When I tell people I'm a graphic designer now, some who are less familiar with the field ask what that entails exactly. "So what... do you do? What does graphic design mean?" I show them a pic I took on my phone of an ad or brochure I designed. Some will say, "Wow! Cool! ... So... so what did you do?"
So! This is a step by step process of the ad I did just yesterday. I spent about 7 hours on this one.
- An ad for OutdoorX4 magazine, a higher end audience who likes travel, beautiful scenery, and engaging outdoor experiences with nature and cultures.
- Showcase the new TeraFlex Ball Joints and Tie Rod and Drag Link Kit
- Due March 6th
- Come up with a slogan about "steering" because that's what these products are for.
- [sizes and dimensions which I can't remember]
wise beyond my years know nothing about Jeep parts still, I refer to the trusty catalog for info, and find images of them I can use in our company dropbox. THEN...
I consider the BEST Jeep photo from our photo collection. This image shows a little trailor thing in the back, suggesting they aren't just off-roading and rock crawling for a good time. They're using their Jeep's abilities for rough travel.
Now the ART begins!!
I use Adobe Lightroom to play with brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and other enhancements.
I set margin guides and bleed guides (the blue lines) according to the given sizes and dimensions.
It's not wide enough to fit the full size that I need. I use Adobe Photoshop to stretch the landscape left and right. Now it's perfect.
I begin placing needed elements before I go to town on more art and design. First, the company logo. By the way, this is what my almost full screen looks like:
I make an outline because I assume I'll need it later.
Next, placing the products! After moving them here, there, and all over, my eye liked them best right here.
You may not be able to tell, but I lightened and sharpened the product images with Photoshop with filters. Now they're pretty!
Background time!! I usually like going really dark behind the logo.
And now some color! I want those traveling magazine readers to say, "Ooooo, pretty!"
And MORE color!!! This is the most color I've dared to put in an ad so far. Then I began biting my nails wondering what my boss was going to say. There's even purple and pinks in the red rock now! And check out those pretty glowing green parts. :)
Can you tell what I did different in this one?
Give up? I put a soft glow behind the ball joints and tie rods (aka jeep parts).
How about this one??? Can you see it??
It's in the photo. I made a lot of the photo darker toward the edges. Now, there are dark areas leading your eye to the Jeep where the most color is.
Something was missing. I tried these side bar things, and it settled my unsettledness.
Now to toss some texture in those side bars!
Now I leave Photoshop, and move to Adobe InDesign. This is where the text, lines, drop shadows, QR codes, fonts, character and paragraph styles, etc etc etc come in. No time to explain everything InDesign is for. Here's my full screen in InDesign:
I'm pretty proud of the tag line I came up with - "STEER WITH CONFIDENCE."
And here's the finished product. :)
I instant messaged my boss that I was ready for him to come take a look. I held my breath as he walked in, because of all the color!!
"I LIKE IT." Zero hesitation. Voice full of enthusiasm. He loved it! The only change he suggested was make the tag line even bigger, which I did. And then I emailed the pdf to OutdoorX4 Magazine.
So that's one example for what I do as a graphic designer.
Disclaimer: I did not prepare these images on the clock at work. I stayed after clocking out to go through my layers, screen-capture the images, and did the rest at home.