What I’ve learned in regards to graphic design.
1. You should stab yourself in the hand if you feel the urge to use a drop shadow, stroke or gradiant.
A direct quote from my Professor. I believe that drop shadow can be used, but very faintly and only to achieve better readability
2. Large blocks of text should be no larger than 14 and should be a serif font.
3. The client is always right, but that doesn’t mean they decide upon the specifics of the design. It’s the designers job to make great design and please the client at the same time. The client should give the designer what they want the result to be but they should not dictate the means (specifics) to getting those result.
4. Pixelation… not good
5. Obtain your graphics and photos legally. Nothing, when it comes to photos online is free, and if it is, the quantity of photos isn’t very large or the photo probably isn’t that great (quality or conceptually).- Check out http://www.sxc.hu/ for some top-notch, free stock photography… they don’t have a large variety though.
6. Use pencil and paper to sketch your design before using the computer. The computer is a tool, but you’re the designer.
7. Website design: HTML tables were meant for tables of data, not for designing a website. That’s what CSS is for.
8. Website Design: Using an image map is cheating, and your grandma who is using dial-up at about 5kbps will not have the patience to wait for the page to load.
I’ve learned these things in the past 3 years here at Truman, and I know I will learn a million other things in the next year and a half that I should avoid when it comes to designing.