Finally Discovering the Wacom Tablet

Hi guys!

Back again with another computers and electronics installment.  Today I wanted to talk a bit about graphic design and the tools used to enhance the design process, namely a graphics tablet, or in this case, the delightful piece of kit that is the Wacom tablet.

I’ve been heavily into graphic design now for a couple of years.  Actually thinking back to my pre-GCSE days at school where we all got asked to go and meet with the local careers advisor, something that for many kids at that time was a huge waste of time and completely pointless.  See where I come from any hint at any aspiration exceeding dull mediocrity was met with a firm hand and a quiet word in the ear: ‘Don’t you think you’d better just get your head down, scrape through with a pass and go and get yourself a job in a factory?’ I remember then, at that time, wanting to be a graphic designer, I just wasn’t entirely sure what it meant exactly.  Neither did the careers advisor.

Graphic design

Anyway, life just happened (as it does) and some twenty-five years later I’m very much involved in graphic design, web design and many other associated elements.  Only now, I think I have a fair grasp of just what graphic design actually is.  It all started a couple of years ago when I needed to design a logo and create a bit of advertising material for my business.  I came across an online photo editing and typography program, which, at the time, was fantastic and I managed to achieve exactly what I wanted to in a relatively short time.  That joy was short lived however, as any kind of enhancing or editing - however small - meant starting again.  So I was back to the drawing board so to speak.  Fortunately I had a friend in town at the time who knew his way around Adobe Photoshop and went through with me, the process of doing exactly what I had done previously, on Photoshop.  This is possibly the moment my addiction for anything digitally creative was born.  From that moment, and much to my immense satisfaction, any future edits would be accomplished in seconds and would leave a full edit trail that could be retraced and adjusted accordingly.  My skills grew exponentially from there as I started to explore the wonders of typography, effects, transforming, copying, sizing and blending all manner of components on my art board.

Honing the Skills 

Photoshop

It was a good while after that that I realized that what I’d learned and achieved so far, however significant, was completely useless when it came to print – which suddenly appeared to be a whole other iceberg to chip away at.  I’d finally realized just how much there was to learn is this field and just how little I had actually learnt thus far.  The only solution from there was to start studying online, using resources such as tutorials, forum groups/discussions and more importantly, online video tutorials.  It never ceases to amaze me just how accessible everything is nowadays to anyone who has a desire to learn anything. 

Discovering the Tablet

 

Having achieved a good grasp of creating vector based artwork and arranging compositions for print using desktop publishing software, I went back to honing my Photoshop skills, and while I started to understand a whole lot more from resuming the video tutorials it struck me one day just how utterly efficient and how completely effortless these experts are at moving their way around Photoshop while explaining exactly what they’re doing as they go, verbally.  It’s the technological equivalent of patting your head while simultaneously rubbing your stomach.  They were just so efficient.  Too efficient.  And then the penny dropped.  My hobby world as I knew it had just collapsed and reborn, all at once.  I realized that all along, some of the great designers I’d been watching had not been using a laptop trackpad as I had been, nor had they been using a mouse.  You can’t possibly get perfectly curved drawn lines that are so accurate and consistent like that.  Not with a mouse, and certainly not with a laptop trackpad.   But you can with a graphics tablet, and so began my long excitable journey of exploring the world of graphics tablets.

Graphics tablet

A graphics tablet is the miracle of miracles when it comes to graphic design.  Eliminating over half of the excess switching of modes and features and settings by keeping things in one manageable place, the graphics tablet is nothing more than an input device consisting of a flat tablet-sized surface and a stylus (with over 1,000 levels of sensitivity), used to draw shapes and gestures and drop points at different amounts of pressure to achieve every conceivable graphic design technique that would otherwise be nigh on impossible to achieve.  And none of them come close to the miracle that is the Wacom Tablet.  Suitable for both PC & Mac platforms , the Wacom tablet enables the designer to achieve the highest possible results in the world of graphic design.  If you’re already a designer or interested in pursuing a career in graphic design, there are some great deals on used wacom tablets online.

It has completely transformed the way I work, and I’ve also learned to be more aware when it comes to new technological developments.   If there are any, I’ll be sure to write about it here!  Thanks for visiting..