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  • Print & Digital Design

Print & Digital Design - In Depth

Previously, we discussed the concept and dualities of the digital design industry. We also took a peek into what one would expect from a designer, regardless of whether he worked in either corporate or freelance graphic design.

This time, we will be discussing digital and print media designers in depth, as well as shedding light to the world of corporate design and the joys of freelance.

Print Design

No matter what form it comes in, any sort of published material relies heavily on graphic designers one way or the other. To put it in perspective—if the writers are the meat of the sandwich, the graphic designers would have to be the bread.

The reason behind this is that the human mind tends to analyze images better than words. After all, it’s a lot easier for the brain to just look at a painting and deduce its meaning rather than to decode a string of text.

Letterheads, advertisement flyers, canvas banners—all these elements of branding and advertising are the fruits of a digital designer’s labor. Each element of the graphical installation—so to speak—is painstakingly assembled by the artist.

There’s a large margin of error when it comes to graphics design, and that’s not something that the advertising sector can live with, so artists have to go through revision after revision of a given picture. Sounds mind-numbing? You bet.

The Internet

With the advent of digital media and the world-wide Internet market, digital artists found for themselves another niche to tackle. Here in Dubai, web design isn’t a particularly difficult profession; you can find designers wherever you looked.

But the large population of skilled artisans doesn’t even skim the surface of how difficult web design can be.

The biggest problem when it comes to this implementation of digital design is that you have to know your HTML. And sometimes, various other programming languages, too.

It isn’t enough to have the pictures you want up on your website. Arranging the elements on a page is an important factor of web design today, and most digital web designers are usually tasked to create templates, flash videos and additional graphics for client websites.

Tools of the Trade

Some of the tools used in freelance graphic design to create graphics include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. Adobe Photoshop is, bar-none, the tool of choice among many graphic artists. Although heavy on the system’s resources, CS3 more than makes up for it with the large-scale ability to manipulate graphics seemingly at will.

  2. CorelDRAW, on the other hand, is the Corel Corporation’s entry into the digital imaging field. CorelDRAW styles itself as a full graphics suite, but started out as a vector graphics editor and is still widely used with that end in mind.

  3. Corel Paint Shop Pro, Corel’s answer to the broad popularity of Photoshop. Formerly a product published by Jasc Software, Corel’s version still suffers from the criticisms that plagued it early on, but is still considered to be a decent contender in the industry.

  4. GIMP / GIMPShop is the open-source community’s graphic editor. While not as complete as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro in terms of features, GIMP is otherwise a rather competent piece of software that lets you do what needs to be done without eating up your computer’s resources.

  5. Adobe Dreamweaver is the master suite for web developers. This program is infused with a rich suite of tools capable of running various web publishing codes, and is trusted as the best and most intuitive WYSIWYG publisher in the market.

  6. Microsoft Office Publisher, on the other hand, is a program that is known as a desktop publishing application. It is a tool used by digital designers to layout the printed page before production.

These are just some of the tools used within the design industry. There are plenty others that offer a wide range of functions aside from standard graphics creation, but these are some of the most basic programs you’ll find in a creative graphic designer’s computer.

Corporate VS. Freelance

The question that rages on in the digital design industry is whether designers should join a company and work with a dedicated team of specialists, or to go solo and earn more by directly dealing with clients. Each side has its own pros and cons, and to actually discuss all of them would be an exercise in futility.

But to weigh the two:

  • Corporate pro: stability
  • Corporate con: less creative freedom
  • Freelance pro: full creative freedom
  • Freelance con: income depends on client availability

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Once again, I hope you’ve learned with what you just read from this little corner of the Internet. Thanks for visiting, and see you in the next issue!