Learning Graphic Design: Things Every Designer Should Know

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  • Course details

    Appearance may not be everything, but how something looks has a fundamental impact on how it's perceived, what it communicates, and whether it succeeds. In this course, author John McWade of Before & After magazine shares foundational graphic design techniques that will make your page, screen, product, or presentation look and perform its best.

    These design essentials can be used by nondesigners as tips, tricks, and shortcuts, and by professionals as building blocks to greater understanding. Each lesson is a short, easy-to-understand how-to that can be applied regardless of the brand of software and hardware you use. This course was created and produced by the Before & After magazine team. We are honored to host this content in our library.


    • Click here to view John McWade’s instructor page

      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

  • Welcome

    - My name is John McWade. I'm a graphic designer, author, and the publisher of Before & After magazine. Design is everywhere. From the time you get up in the morning until you walk out the door, you have encountered a hundred designs, and maybe a thousand. From the logo on your alarm clock, to the label on your toothpaste tube, to the story on your cereal box, books, magazines, newspapers, your iPad, the internet. Design is everywhere. Pictures, and colors, and typography, and layouts, creating the images that you see and forming the impressions that you make. Ready or not, our modern world has made designers of all of us. It's no longer enough to have a good product, it must be a good-looking product. And it's no longer enough to have good words, they must be good-looking words. Design, how things look, is an essential part of how well they communicate. So, how do you do it? In this course, I'll share with you some of the principals, techniques, and even the shortcuts that I use, to…

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