How to Create Designs on the Computer
By Daniel Ketchum
Whether for business purposes or personal enjoyment, there's a limitless variety of designs you can create on your computer. Creating your own computer graphic artwork can be achieved with the use of a graphics design program such as Photoshop, Corel Draw, ArtRage or the freeware software GIMP.
Brainstorm ideas for the types of designs you want to create using your computer. Use a notebook to doodle out your basic ideas as a guide for when you add more details and fine-tune your ideas in the graphics program you use.
Select a graphics design program. Photoshop is an excellent program to use if it is within your budget. Otherwise, a program such as GIMP might be a better fit since it is freeware and can do many of the same things as Photoshop.
Start the program. To create a new document go to "File" and then choose "New." In the new dialog, choose the document settings. A background layer of white generally is a good choice, but a transparent background can also be useful. If, for instance, you want to create a logo or T-shirt lettering or an image that you don't want a square of white around, a transparent background might be a better option. Next add your document's dimensions and a resolution setting of 300 pixels per inch for printed designs. For designs that are being placed online on a website, 72 pixels is preferable since it will help the page load faster.
Create your designs. Each time you make a new part to your design, before you do so click on the "New Layer" icon at the bottom of the "Layers" panel. Use the "Shape" tools (set to "Fill" with your color of choice) to add basic geometric shapes; for more complex shapes use the "Pen" tool, which can be set to fill to create shapes, or set the "Path" and then have a "Stroke Path" applied to create lines. There are many other tools, filters and image adjustments that can help you create your designs. Filters can be applied to both images and text, and you can apply more than one filter to an element in your design (photo, text, graphics). Use the "Move" tool to place elements where you want them in your design.
Use the "Text" tool to add text elements to your designs. Look at the font options available and also select the style, color and size you want. It is important to make sure that the text you use is actually readable.
Save your designs as high-resolution JPEGs for printed designs. Save designs being placed on the web as GIFs, unless the design has had photos added, in which case it should also be saved as a high-resolution JPEG.
Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.