First of all this article brings you good news: anyone can become a web designer!
Secondly, being a web designer requires a lot of work, many hours spent searching for images, etc., infinite discussions with the client, many nights spent finishing projects due to the need to meet deadlines, entire days waiting for inspiration and many times the rapport between the work invested and the payment received isn’t favorable. In spite of these disadvantages there are a lot of people ready to join this niche.
Here, anyone interested in web design can find a complete list of resources that could guarantee improved preparation on the road to becoming a web designer.
Complete List of Resources to Become a Web Designer
To Study or Not to Study... That is the Question
The first question that might be in the mind of someone wishing to become a web designer is if any studies are compulsory or only optional? The answer can vary, some believe that a diploma represents a guarantee of knowledge, but most agree with the fact that all that really matters is the person themselves and their capabilities. Probably the opinion of the great web designers should have a great relevance in establishing the answer to this problem. Here, you will find the opinion of the best web designers:
- Group Interview Advice for Students and New Designers
- The Web Design Community Offers Advice to Beginners
- Can You Teach Yourself Web Design?
- Web/Graphic Designer Group Interview
- Q & A: A Career in Web Design
In brief, opinions about the necessity of a university or any superior studies in web design, the majority of designers agree with the idea that it is highly recommended to graduate from school in relation to web design, but definitely not a must. The most important thing for the majority of clients is not a diploma, the only issue for a customer is the quality of the work. Usually, between a web designer with ten diplomas and an irrelevant portfolio and another designer that hasn’t got any studies in the domain, but holds an attractive portfolio the latter will win.
The Principles of Web Design
The arsenal of a web designer consists mostly of inspiration, creativity, hard work, but at the same time a lot of skill is required as in the basic principles of web design, color theory, logo design, and typography. The next posts will introduce you the theoretical concepts of web design:
- The Principles of Design
- 10 Principles of Effective Web Design
- Principles of Design
- Principles of Design
- 9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design
The principles of any domain or science are only a set of guides, these are really important, but in most cases their applicability consists of saying what is wrong or correct, not what is good or failing. None of the principles can state that by inserting a red based logo into the design of the website, it is the best in the world, but a basic principle of web design claims that the logo should be the essence of the website. Anyway, what is good to keep in mind is that learning by heart all the theory is useless without many hours of practice.
Important Fields of Web Design
Web design is a cumulative field situated at the intersection of many others, the most important being: color theory, logo design, and typography.
Color theory is very important because any design without color is a dead project; usually colors have the power to make everything more attractive. What can be frustrating is the fact that there are almost an infinite number of colors, but good color combinations are very few in comparison. For further information about this take a look at the next resources:
- Understanding and the Meaning of Color Within Design
- Beginners Guide to Using the Power of Color in Web Design
- 25 Free Color Tools Apps and Palette Generators
- Color Theory in Web Design: Blue Color Scheme
- A Look into Color Theory in Web Design
- Color Theory in Graphic Design & Web Design
- Color Theory Helps With Design
- Color Theory, The Color Wheel and Color Schemes
- Color Theory for Designers: The Meaning of Color
A logo is also a strategic element of a design page: usually it creates the first impression. It is very important because somehow it is the element which makes the passage between the online world- inserted in the header of the website and the true reality – inserted on a business card, a poster or a cover page. Here are valuable resources both for amateurs and real pros in logo design:
- The Evolution of the Logo
- Eight Helpful Rules for Logo Designers
- The Complete Guide to Becoming a Logo Designer
- 12 Logo Design Mistakes to Avoid
- A Visual Explanation of 20 Logo Design Processes
- Logo Design Process Tutorial
- How to Properly Format and Deliver a Logo
- Logo Design Tips & Interview with Leighton Hubbell
- Logo Design Fun: Games, Parodies and More
- Logo Design History
Even if a letter is small and easy to neglect, a professional web designer can’t afford to do it. It is really important to select the proper font, moreover, the construction of a logo is usually based on typography so don’t ignore it. In the list below every aspect of typography is treated very well, enough to make everyone aware of it:
- Learn the Basics: 25+ Sites and Resources to Learn Typography
- 29 Principes for Making Great Font Combinations
- The Beauty of Typography: Writing Systems and Calligraphy of the World
- 50 Helpful Typography Tools and Resources
- CSS Typographic Tools and Techniques
- Web Design is 95% Typography
- 101 Typography Resources for Web Designers
- 10 Great Tips for Improviing your Web Typography
Photoshop and Illustrator
A web designer uses his imagination a lot, but it is turned into something palpable with the help of two great tools that make everything easier: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. There are many other programs, but these are the best and most common ones. No problem if you don’t know how to use them; on the Internet are a lot of resources that present entire courses for Photoshop and Illustrator.
- Learn Photoshop: All of the Basics for Beginners
- Learn Adobe Illustrator: All the Basics for Beginners
The best method of learning web design is with tutorials. This kind of post – and these vary from those for beginners to the most advanced users, have the purpose of presenting the steps in the process of creating a layout (tutorials have many other themes, not only web design). Usually, there are two types of tutorials: video or written format, both of them are good. The written format is better because the author can present more details, the steps are very well defined and it is easy to check along the process if you have done something wrong or missed a step (it is perfect if the tutorial has some screen shots of the most important steps). This list of tutorials is suitable for any web designer and for any preferences:
- Web Design Tutorials
- The Ultimate Collection of Brilliant Web Design Tutorials
- Best Photoshop Layout Design Tutorials
- 20 High Quality Photoshop Web Design Tutorials
- 40 Greatest Web Interface Design Tutorials
- 150 Adobe Photoshop Web Design Layout Tutorials
- 12 of the Best Photoshop Web Design Tutorials
- 40 Grunge Web Design Tutorials
- 20 Most Wanted Web Design Tutorials
- 30 Super Fresh Web Design Tutorials
Some consider the tutorials still incomplete and don’t read or simply ignore these. It is an unhappy situation, but still there is a remedy: e-Books. The books below are for those who need more information or simply don’t rate the power of tutorials.
- Resourceful Free e-Books for Designers and Developers
- 10 Essential Free E-Books for Web Designers
- 20 Excellent Free E-Books for Web Designers
- 12 Must Have Free Downloadable Web Design Books
- 9 More Useful and Free Downloadable Web Design Books
- 30+ Best Websites to Download Free E-Books
Human beings are characterized by subjectivity so nobody can evaluate their work at full potential, some overestimate or underestimate the quality of their layouts so to have a better opinion about the level of someone’s work it is highly recommended to use feedback from the best web designers. It is easy to find a decent and objective opinion about your work, check these:
Now, the guys who follow these resources are ready for work and of course ready to get paid. It is better to work from home as a freelancer, but it is also great to work for a web design company, it is up to you. Anyway, as a freelancer there are many job boards with a lot of good opportunities. Some job boards are well-known some less so, but this fact isn’t very important, what matters most, is the final product the clients receive. It is impossible not to find some good projects on these job boards.
The article is almost finished…as a bonus please see the link below to better understand how to receive money from the clients!
To conclude, being a web designer is by far not an easy task, but it is really worth it for a creative person to enjoy this job. Nothing can compare with the feeling of doing something awesome which is appreciated by the clients. The new standards of HTML5 and CSS3 seem to bring a new touch in the process of creating new websites, everyone in the field is waiting for the latest news. In fact a must for a web designer is to be constantly updated with the latest news, tools and trends, so always read and experiment!
Have you come across any great articles for becoming a web designer that we have missed? Please share your thoughts and links in the comments below.