I have had a long career in graphic arts and would like to share some of what I have learned with younger persons. I work on a Mac, but I am also familiar with the PC platform. I have kept reasonably current with software, specializing in Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Typography is my specialty. I am not a web designer and do not use Flash, but I have a good understanding of web graphic requirements. Primarily, if you are looking to learn the ins and outs of the printing industr... [more]
I majored in English communication in college, on both an undergraduate and graduate level. My first writing job was at a public relations agency, reading news clips and writing reports about them. I found a job in printing, which launched my career as a graphic designer. As a graphics business owner for decades, and now as a freelancer, I have always used skills acquired in my education and early career to proofread, edit and even write copy for many clients.
I have used the Adobe Illustrator program in "nuts and bolts" procedures for nearly two decades. While I do not do original illustration in this program, I am very adept at using it to clean up logos and other images, changing low-resolution or poor images into crisp, clean .eps artwork for printing and other applications. I can doctor up others' Illustrator files and change clip art done in Illustrator. I am also quite good at using Illustrator and Photoshop in tandem, as well as identifying which kinds of images would best be rendered in each of these programs.
I have been using Adobe Photoshop frequently and regularly since it first was offered for the Mac system, keeping current via classes and seminars, as well as studying the in-program tutorials. I received academic training at the College of DuPage in both general Photoshop and scanning for Photoshop. As a pre-press specialist, I often receive photographic images that are substandard in terms of printability. Customers will frequently ask me to remove or repair extraneous or objectionable items in the background, or flaws in part of the main image. I am quite adept using Photoshop techniques for making such photographs look their best. Plus, I can do it so that the typical viewer does not see the corrected areas. As a former employer, I have trained aspiring graphic artists in some of the finer points of Mac programs, including Photoshop. My hands-on approach in the latter would include basics such as correcting colors and lighting, as well as selecting and adjusting individual areas of photos. Once this is learned, my student can proceed with other helpful techniques such as layering, filtering and other advanced tool use.
I have been using Mac computers since they first became the graphic arts standard back in the early 1990s. I am now up to OSX and have kept current with all of the software relating to pre-press and printing, and dabbled a bit in web-friendly programs such as Acrobat and Dreamweaver. I have also taken classes at the local community college to update program skills. I can open and use some non-graphics programs such as MSWord, and I am very familiar with e-mail programs and web browsers for the Mac platform. During my 20+ year career as a business owner, I have had as many as 3 Mac computers at one time, and trained other employees in their use. I have traveled on-site to familiarize customers with basic Mac operation. As a freelancer, I have shown even seasoned Mac graphics personnel some of the finer points of graphic arts programs.