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What is Graphic Design, For College Students

Graphic Design – you see it everywhere. You see it on billboards, websites, posters, mobile apps, book covers, infographics, product labels and logos. We could go on and on about examples of graphic designs, and it would take us days to finish. 

But really, what is graphic design? 

If you are planning to become a professional graphic designer then here is an overview of what it is and what to expect.

Defining The Basics, Graphic Design 

A lot of people have different definitions of graphic designs, but according to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, graphic design is by definition, “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” 

Basically, it is an artistic way of communicating a message to an audience. It allows the brand to have a certain connection with its customer. That is why you will notice that certain designs appeal to different markets. 

This is what companies use to promote their products and services. It turns a complicated subject to something that is easily understandable through the use of visuals.

Elements Of Design

In creating a design, multiple elements are used and combined in such a way that it attracts and captures the attention of audiences. 

These elements are namely form, color, shape, line, space, size and texture. But it’s not just a matter of putting everything together. It also needs to follow certain principles for it to be considered effective. 

These guidelines include rhythm, movement, proportion, emphasis, balance and contrast.

Now you may ask, “I thought graphic designs are art? Why are there guidelines?” These principles are not limitations but rather a mere basis. As you become better, the more you start tweaking these principles according to your own preference.

Different Kinds Of Graphic Designs

Graphic design is continuously evolving as technology changes over time. 

50 years ago, graphic designing was limited only to print related products as this was the only available platform at the time. 

Nowadays, the digital age has opened new avenues where you can apply graphic design. There are three new types of graphic design, Website Design, User Experience(UX) and Motion Graphic. 

Website designs deal with web pages that include the overall appearance of the site. UX focuses on the ease of use of certain applications and websites. Motion Graphics is more on the visual side and is being used by tv shows, movies video games and special effects.

Is There A Career In Graphic Designing?

As companies are realizing the power of the internet and how it affects business, new careers have opened up that is related to graphic designing. 

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment for graphic designers are expected to grow to as much as 24% by 2028. The market is shifting towards digital transactions, hence the demand for professional graphic designers started increasing as well. 

How To Start Graphic Design

For starters, all you need is a drawing pad and a pen, or pencil, whatever is available. 

Try sketching out the design that you have in your mind. Put your concept on a piece of paper and see it in an actual drawing. 

Now, if you want to take it a step further, then you would be needing a computer. There are software that help you create designs digitally such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrators and InDesign. 

There are also free downloadable software that offer limited tools which are good for basic designs. 

Tablets are also a good tool for graphic designing as it allows you to create designs as if you were doing it on paper. Whatever tools you use, remember that practice makes perfect and a good design does not rely on the equipment but on the designer’s artistic mind.

There you have it, the basics of graphic design. The goal of graphic designs is to help companies advertise their products. It is also an artistic expression of the creator.

If you are determined to pursue this career, the best time to start is now. Keep on practicing and look for inspirations and ideas that would help you find your own artistic side. But remember, learn the basics first then gradually fine-tune it according to what you feel is appropriate. There are specific institutions that teach you the basics, choose the one that suits you.

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