Home : Interviews Photoshop : Daniel
Tell us something about you and how did you inclined towards graphics
and web designing.
Hi Atul. Thanks for the offer
of an interview. I started out doing sites for community organisations,
and a few others, but all were gratis or for very small amounts of
money. My site, Pegaweb.com, started out simply as a hobby site, with
a few pieces of information on it--mainly a few Photoshop basics that
I had learned during my short experience with Photoshop and web design.
The site gradually grew and grew, as did my knowledge of Photoshop.
Eventually I gave up on doing websites for other people--even when
offered fairly substantial amounts of money--and simply focused on
my own site.
all about Photoshop on your site. Please tell us your perception about
this great software. Have you used any other image editing software?
What feature you found most amazing in Photoshop? Do you find any
serious competition to Photoshop?
Yes, my site's all about
Photoshop (and web design). If you're going to make a website about
something, don't make it about anything else. Your site isn't a
supermarket. It's better to be very good at one thing than average
at ten things. I could have learned Flash, PHP, ASP, XHTML and Illustrator
by now, and written tutorials about them. I haven't done this though,
because I'd be very average at all of them, and people can go elsewhere
and get information from specialists in any of those fields if they
In keeping with this philosophy, I'm focusing more and more on
tutorials about using Photoshop for web design.
My opinion about Photoshop is that it's the best graphics program
around. Sure, I haven't tried any others, but I know that Photoshop
is the industry standard, and it's intentionally the only program
I can use.
The Blending Options (Effects for you 5.5-ers out there). These
(not filters) are the foundation of my use of Photoshop. Once you
know how they really work, which isn't a piece of cake, you can
just imagine something in your head, create the base shape of it,
and then fairly easily make it look realistic.
comments about Photoshop?
Yes. Photoshop 6, Photoshop
7, and CS are basically identical. However, they're all a big improvement
on PS 5.0 and 5.5.
is your opinion about third party plugins? Do you use them occasionally?
I don't use plugins. I'm sure
there are useful plugins out there, but there's a way to do almost
anything, without plugins.
tutorials are unique. They not only teaches photoshop but gives extensive
knowledge of web designing. Tell us your perception about web designing.
Is it an art or science?
I focus on the graphical part
of web design, so I'll give my two cents on that. It's mainly science.
The "art part" is knowing what looks good, and the science
(the hard part) is being able to get the image in your head onto the
screen (this part is where 95% of web/graphic design goes wrong.)
If you're not artistic, that can't be helped. If you don't know the
"science" part, that can be improved, but it can only be
improved through practice. Keep a folder of bookmarked sites that
impressed you. Work out what the impressive effect is, drag it into
Photoshop, and try to imitate it.
us your experience of designing and maintaining such an amazing and
one of the most popular web site like www.pegaweb.com
It has been a learning experience.
Everyone wants instant success, but it ain't gunna happen. I only
write when I have something important to say, never to "generate
content". I use my website forum to generate mass informational
fodder for search engines to pick up. I ask visitors to only post
questions to my forum--not email them to me. This way, I can answer
their questions in person, and leave the dialogue as a permanent resource
for other visitors.
us your philosophy about web and graphics designing and in general
digital arts as an artist.
I'm not really an "artist"
per se--not in the qualificational sense. My main aim in graphic design
is to create realism out of non-realism. In my opinion, this is the
crucible of artistic graphic design--the ability to picture something
fantastic in your mind, and have the requisite technical knowledge
to able to transfer it to the screen.
More recently, I've learned a lot more about good web design (both
graphical and non-graphical) by taking stock of what web design is
fundamentally about, and how people so easily lose sight of the big
Good web design is about aiding the transfer of useful information
to the visitor. (Unless your site topic is art or design, in which
case the design of the site itself is of interest to the visitor.)
Most web designers don't realise that most sites' visitors don't care
for website graphics... and care even less for bad graphics. Sure,
if you can "wow" people, that's great... but that rarely
happens. People just want their information... quickly!
better to have a website with no graphics at all than one with bad
On my website, I pose the "Blank page" question. "Look
at your site. Then paste all its text into a blank page. If the blank
page with text looks better than your website, you have failed the
test. All your work has only degraded your page's appearance."
In closing, here is some very brief and opinionated advice to other
aspiring graphical web designers: Learn Photoshop almost exclusively.
Forget about filters (except blur and a few rare others). Learn to
use a very simple web editor (like Frontpage). Don't use any kind
of animation. Make lots of practice websites. Be a perfectionist.
Don't learn HTML. Don't learn Java, or HTML, 3-D programs, or anything
similar. Whatever you do, don't ever use Flash. It does nothing. Make
your website's design and navigation identical on all pages. Same
layout, same SINGLE navigation menu. Never make an "intro"
page, especially not a Flash intro page. ALWAYS use a white background.
Present text in the simplest possible way. No boxes for different
Make your page load as fast as possible. Keep graphics to a minimum.
Use one font for web page text. Size 2, black for text. Size 3, bold,
black for subheaders. Size 4, bold, dark red (or other non-blue colour)
for main headers. Actually, just present EVERYTHING in the absolute
simplest way. Trust me.
If you don't trust me, go paste your front page into Word, set it
up with the 2-3-4 font size and style I described in the previous
paragraph, and ask yourself "why does this look kinda good?"