What college didn’t teach me about Graphic Design

artistic journal

In our industry, everything revolves around artwork. Not only are looks important but file types and a basic understanding about vendor ready artwork is vital. Unfortunately, in my experience, college didn’t teach me everything I needed to know about Graphic Design for the real world.

Real Life Graphic Design

I landed on Graphic Design in college after taking some introductory courses. I always knew I wanted to be in an artistic field and Graphic Design seemed like a good fit. It’s all fun and games when you are playing around in a college class but when I graduated I learned quickly that it’s so much more than just making something look pretty. College did not teach me how to set up files properly for vendors. It did not teach me trim marks, bleeds, cut lines, the importance of PMS colors, color matching, silk-screening separations, or production. I was lucky enough to have a great mentor and start off at a local silk-screening business near my house in Ballston Spa. It’s because of this great start that vendors can actually use my files with no issues.

Why Graphic Design Matters

Designing something is very different than designing something and actually having to produce it. A good designer knows both and how to do both. It takes actual experience and knowledge to gain these skills. For example, a printing company will always need a bleed on things. If you are ordering a t-shirt, use spot colors in your design. You have know size, color, resolution, file types, and so much more. When a client wants a paragraph of text and a logo on a pen, we are going to say that is not going to work and let you know why. We can look at small text and know it’s not going to print well. A very detailed logo will not work on every item you try to put it on. A low resolution photo will not look very good when printed at larger sizes.

Just know that you have some serious art nerds here who can talk lingo to other professionals or break it down easy for the average person. We are not expecting the average person to be well educated in art nerd lingo but just know that we are asking for a certain kind of file for a reason. If you have a marketing department or use a freelance designer, they will know exactly what a vector file is and send it to you.

If they don’t have a vector file, we can certainly help with that. From converting raster files to vector or creating something from scratch, we got you covered! You can always read our artwork info page for more knowledge.



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