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What is Graphic Design?

what is graphic design

What is graphic design exactly? We like to think of it as talented artists mixed with technological talent. Have what it takes to be a graphic designer?

Humans have created art since the dawn of civilization.  Since the first moments of its existence, art has been used as a tool of communication.  Art accomplishes what words and language alone cannot.  Humans use art to communicate passion, emotion, love, hate, anger, beauty, power, glory, and other complex concepts that cannot be explained with words.  Artists have long been considered great communicators, and preserved art from historic civilizations gives us a unique understanding of specific cultures and historic peoples.

As our world changes with the onset of technological advances, the art of our lifetime has changed dramatically.  A new art form has sprung to life: graphic design.  Graphic designers are artists that use modern technology to create their art.  Computer software and design programs replace paintbrushes, clay and pencils in this new form of art.  Graphic design has proven itself in the past decade as an art form that is here to stay.  Businesses and corporations have jumped upon the graphic design form as an effective way to communicate to potential clients and consumers.

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design, to put it simply, is art mixed with technology.  If a businessman wants to communicate a specific idea about his business to a large number of people, he has two basic options.  He can communicate orally on the radio, television, or in front of a crowd: this is verbal communication.  However, if he chooses to communicate that idea with something visual rather than auditory, his communication has crossed over into the field of graphic design.

A television commercial with visual effects, a catalog with stylized images, a website with a company logo, an e-mail with bright colors and attractive design, a company’s stationery with an attractive letterhead and a neon flyer hung on a doorknob are all examples of graphic design put into action.  Graphic designers are able to communicate things about a company or business in ways that the viewer isn’t even aware of.

For example, a flyer that is printed on neon-colored paper with flashy fonts and big, bold letters communicated urgency and importance.  The company is perceived as hip and impressive.  A modest website with traditional fonts and blocks of subdued colors might represent a company that is understated and professional.  These subtle differences in style and design are used by graphic designers to communicate ideas without using words.  Businesses are quickly recognizing the profound nature of what graphic design can accomplish.  As such, the field of graphic design is exploding and is expected to grow consistently for the next decade.

Where Are Graphic Designers Employed?

Because graphic design is found everywhere, graphic designers are found in almost all businesses.  Some graphic designers are hired on a freelance basis, completing several different jobs for several different companies.  Other graphic designers are hired on a full-time basis at a large company with a staff of graphic designers.  Some graphic designers have their own companies and contract work out to businesses with graphic design needs.  Graphic designers are completing a variety of ever-changing projects.  These projects may include:

  • Web Design and Management: a company’s web presence is very important in today’s internet-frenzied America.
  • E-mail Design: companies that use e-mails to advertise products or services need graphic designers to create attractive and effective e-mails.
  • Logo Design: a company’s logo instantly communicates to consumers about the company.  Graphic designers make logos that will be remembered.
  • Animation: some graphic designers use technology to create animations for movies, commercials, television shows or other advertisements.
  • Print Advertising: graphic designers are still hired to create catalogs, flyers, and other print advertisements for companies and businesses.

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