along with a few filters - and adjustment layers to produce a duotone text effect.

Creating A Continuous Picture Within A Picture Illusion

This concept is an optical illusion of a ‘picture within a picture’ that can be extremely eye catching. This is a step-by-step tutorial of a photo manipulation technique, explained by Melody Nieves.

Creating A Vintage Film Title Text Effect

Chris Spooner demonstrates the procedure of using the black and white style of old film titles that date back to the 1930s and 40s, inspiring these retro text designs. The lighting and shading of the letters is done with the help of 3D features of Photoshop CC, and Photoshop CS6.

InDesign Tutorials

So now let’s take a look at what you can do in InDesign - yes it is still used! Here we post five InDesign tutorials seen in 2017.

Designing A Book Cover

With the help of Laura Hawk’s 11 step tutorial, you can make a great book cover in Adobe’s InDesign CC. This includes essentials such as considering the size, cover style and purpose of the book. This tutorial explains everything from the basic setting up of the template, arranging the cover panels, and lastly adding the barcode and back copy.

Creating Mixed Inks in Indesign

This tutorial by Jo Gulliver at Creative Bloq explains the process of creating ink swatches. This will allow you to produce a large number of colors with only a few inks, without increasing the separating inks often used for printing.

Designing a Typographical Poster with InDesign

In another tutorial by Jo Gulliver, you will learn how to design an attractive poster in InDesign - any project where a lot of print is necessary will find this guide invaluable. The whole process of creating a typographical poster begins with applying a document grid, and then creating and editing typography.

Special Print Finish with InDesign

Transform your print project into something eye-catching! Jo Gulliver describes the use of special finishes, like varnishes, embossing, foil blocking and die cutting to create a great artwork in InDesign. Each technique is dealt with separately, with useful videos for further illustration.

Adding Video to Interactive PDFs with InDesign

The format of PDFs has greatly advanced over time, and it is now possible for videos to be embedded into them. Pariah Burke, also at Creative Bloq, explains how to add a prepared video to a document in InDesign CC, which can then be exported to an Interactive pdf.

Tutorials for Other Software

Besides Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign there are three other good tutorials to create graphic design, helping to finish off this series.

Affinity Designer To Create A Retro Logo

Affinity designer is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator but has some great capabilities, the best being that it is subscription free. Simon Middleweek explains the process of using layer effects and gradients to produce a type of logo that will resemble 80s style.

Creating Your Own Font

This tutorial is at intermediate level, in which Yulis Sokolova describes the process of making a new font Bananito from the beginning to the end. The process begins with drawing the design, and then transferring it onto your computer. Software like Glyphs and Fontlab are used to turn the drawings into a font.

AR Graphics and Their Aftereffects

While creating an augmented reality (AR) experience may be quite tedious and beyond the skills you have acquired so far, don’t let that stop you. Laura Hawk explains how to design a pitch video showing what an app with AR capabilities looks like. There are some powerful tools with After Effects that can help to produce such graphics.

We hope you will find you can incorporate them into some great graphic designs for your company or organization. You can browse freelancer.com for a multitude of graphic designs projects, and see the talent out there.

Have you found other good teaching guides while creating your projects? Are there any tips you want to share with your fellow graphic designers? Share a few words of advice in the comments section below.


Ilmoitettu 13 syyskuuta, 2017


Designer // Writer // Creative

Tom is a Design Correspondent for Freelancer.com. He is currently based in Melbourne and spends most of his non-work moments trying to find the best coffee.

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