Dilemma of a Designer
Anyone for whom, designing print or electronic forms of visual communication is an occupation can be termed as a Graphic Designer. The most common example that we can see in our daily lives is the designs of the advertisements in the print media. In jest, a graphic designer is referred to as a ‘slave to pixels, print and ideas’! However, these creative personnel are multitalented as they work with printed designs as well as text with equal ease. As a result, they are able to successfully communicate with images and text to their audience in the 2 dimensional space.
Since talent is important for a graphic designer, one can either work as a freelance graphic designer or as a part of a company’s design team. In either case, one would be involved in creating commercial artworks on a continuous basis. Apart from artworks, a graphic artist maybe involved in producing brochures, reports, layouts, newsletters, magazines, product design, advertising design etc. For doing all this and much more, working knowledge of softwares like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Corel Draw becomes necessary. Apart from these, a graphic designer may also specialize in certain Web design softwares like HTML, CSS, PHP, Flash etc. which help in Computer Aided Design (CAD).
The dilemma of choosing the perfect softwares and tools for a desired outcome, ranges to all the stages- may it be at beginner, intermediate or advanced. But to much of relief, there are ample softwares to meet needs at all levels.
A typical day of a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer is supposed to be so busy that they hardly have any time for themselves, even for their ablutions! Yet, there would be tasks and deadlines that they have to adhere to so that the project gets completed. This is apart from conceptualizing ideas and strategies visually once a brief is got either from the client or the in-house client servicing department. Most of the time goes in checking and replying to e-mails on a constant basis. Amidst this, there could be meetings especially when a new order has been acquired. Whatever it is-a new or an existing order, the graphic designer would have a whole lot of work to do and would be constantly on their toes.
Dilemma in a Graphic Designer’s professional life
One of the most common software associated with any graphic designer, whether a fresher or experienced, is Adobe Photoshop. Infact, the word ‘photoshopped’ has become a part of our parlance that everyone uses it even without understanding what it entails! All one knows that it is something to do with permutation of images. The versatility of Photoshop extends to even photographers, animators, architects as it helps to edit and compose raster images, render or edit text, help in 3D videos and graphics. Along with the software, there are certain plugins which can modify images or create content. Also, there are six categories of tools viz. Drawing, Painting, Measuring and Navigation, Selection, Typing and Retouching which help in multiple image editing functions. These can be used for both photos and images.
One can write elaborate on Adobe Photoshop for which there won’t be any end. However, how many of us are aware of ‘Lightroom’? If you are wondering that it could be a light-room one can find in a studio, you are incorrect! Adobe Lightroom is a software that is produced by the Adobe Company itself. It has been referred to as a separate entity from Photoshop, though it is marketed as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It is also find its utility in editing images. Though Photoshop itself is an advanced image editing tool, the problem arises if dozens of images have to be edited. It becomes a complicated and cumbersome process which becomes difficult for a designer to handle. Another challenge one may face if one has to review thumbnails of the images. This is when Lightroom steps in place of Photoshop.
Lightroom has certain advanced features wherein it is able to read the image metadata which it later it copies into a catalog’. Images can be tagged with specific keywords, tags and ratings. By this, the best images can be directly exported online. This feature cannot be found on Photoshop as it does not maintain database of images.
The dilemma that comes in a Graphic Designers mind is whether to use Photoshop or Lightroom for their work.
The former has few of the following advantages over the latter:
- It is easier to learn
- There are a larger number of post- processing tools
- The cost of the software is cheaper
- As editing takes place, image metadata gets displayed
- Creation of folders and sub-folders is possible
- It makes designers efficient as they can go through as many photos as possible
- It is easier to work on as images are catalogued at a particular place
However, comfort and ease of manoevering varies from person to person.
In hindsight, it can be said that if one wants to merely edit images, then Photoshop would be a good option. However, Lightroom would be a better choice if one wants to manage them. There is flexibility in Lightroom of editing in Photoshop and thereby no need for either exporting or importing of images. The only disadvantage that one faces is when one wants to use plugins in Photoshop. Since there are no good one’s in it, one will have to invest in buying something new. To conclude, whether a designer uses Lightroom or Photoshop, it is an individual decision. The emphasis must be on mastering a software successfully and use it to the best of its abilities.
Thank You for reading!
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