I've got a month until university starts, what sort of stuff could I do to keep myself occupied and developing skills until then? What would you say are your top 5 recommended skills a graphic designer should have?
Sorry I have only just seen this!
First of all relax, freshers and the run up to Christmas is going to be at tiring few months. However it wont hurt to look into basic photoshop and illustrator tutorials. If you are interested in photography, take your camera out somewhere and explore.
Books and mags
Buy some books gestalten is a great shop and stocks the most amazing design books. Start looking at content you didnt know existed like magazines e.g Village bookstore sell some really interesting magazines www.villagebookstore.co.uk
Blogs are also great to look at - Top three I would recommend would be
1. A basic understanding of the fundamentals of typography - rules of appropriation, hierarchy, tone of voice etc
2. Colour theory - Colour is very important in Graphic Design ranging from learning all about CMYK and RGB colours to again appropriation, hierarchy, tone of voice etc
3. Layout - an ability to work with type and images in a limited space with rules and structure. It is also good to know how and when to break these rules too.
4. A willingness to learn - As a designer you shouldn’t limit yourself. Be open to new technology and how the web is opening new opportunities in our industry.You don’t have to be able to code but you should be aware of how a website functions and read about UX. Web is not boring (I thought it was when I started uni) here is a great website that will excite you httpster.net
5. Research - An ability to research is very important. At uni you get to run your own projects and write your own briefs, you need research for your project to develop as it it often strengthens your work and can inform you and whoever looks at your work.