Awards & Engraving

October '18

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A&E OCTOBER 2018 • a-e-mag.com 35 Graphic Design our own vacation and acting on that dream. Professionally, such communication is the job of the art director or graphic designer. (fig 1) It is also the job of the graphic designer to make sure that design successfully makes it to and through the appropriate technology that transforms the idea into an actual product, such as in the case of an advertisement in a printed magazine. Corel's products are built to handle both the design phase and the output phase to a whole host of devices, sometimes directly and sometimes through dedicated software for the particular device. As in the design phase, a graphic designer masters all of the tools necessary in the Corel suite that will allow him or her to achieve their design and production goals. My point here is that not everyone who uses CorelDRAW learns to master all of the tools, instead focusing mostly on those tools essential to the work they regularly perform. With enough experience, anyone using Corel extensively is aware of most of the tools and what they can do, but will develop their own ways of mastering the tools they need most and learn to work creatively with them. So, what about the sole owner of the awards and engraving business? This person has to do it all: sales, design, production, customer service, computer and machine maintenance and repair, purchasing, accounting, you name it. Outside help may be required from time to time, but for the most part, good knowledge of all business aspects is required. Is it possible for such a person to learn enough about the Corel products to be effective? The answer is yes; however, I wouldn't suggest trying to do it all at once. The trick is to learn something then apply it. Learn enough to be able to offer a line of products that can be confidently produced. Customers will gradually push you forward to learn new skills that can be further marketed once mastered. Over time, your skills and product lines will grow. Will your knowledge of the software and your design ability match that of design specialists? Probably not, simply because of time and focus, but that doesn't mean you can't have an effective business with customers who value the work that you do. Again, my point is that the Corel Graphics Suite is a big, versatile program that can be equally utilized by anyone from a hobbyist to a sole proprietor of a small engraving shop to a seasoned and world- renowned professional design specialist. Be curious. Learn as much as you can about the tools, but don't try to master everything at once. Master something simple then uti- lize what you mastered — put it to work. Since nearly everyone using Corel- DRAW ends up working with the layout tools, I want to explore Corel for its ability to bring together words and images, allowing the user to freely arrange them on a page in order to communicate visually. fig 1

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