Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Graphic Design 101: Having Photoshop does NOT make you a graphic designer…

Too many of you out there have fooled yourself into thinking just because you own a copy of Adobe Photoshop or Indesign that you are some kind of graphic designer. Let me bring you back to reality quickly, you aren’t. Not even close. Copying WOTC’s graphic design for your products does not make you more like them, it makes you lazy copycat. It does not make you stand out in a crowd or products doing the exact same thing as you. Being unique and different means you have to do something that the other people are not doing. You have to take a chance. This is something I know very well. In 2000, when I created the original Haven: City of Violence cover I wanted to make it more like it came from a movie so I made it with a “letterbox” look to it and I changed it up by using white bars on the top and bottom. All of the Haven: COV book had that look. Years later, everyone started doing this style including , WOTC with their Star Wars line.

Now sometime you can be influenced by something without really realizing it as with NeoExodus: A House Divided. I wanted that Japanese anime / manga influence to it and I created the look and style of the game line. I thought I was being “cutting edge” until I realized White Wolf had done the same thing with their Exalted game line. Did I copy them? Maybe I did. I did not plan it, but maybe I did subconsciously. Does that make me a copy? You betcha’! But I can point to roughly 350-plus other products where I didn’t do it. So over all I am please with my work. Even Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls got bet sometimes. But if you really want to become a better designer for your products then I suggest you pick up the Non-Designer’s Deign Book by Robin Williams. I have suggested this book several times in the past, I just hope you will take a second and actually pick it up read it and use what is inside of it to make better looking products. Looking more professional is only more helpful for you to sell more copies. Stop being lazy you have work to do. Talk to you later…