What Is Graphic Design? A Beginner’s Guide to This Creative Career

What Is Graphic Design? A Beginner’s Guide to This Creative Career

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What Is Graphic Design? A Beginner’s Guide to This Creative Career

Do creative commercials spring to mind when you consider graphic design? Websites with aesthetically pleasing visuals? Beautifully designed magazine spreads? Posters, infographics, book covers, product labels, logos, business cards, signage, website layouts, mobile apps, software interfaces, and the list goes on and on are all examples of graphic design.

In that case, could you please define visual design for me? This list of graphic design examples is helpful, but it’s far from comprehensive. While it may be impossible to provide a comprehensive overview of the graphic design area in a single article, the information presented here should give you a solid foundation from which to launch your research into this fascinating and rewarding creative discipline.

Read on if you want to know the fundamentals of graphic design and maybe one day pursue that career.

First, what is graphic design?

Graphic design is “the art and practise of designing and conveying ideas and experiences with visual and textual information,” as stated by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Graphic designers employ visual elements to convey meaning. Design elements can range from something as straightforward as a company emblem to something as intricate as a website’s page layout.

When asked to clarify on the idea of graphic design, designer Alexandros Clufetos said, “Graphic design takes graphical and linguistic aspects and applies them into numerous sorts of media.” It facilitates communication between the manufacturer and the buyer. It gets across whatever it is that you’re trying to say about your initiative, event, campaign, or product.

Advertising is one of the most common ways that businesses utilise graphic design to get their names out there and sell their products. Websites also use infographics to simplify complex topics for their audiences.

To paraphrase, “Every day, we take many of the subtly creative things around us for granted. “But tucked away in every magazine nook, exit sign, and textbook is a collection of design concepts that influences our views,” explains Jacob Smith, creator of the illustration business ProductViz.

Although many graphic design projects, such as commercials and logos, have commercial aims, it is also employed in other contexts, and graphic design work is often developed merely as a way of aesthetic expression.

Graphic design basics

Knowing these aspects and principles can help you grasp the significance of graphic design. Designs that feature contrasting or complementary elements are very stunning and memorable.

The following items constitute graphic design:

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

The principles of design, which are essentially a set of standards for creating an effective composition, are also followed by graphic designers. These fundamentals help to establish a solid foundation upon which the work can stand.

Principles such as these can be applied to any type of graphic design.

  • Balance
  • Contrast
  • Emphasis
  • Movement
  • Proportion
  • Rhythm

In this particular instance, the adage “rules are supposed to be broken” rings truer than ever. A smart graphic designer, however, will familiarise themselves with these guidelines before deciding to knowingly deviate from them.

Types of graphic design

There is not a single definition for graphic design, as was previously mentioned. Graphic design encompasses a wide range of disciplines and subfields, from traditional print and web design to animation and motion graphics. The field of graphic design is diverse enough to accommodate people with a wide range of interests.

When asked to define graphic design 30 years ago, most people would have cited print media such as magazines, movie posters, and advertising. In today’s digital world, many new forms of visual communication have emerged.

Technological progress has enabled some of the most innovative and influential works of graphic design in recent history. We’ll take a look at a few examples of various forms of visual communication:

  • Designing a website means making pages that are interesting and easy to use. The general look, the colour scheme, and the ease of use are all part of this.
  • The goal of user experience (UX) design is to make using a website or app a pleasurable and painless process. These designers centre their work around the concepts of utility, practicability, adaptability, and appeal.
  • Motion graphics design, sometimes known as animation, is used in the production of visual effects for television shows, movies, and video games.

Common graphic design jobs

As technology has allowed for the development of novel approaches to visual communication, a corresponding increase in the need for graphic designers’ services has occurred. The entire landscape of careers in this industry has shifted as a result of this transition.

However, this decline in demand for “conventional” graphic designers who worked exclusively for print publishers is not indicative of the industry as a whole. According to the BLS, the need for graphic designers in the field of computer systems design services is expected to rise by 24 percent between 2018 and 2028. (BLS). 1 Boosting their online visibility is a primary motivation for many businesses and organisations, which has led to a rise in the demand for digital graphics and photography.

In that case, what are some common titles in the field of graphic design? We looked at over 30,000 job listings over the past year that required a graphic design degree. 2 Statistics allowed us to identify the most common occupations as:

  • Graphic designer
  • User experience (UX) designer
  • Web designer
  • Art director
  • Creative director


There are, as you can see, a wide variety of career paths open to those with training in graphic design. In today’s world, you can design your professional life to fit your unique set of interests and abilities.

Popular graphic design tools

Now that you have an idea of the breadth and depth of employment opportunities in the field of graphic design, it would be wise to become acquainted with the software and hardware resources available for doing that work. Sketchbooks are among the most fundamental and inexpensive design tools. Before finalising their work on a computer, graphic designers may often do initial sketches of their ideas or draughts on paper.

However, in today’s digital climate, computers and design tools are necessities, even if you are designing for print. The sort of computer you require is a matter of taste, although Adobe programmes like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are industry standards. If you’re just starting out and can’t quite afford the steep price tag that Adobe products typically carry, open-source alternatives like GIMP can help you get the hang of the fundamentals without breaking the bank.

Finally, a graphic designer needs ideas and inspiration the most. Chad Birenbaum, co-founder of Duckpin Design, says, “You need to have a solid concept serving as the cornerstone of your design and communication.” “This notion and concept must function on paper before it can be realised on the computer.”

If you’re worried that you lack the creative chops to be a graphic designer, it’s best to get out of the house, talk to some friends, or surf the web for some inspiration. There is no shortage of graphic design blogs to peruse if you’re looking for some motivation.

Create your future in graphic design

Can you define graphic design for me? This article has shown you that there is no universally accepted definition. Creative problem-solving and innovative thinking are only two of the many business benefits that may be realised through the application of graphic design. What graphic design means to you and your profession is something only you can decide.

The ability to recognise aesthetic value is a prerequisite for any graphic designer role, but do you also have the other skills necessary to succeed in this field? Read our article to find out!

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