What is Graphic Design?

Image of a graphic artist for our FAQ on What is Graphic Design

What is Graphic Design? Graphic design is a broad field that is centered on visual communication. While some designers focus on creating company brands and logos, others are concerned with magazine covers and advertisements. This field includes a wide variety of sub-fields, but it is ultimately about communicating visual messages.

What Are Some Common Applications of Design?

Whether it seems obvious or not, design is everywhere. From the competing boxes of cereal at the grocery store to medical brochures that outline the common signs of a heart attack or stroke, it’s impossible to deny the omnipresence of visual communication. Likewise, businesses require designers for printed materials like:
  • books and magazines
  • advertising banners on the internet
  • event t-shirts and posters
In other words, graphic design is essential to the success of all businesses.

Do Designers Need to Have Good Drawing Skills?

Plenty of today’s graphic designers work solely on the computer, with digital tools like Sketch and Adobe Illustrator. In these cases, drawing by hand is not necessary. However, graphic designers still must possess the skills to create visualizations of ideas from scratch. For designers without strong drawing skills, web design and advertisement are solid choices. In these fields, it’s more important to have a good eye for layout, contrast, and user experience. On the other hand, designers with a passion for drawing will find more enjoyment in logo design and illustration.

Is Design Only About Looks?

One common misconception about graphic design is that designers are only concerned with whether something is visually appealing. Although aesthetics play a huge role in design projects, they’re hardly the main goal. According to Forbes, design is not merely about making something pretty. The point is to communicate information, whether it’s on a website or in a brochure. A designer’s primary concern is ultimately communication. Instead of considering only whether a color combination is beautiful and appealing, a graphic designer will focus on how the reader responds to that color combination and what it may suggest about the content. Rather than picking a cute font for a brochure’s title, a graphic designer will think about readability and what grabs the reader’s attention at first.

What Questions Do Graphic Designers Ask?

During the creative process, graphic designers will ask themselves several different question to arrive at a quality design. Some of those questions include the following:
  • Am I getting my point across?
  • Could this be communicated in a more simplified form?
  • What am I expressing with this design?
  • Will users understand what I mean at first glance?
Communication and ideas are the main focus in this field, even though it may take a long time to arrive at precisely the correct design. Whether a lawyer wants to appear stoic and credible or a family dentist wants to seem friendly and qualified, a graphic designer will help them to express these things visually. This brief explanation indicates what exactly graphic design is and what graphic designers think about when completing a project. In the end, it’s clear that not only is graphic design an interesting and creative field but its also vital for all of today’s businesses. Related Resources:

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris