Print design is a specialised field in the commercial art and graphic design industry. Print designers work in varied industries, including the magazine, publishing, and textile industries. From catalogue and brochure design to billboard and branding, print designers are niche in a heavily digitised world.
Are you a designer interested in expanding your skills? Have you always wanted to be a part of the traditional marketing world? Let’s take a look at what print design is, and how to boost your design career.
They say, “Never judge a book by its cover,” but let’s be honest, a badly designed book can be a deal breaker. Think about your favourite book, a designer shaped its look and feel – from cover to cover, taking the readers experience and story line into account. Whether you are just creating the cover design, or you are laying out the writers words within the pages of the book itself, designers play a massive role in the publishing process. Every aspect of the reading experience is taken into account when taking on a book design project – and it is one inspiring experience for any designer.
Print marketing material is a necessity, even in the digital age. Digital brands such as Uber have recognised the fundamental need for tactile brand interaction and put together their very own magazine, print ads and catalogues to ensure their clients have that much needed physical interaction with the company. Print adverts and catalogues place a unique challenge on designers as they come with limited space – offering designers the opportunity to think outside of the box and get creative. These kinds of print designs come with certain print boundaries, such as ensuring the content is legible, attractive and within certain boarders when going to print.
Not only does the design have to represent the content, be emotive, and eye-catching – it needs to be easy to read. It all comes down to readability as mentioned above. To sum it up as much as possible, magazine and newspaper design needs to present assorted as well as editorial copy – all within boundaries of the particular medium. Laying out a magazine or newspaper is a complicated, challenging, and creative process.
Just take a walk through your local supermarket, you are sure to see an aisle dedicated to greeting cards for every occasion. Print designers get to have the most fun in this industry and let their creativity reach new levels of awesome. Designers get to use illustrations (mostly their own illustrations), photos and written content – combining them into the ideal design for the occasion.
And there are many, many more print design opportunities including: flyers, posters, billboards, packaging, textiles, the list is endless and the opportunity for work is great. So, are you interested in print design yet?
The training required for print design is different from project to project, business to business and designer to designer. Most print designers have some sort of formal education often in illustration or graphic design. But a degree is not absolutely necessary to grow a career, it comes down to portfolio work, drive, and talent.
Formal schooling, such as a degree or certificate in graphic design does give designers the opportunity to hone in their skill set and get a greater understanding for print design projects, and build up their portfolio and techniques in a shorter period of time than those teaching themselves. By investing in formal training you allow yourself the opportunity to fail and succeed before jumping head first into the work world.
It is imperative print designers understand the ins and outs of programs such as Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and QuarkXPress. They also need an understanding of vector graphic design, and image editing as design work is compiled digitally. There are many online courses that take you through these programmes in great detail – you can also check out YouTube videos that guide you through these programmes.
It isn’t about how you learn the art of print design, it is about how well you can implement your skill set.