The State Of Graphic Design In Jordan

Jordan’s unique geographical position results in its experts choosing self development, which includes graphic design. Experts are also involved with developments taking place in neighbouring countries and the internet was extremely useful in putting interested parties in these two fields in touch with each other and sharing possible development tools. The development of Graphic Design is also assisted by annual exhibitions and specialised conferences held both in Jordan and outside the Arab world.

The academic and professional specialists for the basis in developing graphic design through the formation of local learning institutions. In these institutions academics, programmers and graphic design teachers can meet with professional designers and discuss the way business is moving forward and requirements of the labour market.

Practical training is considered the foundation of Graphic Design, upon which the academic skill of the student and his creativity are built. Working in a design office is considered to be the most important and effective tool in measuring the level of academic learning. It also gives an indication of the effectiveness of teachers in producing a generation of students capable of dealing with the academic ethos and engaging with the requirements of the profession. This training provides the students with opportunities to polish and develop their skills by working along side established practitioners. Today’s graphic design tools rely on information technology for producing visualisations of scientific developments. This visualisation requires an understanding of the scientific theory and the visualisation tools available, which in turn relies on the expertise of graphic designers.

In this paper I will focus on the profession of graphic design and its development by discussing its early development. I will review the positive and negative aspects of that development and how they related to changes in the market and the size of the market and labour force. I will also discuss the academic concepts, and the requirement for graduate graphic designers.

In this paper I draw from my experience of working in Jordan since 1987 at the MIDAS Establishment and my roles in student training at Yarmouk University and the Applied Sciences University, which I had been attached to since 1999. This paper addresses many questions and aims to explore the mechanics of enhancing graphic design in the academic and professional sectors.

The historic and technical initial stages of graphic design in Jordan

Graphic design developed alongside the printing and information technology industries. Printing was brought to Jordan in the 1940s by people who had learnt the trade in other countries. Jordan’s printing evolution was similar to that of other countries. Printing started using wooden moulds, then zinc clichés and letterpress, as well as other printing tools, symbols and shapes. It was the printing technology that restricted the scope for producing new designs. The range of items printed was limited to newspapers, cards and stationary. Printing started mainly in black and white, and was then developed to make photo made clichés through which the printers were able to print in full colour. Typolography, or raised printing was the main method and is still used today. Offset printing enhanced the quality of production, providing improvements in colour and picture reproduction. Around the same time the role of the graphic designer was developed, involving the preparation of makettes and then film montage and plates to be ready for printing (prepress); this relied on the professionalism of the film montage technician for the preparation of backgrounds for the pictures and words. Prepress was considered the most important process in the production of the final printed article. This process was carried out at the prepress service centre which was limited to a single institution until 1987. This centre had the capability and technology to perform a range of techniques where an artistic touch was required.

In the late sixties, design pioneers were not graphic designers, but had learnt the technologies of collage and calligraphy. They were able to imitate designs from abroad and in some instances reproduced them. Their work initially ranged from greetings cards, business cards, social stationary, letterheads and envelopes, then progressed to brochures and folders. The work was mainly limited to newspaper advertising which relied predominantly on the offset printing method. We shouldn’t forget the air brush technology that provided designers with the use of graded colours, achieving three dimensional effects for some designs, although the number of people using this was limited.

From 1980-87 design was performed by specialists in Plastic Arts and Architecture, as well as the first graduates of the college of arts at Yarmuok University and similar institutions. By the end of the eighties, the computer Linotype was used as a publishing tool by newspapers to prepare text for layout and paste it on the required pages next to advertising. Some publishing houses have graphic design offices which also acquired these systems to ensure the production of books and magazines to a similar quality. Linotype was also used to prepare the design of brochures and advertising materials that cannot be hand drawn. With time Linotype was also used for the preparation of other material by this method, including greeting cards, posters and advertisements.

The design and printing sectors found the computer to be an effective way of improving productivity. In 1988 with the arrival of the first design computer by Apple Macintosh, the numbers of workers in the field increased and performance progressed in the pre-printing stages such as film making and separation. However, the expense of computers meant that there use was still limited. The production of personal computers by competitors of Apple Macintosh as well as the ease with which film can be processed through its programs, created a huge increase in the number of professionals interested in graphic design. This became evident by the growth in the number of agencies, design offices, publishing houses and service centres.

Personal computers affected the technical and artistic aspects of production. Some production centres were able to develop their skill base and by recruiting experienced designers and developing them by organising training courses. These highly trained individuals achieved high standards of work within and outside Jordan and were able to compete with others in the Arab regions and captured a share of these markets, producing many publications. Jordanian specialists became serious competitors against other Arab countries which had previously monopolised the fields of design and printing. Jordan has developed so that it can meet the demand for design and printing within the country. Jordan has become a magnet for many publishing houses in the Arab region. Many production and publishing organisations were able to catch up to the levels of the latest technology. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that they will develop further, using modern production tools, and this will ensure there are enough local specialists who can continue to produce work of the highest quality.

The pace of technological development made it necessary for the academic institutions to provide the Jordanian market with the skilled workers who can work to the high standards required. These institutions have to continually adapt to the advancing technology as well as support the academics in their quest to enhance the artistic, scientific and technological aspects of production and publishing. Relationships must also be strengthened by co-operation between business leaders and academic institutions in order to provide the mutual benefit of improve standards, with the ultimate aim of keeping up with both local and international developments.

The easiest way to judge the standard of design and printing in a country is through the newspapers, magazines and books published. Television also provides a showcase for visual communication through locally produced advertisements. The speed of printing development has made impositions on graphic design and the designers themselves. Designers have to continuously update their training to keep abreast of new technology. This enables them to be at the forefront of improving quality and creativity in all aspects of production.

The advantages and disadvantages of sectors allied with graphic design

When discussing the organisations involved in design and production in Jordan it is easy to become overwhelmed by the variety and abundance of them. These organisations saturate the market. One of the reasons for the number of organisations is the variety of production formats, each of which has its own structure. Computerisation has lead to many operators being made unemployed.

Production sources can be divided into;

– Design

– Commercial printing

– Publishing houses

– Pre-press services centres

– Computer software training centres

These are the organisations where people often look for graphic designers, although most of them do not have academically trained staff who specialise in graphic design. Many of the people who own these organisations have chosen to specialise. Some of them specialised because the profession does not require a large capital outlay, others specialised because they had a knowledge of the tools used. Most appear to have specialised because this provides them with status in their community.

Although there are many organisations working in graphic design, the workers and owners in these establishments often lack awareness of the professional graphic design concepts as they have not studied the subject in depth. Employment opportunities for graduates only began to develop after 2000 when some organisations recognised the need for such skilled workers and academic institutions were able to produce professionals of this standard. The impression of graphic design graduates has changed so companies are no longer choosing graduates who studied abroad. Design establishments have noticed the high quality of products which trained graduates can produce with their competence and skills, and their ability to use the full range of design and printing equipment. Without this properly structured training program, experience had been gained through hap-hazard on the job training.

One of the weaknesses of those producing the designs is that they are not always confident about how to use the latest techniques. They often ask advice and prefer to work within their comfort zones, failing to produce designs that would demand a great deal of time, effort or care. Graduates are much more comfortable with change and willing to develop new skills. There are a few professionals, however, who have been invaluable in the development of graphic design by training others and developing their own technical and professional skills. These people have also monitored the pace of development in the fields of printing and graphic design.

Many of the professionals have established themselves thorough the high quality of the work they produce. This is not possible without a capable, aware and educated body of co-workers, who have scientific knowledge and are creative rather than imitating the work of others.

The increasing gap between academic designers and employers, or art directors and creative managers is often due to misunderstanding the role of graphic designers. In industry, the priority of some designers or agency owners is profitability regardless of the quality of the results.

The first problem is that some of the art directors or creative managers are not aware of the importance of their position, and often the employer is equally ignorant of this. Job titles are often arbitrary so artistic or creative managers frequently lack experience and expertise.

There is an absence of a common language between academic designers and managers or employers. This often frustrates designers, creating insecurity and hindering creativity. Such an environment can be an attempt to reduce a designers` status and restricts him from engaging in the creative thinking he would have been taught and university.

Adequacy of the professional reality

Graphic designers are distinguished from other fields by being one of the most creative professions; they work with information technology and visual communication. It also involves dealing with the business world, in which credibility and ability are necessary to achieve the creative work. Qualifications and talent are essential for this.

A graphic designer is not only an artist but also a technician who is able to use software and techniques to tackle the project in hand. His approach should go beyond communication with the audience, to effective promotion and display. His aim is to produce clarity and he should be able to do this from the information using the techniques available to him. The aim is to connect the data and in order to do this must understand the development and design of the software that could be used. He has to understand all the innovations and methods of designing texts.

The design sector requires professionals to have the experience to be able to select and classify information, and to create links between related elements. However, this won’t be enough if they can not interpret this and transform it into definite forms. It is also important to understand the vocabularies of with language, sound and music as they are the most important tools of communication. Added to this, the designer must understand how to use the specialised design software to write texts, prepare drawings, animated cartoons and websites. The designer should know about design, timing, transformation, rhythm and visual presentation.

The potential of the design sector should be realised by knowledge of the necessary theories and techniques to improve communication with the audience, enrich the design proposals and understand the reflective aspect of the design process, studies and research.

There is much variation in the qualifications of staff within the design sector. It is important to differentiate between the craftsman and the academic designer. The graphic designer is a complete cultural and intellectual entity that is noted in the sensational theory, linguistic theory, visual eloquence and the cultural history of art, literature, science, technology, industry and humanity. They cannot isolate themselves from developments in theories of communication, information development, and from management and criticism. Moreover to improve the added value of the final product, all methods and tools used in production and publication should be understood. They must understand the stages before the design, and they must understand the printing process and its implications on the design.

The market is crowded with many people working in graphic design. Due to the wide use of graphic design in many fields of work, the widespread use of computers and availability of basic software packages there is a role for people using graphic design without any prior knowledge. The expression of graphic design is still not adequately understood by some employers in industrial and commercial firms and organisations that need graphic design services.

I do not doubt the potential of the vocational sector but this is the reality of graphic design. It must be remembered that well qualified people now occupy high status positions in the Jordanian market, showing its expertise and its ability to demonstrate the highest levels of graphic design.

The size of the market and people working in graphic design

There are now more than five hundred establishments working in graphic design. There are many who would not classify themselves as an agency, centre or office, as they have found their own market niche. Therefore these classifications can not be meaningfully applied in Jordan.

The sector is large compared to the market. The establishment of new graphic design organisations peaked in 1999. Since then, some have declined while others have expanded. Some have stagnated or changed management, while others have merged.

A quick look at the design sector will show that 85% of those working in the field can be classified as;

– Computer science graduates

– Architecture graduates

– Interior design graduates

– Graduates in ‘Computers and the Fine Arts’ from community colleges

– Fine arts graduates (both graphic design specialists and non-specialists)

– Graduates of design courses run by computer centres

– Unemployed people who are interested in computers

University educated graphic design graduates fulfil an important role because;

– Universities produce Graphic Designers with a different outlook to those mentioned above.

– Organisations run by people who understand graphic design will be better able to develop designers skills and adapt to the future

I am concerned for students who study graphic design at university but do not try to improve his rate of innovation and creativity in order to improve. This will affect whether he is employable.

Academically and scientifically talented students will have few problems because good employers need students who are able to form ideas quickly, use appropriate design programs for his ideas and able to produce those. Other organisations are not useful for the academic designer. These are the push-pull level of the graphic design sector which reflects the levels of awareness of the concepts and functions of graphic design.

The market is capable of absorbing all graduates. This is dependent on the development of visual communication methods through graphic design. Such development requires the presence of skilled workers capable of meeting the needs of the market. This places incentives for educational organisations that deal with design to plan to suit the graphic design market.

The academic reality of graphic design

The emergence of academic institutions that specialised in the arts started at the Yarmouk University where the first arts and music department was established in 1980. This became a faculty in 2001, teaching drama, design (industrial, interior and graphic), plastic arts and music. The university awards bachelor degrees. It started in 2001 at the height of the computer revolution within the design sector in Jordan. In1991 teaching graphic design started as an independent specialisation within the Arts Department at the Applied Sciences University. This was followed by the Ahiya Amman University, the Petra University, Philadelphia University, AlZaytouneh University, the University of Jordan, and later the Israh University.

Apart from universities, during the time when graphic design became popular and a profitable profession, community colleges started teaching graphic design. These included the Al-Quds College, Granada College, Middle University College and Princess Alya College.

The work of the universities that award bachelor degrees is similar to colleges that grant two year diplomas, because both produce students with a certificate in graphic design. But in reality where creativity and technical skills are concerned we find differences. The differences are in the course curricula, and include understanding the production process, product identity, knowledge of software and design innovation.

There is confusion between graphic design and graphic art. These differences affect the student, particularly when he enters employment. He is judged by both his creativity and innovation in producing new ideas and his ability to use technology which now involves the computer, the main graphic design tool.

The reason for these differences becomes clear when we look at the number of workers in the market and where they graduated from. During the time that the largest number of graduates were being produced, the highest quality graduates were produced by well-known institutions and these were recruited by the most successful companies.

A distinction has developed between technicians and designers. This is because some academic institutions concentrate on technology and the practical aspects of design software, whilst others developing the ability to use knowledge and know how to connect ideas to the psychological and social context and include qualitative studies of theories and design curricula.

The reasons for this are;

– The absence of specialised academic experts in graphic design and the poor quality of some of the teachers.

– The absence of appropriate study plans for creating graphic designers

– The absence of a system defining the role of universities and colleges in teaching graphic design

– The absence of entry examinations to graphic design courses, unlike courses in the art specialisations

– The absence links to the outside world, other than through books.

– Some universities and colleges do not understand the concept of graphic design in an industrial context.

– The absence of official government support for finding a way to establish a core curriculum for university courses.

I have taught in the art departments of a number of universities and have assessed many graduation projects. These gave me the opportunity to find out about graphic design teaching, the standards of students, and showed the need for appropriate study plans. There is a lack of competitiveness which would improve educational standards and there is an arbitrary use of teaching methods. Objectives can be clear, but often mistake in not using the appropriate teaching methodology leads to them not being achieved.

In order to develop and improve, the graphic design sector needs skilled and competent workers. The workers will not be able to respond to the changes in technology unless they have a formal academic training. In order to achieve this advancement it is essential that graduate students are used as graphic design specialists.

Conclusion

There is a requirement in the Jordanian arena for the academic and professional sectors to review their experiences and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This is used by them to set a strategy capable of giving graphic design the respected position it deserves.

There is a requirement for government intervention to provide arena where specialists in graphic design may discuss many of the concepts that help them make company owners and managers aware of how to make the best use of graphic designers.

As well as teaching graphic design, universities and community colleges must support the markets needs for designers and artisans within the new specialisations which need to be introduced in order to reduce unemployment.There is a need for a professional body in graphic design to give support to designers, co-ordinate educational and technical preparation and for making contacts with the outside world. It is important to hold workshops and symposiums that enhance the competence of teaching staff, designers and students; these should be held with assistance from international institutions which are respected in this field.

It is also important to hold national and international competitions to encourage creativity and innovation. This will create a competitive atmosphere in which graphic design can flourish.

Finally, it is important to create a national identity in graphic design, which can cement its position in the international arena.

Impacts of Graphic Design Development on Teaching Graphic Design in the Arab World

I don’t firmly believe that the Arabic library contains sufficient books dealing analytically with Graphic Design that could support the Arabic universities, with specialized art academies, and could be utilized as special curriculum within the teaching plans of these academies. The Arabic library is condensed with other artistic methodological books in addition to some translated books which discuss the basics of design, advertisement, and other topics that fall within the framework of advertisement.

The fact is that there is a short understanding of the comprehensive concept of Graphic Design. This concept is not sufficiently represented by advertisement and publicity or printing design because such specialization per se received little attention before the advent of computer to the Arab World and the return of unspecialized cadres living in the European countries and USA, who brought with them the sophisticated technology and transferred it to us without defining its actual identity, academically and vocationally.

With the start of teaching this specialization, dependence in determining the study plan was basically on the academic staff entrusted to teach such specialization. Some were distant from the roots of this specialization and others considered that any person with a specialization in art or architecture can play the role of planner. But, after a careful review of the total study plans in most Arabic universities, we realized how unbalanced and, sometimes, insufficient such attempts were; they have no identified identity; half of them were fine arts and the others tackled one part of Graphic Design but of no grass root.

Any method for teaching Graphic Design has to bear in its priorities the promotion of creativity factor and concentrate on the techniques and demonstration methods and their correlation with skill to enable the student of this specialization to benefit from this study- this should also include, but not limited to, studying related knowledge such as Graphic Design history and its theories to allow the students to apply what they learn to develop their own means of creativity and invention.

It is necessary to take into consideration the needs of new students in Graphic Design and students who are expected to graduate by defining a systematic plan capable of gradually refining design students to enable them to acquire expertise and techniques.

First levels students need to be introduced to Graphic Design history, manual skills, and design principles and techniques through the computer in order to develop their capabilities in designing and creating advertisement campaigns or integrated projects that include logos, posters, Internet homepages and other materials, any graphic designer will need.

High level students need to be introduced to the approaches that can develop their technical and intellectual skills as well as develop the innovation status through carrying out series of integral projects in presenting their works entirely and collectively. These approaches should be able to grant student enough space of positions sets they can apply for through a group of specialties that fall under the umbrella of Graphic Design. All of this will not be materialized without provision of studios and labs qualified to perform the role required in addition to cadres qualified technically and knowledgeably to realize the goals of Graphic Design. Graphic Design syllabus relies, in its execution, on the practical principle as well as on the theoretical one. Further, it mentally qualifies and trains the student to face the changes and the techniques of time as well as empowers him to deal with what is to come as the extract of developed fields of knowledge related to Graphic Design taking into consideration the necessity of linking it with the classical approach that is linked with cadres that need to be qualified in order to be able to keep pace with the latest techniques of information and knowledge.

As a fact, when we talk about Graphic Design, we should pay considerable attention to widening the base of Graphic Design that exceeds the limits of typing which is the result of its development and to reach various resources of visual communication, as television, computers and internet which enable us to get better view of the resources made by other people in different parts of the world. This will definitely help us to be more creative, innovative, and more able analyze and assess, and, that of course, requires a good deal of curiosity which can be enhanced and triggered by the size of acquired information in form and substance.

Methods of teaching can rely on multiple factors, such as increasing the need and curiosity of the student to learn, expand his knowledge, self- confidence and be more self-motivated in order to overcome what is new through applying intellectual practices, keeping pace with science and utilizing it to trigger his imagination and increase his meditation and search for new mechanisms and methods of work. Therefore, triggering the challenges in a student is inevitable; this can be supported with mechanisms that enable him to find solutions to problems he may encounter through the use of special techniques and knowledge pertaining to his specialization. However, this will not be enough to enable the student to use his manual skills, design programs and its techniques, if he is not qualified to know when and how to handle an idea and when it is able to realize to target.

From the above mentioned, any academic approach we think of as a base to be used to teach graphic design should take the following into consideration:

1- Implementing Graphic Design education in professional practice.
2- Development of different Graphic Design media due to their direct correlation with technology.
3- Design and critic theories.
4- Importance of designer’s material cognition.
5- Designer’s language and its theory as well as his ability to talk.
6- Designer’s decent visual eloquence.
7- Designer’s education in art, design sciences, society, literature, technology, sciences and industry.
8- Knowledge of the theories of communication and transfer of information.
9- Management of programming, computer science and the science of management and marketing.

The focus should be directed towards the personal design of each student and toward the various methods that boost his design abilities beyond the single design problem as well as toward successful and appropriate self motivating and development. Further, critical thinking practices and search and development of concepts and contents of analysis, editing and technical execution need to be developed through going over the special skills expected in designing all Graphic Design media as they are considered unique communication media.

– How can we contribute to Graphic Design development?

Before answering this question, it is necessary to emphasize the important role of the teaching curriculum or the teaching plan, the size of information presented through it, the methods and means approved to apply it, its resources, its relationship with information revolution that shorten time and distance as well as the positive and negative role of this revolution through emphasizing the methods of teaching the curriculum that depend on integral expertise, the purpose of which is knowledge and refining it.

We should emphasize the necessity of matching Graphic Design teaching plan and its coherence with time and its development, its relationship with the latest audio-visual technologies in addition to the information management, which forms the basis of the designer role through the ability of graphic design teaching curriculum and its philosophy to comprehend the challenges of time (the time of information and technology) so as to enable the student to comprehend time product with its information in an effective way and to be active in developing his portrayal impression of information in order to direct it in a form harmonious with the language of time.
This needs a set of books that focus on the following topics:

History of Graphic Design:

This book should present a survey of the main events and accomplishments that led to the evolution and development of Graphic Design so as the student can track the ceaseless search to clarify the ideas beginning with (pictograph), the symbolic picture drawn on the walls of caves, and ending with the latest of graphic designs. Suck knowledge will help the students to be acquainted with cases of innovation and innovators in addition to knowing the depth of technology that formed communication media revolution in Graphic Design.

Graphic Design fundamentals and factors.

These books should present the definition and analysis and comparison of all design fundamentals and factors. They should emphasize design fundamentals and factors with regard to forming and their manual skills through the use of technical tools and methods, the ways, procedures and presenting the work of Graphic Design in a professional way so as to identify the ways of creating high quality works that persist through Graphic Design programs for each later specialized course.

Programs of publishing and design

Such books should present the definition and analysis of all programs specialized in design and editing which the designer will has to use to acquire the required skills to be used in other courses that would assist him when entering the world of contemporary markets. An indication should be made not only to its tools and uses but also to its software infrastructure. Among these programs:

Adobe PHOTOSHOP
Adobe ILLUSTRATOR
Corel DRAW
Desktop of PUBLISHER
Quark Xpress
Front PAGE
Macromedia Flash

Printing: Techniques, origin and development

Such books should present define and analyze the development stages of printing, its approaches and technologies as well as defining the designer with the post-stages of printing and pre-printing and special design characteristics for each printing style such as the offset, silk, rotogravure and others. Further, these books should tackle the history of printing letters, their technical and aesthetic uses as well as solving presentation and text style problems.

Graphic Design concept:

Such books should present innovative strategies for design-related problems and issues. They should focus on: Establishing firmly effective design, boosting and reinforcing knowledge and skills of Graphic Designin order to present projects’ management. Such books should also provide methods to master the skills of analyzing researches and design processes which lead to innovative structuring and design final solutions with developed decisions that reflect a high level of expertise, study and accomplishment too.

Electronic multi media

These books should define and analyze all specialized programs used in training graphic designers in developing interface inputs related to electronic Graphic Designfor electronic communication means. The target of this course is to focus on interaction packages of the laser discs in order to find solutions to design styles special for books, electronic magazines, interactive information, education sequence, presentation, interactive television and the increasing goodwill of services special for the internet and interface inputs of desktops. Furthermore, the books should provide students with new software and technical information that qualify them to work on linking chains in the Internet, critical locations and how to manage sites on the internet as well as how to design their pages.

Defining types and tasks of Graphic Design means

These books should define and analyze Graphic Designmedia, their promotional and the commercial tasks in particular. They should emphasize the research and study of the extent of response and invitation of media which all come under new letters, brochures, guides, catalogs, flyers, newspapers, magazines, posters, signs, ads., calendar and other media. All of these come together through the form of solution and determining the identity of the targeted audience to fulfill the goal and the use of the piece of information in order to determine the form of the printed material or the medium.

Photography

Such book(s) should define what photography, normal and digital, means, its history, stages of development and tools in addition to its importance in related to Graphic Design. It should tackle the methods of photography serving Graphic Designand how to apply them inside or outside the studios. Moreover, the book should demonstrate the theoretical and practical concepts of the methods of commercial and industrial photography.

Marketing

This book(s) should define and analyze marketing tools related to Graphic Design which will help the student to develop his ability to distinguish between long term and a short term designs, and the different forms of communication means. In Addition, such book(s) should train the student in the principles of team work and group effort in tailoring campaigns, and introducing innovative marketing ideas in cooperation with the text writers, executive manager and other main players. Identifying the requirements of the market in terms of promotion and marketing a product will include all stages of planning, marketing research and final implementation. All these require the student to identify the goals, purposes, problems, chances, the targeted audience, the innovative strategy, competition, mass media strategy and the communication means to be used.
It is not surprising that the sources of books are international 100% due to the absence of Arabic books specialized in Graphic Design.The fact is that the roots of this specialty are European and the technology and techniques utilized are also international.

The goals of innovative work combined with designer’s competency and qualification are the basis on which planning strategy depend to prepare study plans that motivate and activate creative thinking and relate it to information technology relying on the different levels of human knowledge and scientific programs supporting the principle of how to understand and apply comprehensively a Graphic Design program in order to protect it from short term programming relying, in this respect, on the designer’s cognitive theory, the language, his ability to deal with time changes, technologies, and his training.

Our target is to arm the student with skills, courage, innovation, ability to judge and assess, and curiosity that depend on the size of information, knowledge and content of what is acquired.

The Best Graphic Design Laptops

If you’re a graphic designer, then you might be wondering what the best laptop for graphic design is. This is a question that can be easily answered when you take a look at the laptops hardware, rather than the software installed. The hardware will influence how well the laptop performs when running software programs.

Plenty of people tend to choose either Apple or Dell when it comes to notebooks, due to strong brand awareness. They usually employ a lot of marketing strategies which make it clear that you won’t ever regret choosing one of their products. These two brands are known pretty much anywhere you look as the top manufacturers for all things laptop related.

If we’re talking about laptops for graphic design, then we shouldn’t ignore these two brands either since their products usually integrate the best in the tech world, and the models they bring out on a regular basis will have the latest processor model, along with more RAM than the previous model and a better graphics card.

Let’s take a look at a few of the things that actually matter for graphic designers:

Screen Size and Resolution

When you choose a laptop, make sure you understand this spec. The screen resolution if the amount of actual pixels the laptop can output on the screen, and it won’t necessarily have to do with the actual screen size itself. There are certain ultra-portable laptop models with small screens but high resolutions. This doesn’t mean you should settle for a small screen laptop for your design work. A 13 inch laptop might be attractive at first sight, and it might bring a lot of portability to the table, but it gets rather difficult to do any editing on such a small screen.

Your aim should be at a laptop which carries a screen that’s at least 15.4 inches in diagonal screen size. Also, the pixel density, or DPI should be high. There are new laptop models which can output Full HD resolutions even on a standard 15.4inch screen.

Before you buy the thing, make sure you test it out. This means doing an actual resolution test and see which resolution works best for you. These newer notebooks are capable of decent resolutions and it would be wise to take your time and go through them.

You should open up several programs, like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and see how the overall layout of the software fits into the screen, how large the editing space really is and if the edited image is sharp enough for you to work with. After several tries, you should come to a point where you find a laptop that’s just perfect for the work you intend to do.

If there’s a laptop you might like, like one of those MacBook Air which are rather small both in resolution output and the screen size itself, it’s a good idea to get a monitor which you can use to extend the current laptop desktop, so you can store all the toolbars and dockers on your laptop screen and do the editing work on the big monitor where you can see it better.

System memory or RAM

The system memory is another crucial factor to look for when you’re picking a laptop for graphic design work. Graphic design programs tend to use a lot of RAM and that can lead to poor system performance if the laptop is not prepared for such a task. The more RAM your laptop has, the better it will run in the grand scheme of things. A lot of RAM means the added ability to run several design programs at once and easily switch between them. The amount of system memory installed will also impact pretty much anything else you might be running on your computer, from movies, games, browsing or actual office work.

Now I know a lot of graphic designers and they tend to run a lot of programs all at once. Of course, their computers are configured with a ton of system memory which makes it easier for the computer to handle running Photoshop, Illustrator and other vector graphic design programs all at once. The thing to remember here is that the amount of system memory directly impacts overall system performance.

Your aim should be in the 4GB range minimum, and that’s just for starters. If you’re on a budget, this is your starting point and you should plan to add more memory modules in the future.

If you want to heavily multitask and run several programs aside from the graphic design ones, you should think about laptops with about 8GB of RAM installed. Several laptops available in the current market allow you to purchase the standard model, with about 4GB of RAM but they include the possibility of adding more via the open memory slots available.

Now if you go for an Apple laptop, you might want to take into account the extra charge you might come across if you intend to upgrade your current model with more RAM. Some vendors do this, and they charge extra if you want to upgrade your laptop. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you should try to get the RAM modules online and install them yourself, rather than pay extra for really easy screwdriver work.

Laptop CPU – Central Processing Unit – Processor

The CPU, or processor in the laptop is the part that makes all the calculations. It’s an essential piece of vector based design programs, where there are a lot of parameters to take into account. A decent CPU should be another thing on your list of things which make up the best laptop for graphic design.

There are several possible choices to be made here. A good starting point is to aim for laptops carrying at least a dual-core processor. This will allow you to run applications a lot better so you won’t suffer from system halts or sloppy operation.

If you opt for a laptop with a quad-core processor, you should have no trouble running pretty much any graphic design program out there.

Just remember – more cores means better laptop performance.

Graphics or Video Card

If you truly want the best laptop for graphic design, you will most likely never choose one which comes with an integrated graphics card. This is because integrated GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) uses the available RAM to output the image on the screen, whereas a dedicated graphics card has its own RAM, or VRAM.

You can lose a lot of RAM if your laptop has an integrated GPU, and system memory is very important in graphic design laptops.

Such systems will run slower since they will split up the available RAM for running the actual programs and the integrated graphics card. This should be another item on your list – get a laptop which has a dedicated graphics card.

Now if you were a gamer, you would be concerned with the type of graphics card installed, since this is an important aspect in gaming laptops. But since the laptop will be used for graphic design work, a mid-range video card will do just fine. If your work implies doing 3D graphics work as well, then a high-end graphics card is needed as well.

Current laptops in this niche have good graphics cards with about 1-2GB of dedicated memory. These are good for both graphics design and a bit of gaming as well when you’re not in the mood for work.

If you do intend to play a lot of games, or start doing 3D modelling and renders, then you should take a look at Alienware laptops or the Republic of Gamers series from Asus, since these are configured to play the latest games at the highest possible visual settings.

Laptops for graphic design will carry a dedicated graphics card which has its own memory or VRAM.

Portability – This is what you sacrifice

If you think you’ll be buying a very portable laptop then you might be mistaken.

The best laptops for graphic design have a lot of powerful components installed and this might make it a bit hard for the laptop battery to last more than a couple of hours. You sacrifice portability for performance when you choose a laptop for this type of work, but it’s well worth it.

In conclusion

The best laptops for graphic design are configured with a decent-sized screen which allows a good native resolution so you can fit in all those toolbars, dockers and still have enough screen left for the image that’s being edited. Also, there’s a hefty amount of RAM installed, a dedicated graphics card and at least a dual-core processor, if not a quad-core.