AgNerd Design 101: An Introduction

I am a student in an integrated interactive design program. We call it “interactive media.” The program is called “interactive media studies.” We like to call it “IMS” for short.

That’s a lot of words to say something fairly simply. Bear with me for a moment.

Long story short, I’m getting my degree in that place where multimedia and communication cross paths. My specialization is technically “graphics arts” although I have found a deep passion for the communication side, thus my love of writing and social media platforms. I’m blessed; I can pursue a career in the digital communications field and still nurture and grow my love of graphic arts. In fact, I’m going to start sharing it. I’m thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in debt to my fancy little liberal arts school, and I’m going to ease the pain of that debt by paying it forward to the online community I love.

Cram on your cowboy hats and tighten your belts, because we’re going to go on a wild (and artistic) ride.

So what are some basic design points that non-designers should know to make their work better? We’ll (hopefully) cover things like color theory, space, composition, and the use of text. (For future reference, the study of text in graphic design is called “Typography.” I’m taking a class in that right now, and I LOVE it.)

I REALLY, REALLY like Typography, actually.

I’m not an expert. I’m not even that great of a designer. In fact, I consider myself an “implementer.” If someone has a good idea, a good design, and they know what they want…well, that’s where I come in. While I am not an artistic visionary, I do have the instincts an know-how to take a good graphical concept and turn it into something useful and effective. However, all the studying I’ve done to come to that realization is given me a wealth of knowledge on good design theory and practices.

I’m ready to take all my hard work and turn it around to help you guys, the greater pool of agriculture bloggers. And many of these lessons will be useful for folks outside of ag, too.

I may even see about getting some guest posts on here from other designers that I know, as well as students who might want to share their thoughts on good design. We’ll see where this goes.

I can’t guarantee that your work will come out looking like a pro did it. I can’t even guarantee that I’ll be able to share all that man how-to’s of graphic design. One limiting factor is that I have a computer lab and a MacBook full of programs and armed with gadgets and gizmos geared entirely for advanced graphic design work. The stuff I produce for school is much more advanced (and time-consuming) than what the average user has time to do. But, I’m hoping by sharing some basic tips and theories, I can help others take their use of graphics to the next level.

I also have this theory that teaching others in turn makes us better as the subject matter we’re teaching. So, we’re going to be learning together.

So, my question for you, the bloggers, agvocates, social media addicts, agnerds, and general public, is this: what do YOU want to know more about? What burning questions do YOU have about graphic design? I can’t guarantee to hit every topic that’s brought up, but I know I can better tailor my posts based on what burning questions you folks have. Who’s on board?


9 thoughts on “AgNerd Design 101: An Introduction

  1. Great idea Kelly! I had a business background and had little to no design experience when I developed my blog. I was lucky to have a template that seemed to work out nicely but have been reluctant to make any more changes for fear of throwing everything out of wack. I guess I would love to learn more about how to take small steps to personalize my blog.

    • Great idea, Elizabeth! I’ll brainstorm some quick tips on how to easily personalize a blog in small, manageable ways. A lot of the design tips I’ll post are going to be useful for designing things like banners for the top of blogs and maybe even backgrounds. I’ll do what I can 😀

      Thanks for sharing your idea and suggestions!

  2. Well, since I honestly don’t even know where to begin, you’re gonna have to start from the ground up with me. I’ve never had any type of graphics design or media class other than a brief Ag Ed course at Penn State that didn’t cover much of any media in-depth, only went over each briefly. I’m lost in the world of digital media and design. I understand theory and concept though and have an artistic side as I love to draw and paint. Maybe I’m not hopeless!!!

  3. This excites me sooo much! I have a degree in business and economics and have found myself in a communications field. I do everything from magazine layout and article, to online community development. Help!

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