Talking InDesign

Uncategorized

InDesign is one of the most popular software that are used by graphic designers all over the world. Most of these artist love the application, because it allows you to create a lot of different shapes, lines, forms, etc. So as to create a final design. However, other designers (like me) are a little more prone towards using Illustrator because we feel it is a little bit less complicated.

Now, as far as how good these are, it really just depends on the designer, because both of these are amazing tools to create graphic art. Having said that, we will talk a little about the insides of InDesign. Although there are a lot more than just five, today we will name and explain briefly the top five tools (according to moi) that InDesign offers us.

  1. Selection Tool: just as it name says it, this tool creates selection of an image within a frame, or the frame itself, and allows you to size and and cut it to your liking.
  2. Pen Tool: this one is my personal favorite, and a highly popular one. The pen tool essentially gives you the freedom to do any shape you want, including straight and curved lines.
  3. Eyedropper: when you are struggling to find that perfect shade of grey that you saw in that one picture from that add from Instagram, the eyedropper comes in handy to your assistance. With this tool, you are able to simply pick colors from any image and utilize it in your design.
  4. Content Collector: this one is a fun one. The name is pretty self explanatory, being that with this tool you can literally copy parts of a design (a background, a pattern, a texture, etc.) and paste it anywhere you want in your design, as many times as you want.
  5. Scissors: everyone needs a little help once in a while, specially with these type of software that can sometimes get a little tricky. This tool does pretty much what its name tells you, it allows you to cut into your designs with the flexibility of choosing what points you want to cut into.

Now that you have learned about my personal favorite tools from InDesign, you might want to go explore it yourself to see if you disagree with my list, or if I was spot on with my decisions.

All About Fonts.

Uncategorized

Before getting into the whopping world of Multimedia, I had absolutely no idea that there were different qualifications when it came to fonts. As any regular citizen that is not quite involved in the tech field, it never even crossed my mind to think that there might be fonts outside of the library we can find in, lets say, Microsoft Word. Nowadays, I have come to the realization that, although I have learned a great deal about this important element of design, there is still a lot of information out there about fonts and typefaces I have yet to discover. Nonetheless, today we will talk about the essential fonts that you should know as a Multimedia apprentice in order to make it out alive in this industry. Let’s start!

First things first… As far as types, there are three that are important to know and understand.

Postscript Fonts:

Before these fonts were created, it was pretty complicated and inconvenient to design anything that needed to have scaled lettering in it. This was because back then, fonts were formats designed for one specific size and style. When they were manipulated, their quality would decrease terribly. Luckily, Adobe stepped in to make our lives easier in the 80’s, when they came up with what we know today as Postscript Fonts. The biggest improvement from the old fonts to this typeface was that Adobe developed this new format to be vector graphics, thus allowing users to exploit the letters to their liking without worrying about loss of quality. In addition, these fonts were rendered for both screen and print jobs.

Truetype Fonts:

Subsequent to Adobe’s genius creation, Apple decided to come out with Postscript’s prodigy child: Truetype Fonts. These consist of different styles of typefaces that are used by monitors to display text. Just as Postscript, they are scalable to all sizes without loosing value. Essentially, there is not a lot of difference between the two formats other than their creators, and perhaps the final usage you give to the fonts. If you are looking for fonts that are easy to read and print, stick with Truetype. If you are going for a more professional look for a printing job, you will want to use Postscript.

Opentype Fonts:

If you ask me, this font is the coolest one of them all due to its versatility. Created cooperatively by both Adobe and Microsoft, it is a format that supports unicode. Unicode is an awesome composition that allows for full editing range on one single typeface. In other words, Opentype can contain more than 60,000 glyphs for an exclusive font, which enables these typefaces to be used in a variety of different languages. As a result, this font are very popular globally.

Now that we know the essentials of fonts, it is also important to understand the “politics” behind them. Unfortunately, in the United States, typefaces are not fully covered under the Copyright Law. However, many graphic designers convert their fonts into vector graphics so as to be able to manipulate them to their liking, and create an “original” work that will keep them out of lawful issues. This being said, fonts can be free and/or licensed as well for commercial usage. When downloading a font, whether it is royalty free or bought out, the vast majority come with licenses that thoroughly explain how they may or may not be used, and all the legal specifications linked to the specific font.

Considering everything, it is critical for a Multimedia Designer to understand the rules and consequences that come with each font that is being used. Although not a lot of people are aware of the laws that protect these formats, there is always lawful risks involving them, being that they too are individual forms of art created by someone that reserves the right to claim for their work.

Converting from RGB to CMYK

Uncategorized

As I stated on my last article, RGB is the natural language of a lot of the Adobe software that are typically used by multimedia designers. On the other hand, CMYK is widely used for offset printing as well as digital printing.

When creating a design on a software that understands RGB, it is important to understand that even though through the design process the document should be set at RGB color mode, once you are moving to the printing part of your work, you should know how to properly convert it to CMYK mode. Luckily, it is quite simple, and I will show you so with a few screenshots from my own project.

This is my finalized identity brand for my project “Snout.” During the entire developing process, I had my color mode set up at RGB, because it is a natural mode for Adobe Illustrator. On the top left corner of your Artboard or your design, these software will always tell you what color mode you are on.

In order to convert from RGB to CMYK, we only need to know a very short amount of steps:

On top of all your screen, there is your typical option bar. Here, you will select

  1. File
  2. Document Color Mode
  3. CMYK

And just as simple as that, your document’s color mode will change.

Now, it is indispensible to understand that making this conversion will most likely alter the way your initial image looks like. This is totally normal, being that these two systems of colors work in very different ways because they are trying to achieve very different results.

This might be a little frustrating. I can tell you it is for me! But if this happens to you, all you need to do is to play with your colors, experiment and keep previewing in both of the color modes. The only way to get great at this color game, and truly understand the differences and variations of these systems is to play with them as much as you can.

A Virtual Artist’s Editing Heaven… Adobe CC

Uncategorized
Photo by Mark Cruz on Unsplash

Most people understand art as a physical form of expression; be it a painting, a sculpture, or a drawing. The thing is, art is so much wider than that. In this day and age, Art is a combination of not only physical, but also written, oral and virtual works that amount for different types of statements, declarations, messages, feelings, and all that agglomerates meaning and composition.

Today, we will leave aside the traditional forms of art, and get more in touch with the virtual ones. When I say virtual, I mean everything that at some point or the other has to go through a computer in order to achieve an end result. This means that even if initially it was not created in a screen, it still had to touch one so as to create the outcome desired. These forms of art are called Multimedia Elements, and there are five of them: text, image, audio, video and animation. All of these are completely different, yet they all have the computer as their technical process in common.

Some of you might think I’m a little off, since photos, videos and audio are typically originated from cameras. However, in order to produce an art composition, it must first go through some type of software that allows the artists to edit the same in order to create a content. These software range widely through this industry, but the (I dare say) most popular one is Adobe Creative Cloud. Just as the name, it is quite literally a creative cloud that holds a variety of different applications that have diverse functions according to the needs of the consumer.

There is over 16 different services offered by Adobe CC, all of them are highly used and important to assist various types of artists. For photo editing, there is the well known program of Photoshop, where you have all the freedom to mix and match, play with color and shapes, write, add and erase things, etc. If you are a graphic designer, you would typically use In-Design or Illustrator, which allows you to create printed layouts and make literally something out of nothing. For website building, Adobe Muse is essentially a website architect, enabling you to play as much as you want with the structure of the site. For the videographers, there is Premier Pro, which gives us the independence to break down our clips, edit them, theme them, format them, and so on, all in a high definition quality. Also, Adobe Audition, which both videographers and sound engineers praise for its high-end audio management functions that can make a simple sound develop into a soundtrack or musical arrangement. Lastly, we have Adobe Animate: as the name says it, it is popular for making animations come true, giving a 2D graphic life, or possibly transforming it from 2D to a higher visual.

All things considered, these services, on top of being awesome, they aren’t perfect. Commonly, people find trouble in the installation process, which Adobe is helpful enough to layout different possibilities to help anyone that might find themselves in a problem. But for the most part, the programs are pretty clean and don’t give technical issues that are not easy to solve. On a final note, if you are an aspiring artist like myself, and are looking for platforms to join to help you improve your work, Adobe CC is the way to go! Its extensive array of applications grant any type of artist the autonomy to work on their projects from the comfort of their own home, their favorite coffee shop, or wherever they want to take their creativity to.

Computers 101: what you need to know to sound smart.

Uncategorized
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Computers have been a part of daily routines for decades, they were invented more than 40 years ago and back then they used to be way more complicated than what we have to deal with today. Thankfully, technology nowadays has made it much easier for the median person to utilize computers for personal and professional use. We now have ready-to-go/easy-to-use machines that come equipped with anything and everything we might need in order to satisfy our networking desires.

Now, all I mentioned before is true, but it is also a fact that beyond the simplicity of the computers now, there are many additional factors to these machines that a lot of us are not aware of. Personally, I have yet to learn an enormous portion of information on computers so as to successfully be able to explain thoroughly how they work. For now, you will just have to succumb to my unqualified interpretation of how computers operate.

Let’s start with the foundation of any computer, which is the motherboard. Just as its name, it serves the purpose of what a mother does in a family: it holds it all together and helps all components communicate with one another. Second, we have the most important part of a computer: the Central Processing Unit (fancy name for CPU). This simple, small square is basically the heart of the computer, it is where all the information passes through so as to achieve the results needed. Another very important part, which I consider the brain of the computer, is the hard drive. This is the principal storage unit where all data is substantially stored and retrieved. These three elements are essentially the most crucial ones to not only know of, but also to have functioning in any computer.

Moreover, there are other important things (to know) that are not precisely inside of the computer. One of them is the USB: a small hole located by one of the computer’s sides that allows communication between outside devices and the same. Examples of outside devices are flash drives, a (computer) mouse, computer lamps, games, and so on. All of these devices fall into the category of peripherals, because they provide input and output for the computer. Last but not least, there is something called computer ergonomics, which is somewhat of a guideline for computer junkies like us to comfortably and intelligently organize and control our computer time. This is actually very important, being that many people that spend hours on a computer statistically end up having back problems, being a major four-eye like myself, or developing constant headaches that can later on result on more severe health issues.

Now that we have managed to cover a big part of what computers are made of, what the devices that we plug into them work like, and how we should properly handle all of the above, we are going to talk about what happens once we are logged in. Let’s chat about operating systems. Most of us know of the two well-known ones: Mac and Windows. Although these are commonly found, they are not the only ones out there. Many computer fanatics use other versions of operating systems for different purposes. There is Linux, which I believe to be one of the most popular ones not counting Windows and Mac; it is free and publicly available. For google addicts like me, there is a Chrome OS system which unfortunately is not within its capacity of enduring heavy editing or gaming programs, but it is friendly and great for social networking and simple computer usage. Aside from these, there are many more to suit anyone’s needs and taste, all it takes is a little bit of knowledge and, fundamentally, web searching.

With this last paragraph, I would like to thank you for making it all the way down here, I know I rambled a lot and it can sometimes be painful, but I appreciate your attention. Hopefully, my humble knowledge has been passed to you, but I also wish that you will learn a lot more than what this moderate sense of computer knowledge might have left in you. The bottom line here is that computers are awesome, complex inventions, and that we don’t know enough about them in spite of loving them.