6 Replies - 1219 Views - Last Post: 12 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

#1 lupinthe3rd1  Icon User is offline

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just started college web/graphic design

Posted 09 September 2010 - 07:19 AM

hey guys i just started school and im in for web/graphic design. i know the web desing portion spot on i know that i will be learning to create website.but the graphic design part well im not so sure about what does it intale is it fun ? i chose this because i wanted to do something creative and maybe make some cartoons on the side lol for fun.is the freelance good? i hear it is for web design a friend said he made 500 on one site for a resturaunt. not much work lol. so any advice or details? =]

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#2 PhunkRabbit  Icon User is offline

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Re: just started college web/graphic design

Posted 09 September 2010 - 07:51 AM

In school/college you will learn more about the process and planning of projects and graphics more than the attual creation.

To freelance you will need a decent level of skill/experience before the money is good. Obviously "good money" is relative. 500 for a site for some is good money while others its not even an ammount they would take for a basic html template.

Again, the enjoyment is relative to your perspective. I really enjoy design work but its my passion and what ive always wanted to do, for others it might not be so enjoyable.
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#3 lupinthe3rd1  Icon User is offline

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Re: just started college web/graphic design

Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:15 AM

View PostPhunkRabbit, on 09 September 2010 - 06:51 AM, said:

In school/college you will learn more about the process and planning of projects and graphics more than the attual creation.

To freelance you will need a decent level of skill/experience before the money is good. Obviously "good money" is relative. 500 for a site for some is good money while others its not even an ammount they would take for a basic html template.

Again, the enjoyment is relative to your perspective. I really enjoy design work but its my passion and what ive always wanted to do, for others it might not be so enjoyable.


so if i like expressing and creating i should be fine?
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#4 KuroTsuto  Icon User is offline

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Re: just started college web/graphic design

Posted 09 September 2010 - 11:22 AM

I am currently invested in a similar pursuit whilst I work towards my degree. Freelancing is fairly solid, and there is always plenty of work to be had. My advice is start small - talk to friends and family, and grow your customer base by no more than word of mouth. Friends who are fond of photography are keen to pursue freelance jobs as a portrait photographer while in college, and as such, commonly are very interested in the concept of a web-presence to display their work.

While something of a questionable tactic (and one that I do not recommend unless you absolutely no other work pending), in the beginning I did a few redesigns of sites for local businesses whose sites looked like they were built in Microsoft Word and presented/sold them to the businesses on completion. The best method to gain a customer's business and appreciation, however, is to work with them along every step of the way. This can be frustrating as hell sometimes, but commonly pays of well in the end and exceeds the client's expectations.

In regards to struggling with design, there always exists the possibility to purchase a template and modify the hell out of it, so long as you are honest and up-front with your client, and do not charge them in excess for design.

For being a college job, the money is totally solid. For simple sites or Wordpress themes & plugins for friends and individuals, I usually along the lines of several hundred by charging them a flat-fee to be payed at the completion of milestones, whereas for business-based projects, it's not unusual to net a several k by charging a baseline in addition to an hourly fee. But know that such sites typically have much higher requirements and many more features, and typically require a great deal more time to complete (commonly exceeding a few months before going live, then some time longer for finishing touches and tweaks), time itself being something of a rarity in college.

Before the economic crises, the top freelance web devs / designers ("top" here meaning working on a level that is waaaaaayyy above my hopes for achievement!) were making $250/hour. Intense, right?

But the truth is the life of a freelance web-dev is often a struggle if it is your sole job. For me, it's something to help pay for college and net some beer money, but I don't view it as a permanent job. Not alone, anyway.

Anyway, I wish you luck!
~KuroTsuto
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#5 DragonMaster_Jay  Icon User is offline

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Re: just started college web/graphic design

Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:49 PM

In being in Visual Communications, it is really close to graphic design/desktop publishing.

I learned nearly all of the Adobe power tools, like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, DreamWeaver, Flash, etc.

The feeling of doing a graphic design project successfully is super...it is one of the best feelings. It is a feeling that will wake you up 5 minutes early from your alarm, and tell you to get busy on design...ok just kidding. But seriously, I have friends who say "sometimes, I have a great urge to design...like I need to stop what I am doing and just get busy on a new project."

It is a great world to get in to...but only do it, if you have a good level of patience. With some good patience, you can craft some great projects.
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#6 Felix_Violo  Icon User is offline

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Re: just started college web/graphic design

Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:00 AM

I'm just like the thread starter.

I just started college in this as well... I haven't taken any graphic classes yet. I have GIMP at home though [and some basic knowledge], will this work for web design?
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#7 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: just started college web/graphic design

Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

I wouldn't advise jumping on freelance expecting to make it rich out the door. When it rains it pours but other than that it can be a real hit and miss. Make sure you know how to invest money wisely because jobs aren't always going to be lined up.

As far as assuming it to be easy, if it really were then everyone would be doing it and producing their own webpages. That alone denotes a certain level of skill is required to be in the market. Realistically if you want to sell designs it has to be a commitment, not some haphazard money making venture you only intend to use as a hobby, because trust me I can point out hobbyist in a second. Even if clients cant put a name to it they'll know something's wrong.

Gimp will work but I hate it with a passion. It doesn't have nearly as much power as photoshop does and the layout bothers me to no end. On the same note Dreamweaver bugs me as well, I use Aptana instead.

Being a pro takes experience, and I'm not talking a weekend playing with Photoshop. It took me 4-5 years to get to a point where freelance was plausible even. This may be shorter for other people who start later, granted I started around 14 to 15 with Photoshop among other things.
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