Graphic Design: Insight and Advice

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  • Course details

    Get insights, advice, and inspiration from a master designer. John McWade offers advice on general but key topics for new designers just starting out: choosing the right typeface, finding inspiration, setting up a color palette, keeping your work fresh, knowing when a design is not working, and more. We also get a peek into how he got his start, which is an interesting look at the birth of desktop publishing.


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      John McWade

      Graphic designer and instructor

      • John McWade is a designer and teacher who creates courses about graphic design as a staff author at LinkedIn.

        In 1985, Mr. McWade created PageLab, the world's first desktop publishing studio, and in 1990 he founded Before & After magazine to teach graphic design to desktop publishers. Before & After is known for its simple beauty, clarity of instruction, and especially its emphasis on design not as decoration but an essential form of communication. Mr. McWade's formative background is in printing and publication design, with a specialty in typography. He has authored three books: Before & After Page Design, Graphics for Business, and How to Design Cool Stuff.

    Skills covered in this course

  • How did you become the first desktop publisher?

    - I got started in design, I think I would say seriously when I was in college working at an art store. It was one of those stores that sells pencils and erasers and does picture framing and such, and we got a new product in called dry transfer lettering. It was a brand called Letraset and this was a sheet of letters in a type face, actually in a type font. So you'd have a whole sheet of the alphabet in Hevletica bold 36 point, and these are letters that you would set down on a sheet of paper and you'd use a pencil or a burnishing tool and rub them off one by one carefully across a line, and literally types out words onto plain paper, and I don't know why but this stuff was fascinating to me, and so I would start making words, and what I didn't realize is I was learning type setting and you had to be aware of spacing. Each letter compared to the next and words as a whole, and you had to plan ahead, think ahead and I just love doing this and I would spend all my extra money buying new…

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