Im a freelancer for print for 6 years now and think i should venture into the web, As my print work is slowing. I made a website a while a go with Go live for my other business but have no experience. Whats the best way to get educated on it? should i buy the training cds, go back to school, take a class at a graphics place (if so any suggestions are welcomed). And will a employer look at cds as not real training? I have two little ones that will be in full time in school in the fall and I need a plan. Also do i just make up websites to start for potential employers to see???
|Jedi Council Member|
I've been a freelance Graphic Designer & Illustrator since 1973, and made the transition from doing everything traditionally to going digital. Though I took a few computer classes early on, I'm basically self-taught. I'm only relating this, as it may give some validity to my comments and recommendations. I invite you to view my website, which also contains some additional background info and obviously examples of my work.
• As you probably know, web design is extremely different than print - and in my opinion, more complicated. Depending on your comfort level, preferences and timeframe, you have many options to learn what you want to accomplish.
• The first thing you need to decide, is what web design program you want to use. Though there are various programs that may be graphically easier to use and don't require learning code, like Freeway, iWeb, etc., I'd recommend learning Dreamweaver. It's the de facto web design program - much like Photoshop is the de facto image editor.
• In choosing to learn Dreamweaver, you must be fairly proficient with Photoshop and Illustrator. And, some potential clients may require using Flash. In addition, QuickTime Pro is beneficial. Using the Adobe suite of programs, with its tight integration, is the best choice.
• Learning Dreamweaver can be a daunting task, and initially is very intimidating. But, with some persistence, you can become somewhat comfortable in a few weeks.
• Though designers really prefer not learning code, you'll really have no choice. Dreamweaver will allow you to do both.
• Learning Options. Formal classes at universities and private companies is expensive, and would still require utilizing other resources to become more proficient. Certified Adobe Training classes are also expensive, and are only available in certain locations. DVD training packages will be less expensive, and will allow you to learn at your own pace ( lynda.com and others). Private tutors is another option to get an initial jump start, but they can be tough to find and accommodate your schedule. I believe Chita has mentioned her possible availability for certain programs.
• Even after some initial training, the learning process will and should continue. There are some great online sources. One example is the tutorials on the Layers Magazine website.
• Most employers don't or may not care how you learned. They care about the end result. And, regardless of how you learn, you can always opt to get Adobe Certified .
• The best place for potential clients to see your work in on your own website. So, it's critical that your site looks and works well. Ideally, it would also contain web-related examples of other sites you've designed.
|Jedi Council Member|
You may also find something on this previous MacGroup posting.
I'm NOT a web design pro, but it rapidly becomes apparent - just from using the web - that it isn't what it used to be technically.
You may wish to give thought to the type of site you want to work on, at least as you get started. Those with shopping carts, databases, elaborate search requirements, are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated.
This link goes to a sample newsletter from a company that publishes books & eNewsletters relating to web developments & technologies. (For example, one of their recent newsletters had an article documenting that sites that require setting up an account for use are a turn-off and revenue LOSER for their products. With the web becoming so common, people will move on to a site that is more open.)
I don't mean to discourage you - just point out how big a world it has become, so you think beyond "how do I design an attractive site."
"For what is age but youth's full bloom,
A riper, more transcendent youth" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
thanks so much for all the responses. I will be using my CS4 design premium. So ill be playing with Dreamweaver. Im also going to buy quicktime pro. Ive been working with photoshop and illustrator for a good 15 years so ill give the web thing a try. Thanks again for the help.
|Jedi Council Member|
If you have any specific questions along the way, I'll try to help if I can.
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