Graphic design: it’s an ambiguous, often confusing term that you’ve probably heard being thrown around a lot. Every time it’s used – it seems to refer to something different. Figuring out what it means can be challenging, but it’s key in understanding the world of design. Thus, the question we’re focusing on today: what really is graphic design?
We’ve done some research and pinpointed its definition, and gone as far as to delve into what a graphic designer does, and what different areas exist within graphic design.
Defining Graphic Design
Most definitions of graphic design revolve around the creation of ideas using visual and textual content. If we stopped the definition there, we’d end up with any piece of visual or textual art falling into the scope of graphic design. This would not be accurate, because there is one very notable, key aspect of graphic design that makes it different from any piece of art. Graphic design needs to have a purpose, whether it be communicating a message, or solving some kind of problem.
The decisions regarding the design need to be aimed in a certain direction, which is marked by the goals of the project at stake, whether these goals be commercial or cultural, educational or political. It is this aspect that allows us to narrow down its definition, and get a clearer idea of what people mean when they speak of “graphic design.” Graphic design is, thus, a very problem-focused, and goal-oriented creative field. Think of it as being visual problem solving.
What Does a Graphic Designer Do?
Given this definition, it becomes clear that graphic design has been around for a very long time. In effect, so much that was produced over the years could easily fall into the umbrella that is graphic design. The world of graphic design has evolved over the years, and today there is an array of sub-fields that prove fascinating to designers around the world. It’s an extensive, creative, and great field to discover, and there’s definitely much to explore.
As millions of graphic designers pop up around the world, the term becomes even more confusing. What does a graphic designer actually do? The answer could be, unsurprisingly, thousands of different things. The broad answer is that a graphic designer solves problems, in a manner of different ways, and using the tools at their disposal.
The more specific answer? Graphic designers are often specialized in certain subfields. To give you an idea of some of the things a graphic designer may be doing, we’ve compiled a list.
- Book Design
- Poster Design
- Logo Design
- Presentation Design
- Brand Identity
- UX/UI Design
- Film Title Design
- Icon Design
- Decal Design
- Label Design
- Infographic Design
- Menu Design
- Brochure Design
- Reports Design
- Computer Graphics
- Packaging Design
There are many, many more subfields that tend to fall under the broad “graphic design” term, and it would be almost impossible to list them all. But this list gives you some insight into what some graphic designers are actually doing.
These specializations are constantly evolving, as the tools and technologies at designers’ disposal change and allow for distinct creations. But, as long as the designer has a purpose, and a goal in mind, and the result is visual and textual – you’re dealing with graphic design.
Using It Right
We keep emphasizing that graphic design has the potential to be a little bit of everything. And the reality is that graphic design is everywhere. But our use of the term is problematic, and fails to take into account its actual definitions. We need to understand what a graphic designer actually does, and what actually makes something part of graphic design, before we use the term as freely as we do.
Here at DesignBro, our graphic designers are specialized in logo design, packaging design, and brand identity design. They’re extensive expertise in these fields has allowed for the creation of great looks for great brands. They’re well-versed in solving problems, and communicating messages, and produce high-quality results. At DesignBro, we offer high-quality for an affordable price. So, if you’re looking to solve your graphic design problems, look no further and start your project today.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.