Graphic Design

Graphic Design: Overview

“A picture speaks a thousand words”

If you look around, design is all around us in a multitude of things, both in print and on screen.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic Design Meaning

The word graphics stems from the word ‘graph’ which literally means a visual.

Communication Design is another word referred to Graphic Design.

Through Graphic Design, a message is etched in the mind of the audience in the most striking way via visual means of communication.

A combination of images, words and graphics are used to communicate ideas and messages through virtual and physical art forms to inform, inspire and captivate customers by visually communicating.

Visuals can be as simple as a business logo, or as complex as page layouts on a website.

To generate graphically communicative ideas, the Graphic Design process involves combining aesthetics, creative thinking and technology.

A dash of innovation to convey a message is where Graphic Design plays an important role.

Through advertising by developing brand identity, infographics conveying complicated information in a simpler way on websites, companies can use Graphic design to promote and sell products.

It is important to know the elements and principles of design to better understand what Graphic Design is.

Elements of Design

To communicate messages visual content is created by professionals in Graphic Design using page layout and visual hierarchy techniques to optimize user experience by displaying elements of design.

To create visually impactful and striking designs, elements of design are crucial which form the design’s structure and convey messages visually.

Graphic Design Elements include:

  • Color
  • Form
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Space
  • Texture
  • Typography

Principles of Design

To help a design achieve effective composition there are a set of guidelines that Graphic designers adhere to, to create balance and stability in their design and to ensure the elements of the overall design are connected to one another.

Graphic Design Principles include:

  • Balance
  • Contrast
  • Emphasis
  • Movement
  • Proportion
  • Rhythm
  • Alignment
  • Proximity
  • Repetition

Why is Graphic Design Important?

  • Build unique brand/identity
  • Conveys messages and information better than words
  • Aids digital marketing
  • Improve sales
  • Delivers brand messages
  • Visual graphics surpass languages
  • Advertising and marketing design
  • User interface design
  • Motion designs
  • Narrates a story
  • Helps create a strong impression

What are the Types of Graphic Design?

Many fields and specializations, Graphic Design is composed of ranging from print, web design, motion graphics and animation.

Corporate Design

It is more of a traditional graphic design that covers both strategy and design aspects.

It defines who you are, what you do, and why you’re doing it and outlines where you are, and where you want to go to get everyone on the same page.

It is also essential to know what makes you different from your competitors.

Marketing and Advertising Design

To get the best approach for your campaign  it is crucial to put in the time to research and let data drive the direction to advertising design.

Advertising design is the intersection of marketing and design.

Publication Design

It is the layout and graphic design for printed materials.

Publication design through the combination of words, graphics, and layout can inform and instruct an audience.

Environmental Design

It combines aspects of landscape design with architecture and is also called experiential design.

A larger aesthetic picture is taken into consideration when planning and creating your spaces, structures and other projects with design disciplines including graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design.

Environment Graphic Design includes:

  • Wayfinding
  • Placemaking
  • Exhibition design
  • Public spaces
  • Research
  • Master planning

Environment design makes spaces more informative, easier to navigate, and more memorable for its visitors.

Packaging Design

Judging a Book by its Cover

Packaging is the creation of the exterior of a product used on wrapping, a box, a can, a bottle or any kind of container.

It includes ancillary design elements to make a product suitable for marketing as well as choosing material, structure and form as well as graphics, color, imagery, typography, and regulatory information.

There are different goals for different consumer goods for their packaging design. 

The primary objective of packaging is to to contain, protect, transport, dispense, store, identify, and distinguish a product in the marketplace.

To design a good packaging it should be eye-catching, visually pleasing, and memorable.

Packaging serves to protect and prolong the contents apart from promoting a product.

Motion Design

It utilises the principles of filmmaking or video production to create visually appealing imagery and are used in software, ui design, video game development, and other fields.

Motion design includes creating trailers, movie clips, commercials, title sequences, etc using animation, visual effects and other cinematic techniques that brings websites, commercials, and films to an entirely new level.

Motion design involves two kinds of interactions: real-time and non-real-time.

  • Real-time – It provides immediate feedback and responds instantly to user input.
  • Non-real-time – Users can pause and watch later and it occurs after user input.

With expanding budgets and imaginations of creative filmmakers and video producers skilled motion designers are essential for impressive technology and design.

Web Design

A process where images, fonts, colors, graphics layout and structure is planned and built which forms the elements of a website.

Components of a website include graphic designing, interface design, user experience design, content creation and search engine optimization that work together to create a finished experience and determine the look and feel of it on different devices

Rather than the software development aspect, web design usually is concerned with the user experience aspect.

Most common method of website design is:

  • Responsive Design – Depending on the size screen, content moves dynamically.
  • Adaptive Design – The layout size of content is fixed to match screen size.

The aim is to help businesses reach their goals by delivering audiences a quality experience. 

UX Design

UX Design enhances the experience of users by designing products that are useful, easy to use and seamless to interact with as well as making sure of providing value.

Aspects of design, branding, usability and function are involved in the process of acquiring and integrating a product.

To provide a good user experience, a product should be designed keeping not only the product consumption usage in mind but also the process of acquiring, owning and troubleshooting it.

UX design includes a bunch of disciplines right from information architecture, visual design, interaction design, usability and human to computer interaction.

UI Design

A subset of UX design – User Interface (UI) Design.

User Interface (UI) Design ensures the interface elements are easy to access, understand and facilitate the required actions after anticipating the interface elements that the users might need.

Interface elements include:

  • Input Controls
  • Navigational Components
  • Informational Components
  • Containers

Focusing on looks and style, user interfaces are designed and built in software or computerized devices.

UI design formats:

  • Graphical user interfaces (GUIs)
  • Voice-controlled interfaces (VUIs)
  • Gesture-based interfaces

When creating user interfaces, interface design principles are followed to increase the chances of success that are used to guide software design which represent high-level concepts.

Best practices:

  • Interface controlled by users
  • Comfortable interaction with a product
  • Cognitive load reduction
  • Consistent user interfaces
  • Purposeful page layout

Where is Graphic Design Used?

Applications of Graphic Design

The field of Graphic Design serve many functions and covers:

  • Visual/Brand Identity Graphic Design
  • Advertising and Marketing Graphic Design
  • Publication Graphic Design
  • Packaging graphic design
  • User Interface Graphic Design
  • Motion Graphic Design
  • Environmental Graphic Design
  • Art and illustration for Graphic Design

Visual/Brand Identity Graphic Design

  • Logos
  • Business cards
  • Stationery kit
  • Brand guidelines

Advertising and Marketing Graphic Design

  • Postcards
  • Flyers
  • Infographics
  • Brochures
  • Email marketing templates
  • Presentations
  • Social media banners and ads
  • Retargeting ad graphics
  • Images for websites and blogs
  • Product labels
  • Packaging
  • Billboards
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Menus

Publication Graphic Design

  • Books
  • E-books
  • Newspapers
  • Newsletters
  • Directories
  • Annual reports
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs

User Interface Graphic Design

Emphasize on value, adaptability, usability, desirability.

  • Web page design (Layout, Design, Color Scheme, Navigation, Style)
  • Theme design
  • Game interfaces
  • App design
  • 3D modeling

Motion Graphic Design

  • Digital advertisements
  • Animated logos
  • Presentations
  • Trailers
  • Promotional videos
  • Tutorial videos
  • Websites
  • Banners
  • GIFs
  • Special effects videos
  • Title sequences and end credits

Environmental Graphic Design

  • Signage
  • Wall murals
  • Exhibitions
  • Office branding
  • Public transportation navigation
  • Retail store interiors
  • Stadium branding
  • Event and conference spaces

Art and illustration Graphic Design

  • T-shirt design
  • Graphic patterns for textiles
  • Motion graphics
  • Stock images
  • Graphic novels
  • Video games
  • Websites
  • Comic books
  • Album art
  • Book covers
  • Picture books
  • Infographics
  • Technical illustration
  • Concept art

What are the Skills required in Graphic Design?

An aspiring graphic designer need to posses the below-mentioned skillset:

  • Creativity
  • Visualisation
  • Knowledge of software
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Color theory
  • Typography
  • Elements and Principles of Design

What Job Profiles Can A Graphic Designer Get Hired For?

Graphic Designer Job profile:

  • Flash Animator
  • Layout Designer
  • UI Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Developer
  • SEO Consultant
  • Content Management System specialist

Graphic Designer Role

Creative Director

Manage-

  • Creative team

Art Director

Manage and coordinate-

  • Production Artists
  • Illustrators

Art Production Manager

Manage-

  • Art Generation
  • Art Creation

Package Designer

Design-

  • Packaging

Visual Image Developer

Create images and designs-

  • 3D modeling
  • Photography
  • Image editing.

Visual Journalist

For print or digital application-

  • Infographics

Broadcast Designer

Create designs to be used in television productions-

  • Visual designs
  • Electronic media

Logo Designer

  • Logo
  • Brand Identity

Interface Designer

Develop-

User Interface Design

Web Designer

Create-

  • Web Graphics
  • Web Layouts
  • Web Pages

Multimedia Developer

  • Sound
  • Motion

Content Developer

Create-

  • Written Content
  • Graphic Content
  • Video Script
  • Other Multimedia Content

An aspiring graphic designer can be hired by the following companies:

  • Print & publishing houses
  • Advertising agencies
  • Graphic design studios
  • TV & Multimedia production houses
  • Website development studios
  • E-learning companies
  • Web Design Studios

FAQ’s

What is the Definition of Graphic Design?

Graphic design is defined as “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” -American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).

Where is Graphic Design used?

Logos, brochures, flyers, posters, signage, greeting cards, postcards, business cards, billboards and ads.

What are the basic concepts a Graphic Designer needs to know?

It is important to stay focused on few concepts based on user psychology, which are:
-Typography
-Symmetry and Balance
-Flow
-Repetition
-Pattern
-The Golden Ratio
-The Rule of Thirds
-Audience Culture

Who are the industry experts in Graphic Design?

The following men created work that defines the industry:Saul Bass 
-Paul Rand
-Milton Glaser 
-Alan Fletcher 
-Herb Lubalin

Do I need to be good at drawing to become a Graphic Designer?

It is not mandatory to be good at drawing and you need not draw by hand. To excel in this field graphic designers should be well versed and skilled with designing software to use art/graphics.

What software’s Graphic Designers use to create designs?

Graphic designers use computer-aided designs with the help of softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw.

They also use hand-illustrated sketch designs traced back on the design software.

Do Graphic Designers get paid well?

The salaries offered vary from one firm to the other.

The average salary package starts from around Rs 3 lakhs annually for graphic designers.

How do I get a Graphic Design job?

After pursuing formal education, an aspiring graphic designer can take up an internship at an organisation that will help in refining skills and get hands-on experience of practical implementation as well as understand the work culture of this field.

A full time or part-time job can be taken up after some basic experience.

Can you become a Graphic Designer without a degree?

Ideally, a formal education and degree is beneficial to make a career in the field of graphic design.

However, short term courses or diplomas could be pursued in graphic design without taking the longer route of getting a degree.

What is some good advice for Graphic Design students?

-From time to time it is necessary to be updated with the changes and new developments in the industry.
-Don’t blindly follow trend
-Don’t be upset with criticism
-Invest time in building your portfolio as well as updating it regularly

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