What is Graphic Design

Graphic design is a profession, academic discipline and applied art whose activity consists in projecting visual communications intended to transmit specific messages to social groups, with specific objectives.

Graphic Designers create visual concepts to communicate information. They create everything from posters and billboards to packaging, logos and marketing materials. To convey ideas to an audience they use elements such as shapes, colours, typography, images and more. Working in-house, creating designs specifically for one (company) brand, or at an agency or as a freelancer, where they work with a variety of clients and brands.

The role of Graphic Designers varies depending on where they work. Some tasks that designers may work on include art directing and selecting photos and typefaces, developing layouts, and designing logos. They may specialise in a particular area, such as web, motion graphics or print media. To develop designs that portray an intended message, Designers often need to communicate with clients on an iterative basis and in some cases directly with consumers. They also collaborate with other practitioners, marketers, business analysts, writers, and programmers to create successful products, campaigns, or websites.

Graphic design is the practice of composing and arranging the visual elements of a project, giving them a greater meaning. Designing the layout of a magazine, creating a poster for a theatre performance, and designing packaging for a product are all examples of graphic design. In fact, almost everyone today practices some form of graphic design in their daily life — whether it’s adding text to an image for social media or colour-coding a spreadsheet for work. Good graphic design streamlines communication. Just picture a spreadsheet with data analytics. A graphic designer might use different colours to highlight which metrics are rising and which are dropping, thus making it easier for the viewer to quickly understand what’s going well and what needs to be adjusted.

Well executed graphic design can also elicit an emotional response from the viewer or even motivate them to take action. The “sign up” box or ‘call to action’ on a website, is typically designed to encourage visitors to join an email list or entice them to start a free trial. Meanwhile, food packaging design aims to make the food inside seem more appealing to eat. It’s often a mix of information, aspiration and persuasion. Designers need to constantly be practicing and updating their design skills, and investment of money, time and effort. In addition, you have to stay up-to-date with design trends and technologies. While all of this can be learned, it will require hard work and a passion for the craft.

Types of Graphic Design

Web Design

In our modern world, web design is quickly becoming one of the most valuable skills for creative professionals. This blends technology and the traditional principles of structure and form to create digital media. It’s often a precise blend of technology and creativity.

UI and Interactive Design UX design

Like web design, UI (user interface) and interactive design have become increasingly valuable skills. This field focuses on bridging the gap between complex computing and the user experience through visually coherent forms and layouts.

Advertising and Marketing Design

Most every organisation in the world relies on visual advertising and marketing, whether it’s used to form an internal brand identity or attract customers. Successful advertising demands an understanding of the end user as well as creative problem-solving skills.

Motion Graphics and Animation

Motion graphics bring time into the equation. Any visual element can move and impact the viewer. This includes everything from typography to imagery, and everything in between. As a relatively new field in graphic design, motion graphics and animation present exciting opportunities to balance technical, cinematic and creative skills.

Packaging Design

Product packaging surrounds us, from the food we eat to the devices we buy. A career in packaging design lets you employ the creativity and branding strategies of ad design, along with the technical aspects of manufacturing and printing. There’s also a huge emphasis on production and sustainability.

Game Design

Like UI and motion graphics, game design is at the forefront of technology and creativity. Game design goes beyond simply satisfying a need for entertainment. Using gaming as an educational or interactive tool is a growth area.


Drawing is the foundation of most artistic practices, especially illustration. While using the fundamental principles of form, color, and composition there’s huge potential for prototype and conceptual work as well as developing a niche as an editorial illustrator in itself.

Publication and Typographic Design

In this field, designers focus on the development, organisation, and management of visual media that is often mass-produced. This includes books, magazines and more. Skills in printing, editorial layout, design coordination, typesetting, publication and typography come together to produce both unique one off editions as well as sustaining high levels of creativity within a scheduled publication.

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