When you open a website, what's the first thing that you notice? Most probably, the layout.
Even I do that.
If the website layout is eye-grabbing, it pushes you to explore it more.
Graphic design is not only limited to the website layout or magazine, but it encompasses infographics, posters, mobile apps, book covers, broadcast graphics, title sequences, and the list goes on.
These are excellent examples of graphic designs to paint a picture of what this career path has in store. However, the entire graphic design field is so vast that perhaps you need to read more to get into the nits-and-grits of graphic designing.
If you have made-up your mind and are considering starting your graphic design career, let’s explore more about graphic design.
What is Graphic Designing?
Do you think graphic designing is some new digital age concept?
The tools and techniques we are using are, of course, of the new age, but the concept is quite old. Cave paintings of Maltravieso cave, Cáceres, Spain, are older than 64,000 years. Yes, it is an ancient example of graphic design.
“Graphic design” term appeared for the first time in 1922 when the book designer William Addison Dwiggins first used it to describe his role in managing and structuring the visuals in book design.
However, Graphic designing has evolved so much with time, thanks to the internet and digitalization of industries.
Graphic design is not just about combining words or shapes or colors but also combining ideas, forms, and images to communicate a concept more effectively.
Graphic designer compounds the use of several elements to create a visually appealing piece. With the help of lines, colors, textures, shapes, sizes, value, and space, they create works of art.
Graphic design makes it easy for a brand to sell its product and services by visually communicating messages.
Great design is an amalgamation of science and an art that helps the creator establish a relationship with its audience.
Types of Graphic Designs
As I have said earlier, graphic designing is not just limited to the use of lines and shapes, but it is such a vast and creative area. Every graphic design career path demands a particular set of skill-set and design techniques.
You need to understand the types of graphic design to select the right career path.
Visual Identity Graphic Design
Every business needs to create a narrative to establish a brand identity to reach its target audiences. Developing a visual representation of that narrative is known as ‘Visual identity graphic designing.’
A visual identity graphic designer creates assets like logos, typography, color palettes, and image libraries that best describe its personality.
Visual identity graphic designers must have a basic knowledge of all graphic design types to conceptualize ideas that can be translated into different channels while maintaining brand consistency.
User Interface Graphic Design
User Interface (UI) means how a user interacts with the device or the application.
A User Interface graphic designer’s job is to create the design for the apps.
UI designers have to work with UX (User Experience) designers and UI developers (who write code) to create a graphic design for applications. So along with strong graphic designing skills, you also should have an excellent understanding of UI/UX principles, responsive design, and web development.
Examples of user interface graphic designs are web pages, application designs, game interfaces, application/website theme design.
Motion Graphic Design
Creating graphics that are in motion is known as motion graphic designing. Since the videos have become a popular medium of marketing, motion graphics have indeed become popular with marketers.
Along with strong graphic designing and motion graphics, artists should know animation, 3-D design, typography, and color theory.
Examples of Motion Graphic Designs are presentations, promotional videos, mobile apps, websites, trailers, animated logos.
Publication Graphic Design
Publication graphic designers work with editors and publishers to create layouts for books, newspapers, magazines, and other publishing mediums.
To create the layouts, as a publication designer, you should be able to combine the basic elements of graphics like color, typography, and space with photographs, illustrations, and other artwork.
Examples of Public Graphic Designs are books, magazines, catalogs, newspapers, newsletters.
Packaging Graphic Design
It's a fact that we humans get attracted to the visually appealing things. Packaging of a product plays a vital role in convincing the consumer to get the product.
A packaging graphic should have expert knowledge of print processes and an understanding of industrial design and manufacturing. They should be innovative and well aware of current trends and competition.
This includes the tech that’s used to package and label products, as the approach chosen by a given client will dramatically impact the suitability of certain designs.
For instance, many firms choose to enhance the labeling process with a shrink sleeve machine, which requires the expert input of a designer to ensure the product looks appealing and that the label contains all the necessary info as well.
Marketing and Advertising Graphic Design
Understanding a customer's needs and wants and building marketing strategies accordingly makes you a great marketer. A marketing graphic designer works with the marketing professionals and creates assets for their marketing strategies.
They work on both traditional and digital marketing content.
Examples of Marketing and Advertising graphic designs are magazines, newspapers, flyers, email marketing templates, social media ads, images for websites and blogs, infographics.
Environmental Graphic Design
Environmental graphic designers are the ones responsible for designing a certain environment that people can visually connect with, easy to navigate, informative and also remains in their memory.
Examples of environmental graphic designs are office branding, malls/stores interior design, event/conference spaces, public transportation.
Graphics for Art and Illustration
Graphics for art and illustration is technically not graphic design but creating original artwork. However, since it’s been so much in use commercially that you can’t really talk about one without the other.
Examples of Art and Illustration are comic books, video games, album art, book covers, graphic novels, t-shirt designs, technical illustrations.
Rather than surfing a website full of only words, we like to engage with the one which has the eye-catching visuals and engaging content. Graphic design plays an essential role in creating such an outlook of your website.
There are various software tools in the market that will help you create intriguing visuals, images, models, and text that will make your website visually appealing.
Now that you know what options you have to begin your career path as a graphic designer, let's take a look at the six most popular graphic design software that will help you to start your graphic design career:
Photoshop software lets you combine various images and remove unwanted objects from the pictures quickly and easily.
It is known as one of the best graphic design software for beginners. It has simplified features like Cropping, straightening, rotating, flipping, Auto-fixing, Blemish removal, and sharing via various social media platforms.
With the help of GIMP, you can create crystal-clear graphics. Many other customization programs and 3rd party plugins can be used in GIMP to improve productivity and create better designs.
Its photo manipulation feature is highly enhanced. The professional tools make it perfect for not only graphic designers but photographers as well.
Illustrator is a software for creating vector art to create logos, icons, sketches, typography, or even intricate illustrations for videos or mobile.
Illustrator has its own plugins to make a blank web page into a great looking web page.
Inkscape is best used to create vector-based images that are needed to be required in SVG format. Used by designers, illustrators, web designers, this software has flexible drawing tools, making it easy for beginners to create art without difficulty.
Inkscape has a lot of filters and a helpful community that helps a graphic designer to grow.
With CorelDraw graphic design software, you can create professional vector illustrations. You can find numerous customization options to create logos, web design, or print projects.
CorelDraw is now loaded with AI technology and provides LiveSketch, which converts sketching into precise vector curves. It also has web graphic tools and presets to develop creative web content that lets you publish directly into your WordPress site through it.
Adobe Indesign is best for creating a layout design for magazines, info sheets, books, posters, PDFs, and brochures.
You can also sync with other Adobe apps like InCopy and Indesign to make your work more efficient and seamless.
This course is perfect for beginners to build a solid foundation in graphic design. It teaches you how to apply graphic design principles in real-world projects, like creating marketing collaterals, logos, and other design projects.
The 35-minute video classes are full of examples and demonstrations that you can use and apply to your graphic design projects.
This course is presented in critiques and reviews of book covers, logos, packaging, posters, motion graphics, websites, environmental graphics, and editorial design.
The presenter, through the reviews, teaches why the particular design failed or succeeded. Why did the designer decide what he did or how the design could have been approached differently?
This Certification program by CalArts(California Institute of the Arts) is designed for beginners that teaches the fundamental skills expected to make sophisticated graphic design.
It comprises five courses —Fundamentals of Graphic Design course, a Typography course, an Image making course, and a Graphic Design History course, and the final project Capstone Course where students get an opportunity to show their knowledge and skills learned into a single project.
This course effectively pairs the graphic design basics and theory with real-world projects and applications. You will learn typography, color, layout theory, proper type hierarchy, and balance to create stunning designs.
If you are interested in learning graphic design in general, this course is best for you.
This course explores the graphic design process in general. It gets deeper into design elements such as lines, shape, form, texture, and design principles like composition, balance, contrast, and hierarchy.
Basic Knowledge of Coding
Most graphic designer jobs don’t require the expertise but having at least a basic understanding of HTML is essential. It helps you understand what goes into creating a website.
Creative Apps like Illustrator and Photoshop
Knowing how to use creative software like Illustrator and Photoshop is a basic requirement for most graphic design jobs. It has become so integral that they are now considered the graphic designing software for beginners.
Knowledge of UX/UI makes you understand how a user experiences your design and how it should look to the user.
Typography and Color theory
Where typography helps you understand how web fonts work and how to use them, color theory teaches you to create color platters according to the product and convey the audience’s right emotions. Both of which are vital skills for any designer.
Photographs are such a powerful medium to depict emotions. Many graphic designers like to use their own stock of photos for their projects because it adds value for the client and makes them rely less on stock photography.
I hope you now might have got the idea of what Graphic Design is, graphic design career outlook, what online courses you can take, and what tools you need to get your hands-on.
To begin your graphic design career, take these online courses, brush-up your skills, get an internship, start your own project, and highlight that work on a portfolio website. This will open up more opportunities in the industry for you.
You can find work opportunities as a graphic designer with us too. Visit webdew’s career page to know more.