This is me...

My name is Stanley Russell, and I am a graphic designer.  Well, that's how I do other introductions, so figured it would not hurt here as well.  This is my first post to what hopefully will become a fountain of knowledge and guidance for new designers, and a source of entertainment to veteran designers (hopefully not too much).


I have been doing professional graphic design stuff for over ten years now, and have picked up quite a few tid-bits about how to accomplish certain design challenges, and have picked up some good, and probably some not so good habbits.  It is not my intention with this blog, and the tutorials I plan on writing, to show how to do something the best way possible, or the perfect way, but instead show one way to accomplish a task, and get the desired result.  It may not be perfect, but I can guarantee that it will work, and as long as I can teach one person something, these posts will not be in vein.



A brief history

As I mentioned earlier, I have been a professional designer since early 2002.  I started like most desingers probably did, by doing free stuff for family and friends, which then escalated into my first paying job......... designing real estate flyers.  Since then I have had the pleasure of designing a lot of things, some good, some great, and some so horribly bad I wish to never speak of them again.  As designers, we should embrace the horrendous designs, and learn how we can improve them, and turn them into something beautiful and great (or at least acceptable).


I currently am an in-house designer for a company called Tubelite.  I'm the only designer now that I stop to think about it, but that's ok, as it gives me a lot of creative freedom.  The only downside to that is when I need an honest and brutal critique, there are no other artists there to give that to me.  The best part about my job, besides for being able to create everyday, is that Tubelite is a distribution company for large format printing equipment and supplies, which means after I have created a design, I get to go down to the demo room and print out my creations in full, bright, vivid color.  I get to play with $150,000 machines to create tradeshow banners, floor graphics, and many other types of large format designs.  It truly is a blessing to actually see the end result instead of just shipping it off to a printer once the final is complete.


Since I am a glutton for punishment, I also teach graphic design courses for a local technical college at night.  That is not true, I actually get quite a bit of enjoyment out of teaching that no other job can fulfill, and that is a constantly changing change of view on how to solve visual design problems.  While I may teach my students how to use the programs properly, and how to get their creative juices flowing, they are always showing me new and unique ways of looking at designs.  If I give twenty students a design problem to solve, they will each solve it in their own unique way based on how they visualize the solution.  This type of constantly changing point of view is what keeps me fresh and always wanting to learn more.



What I hope to Accomplish

As I said before, my way of doing things are going to be far from perfect, and might even make some experienced designers shake their heads and wonder why I would do it this way.  The tutorials I am going to write will reflect how I go about solving a problem, and nothing else.  Most of the time, these questions will come from a student that needs to figure something out, and I will then show them, and will write a tutorial about it.  The way I think about it, if one of my students has this question, chances are there are others that will have the same question, and if I can in some way help out, then that is what I want to do.  


I would be lying if I said there was no personal gain from this, but my other main goal is to be able to have a directory of sorts of typical design problems that I can refer my students to.  I have often found myself going over the same things over and over again in different classes, and instead of taking valuable class time, I can refer them directly to this blog to help them understand how to solve their problem.


I am also hoping this will be a learning experience for me.  If a more experienced designer sees my tutorials, and says "Hey, that is the complete wrong way of doing this!", then hopefully I can gain some valuable insight on how another designer would tackle the same problem.  Kind of the same way my students inspire me to look at things differently, this blog should help me help them to hopefully help others down the line.



What am I going to cover

I am what you might call a jack of all trades.  I cover, and teach a lot of different subjects from basic design theory, to 3D modeling and everything in between.  One week I might write an article on why you never put blue text on a black background, then the next week write a tutorial on how to create your own JQuery pop-up box without the need of additional plug-ins.


I also hope to start a series of tutorials that take a website from concept sketches to final project, and everything that goes in-between.  Using Photoshop to create mock-ups, then turning that PSD file into a working HTML/CSS website, and finally creating a custom Joomla theme with the design.  This will obviously take a bit of time, and since I currently work two jobs with freelance opportunities on the side, might not come about in a fast and furious manner.


If there is anything that you, the reader, would like me to cover, please let me know.  Either leave a comment on one of the articles here, go to my facebook page, or contact me through this site, and I will do my best to create that tutorial.


Thank you for taking the time to read this introduction article, and I look forward to starting this fascinating journey! (Hopefully my writing will get better over time as well!)



Featured Project


Travel Agency

Fully responsive web site mockup for a travel agency.

see full project details...





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