The Line Starts Here


Lines in art are like arrows! Use actual lines to create movement, point the viewer’s eye to an item of emphasis, underline words that are important, divide or highlight information. Hence, lines can be used as an element of the design or a function for the design. 

Designs and photo by Claudia de Almeida for Wired

In design you can also use lines of type for the same task of creating movement or even static energy.

Designs and photo by Claudia de Almeida for Real Simple

Typography overall is made up of lines and your choice of type is based on the message you want to convey.

Designs and photo by Claudia De Almeida for More



Is Graphic Design an Art?!


Many years ago when I was starting out, I had a heated discussion with a coworker about whether or not graphic design was an art. I said, “It is!” (I was 22 and couldn’t bare to think that I went to RISD for four years to NOT study ART!). He said, “It isn’t!” (The “discussion” went on and on— and I hated him for it!).


All graphic design products utilize any or all of the Elements and Principles of Art just as paintings, sculpture, illustration, and photography do (although some people don’t think photography is art…yet another post).

BIG IDEA: The Elements and Principles of Art are visual characteristics of a work that make up all art: line, shape, color, value, form, texture, space, balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, and unity. 

For you to make an engaging graphic work, you should and will utilize some of the Elements and Principles of Art. Read on for more details!

Livin’ in the Cloud


You won’t REALLY learn how to be a graphic designer until you dive into an computer app!

Some of the things that I’ve mentioned in my earlier posts won’t make sense until you open up a graphic design application and start fiddling around. There are industry standards for creating a variety of graphic design products that you MUST know.

Most, if not all, applications that are used in the graphic design industry are by Adobe and are available now. You can purchase a large suite of applications for $49.99 a month from Adobe Creative Cloud.

Below is a quick guide of what are the best programs for each design need:

InDesign: Print materials, simple interactive materials, apps with DPS (Print designers use Id)

Illustrator: Logos, illustrations, graphics, printed materials (logo designers use Il)

Photoshop: Print materials, logos, illustrations, graphics, photo editing, simple movies, gifs, apps with DPS (print designers, photographers, illustrators, painters, movie makers, and etc use Ps)

Lightroom: Organize, edit, and share photos (Used with Ps)

Dream Weaver: Design and develop websites (Web designers use Dw)

Muse: Design and publish websites without writing code (Web designers and novices use Mu)

SUGGESTION: If you can only purchase one application to get your feet wet, I would suggest getting Adobe Photoshop at $9.99 a month. It’s not the industry standard for print design and web, however if you can only afford one program, it has the best value to learn A LOT of skills. Later, you should get the program that fits your needs.

Great websites to learn about Adobe applications and how to use them: