What Is Graphic Design? Career Guide for Beginners2023-01-20T12:13:00+00:00
Graphic design may immediately remind you of stunning web graphics or creative advertisements. But you must note that graphic design is a vast field that includes the creative designing of magazines, product labels, infographics, business cards, mobile apps, book covers, software interfaces, posters, logos, signs, and website layouts. The list is quite long.
Wondering what is graphic design and how would you describe the field of expertise? This post will give you a detailed overview of the subject matter while allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of this creative career option.
Graphic design is defined as an art of expressing ideas and experiences using appropriate visuals and texts in a creative manner. In simple terms, graphic design communicates messages visually with visuals assuming various forms such as logos, webpage layouts, posters, book covers, flyers and more. It contains artistic components or design ideas that influence the viewers’ perceptions in a subtle manner.
Graphic design connects businesses with their customers, allowing them to share information related to events, projects, campaigns, or products with their customers. It facilitates product promotion and advertising. It allows people to interpret complicated information easily. It is an integral component of a business’s brand building program.
It is noteworthy to mention that even though graphic design projects are meant to support commercial purposes, but it is also used frequently to reflect artistic pursuits. Graphic designers make use of visual hierarchy and page layout techniques to display typographical and pictorial elements in a creative manner so as to create interactive designs that would address the specific needs of businesses and to generate optimum user experience.
Before we move further into the discussion, let us discuss what is digital graphic design.
What Are the Elements and Principles of Graphic Design?
Understanding the elements and principles of design is crucial for mastering graphic design. It is mandatory for a designer to know the elements and principles to create visually appealing and impactful designs.
Important elements of graphic design
The key elements of graphic design include color, line, shape, space, size, scale, and texture. Let’s take a detailed look at them.
Color is the most important and striking element of any design. Color has an immediate impact as it is noticed by everyone and has a deep impact on creating emotions. For example, white represents purity and simplicity and red represents passion and courage.
Lines are used in graphic designs to convey a message to the viewers in a specific direction. Lines are paths that connect any two points. They can be straight, zigzag, or curved, thick, or thin, long, and short.
Shape is important in creating logos, websites, and any advertisement to communicate the right message. Shapes can be abstract forms like triangles, squares, rectangles, or circles and at least one type or more can be found in most designs. Shapes have distinct connotations, much like colors do. A square might stand in for structure, whereas a circle could stand for unity.
The readability of text to the human eye improves with proper spacing. Skilled graphic designers know how to constitute space to give emphasis on other elements or objects.
Size means how big or small an element is, compared to the other objects present in a design. It is typically used to draw attention or project a particular element in a design.
The scale element in a particular design directs the viewers on which features to look at first and in what order anyone can look at them. Graphic designers often make key features and highlight areas by using scale.
Textures can be used in different variations, such as paper, stone, concrete, brick, and clothes. Textures are used in graphic designs to represent how an object looks or feels. They give a three-dimensional look to an object or a design that creates a greater impact.
Important principles of graphic design
Graphic designers prefer to abide by some principles of designs which are basically a set of guidelines or rules. These principles help the designs to achieve the desired outcome.
These significant principles of graphic designs include balance and alignment, contrast, dominance and emphasis, proportion.
Balance and alignment
Balance and alignment in a graphic design means how elements are distributed in a design. By using proper shapes, color, textures, and lines a balanced design can be created which would be more exciting in viewer’s eyes.
A design’s contrast focuses on the elements’ interconnections with one another as well as their differences for a stimulating effect.
Dominance and emphasis
Designers should understand and prioritize the piece of information that they want to showcase over others. Through appropriate contrast and proportions, it can be created.
In any design every element needs to work together and complement each other to make it proportionate. Exact proportion of various elements of a particular design makes it non-monotonous and vibrant.
8 Types of graphic design provided by creative designers
There is no single way to define or describe graphic design and we have already mentioned this fact at the beginning of this article. The subject includes within its purview many fields and specializations. It is about generating brand-specific and audience-specific print media and web media graphics.
Thirty years back, the scope of this creative field was limited only to print-outcomes that included movie posters, advertisements, and magazines. This is the era of digital revolution and today, graphic design has undergone transformation and has assumed a digital makeover. Creative outcomes in modern times are shaped by modern technologies. Here are the main types of graphic design, which owe their origin to the digital revolution:
Web designers design the overall layout, navigation, and color scheme of websites and their main objective is to create intuitive and engaging webpages.
Graphic designers, who specialize in creating custom UX designs, ensure that users get a pleasant experience while exploring a website. These designers emphasize value, usability, adaptability and desirability. UX designers combine aesthetics with usability to create easy-to-use website interfaces. They must take into account the information architecture of the interactive designs and the visitors’ visual processing abilities in order to ensure smoother accessibility. Professionals who design UX should ensure that their designs are pleasurable, meaningful, and usable.
Motion Graphics Design
Professionals specializing in motion graphics can enliven visual elements by adding special effects and animation. The scope of motion graphics includes movies, TV shows, and video games. Motion graphics can be progressively used by businesses to create impactful ads. Motion graphic designers have the expertise to create animated logos, presentations, tutorial videos, apps, video games, advertisements, title sequences, trailers, presentations, promotional videos, animated banners, GIFs, etc.
Branding design is used by businesses to create visual identity as part of their branding initiatives. By using appropriate visual elements, graphic design companies can communicate their brands’ personality, tone, and essence to their customers and can create engaging experiences. Designers who specialize in creating visual identity graphic design collaborate with brand stakeholders to create logos, color palettes, typography, and image libraries. These design assets can be used in diverse media including corporate stationery, business cards, corporate gifts, etc.
Graphic design is a powerful marketing and advertising tool for businesses. Graphic designers specializing in creating visual marketing content work closely with a company’s owners or the marketing team to create different forms of web media and print media graphics. These professionals are expert at designing various types of marketing collateral such as infographics, postcards, flyers, brochures, presentations, email marketing templates, website and blog-images, vehicle wraps, magazines, signage, social media ads and banners, etc.
Graphic designers who specialize in publication design work in collaboration with publishers and editors to design layouts of books, catalogs, newspapers, newsletters, directories, magazines, annual reports, etc. These designers are expert at both print publishing and digital publishing, and they can creatively use typography and artwork including illustrations, photos, and graphics to create awe-inspiring layouts.
Product packaging is an important marketing and branding tool. Packaging designers have thorough knowledge of print and industrial design and they have expertise in creating designs for product labels as well. They are champions at working on other branding assets such as photography, visual identity, and illustrations.
Environmental Graphic Design
Environmental graphic design connects people with places and makes spaces more informative, interesting, and engaging. It is interesting to note that wayfinding is a special type of graphic design that combines strategic signage, landmarks and clues to help people find their ways to their destinations. Some of the typical graphic design outcomes are signage, wall murals, public transportation murals, indoor spaces of retail outlets, museum exhibitions, event and conference spaces, etc. As a matter of fact, environmental graphic design is a multidisciplinary field and demands knowledge of interior, architectural, landscape, and industrial design. Designers specializing in environmental design should have knowledge of design and architecture.
Top 10 highest paying graphic design jobs
Graphic designers are those who convey a brand message or advertisement through visual arts. If you love visual art or graphics or want to build a career in a domain like marketing, website design, or advertising field, graphic design could be the future for you.
In this article, we glance at the top 10 highest paying graphic design jobs.
Why would one choose to be a graphic designer?
Choosing graphic design as a career has several benefits, such as the freedom to showcase creativity with flexible hours for oneself. Because of the unique features of this job and great market value of graphic designers, they may also expect to make high wages. They have a lot of opportunities to create visually impactful designs especially in this post pandemic era.
Role: A 3D designer develops 3D visuals of a picture or a product for development purposes. A 3D designer builds a prototype of any product or object to present its features in a very short time span. 3D designers also develop animations and photo-realistic 3D representations for digital platforms such as websites and video games.
Role: Video game designer develops games that anyone can play on desktop, laptop or mobile. Video game designers can create any character or animated backdrop components like wildlife or greenery. Video game designers can collaborate with a content writing team to craft a storyline for a video game’s design.
Role: An industrial designer develops the concepts for manufacturing products like vehicle, appliances from scratch. An industrial designer should have a background of art, graphic design, business, and engineering, which they apply to each phase of the product design process. An industrial designer helps to improve the usability, and commercial appeal of any product.
Role: A design technologist works for websites, applications, or other digital products, in collaboration with both the design and development team. Design technologists employ visual design skills to improve a digital product’s user experience to maximize efficiency and user satisfaction.
Salary Range: $69,810 per year Role: A visual designer works for individual clients or a particular company and plans design elements for a project. They work for creating company names, or logos with clients’ specific demands. Having ample knowledge or experience of a specific market or industry will lead you as a visual designer.
Role: A creative manager also known as creative service manager basically works in marketing agencies, advertising firms, or other major business entities. They interact with clients to plan the layout of a marketing or brand development campaign. After setting a basic strategy, the creative manager instructs a team of designers to fulfill production targets while staying under budget.
Role: An art director oversees the visual aspects of media productions such as films, television shows, and print and digital publications. Their work focuses on project elements that users will see and interact with, such as page layouts, embedded graphics, and set designs.
Role: Concept artists are frequently hired by organizations that make digital products for use on the internet, such as magazines or desktop games. They mainly develop the first portrayal of a visual design of any project. Concept artists regularly work on video games, assisting in the creation of detailed characters and dynamic backgrounds for gameplay.
Role: A creative director handles all marketing campaigns, brand development, and product design undertaken by an organization. Many creative directors work for publications such as magazines or publishing companies, where they focus on cover art, illustrations, and page layout.
Role: A user experience director shapes a product in such a way that creates a positive user experience whenever the user will use it. They guide a team for designing and development of products that are user friendly. This also has expertise to develop a few features such as mobile game’s playable interface or the option to click links on a webpage.
So what is graphic design in its very essence?
By now, you must have realized that graphic design does not have one-size-fits- all character. You can use graphic design in innumerable ways to address diverse requirements or to create non-commercial outcomes that would inspire others.
Whether you have realized or not, graphic design is all about understanding the emotions of people. Even though graphic design has assumed its present-day digital makeover, it still remains as an application of tried-and-tested principles. Identifying the psychologies of different individuals and delivering designs that relate to their emotions is the key to becoming successful in this field.