It is true that some of the most evocative designs come out unexpectedly. Sometimes the best designs are a product of what seems to be a mistake. As the saying goes, designers should just let the art take them wherever it needs to go. But if that’s the case, what is the need for Photoshop tutorials?
Nobody is born a designer. It’s a skill developed through constant practice and experience whether from your own or from other people. There are several tutorials available on the internet for free but some of them couldn’t seem to tap on the fundamental and the technical. Books written on Photoshop and graphic design in general cover what was left behind by these articles. Here are a few that caught our attention.
Photoshop CS4 Quicksteps by Carole Matthews. This step-by-step instruction manual must be in every Photoshop user’s bookshelf. The compilation encompasses almost all that you really need to learn to create wonderful manipulation and designs. It showcases full-color illustrations that make it easier for novice users to appreciate the text. It is the ultimate reference book you need to have within reach while experimenting on Photoshop CS4.
The book shows us how to use the latest version of Photoshop in a quick and easily understood manner. One chapter teaches you how to edit and retouch photos while another explains how to use drawing and painting tools to their full potentials. These Photoshop tutorials are applicable to both beginner and intermediate users. Some of the tips found in the book are too basic that most advanced graphic designers tend to ignore them.
Practical instructions are always accompanied by screenshots to better explain the steps as you see them on the computer screen.
Photoshop Elements 2 Solutions. This concise book offers clear instructions and relevant examples that are useful to every graphic designer. It covers a considerable range of topics that are cross-referenced to other famous graphic design books and Photoshop tutorials.
Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy. The author himself is the selling factor of the book. This famous graphic designer shares to us his own techniques in creating photo-realistic digital arts in Photoshop 7. Despite being a graphic design rockstar, Bert wrote the book in a comfortable and reassuring manner by employing a conversational tone from cover to cover. Even if the pages are filled with spectacular illustrations, readers aren’t intimidated. Instead, they are motivated and inspired to practice more. However, what the book lacks are step-by-step Photoshop tutorials but it sure did a great job by explaining to us graphic design concepts and principles.
Non-Designers Type Book by Robin Williams. Compared to the other three books we have already mentioned, this one tackles a more specialized concern every graphic designer has. In fact, the book is not just written for designers but for everyone who needs to deal with typesetting on a regular basis. The book explains well the basics of typography on layman’s terms by incorporating text with real-life examples. It defines the principles that govern type. It tries to explain the logic behind which type is readable and which does not seem to work. The instructions did a great job by balancing function and artistry in dealing with typography. The best thing about the book is its non-platform specific approach which means that what you get aren’t merely Photoshop tutorials. The techniques are applicable to any other graphic design software.
Photoshop Color Correct by Michael Kieran. This book also tackles a more specific technique in Photoshop. It discusses the theory behind color correction and how it should be applied in different types of photo editing tasks. The concepts are very comprehensive and well thought-out. It covers everything from using Levels and Curves to contrast and channel mixing. This book, however, is very technical and is not suitable for novice users. For intermediate graphic designers, this is yet another book worthy of your time.
The virtue of graphic design can be found on how you can control the medium you have chosen. Oil painters who want to learn watercolor must first unlearn oil. The same maxim governs digital art. One photo editing platform is a completely different skill from the other. Each has to be learned and unlearned so to speak.