For years, graphic designers have been making magic using software such as Adobe® Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and InDesign® to create for print, using precise tools and options that let them have full control over the design and production process. But when it comes to the web, many designers have felt out of their element due to issues like daunting HTML coding, design constraints, and a lack of control over the final output they are accustomed to when working in print.
But a fear of coding doesn’t need to stop anyone from entering the brave new world of the web. Three designers — Samantha Kerdine, Hana Lee, and Marcy McGuire — share their experiences using Adobe Muse™ to design and publish their first websites. They reveal how flexible, intuitive tools much like those in traditional layout applications gave them the freedom to master the technical requirements of web design and let their personal design aesthetics and skills shine through. And they don’t have to give up the control they are used to.
“With Muse, I feel comfortable knowing that I can grow and reveal new sides of myself at any time on my website.”
After earning my master’s degree in global design from Condé School in Paris, I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer and junior artistic director. As a freelance designer, nothing is more important to me than to be able to reflect my unique creative sensibilities and skills through my own graphic identity and my website. But my mood and preferences change over time. When I first decided to create a website to showcase my creative work and help attract freelance business, I wanted it to reflect this constant evolution in a natural and fluid way. Reading a review from a French blogger was my first exposure to Muse, where I discovered that the team behind InDesign was involved in creating Muse, which was great for me because I’m very comfortable working with InDesign. The site I created with Muse helps me market my individual design philosophy, which is very important for attracting new opportunities as a freelancer. With Muse, I feel comfortable knowing that I can grow and reveal new sides of myself at any time on my website. If I want to use new typography I’ve designed, then I can. If I want to update my website over lunch, then I can. With Muse, I can stay in the creative flow while expressing — and reexpressing — my creative personality.
“Muse…allowed me to think about design freely and intuitively.”
While studying at the Academy of Art University’s School of Graphic Design, I had the chance to evaluate Adobe Muse by creating a portfolio site. In school, I specialized in package design; I really enjoy the control and precision that package design allows me while still giving me the ability to experiment creatively. But I wasn’t sure how to make my same design visions work online and I didn’t want to sacrifice creativity for functionality. With Muse, I was able to visualize my ideas immediately without worrying about how they would be implemented. I experimented with different tools and effects, such as pinning objects to the browser and using anchor links to help users navigate the site and find information more easily. It was easy to give my website some style, without being overdone. Creating a master page and building visual wireframes helped me control each page of the site, but still allowed me to think about design freely and intuitively. By learning and using Muse I became motivated to know more about web design and coding; the experience really expanded my design skill set and gave me a great portfolio site to use as I start my career.
“Working with my advertising partners and web design customers has never been easier.”
In my 20-plus years as a graphic designer, I’ve gone from creating grocery store ads and doing galley paste-ups for a local newspaper to creating my own magazines both in print and online. I wear a lot of design hats, so anything that can improve how I create and manage my websites piques my interest. To lay out and design my print magazines, I use Adobe InDesign, and to publish the websites that complement the branding and visual experience of my print magazines, I use Adobe Muse. My websites help me stay ahead of my magazine competitors who only offer print versions, and improve my business by growing my subscription base and advertising revenue. Working with my advertising partners and web design customers has never been easier; they can bring me an ad concept or artwork and I can quickly produce a trial website. Together we can make tweaks to maximize ad space or see how their website looks and feels. It’s fantastic!