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Before & After: Graphic Design Techniques

with John McWade

Video: Welcome

Simple techniques to improve your layouts and refresh your creative vision, from the founder of <em>Before & After</em> magazine.
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Before & After: Graphic Design Techniques
Video duration: 0s 1h 7m Appropriate for all


Take a creative refresher course with these 18 simple design techniques that will immediately improve your layouts, brought to you by John McWade, founder and creative director of Before & After magazine. These tutorials combine instruction on topics like designs without graphics, extreme cropping, big and small type, logo design, and more, with John's distinct visual learning style.

This course was created and produced by the Before & After magazine team. We are honored to host this content in our library.

Topics include:
  • How to design a logo fast
  • Designing a business card
  • Understanding the power of empty space
  • Typesetting a list of names
  • Working around a weak photo


(music playing) I'm John McWade, Publisher and Creative Director of Before & After Magazine. Graphic design techniques is a collection of very short lessons about making your words and images work better. It's not about point and click, but about beauty, clarity and function. You may have heard me say this before, but most people have no idea how influenced they are by how things look. The look of something, whether it's as prosaic as a white paper. Or as dramatic as a concert poster has a huge effect on how people perceive it, and receive it, or don't.

This course focuses on the three key areas of design, type, image and layout, plus logo design. Its purpose is to bring practicality and beauty to real everyday designs. For example, you'll see how to design around a weak photo. How to use empty space as a storytelling device. And how to make a beautiful business card in minutes. You'll learn the secret of designing a text only document without graphics.

You'll see why changing type size often requires a change in spacing. And how simply realigning your type will change its message. I'll show you how to type set an ordinary list of names beautifully. How to design a simple logo, fast, and help you learn if you really need a logo, or if you need a second logo. And there's more. This title is for everyone who has design to make but no time for study, and must learn on the go. So, let's get going.

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