In my Design 101 class my sophomore year of college, I assumed I already understood everything there was to know about the fundamentals of graphic design.
I was eager to skip the uninteresting courses on colors, forms, and simple Adobe Photoshop and graphic design software tutorials that were in front of me and get right to the meat of the complex graphic design process.
It was my fault. I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did about graphic design, which is actually fairly hard. I was disappointed to find out that instead of learning the fundamentals of graphic design, I would be devoting an entire semester to contemplating color psychology.
The good news is that you. It won’t take you a semester to understand the fundamentals of graphic design; you’ll just need a short amount of time. Yes, I’m here to provide you with comprehensive information on graphic design, including a lot more.
Graphic design: what is it?
If you’re anything like me, many of you who are reading this probably believe you have a solid grasp of what graphic design is. When I think about graphic design, I immediately think of advertisements, logos, publications, video games, vector graphics, and raster graphics. But exactly what is it? Yes, it is a career, but if we look a bit closer, many people actually view it as an expression of their aesthetic and a form of art.
A technical definition is also available for those of you who prefer it:
Define graphic design
Graphic design is the practice of using words, pictures, and other visual elements to communicate ideas to an audience, often in order to achieve a certain result. To put it another way, graphic design is communication design; it is a means of expressing ideas through imagery and style.
Nevertheless, graphic design isn’t a simple black-and-white issue, despite popular belief. It’s critical to have a firm knowledge of the components and guiding principles of design in order to understand graphic design concepts in its entirety. A web design course is a great approach to learn more and obtain a better grasp. It is an excellent investment in your professional growth and may lead to a number of fascinating chances in the field of web design.
Graphic design components
A visual design’s structural and message-delivery basic building blocks are called its elements of art. The following are some graphic design elements:
Line – The most basic of the design elements. Lines can be curved, straight, thick, thin, two-dimensional, three-dimensional – whatever really! A line is simply an element of design that is defined by a point moving in space.
Shape – Using lines, a shape is a two-dimensionally specified region. Shapes come in a variety of forms, such as geometric, abstract, and organic shapes, which are all fundamental components of design.
Color – Because there is psychology behind the emotions that color can generate, color is one factor that is particularly significant in drawing attention. Hue, which refers to the color family, value, which describes how light or dark a color is, and saturation, which describes how pure a color is, are the three main aspects of color.
Typography – Typography is the arrangement of type. The messaging of the design may be significantly affected by this one, making it quite crucial. The concept the designer is attempting to convey can gain strength via the use of various weights (bold, ordinary, or light), together with different sizes, colors, and spacing.
Texture – In design, texture describes how something appears to feel when it is touched. Examples of texture include rough, smooth, shiny, soft, and hard surfaces. An additional component utilized to attract attention is texture. It can be combined with other elements including types, shapes, colors, and images.
Size – Size simply refers to how big or little something is. Size is used in design to convey importance and, when utilized in contrast, can provide visual attention to a piece of work.
Space – Space describes the parts of the design that are left unfilled. These zones encompass any space or distance between, surrounding, below, or above other design components. To emphasize certain design elements, designers purposefully include spaces in their designs.
The fundamentals of graphic design
According to design principles, the many aspects of a page layout should be placed in the best possible order to guarantee that each part of the overall design is connected to the others. The following are some design guiding principles:
Balance – In graphic design, symmetry and asymmetry are used to create visual equilibrium. By evenly distributing shapes, lines, and other features across the design, this is accomplished. Consequently, even if the two sides of the design aren’t identical, they share some features. Because it gives a design solidity and structure, balance is significant in architecture.
Alignment – Alignment is the process of keeping the design structured. To establish a visual link between the pieces, each element of the design needs to be in line with the top, bottom, center, or sides.
Proximity – The pieces of the design are visually connected via proximity. It reduces clutter, improves comprehension, and gives viewers something to focus on. The comparable parts should be visually connected, but they don’t necessarily have to be placed adjacent to one another.
Repetition – Repeat the patterns you’ve selected to employ your elements in after you’ve decided how to do so to create coherence across the design. Through the creation of a sense of structured movement, this repetition unites many aspects and improves the design.
Contrast – Contrasting is used to highlight particular design elements. By highlighting contrasts between pieces, you may emphasize the main components of your design that you want to stand out.
Tools for graphic design
With the ongoing digitalization of our world today, the design process has advanced significantly. But even though these procedures have evolved over time, designers continue to employ classic graphic design materials like pencil and paper.
The majority of graphic artists employ a hybrid workflow that combines analog and digital tools. Designers frequently begin the design process by roughing out ideas with conventional graphic design tools before launching into the computer for finalization. Many designers begin their careers by using graphic design software directly on computers. By allowing designers to explore ideas and produce designs more rapidly rather than having to do everything by hand, these technologies have improved the creative process.
Different types of graphic design
Graphic design has evolved into a somewhat diverse field. Different fields and specialities make up the overall notion. The following are some of the most popular categories in graphic design:
Corporate design – The visual identity of a firm is the subject of corporate design. Any visual components that contribute to a company’s identity, such as its logo (created with logo design software), can be categorized as corporate design. Through pictures, shapes, and color, this kind of graphic design conveys brand values in brand marketing.
Marketing and advertising design – Marketing and advertising graphic design is probably one of the most well-known types of graphic design. Graphic design is typically associated with marketing and advertising when people think of the term. These include social media graphics, magazine ads, billboards, brochures, email marketing templates, and content marketing. Graphic design is a common medium used in advertising.
Publication design – Although publication design has historically been associated with print media, it has now migrated to digital publishing as a result of our generation’s ongoing digitization. Publication designers must collaborate closely with editors and publishers to ensure that layouts, typography, and illustrations are creatively blended to produce the best possible result. Books, newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and eBooks are a few examples of publications with visual designs.
Environmental design – Generally speaking, at least in my opinion, this kind of graphic design gets disregarded. In order to help individuals feel a connection to a space, environmental graphic design uses visual components in the environment. Environmental design seeks to enhance people’s interactions with the environment, whether by enhancing the viewer’s knowledge or making the experience more memorable. Examples of environmental design include architecture, traffic signs, signage, gathering places, and wall murals.
Packaging design – When you purchase a new item, it almost certainly comes with some kind of packaging or visual component, such as a label, sticker, or wrapper, that is used to set up the item for distribution or sale; these components are made by packaging designers. To ensure successful product marketing, these designers must be knowledgeable of current trends in the industry.
Motion design – Exactly what it sounds like, motion graphic design is a branch of graphic design that focuses on moving images. Animation, video games, apps, GIFs, website features, and more can be cited as examples. In graphic design, this is still a relatively new field as new media have become available thanks to technology breakthroughs.
Web design – Although graphic design isn’t necessarily a subset of web design, it is one of its components, hence it is important to discuss here. Why? To produce a user-friendly, appealing front-end web design, web designers must take into account and combine a range of design aspects, including layout, pictures, and typography. So it makes sense to contact a web designer if you’re having trouble creating a website on your own. UX and UI design, which I’ll discuss next, are also intimately related to web design.
When people used the word “design” in conversations many years ago, they almost always meant graphic design. The interactive screens and devices of the modern digital world, however, have caused this paradigm to evolve a little. For people outside the design field, the variety of designs it has introduced can frequently be perplexing. Having stated that, let’s discuss two design categories that you have probably heard of but may not fully understand: UI design and UX design.
How precisely is UX defined? User experience design, or UX design, focuses on improving the user experience, you guessed it. The organization and reasoning behind the design elements that consumers engage with are the main concerns of this particular design style. To increase customer satisfaction, UX designers strive to make a product more user-friendly, accessible, and enjoyable for consumers to interact with. Usability and pain point analyses are conducted after the launch of the product to achieve this.
Interface design, also known as UI design, deals with a design’s interactive components. This style of design requires a thorough understanding of users’ needs since it anticipates what users will need to perform on the device and makes sure the interface has the capabilities that enable those actions. Dropdown menus, toggles, breadcrumbs, progress bars, and other similar components are examples of these elements. Ui design is essentially broadening the concept of graphic design; designs with any kind of interaction, even if they only include static graphics, fall within the purview of UI design.
A graphic designer: what is it?
Now that the many forms of graphic design have been discussed, let’s address the following important query:
A graphic designer, what is it?
In short, graphic designers are problem solvers and visual communicators.
A profession in graphic design can mean many various things, which is why I’ve given you this broad description. There are many distinct kinds of graphic design. And, to be completely honest, the career can be related to any of those expertise.
However, let’s discuss the fundamentals of a graphic design career to keep things simple.
There are several distinct environments in which you can work as a graphic designer. Yes, you can
1. Work for businesses involved in the industry, such as branding agencies or design consultancies (agency graphic designer)
2. Work as an internal graphic designer for any organization.
3. Work from home on prestigious remote platforms & enterprises as a freelance graphic designer.
Agency Graphic Designer
Many businesses contract with graphic design firms to manage their design work. Therefore, it’s likely that you may receive creative briefs from businesses to work on projects for a variety of brands if you work as an agency graphic designer. It is expected of you as an agency designer to be an expert in design. Agency graphic designers frequently have a high level of specialization in certain graphic design fields.
In-house Graphic Designer
If you’re an in-house graphic designer, you work for a well-known corporation and are primarily responsible for that one brand. In order to satisfy all of your organization’s creative needs, you’re more of a generalist in graphic design in this situation.
Freelance Graphic Designer
In my opinion, being a freelance graphic designer is the hardest job since, in addition to handling all design requests, you also have to manage every part of your firm. Yes, there are benefits like as working from home and on your own schedule, but you’ll need to be knowledgeable about more than simply graphic design.
What is the work of a graphic designer?
The main responsibility of a graphic designer is to deliver ideas and solutions through visual concepts that enthrall, educate, and inspire customers. For this reason, graphic designers create outcomes that speak to their target audience by fusing technology and art.
The main objective of graphic designers is to make the organization they are creating for identifiable, however specific aims may vary depending on the type of design they are doing. Their purpose is to assist in creating a company’s brand, enhance its reputation, and convey their messages through aesthetically appealing material.
The use of graphic design in the marketing and sales of goods and businesses is growing in significance. Therefore, in order to better understand how to effectively express the messages that they need to, graphic designers frequently collaborate closely with public relations and marketing specialists.