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Graphic Design Basics (for writers)

DARA’s February 25th meeting will tackle the basic concepts of graphic design so you can work better with designers and create some of your own graphics. Randee Paraskevopoulos, a graphic designer with over 20 years of experience, will lead the presentation starting about 10 am. Join us on Zoom for social time at 9 a.m. and a short business meeting at 9:30 a.m. If you need more information or the Zoom link, contact

GRAPHIC DESIGN IS ART WITH A PURPOSE. And you don’t have to be an artist to do it. It’s visual communication in which you convey your message using typography, images, page layout and color. Your writing life interacts with graphic design most prominently in book covers and interior page design. But it’s also vital to your website, advertising, social media, and swag. When it’s an image that’s going to last a long time, like a book cover, you’ll want to work with an experienced designer. But you can absolutely do-it-yourself for one-time uses like social media posts.

This online presentation is specifically geared towards writers and will cover just the basics of graphic design. We’ll learn the terminology, so our conversations with designers will be more productive and we’ll get what we want without a lot of costly revisions. We’ll also cover, on a high level, some of the general concepts such as selecting fonts and colors, and the importance of balance and white space in a layout.

Finally, we’ll get a crash course in the free online graphic design program, Canva. We’ll also get a list of safe places online where we can get stock images, clip art, and fonts for free or almost free. When we’re finished, you’ll have the knowledge you need to tackle your own simple designs.


Randee Paraskevopoulos is a freelance graphic designer and developmental editor at P15 Creative (P15 because Paraskevopoulos has 15 letters). She studied journalism at Berry College in Rome, GA, and became a copy editor. She discovered she loved the page layout part of being a copy editor. Now, 20+ years later, Randee still has a passion for graphic design, even though she can’t draw a decent looking heart.

Over the years, she’s created everything from logos and business cards, up to posters and wall-sized banners, from straightforward web banners to complex, multi-page playbills and catalogs. Her specialty is static graphic design – designs that grab your attention and tell you everything you need to know without moving parts or interactive features.

Graphic design and editing are her day jobs. She also writes romantic suspense under the pen name Randee Leigh (again, because Paraskevopoulos has 15 letters). Her novels are still unpublished, but a few of her short stories have appeared in anthologies.

Randee lives her own happily-ever-after in an idyllic suburb of DFW with her husband of 27 years. (He says he knows she loves him because she took his last name.) They have two technically adult daughters, both in colleges far away from home. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, taking classes on a variety of subjects, or watching just about any sport or Marvel movie. She often multi-tasks, doing those things while snuggling with her two chihuahua mixes, Pepper and Jane (named after Thor and Iron Man's girlfriends).

In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Berry, Randee has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and an editing certificate from the University of Chicago. You can find her at


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