What Is Graphic Design? A Beginner’s Guide to a Creative Career

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Graphic design career

When you think of graphic design, do you think of artistic ads? Eye-catching graphics on websites? Impressively distributed in magazines? While these examples certainly fit the definition of graphic design, the term covers a lot: posters, infographics, book covers, product labels, logos, business cards, signs, website designs, mobile apps, software interfaces. : the list goes on.

So what exactly is it? Listing these examples is a good start, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. While the details and complexities of the entire field of graphic design may not be covered in one article, this high-level overview will help you better understand this creative career field.

If you are interested in becoming a professional graphic designer, read on to learn the basics of the field.

First, what is graphic design?

Importance of graphic design
Importance of graphic design

According to him American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) , is defined as “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content”. In other words, graphic design communicates certain ideas or messages visually. These images can be as simple as a company logo or as complex as page layouts on a website.

“Graphic design takes graphic and textual elements and implements them in multiple types of media,” says the designer. Alexandros Clufetos , when asked to develop the definition of graphic design. “It helps the producer to connect with the consumer. It conveys the message of the project, event, campaign or product ”.

Graphic design can be used by companies to promote and sell products through advertising, websites to convey complicated information in a digestible way through infographics, or by companies to develop an identity through branding, among other things.

“Every day, we take a lot of the subtly artistic things around us for granted. But hidden in every corner of the magazine, the exit sign, or the textbook lies in a set of design ideas that influence our perceptions, ”says Jacob Smith, founder of the illustration studio. ProductViz .

It is also important to remember that although many graphic design projects have commercial purposes such as advertisements and logos, they are also used in other contexts and graphic design work is often created purely as a medium for artistic expression.

Basic concepts

To better understand the meaning, it is important to know the elements and principles that make up the design. Elements are used in conjunction or opposition to each other to create visually striking and impactful designs.

These graphic design elements include:

  • Colour
  • To form
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Space
  • Texture

Graphic designers also adhere to design principles, which are essentially a set of guidelines that help a design achieve effective composition. These basic principles help create balance and stability for work.

These graphic design principles include:

  • Balance
  • Contrast
  • Emphasis
  • Movement
  • Proportion
  • Rhythm

You’ve heard the old saying that “rules are bound to be broken,” which may certainly ring true in this case. But a good graphic designer must first understand these principles before making a conscious decision to break them.

As mentioned above, there is no single meaning. Graphic design is made up of many fields and specializations, ranging from print and web design to animation and motion graphics. Graphic design offers opportunities and options for people of almost any interest.

If you had asked someone 30 years ago to define graphic design, your answer would probably have focused on examples related to printing, such as magazines, movie posters, and advertisements. We are now living in the digital age, which has given rise to several new types of graphic design.

Some of the most notable examples of modern DG stem from technological advancements. Here’s a look at some of these DG types:

  • Website design implies the creation of attractive and intuitive web pages for users. This includes general design, color scheme, and navigation.
  • The design of the user experience (UX) focuses on ensuring that a website or app is easy and satisfying to use. These designers emphasize value, usability, adoptability, and convenience.
  • Motion graphics design, or animation, brings visual elements to life through special effects, television shows, video games, and movies.

What does a graphic designer do?

With technological advancements introducing new types of design, new graphic design jobs have also emerged. This evolution has changed the entire landscape of racing in this field.

The demand for “traditional” graphic designers working primarily for print publishers has dropped substantially, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Employment of graphic designers in computer systems design services is projected to grow 24 percent through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 1 Much of this demand is fueled by the growing need for digital imaging and graphics businesses and organizations as they aim to increase their digital presence.

So with that being said, what are some graphic design job titles common? We analyzed more than 30,000 job openings applying for a DG degree during the past year. 2 The data helped us determine the most common job titles:

  • Graphic designer
  • User Experience Designer (UX)
  • Web designer
  • Art director
  • Creative director

As you can see, once armed with the proper knowledge and training, there are several job options. You have the ability to tailor your career to your personal skills and interests.

Popular graphic design tools

Now that you know what kinds of jobs and specializations exist, it helps to familiarize yourself with the design tools that help get the job done. One of the most basic and least expensive tools designers use is a sketchbook. Graphic designers often sketch ideas or drafts on paper before turning to a computer to complete the process.

That said, computers and design software are essential in today’s digital climate, even if you’re designing for print. The type of computer you need is based on preference, but when it comes to software, Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are mainstays in the world. If you’re just getting started and don’t want to commit to the high price tag that Adobe products often carry, similar free open source software, such as GIMP, can help you start to master the basics.

Lastly, ideas and inspiration are what a graphic designer needs the most. “You must have a solid concept that serves as the basis for your design and communication,” explains Chad Birenbaum, co-founder of Duckpin Design . “This concept and this idea must first work on paper and then the computer must be used as a tool to bring the concept to life.”

Graphic designers are inspired by the world around them, so if you’re worried you’re not being creative enough, get out there, brainstorm with your peers, or search the internet for ideas. There are many inspiring blogs that can help you get your creative juices flowing.

Create your future in graphic design

What exactly? As you have just learned, there is no one-size-fits-all definition. There are countless ways to use graphic design to solve business problems or evoke inspiration. It is up to you to determine what graphic design means to you and your future career.

Having a good eye for design is a great start, but do you possess the other natural traits of a graphic designer?

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