Landing Your First Graphic Design Job

Young man with tabletSome of our readers have asked, “How do I go about getting my first design job?”

Here’s some advice from a seasoned pro:

  1. Find an industry sector where you would like to work. Do your research about this sector and find companies where you would like to work. Offer to do an internship.
  2. Collect a body of work.  Every time you work on a project, try to get samples of the printed piece from the client or the printer.  If you are not able to get samples, take lots of photos with your camera as well as screen grabs of the final project.
  3. Develop a log of contacts.  Keep track of everyone you contact.  Get their business cards.  Save phone numbers and call them again every few months after you have acquired more skills. Continue reading

Creating Effective Newsletters: Tip #11—Leaf it Alone

Original-photo-of-leavesLeaves can be great stand-alone graphics to add visual interest to an otherwise static layout. Try adding a leaf or two to your article. The topic does not necessarily have to focus on gardening or nature. Instead it could be an article or newsletter on spring, fall, healthy living, outdoor living, recreation, housing, recycling, real estate or clean air.

Furthermore, leaves can serve as interesting patterns behind text and great shapes for wrapping text around. Try experimenting with the different shapes by clipping out the background in Adobe Photoshop.

Leaves also add much color to a page layout. The intense green, brown and yellowish hues can really “warm up” a page. Try using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to extract the colors for use as solid backgrounds behind text or for the borders of photos. Whatever the use, you will be pleased with the result. This type of graphical treatment is  fun, colorful and easy to create.

Next time you are in a pinch don’t be left hanging from a branch without a design approach.  Try “leafing” it.

Sample newsletter article with leaves

Sample newsletter article with leaves

Creating Effective Newsletters: Tip #10—Color Me Pink

Now’s the time to take advantage of the rich pink hues found in the spring. Pink is a passionate color and a great attention-grabber.  Pink can signify good health and sweetness and innocence.  In color psychology pink symbolizes hope. So let’s add a little “hope” to our documents with pink.


PinkWildslowersriginalphotofromastheadFor this newsletter sample, we simply photographed wildflowers found growing on the side of a road. Then we outlined and knocked out the intricate spaces created by the shapes of the flowers and the brush. Several hours of handiwork in Adobe Photoshop are need to effectively remove the background.

For the headline we used an elegant type typestyle, Zapfino, available from Linotype.  We then used the eyedropper tool to extract a color swatch of the pink from one of the flowers. We used this color as the background behind the body test. Next, we wrapped the body text around the flowers and carved out a shape at the top of the pink box to provide more visual interest.

Pink is a great color to use for newsletters when you need to grab attention or to help sweeten up a topic. You can add darker colors such as rich blues or brown tones to pink to help make the layout look more serious and sophisticated.

Perk up you newsletter designs with pink. People will notice.