Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of typography, photography, and illustration. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term "graphic design" is used synonymously. Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography, visual arts, and page layout techniques to create visual compositions. Common uses of graphic design include corporate design (logos and branding), editorial design (magazines, newspapers and books), wayfinding or environmental design, advertising, web design, communication design, product packaging, and signage.
Graphic design is applied to everything visual, from road signs to technical schematics, from interoffice memorandums to reference manuals.
Design can aid in selling a product or idea. It is applied to products and elements of company identity such as logos, colors, packaging and text as part of branding (see also advertising). Branding has become increasingly more important in the range of services offered by graphic designers. Graphic designers often form part of a branding team.
Graphic design is applied in the entertainment industry in decoration, scenery and visual story telling. Other examples of design for entertainment purposes include novels, vinyl album covers, comic books, DVD covers, opening credits and closing credits in filmmaking, and programs and props on stage. This could also include artwork used for T-shirts and other items screenprinted for sale.
From scientific journals to news reporting, the presentation of opinion and facts is often improved with graphics and thoughtful compositions of visual information - known as information design. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, television and film documentaries may use graphic design. With the advent of the web, information designers with experience in interactive tools are increasingly used to illustrate the background to news stories. Information design can include data visualization, which involves using programs to interpret and form data into a visually compelling presentation, and can be tied in with information graphics.
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F.A.Q about Graphics Design
What is graphic design and what does it include?
Graphic design is a design process that combines text and graphics in a way that is intended to communicate a specific message.
Where is graphic design used?
You will find graphic design in company logos, printed materials like brochures, posters, signs, greeting cards, postcards, business cards, billboards and ads. Advances in technology have brought us the digital environment complete with websites, online ads, virtual brochures and presentations, and so very much more.
What do graphic designers use to create these designs?
Graphic designers can use hand-illustrated designs as well as computer-aided designs thanks to a wide range of software with nearly endless digital design tools. The availability of software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop have become staples of the graphic designer.
What can a graphic designer do that I can’t do?
A graphic designer does more than just put their creative skills to work. Though most graphic designers are intuitively creative already, they have generally spent time studying numerous design principles. It’s vital to understand how to use design elements to transmit the required messages and values as well as evoke a certain feeling in the viewer. As a visual communicator, they leverage these design elements and use concepts such as color, typography, space, balance, form and lines to create their visual message.
Some graphic designers are also able to understand the more technical aspects of the design required to create digital assets for a company. For example, a web designer is often able to create wireframes, workflows, and sitemaps and understand how to develop easy navigation for the user experience.
What else does a graphic designer accomplish as part of the work they produce for a client?
Besides turning their client’s vision, brand image and value proposition into a graphic display, a designer will undertake many specialty tasks as part of a graphic design project. The specialty tasks include collaborating on the concept (usually with a team), attending meetings about the project, paying attention to what customers are clicking on, doing presentations that explain the various potential designs, revising designs, and preparing asset files for others on the team and for client use.