Graphic Design Employment,
Advice, Resources & Training

If you're seeking graphic design employment, are you confident that you know what will be expected of you? If you've worked in a studio before, did you ever feel that your training had let you down at any time? If there are gaps in your knowledge, where can you go to fill them?

The skills involved in graphic design today are hugely diverse. Today's designer has to be not only a creative artist, but also a proofreader, webmaster, copywriter, project manager and an expert in the printing process to name just a few - and if you're also running your own business, let's not forget the roles of accountant, office manager, creative director and coffee-maker... It can be a tough game.

But graphic design is exciting, fulfilling, creative and a great career path to follow. I remember my first design job. I was terrified that I'd be found out at any moment - and it took me a long time to rid myself of the feeling that I was 'faking it'. I literally learned my trade on the job, and there are a thousand things that I would've loved to know at the time, which I picked up over the years that I've worked as a designer. I have run my own graphic design studio* since 1997 and employ graduate designers, many of whom have told me that they learned more in two weeks in graphic design employment than in three years at college. This was unsettling to hear - and it made me wonder how many knowledge gaps some college courses were leaving.

*Check for vacancies at Tinstar: Graphic Design Hampshire
*Tinstar also creates websites and customized year planners.
*Tinstar's latest blog post:
AI and Graphic Design - Will I lose my job to a machine?.

So what's this website about?

At Graphic Design I do my best to help designers build their confidence through step-by-step graphic design articles covering everyday, essential tasks. Most of the information here is knowledge that every designer absolutely has to know if they are to work confidently in a design house. Working on the basic assumption that the reader is already familiar with the concept of 'what looks good on a page', I focus more on the basic issues of preparing images correctly for print, setting up documents in InDesign and Quark, artwork press-preparation, best practices and general workflow. I'll use real-world projects to demonstrate how these skills can be applied. And if you're a complete beginner, you'll find some easy-to-follow articles which will expand your knowledge of the graphic design basics.

There are also a series of articles written specifically for graphic designers who want to diversify into website design. These cover the planning, design and build processes involved in basic website development and demonstrate how to create a website using Dreamweaver.

Here's just some of the great feedback I've had in response to Graphic Design - thanks to all who are taking the time to contact me - please keep it coming! It all helps to improve and expand the site. Click here for the Graphic Design feedback form.

This site is amazing! Thank you so much for making this place possible! You have help me greatly with all of this info! Great JOB!

Wow! I feel so lucky to have come across this website while researching an unknown for me. I am currently in school for Graphic Design and will definitely be tearing this website up learning everything possible... Thank you!!!

Thank you! I have an interview tomorrow and its good to get some good advice.
I found this fantastically useful... i needed to fix up something very quickly and this was straightforward, clear and precise information. Thank you very much!
I'm making a logo for a friend. Its my first time doing it and I really needed this site. thanks
The interview guide was good. Very good. Thanks to this, I got the job at ••••••••
Thank you! I've been trying to figure out how to do this forever. This article was VERY helpful and has made my life a lot easier.
These articles are excellent, very very generous and educational, thank you very much!!!
What luck! This was exactly the info I needed and I hit it with my first click on Google. Should have known the answer myself, but got sidetracked trying to wrestle with Adobe Creative Suite... Can't wait to look at some of your other pages as time allows... And you can bet that I'll take you up on your invitation to ask about other design questions. You guys are a LOT more helpful than Adobe Support... am thrilled to have found your site. Thanks for the info.

At Graphic Design, You'll find:

  • Graphics tutorials in InDesign, Photoshop, Quark XPress and Illustrator
  • Advice about preparing a CV or resumé and how to prepare for a graphic design job interview
  • Step-by-step guides to preparing press-ready artwork
  • Tips and advice on proofreading and the most common proofreading marks
  • Photoshop and Illustrator video tutorials

It's my experience that much of this basic training has been neglected by college tutors. There's a good chance that you'll already be familiar with some of the information on this site - but I'm confident that you'll find a lot of new material as well. I hope that you find this website of use, and that you get as much out of the creative process of graphic design as I do. Check out the links on the left and below to start getting up to speed... or use the site search below.


by Nick Beresford Davies | © Training, advice, resources, confidence building for graphic designers

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Using Dreamweaver, learn website design

About The Graphic Design Employment Website and Author
The Graphic Design Employment website has been created for graphic design graduates who might have gaps in their knowledge after college.
Career Information on Graphic Design, Jobs in Graphic Design
If you're starting out in graphic design, you'll find career information on graphic design employment. Also find numerous websites listing jobs in graphic design for all levels.
Writing Graphic Design Resumes. Step by step to an effective graphic design CV .
The basics of how to write effective graphic design resumes. A format that presents the information clearly and logically. Don't get carried away! Write a good graphic design CV and get the job.
The Graphic Design Interview. Common Sense Tips for Graphic Design Employment.
So you've got yourself a graphic design interview! How do you handle it? Actually it's all common sense. Keep confidence high, think about what they want to hear and know the job you are applying for!
Learn About Graphic Designer Employment - Essential Knowledge and Information
If you're getting ready to dive into a graphic design career, are you confident about what will be expected of you? Learn about graphic designer employment and the projects you're likely to work on.
How Do Graphic Design Creatives Get Their Ideas and Inspiration?
Every creative experiences some sort of writers block at one time or another. So how do graphic design creatives get past this hurdle? Here are some ideas to start you off.
Graphic Design Software You Need to Learn for Graphic Design Employment.
Since the introduction of the Apple Mac, graphic design software has transformed the industry. Find out what software you need to learn for graphic design employment in today's studios.
A student CC discount opens up the playing field
A Student CC Discount can make the difference between getting a job and losing a job. Knowing Adobe software inside out will give you the confidence that other candidates might lack.
Graphic Design Employment Blog
The Graphic Design Employment Blog keeps you up-to-date with new articles and additions to the website. Subscribe here.
Graphic Design Books Available Online
Visit our online store for graphic design books. You'll find books on graphic design in advertising, typography, color and much more.
Don't Throw Your Client to the Dogs - think before ridiculing
Don't thow your client to the dogs without pausing for thought. Ridiculing them for not knowing everything about graphic design isn't fair.
Paper dimensions, possible uses and infographic download
A handy guide to standard paper dimensions, including paper sizes, possible uses and Free ISO 216 Page Sizes Cheat Sheet Poster infographic download.
Which Color Mode to Select for Press-Ready Images - CMYK, Bitmap or Grayscale?
If you're uncertain about what color mode to convert prepress images to, here you'll find the basics of creating CMYK, Grayscale and Bitmap images. Which of the color modes should you select and why?
Color Management and How to Preflight Documents in CS4
Color management can be confusing for designers. As long as consistency in maintained and you preflight your documents, you'll be fine.
Press-Ready Image Tutorial - how to make high resolution images printer ready
A graphic design tutorial explaining how and why images are made press-ready. Builds confidence in graphic design graduates and first-job seekers by demonstrating industry techniques.
Typography Design - Use Upper and Lower Case and Let Me Sleep
In typography design, look at the font and decide whether or not it can be presented in uppercase throughout. Please.
4 Color Process Printing and Spot Color Printing - What's the Difference?
Learn about the main printing processes involved in graphic design projects. Including 4 color process printing and spot color printing. What's the difference between Pantone and CMYK swatches?
Image File Format Definitions for Print. When to Use EPS, PSD, AI, TIF Files.
Learn how and when to use different file types for different design projects. Image file format definitions, prepress preparation techniques, difference between raster and vector file types explained.
Over printing problems and solutions in Quark, InDesign and Illustrator
If you're browsing the internet looking for a solution to an over printing problem, this might be the page for you. Quark and InDesign overprinting issues and rich black CMYK values are covered here.
Prepress Training Checklist: make press-ready vector graphics & raster graphics
A checklist to keep by your computer when creating press-ready images. This prepress training website builds confidence in graduate or first-job graphic designers. Graphic design employment info.
Photoshop Clipping Paths. How To Create Good Quality Paths, and How NOT To Do It
If anyone tells you to use the Photoshop Magic Wand Tool to create Photoshop clipping paths, don't believe them! This article shows how to do it RIGHT - and WRONG!
Creating a Photoshop Cut Out and Placing as a Layered PSD File in InDesign
If you want to retain transparency when placing images in InDesign, you need to save a Photoshop cut out image as a layered PSD file. It'll blend in nicely!
Four Photoshop Hair Cut Out Tutorials
Four in-depth Photoshop Hair Cut Out Tutorials including full write-ups and accompanying video
Hair cutout in Photoshop using Blending Options Instead of Paths
Cutting out images using paths is all very well until you come across hair or fur. This article explains how to do a hair cutout in Photoshop without using paths that won't take all day.
How to Cut Out Hair in Photoshop using Replace Color and Levels
How to cut out hair in Photoshop. A tutorial on using replace color, levels and channel manipulation to create a usable cutout mask for hair.
Cutting Out Hair in Photoshop by merging and manipulating channels
Cutting Out Hair in Photoshop. A photoshop tutorial showing how to manipulate channels to create a mask cutout.
Remove Background From Image using Fluid Mask
Remove Background From Image - How to cutout hair using Fluid Mask and Photoshop.
Gimp vs Photoshop. How to install Gimp on a Mac and how it compares to Photoshop
Gimp vs Photoshop - how do they compare? Gimp is free image manipulation software and part of the GNU Project. This beginning Gimp tut explains how Mac users install and use Gimp at a basic level.
Just what is a Bitmap? Simple Photoshop color mode explanation & image tutorial.
One of the few ways that poor image quality can be improved. This article, 'Just What is a Bitmap', gives a simple explanation of the Bitmap Photoshop color mode and demonstration of its use in print.
Photoshop Tutorial Bling Text - Adjustment Layers Photoshop Video Tutorial
Photoshop Tutorial Bling Text. A Photoshop tutorial demonstrating how adjustment layers and layer styles can be used to create great effects non-destructively. Also shown as a Photoshop video tutorial
Glassy Button or Enamel Badge Created Using Layer Styles in Photoshop
It's possible to create some great effects in Photoshop using just flat shape layers and non-destructive layer styles. This tutorial shows how to create a glassy button or enamel badge effect.
Create a Glass Photoshop Button Using Layer Styles and Shape Layers
It's possible to create some great effects in Photoshop using just flat shape layers and non-destructive layer styles. This tutorial shows how to create a shiny glass Photoshop button, set in metal.
Illustrator Tutorials - Top Ten Most Requested
Top Ten most requested Illustrator tutorials. Tutorials which demonstrate some of the more useful tools and techniques of Adobe Illustrator.
Live Trace in Illustrator. Create Accurate Line Art Tracings.
Live Trace in Adobe Illustrator used to be a standalone product called Adobe Streamline. Illustrator's line art tracing tools were pretty basic. Then Live Trace was built into CS2, great for line art.
Using Adobe Illustrator How to Prepare a Vector Shape Design for Press.
Learning the basics of prepress graphic design? This tutorial shows when using Adobe Illustrator how to create a simple vector spot color or CMYK logo and make it press-ready.
Illustrator How to Make a Pattern that Seamlessly Repeats
Tutorial in Illustrator how to make a pattern that tiles and seamlessly repeats. This covers Illustrator CS6 as well as earlier versions.
Illustrator How to Make a Triangle
If you need to know in Illustrator how to make a triangle, there are several ways to go about it. The easiest way is to use the Polygon Tool.
Illustrator How to Cut a Shape
If you need to know in Illustrator how to cut a shape, there are several ways to go about it including using the Knife Tool, Eraser Tool, Scissors Tool and Crop Tool.
How to Change Document Size in Illustrator
How to change document size in Illustrator CS6 and earlier. This process was changed in Illustrator CS4 with the introduction of multiple artboards.
Using Adobe Illustrator How to Convert Text to Outlines
Learning the basics of prepress graphic design? This tutorial shows when using Adobe Illustrator how to convert text to outlines to avoid font hassles.
ILLUSTRATION How to Create Great Looking Line Art in Adobe Illustrator
ILLUSTRATION How to create great looking line artwork in Adobe Illustrator - even if you have no artistic skill whatsoever! Remember tracing paper? It's the same principle but better.
Custom Adobe Illustrator Gradient Creation - Basic Tutorial
If you need to create a custom Adobe Illustrator gradient to replicate one you've seen in another graphic, or if you want to make one from scratch, here's the way to do it.
Illustrator Gradient Mesh Tutorial
The Illustrator Gradient Mesh Tool in Illustrator CS3 is an often overlooked, highly versatile tool. It can help you create realistic illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. Here is a demonstration.
How to Make a Dotted Line in Illustrator - Basic Tutorial
How to make a dotted line in Illustrator. This shows how to make a line with perfect round dots rather than dashes.
Convert Illustrator CC EPS to CS6
How to Convert Illustrator CC EPS to CS6 EPS if you don't have a Creative Cloud subscription
InDesign Files - How to Set Up Business Card Layout Design for Press.
Learn how to set up InDesign files for press. This article demonstrates bleed, CMYK, spot colors and PDFX1a creation by producing a business card layout design. Applicable to all document layouts.
Quark InDesign Text Search and Extract Tool by Markzware
Page Zephyr is a Markzware Quark InDesign text search tool which searches within Quark and InDesign files and allows you to find and extract text from the documents.
Free Quark to InDesign Conversion from QuarkXPress version 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,2015
Need to convert a complex Quark file to InDesign? It'll need some reworking, but here is a free Quark to InDesign conversion method and a commercial option.
Convert Quark to InDesign - Quark File Conversion Problems and Solutions
If you need to convert Quark to InDesign, here is a case study showing how. If the file is Quark XPress version 5 or later you will need to do some back-saving.
Quark to InDesign conversion with the Q2ID InDesign Plugin by Markzware
Quark to InDesign conversions are easier with the Markzware InDesign plugin, Q2ID. Here is a sample conversion.
InDesign to Quark - convert with the ID2Q Quark XPress Plugin by Markzware
One of the best ways to convert InDesign to Quark files is to use the Markzware InDesign plugin, Q2ID.
Convert Publisher files to InDesign files using PUB2ID
If you need to convert Publisher files to InDesign, short of recreating the document from scratch by hand you'll need a plugin like Pub2ID to help you out.
Quark Style Sheets Tutorial
It's essential to know how to create, apply and edit Quark style sheets when working with large documents in Quark XPress. They are easy to use and can save enormous amounts of time.
InDesign Style Sheets Tutorial
It's essential to know how to create, apply and edit InDesign style sheets when working with large documents in Adobe InDesign. They are easy to use and can save enormous amounts of time.
5th black spot color plates are often used in page makeup. What is it and why?
If you're a freelance page makeup artist working on a publication which requires a 5th black spot color plate, this article explains how to handle the additional color and why.
InDesign Transparency and Faded Background Image Effects
When using InDesign transparency on a background image, there are two ways to lock the image at the back so you don't keep accidentally selecting it. One is to use layers, and one to use master pages.
Adobe InDesign Tutorials - step by step help and guidance
Adobe InDesign Tutorials. A collection of simple-to-follow tutorials written in order to demonstrate some of the essential tools and techniques of Adobe InDesign.
Multiple Pages in InDesign CS5, Create a Spread with different sizes.
How to create a document containing multiple pages in InDesign in a single spread. Also apply different sizes to individual pages.
EPS drop shadow problem in InDesign
If you are experiencing an EPS drop shadow problem in InDesign where the shadow appears as a rectangle, here is a solution.
Re design an ad when the aspect ratio changes - timelapse video
If you need to re design an ad because the shape or aspect ratio has changed, you'll often find it takes much longer than you first think. This is a timelapse video of one, created in InDesign CS3.
PDF files to InDesign and Quark using PDF2DTP
To convert PDF files to InDesign and Quark layouts you'll need a plugin by Markzware called PDF2DTP, demonstrated and reviewed here.
Convert PDF to InDesign using PDF2DTP
To convert PDF to InDesign documents you'll need the PDF2DTP plugin for InDesign by Markzware. In a few seconds you'll have a converted layout.
Convert PDF to Quark XPress using PDF2DTP
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Convert Microsoft Publisher to PDF, DOC, RTF and many more - for free.
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You can edit PDF documents in Acrobat, but only in Acrobat X are tools improved.
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How to edit PDF documents using Photoshop & Illustrator as Acrobat Plugins.
If you need to know how to edit PDF files there are a number of ways to approach the task. To make complex changes you'll need Illustrator and Photoshop to help. Acrobat treats them as super-plugins.
10 Graphic Design Tools We Use Every Day
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Accent Marks - How to Create French, German and Spanish Accent Marks.
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A Useful Proofreading Marks Chart -Universal Proofreading Symbols and Examples
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Universal Proofreading Symbols for Graphic Designers
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Using Adobe Bridge to View Images Only
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Free Photoshop Tutorial Videos by Graphic Design
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Cheap royalty free photos and stock images - where and how to find them
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What the font is that typeface you're trying to match?
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Using Dreamweaver - a website training site for Graphic Designers
If you're a graphic designer or website design novice, this series of articles teaches you how to create a website from scratch, using Dreamweaver.
Web Design Hampshire, recent website projects by Tinstar Design
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Year Planners - a great year-round ad for your business
Year planners customized and company branded from Tinstar Design are highly effective promotional tools for your business.
3 Ways to Make Money Online and Supplement your Graphic Design Income
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Make Money with Clickbank
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Make Money with Dreamstime
Make Money with Dreamstime. One of 3 ways to supplement your graphic design income.
Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer
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