When you think of graphic design, do you think of artistic advertising? For eye-catching graphics on websites? While these examples certainly fall within the definition of graphic design, the term encompasses much more: posters, infographics, book covers, product labels, logos, business cards, signs, website layouts, mobile apps, software interfaces …
So what exactly is graphic design? Mentioning these graphic design examples is a good start, but it does not paint the full picture. While it may not be possible to explain the intricacies of the entire graphic design field in one article, this overview will help you better understand this field of creative career.
If you are interested in becoming a graphic designer, read on to learn about the basics of the field.
Graphic design: what it is and what it is for
Graphic design consists of visually shaping the user experience, through visual and textual content. It is a concept that originated in the printing industry in the 1920s and continues to cover a range of activities: it can only relate to the creation of a company logo, or it can relate to more complex projects such as creating a page layout on a website. Web Graphic design in this sense is about aesthetics and marketing.
Graphic design can be used by companies to promote and sell products through advertising, by websites to convey intuitively processed information through infographics or by companies to develop an identity through branding.
What does a graphic designer do?
The graphic designer is a visual communicator who is capable of devising visual concepts by hand or using computer software. Communicate ideas to inspire, inform or capture consumers through both physical and digital art forms that include images, words or graphics.
Each graphic designer has the task of solving specific communication challenges and achieving concrete creative results. He can work making posters, billboards, packaging, logos and marketing materials, depending on the industry he can work for magazines, advertising and marketing agencies and much more.
To do this, it must use a variety of media, including fonts, shapes, colors, images, print designs, photographs, animations, and logos. Graphic designers often collaborate on their projects with artists, multimedia animators and other creative professionals.
How to become a graphic designer
Communication is the core of a graphic designer’s work. Although his assignments may involve extensive work with images, he, unlike artists, does not produce “art for its own sake.” Graphic designers must convey a specific message and call to action or emotion based on the customer’s goals.
While going to college can help you pursue the creative career of your dreams by preparing you with the right set of skills and qualifications, you can still become a graphic designer. Of course, a degree in communications or marketing can be a great benefit, but it’s not the only way to go. There are schools like IED, Istituto Europeo del Design, for those who want a career in visual communication, or there is the annual Modartech course to acquire skills in web and graphic design, with a final internship in companies and communication agencies .
If you decide to start with self-learning in the beginning, you need a solid foundation in the history of graphic design, theory and practical application. There are several certified online courses that allow you to learn the basics of the subject and start gaining experience. The training must also take into account the study of software such as Illustrator and InDesign, in order to develop its own artistic sensitivity as well as manual skills with design programs.
In this job, learning never stops, which is why the training is almost continuous. The software is also constantly evolving and opens up new expressive techniques and solutions.