What Graphic Designers Do And How To Master This Profession?
In this article, we will talk about what graphic designers do, what knowledge and skills they should have. You will also learn what websites, services, and other tools designers use, as well as how to learn this profession and where to find a job.
1. Who is a graphic designer and what does he create?
2. What should a graphic designer know and be able to do?
3. Where do graphic designers work?
4. How to become a designer from scratch?
Design is a very important part of the life of every modern person. The efficiency, convenience, beauty and other factors of many surrounding objects depend on it: from a pen to a multi-storey building. Design and graphics help to visualize the result of human imagination vividly and reliably and thus stimulate progress.
At the same time, almost all unusual and creative design products are still created not by artificial intelligence or machine learning algorithms, but by ordinary people who have mastered the profession of “graphic designer”.
Who is a graphic designer and what does he create?
A graphic designer is a specialist who creates visual content for online and offline. This specialization is considered to be very extensive and versatile, so it requires very versatile skills. For example, a professional graphic designer must have artistic skills, be able to use modern software tools, and also have some engineering and technical knowledge ( design, etc.).
The graphic designer's works include many types of graphics, the main of which include:
- Visual communication tools – signs, banners, posters, billboards and other outdoor advertising, as well as printing: business cards, booklets, catalogs, magazines, leaflets, flyers, menus, etc.
- Branding. This direction involves the development of all kinds of corporate identity elements. Including logos, corporate colors and fonts, brand books, guidelines for the use of corporate identity, visual brand identity. Also, company merch can be a part of it. Hoodies, cups, t-shirts or other custom print-on-demand products.
- Packing. Designers develop layouts of packaging materials (boxes, bags, labels, wrappers, etc.) for all kinds of goods, and then prepare them for printing.
- Infographics. A very extensive and popular area, which includes a variety of reports, presentations, tables, maps, graphs, change icon to icon packs, diagrams, flowcharts, images, etc.
- Web design. One of the most popular graphic design formats, it includes the design of all elements of the site (interface, slides, navigation menu, forms, buttons, etc.). A separate relevant area of web design is UI/UX design, which is designed to create user interfaces.
- Social media content: Another popular area of design is devoted to the preparation of content for various social networks (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.). Specialists create covers and avatars for accounts, banners, images for posts and stories, intros for videos and other media content.
Other important areas of graphic design include the design of books, magazines, catalogs and other printed products, the development of fonts, the design of signs, plates, street signs and other elements urban infrastructure. The list of specializations of modern designers also includes motion design and other formats of animated graphics, as well as interior, landscape and architectural design.
What should a graphic designer know and be able to do?
Previously, it was believed that for effective training, you only need to master one program – Adobe Photoshop. Nowadays, this area has become noticeably more complicated, and the requirements for its specialists have increased proportionally. Therefore, today the duties of a designer include skills such as:
Graphic Design Fundamentals
This is the very artistic base that involves at least basic knowledge of composition, coloristics, typography (fonts in design), gestbusiness cardsalt principles, modular grids, etc.
Adobe graphics software package
In addition to theoretical knowledge, a media designer must have practical skills in working in the Adobe Photoshop graphics editor (for processing and retouching raster images) and an online photo editor or a graphic editor Adobe Illustrator (for editing vector images) Equally important is knowledge of Adobe InDesign (for creating layouts and desktop publishing) and Adobe After Effects (for creating animations and other effects, video editing, and dynamic images).
This online service is now in great demand in web design, as it provides ample opportunities for creating prototypes of web pages, applications and developing interfaces. Therefore, Figma training is an integral part of most modern design courses. Using this service, you can design screens for landing sites and mobile applications, create interface prototypes, banners and icons, work with text, grid, frame and other elements design. Figma is a useful tool for both a web designer and a UI/UX designer. The service is available by subscription, a free plan is offered for individual users, and there is also a desktop version for PC (Windows, macOS).
This well-known program from the developer Autodesk is designed for 3D modeling, visualization and animation creation. It can be used to develop three-dimensional computer models of different scales, shapes and degrees of complexity. There is also a set of visualization modules, the total number of which is several dozen. In addition, 3DSMax has a VideoPost module for video editing, various image processing and composition filters, and an extensive set of plugins for many effects.
In addition, graphic design courses often teach other software tools. For example, these include Cinema 4D, a software package for creating 3D graphics and animation, applications for developing presentations (KeyNote, Google Slides), etc.
Flexible soft skills are no less important, among which curiosity and proactivity can be put first: a professional designer must constantly monitor new trends and master new tools not only in design, but also in related areas. Such qualities as empathy (to better understand the desires, goals and needs of others) and networking (for productive interaction with colleagues and clients, abilities learn from the knowledge and experience of other specialists).
Where do graphic designers work?
The profession of graphic designer is considered to be creative, so it provides a very wide range of employment options. So, among the most popular places of work for these specialists are the following:
- Freelance. It is very popular among both beginners and experienced designers, as it opens up ample opportunities for professional growth and earnings. However, at first, specialists here have to settle for rather modest income while they are gaining a customer base and forming a portfolio. The main sources of freelance orders are freelance exchanges and various professional communities (for example, Telegram channels). The disadvantages of remote work are considered to be the difficulty of finding projects, the need to re-build communication with each new customer, as well as the risks of delay or non-payment of fees. In addition, freelancers have to buy a powerful graphic design computer for their money.
- On the staff of the company. The variety of design areas makes this profession very widespread. Many companies have in-house designers or entire departments of such specialists, most often they can be found in such industries as IT, Internet marketing, media, advertising, printing, etc. a graphic designer in the state can be associated with one or more products or brands. The advantage of such a place of work is considered to be a stable workload and remuneration, as well as career prospects. On the other hand, long-term work on one project often leads to professional burnout.
- Design studio. Another common place of work for both beginners and experienced professionals. Many designers start their careers in studios, and the possibility of employment in a design studio is also offered to graduates of popular graphic design courses. This format of work involves a wider range of tasks (compared to working on one product/brand in the company's staff), which allows specialists to work comfortably and develop in what they are interested in their direction. For example, in a multidisciplinary studio, designers can independently choose their specialization: branding, web design, illustrations, printing, etc. an excess of projects, low wages for novice designers, as well as intensive staff turnover.
- Digital agency. In recent years, more and more designers have chosen to work in a digital agency, as this option has a number of advantages compared to design studios and product companies. As a rule, they specialize in relevant “digital” projects related to the creation of website layouts, web services, mobile applications, animation, computer/mobile games, etc. The salary of a graphic designer at a digital agency can be significantly higher than in other companies or studios, as they often work on high-budget IT projects for customers or investors from the US and EU countries.
How to become a designer from scratch?
To teach graphic design at a professional level, it is not necessary to obtain a specialized education at a specialized university. However, when applying for employment in some companies (especially large corporations), a diploma of higher education in the specialty “graphic designer” will be a certain advantage. On the other hand, there are not so many faculties in Ukraine where you can learn graphic design at a high level.
A much more accessible and popular way of learning is offline and online design courses, widely available on the Internet. They provide students with a wide range of subjects, as well as formats for acquiring knowledge and skills. With their help, the applicant can quickly master the course they are interested in (for example, in the field of identity, web design, UI/UX design, etc.) and find a full-time or freelance job. Moreover, some courses offer their graduates internships in studios or digital agencies with the prospect of further employment.
However, you can also learn design and graphics on your own, since there are now many tutorials on popular designer tools available on the Internet: from Photoshop and Illustrator editors , ending with highly specialized programs. Having mastered a certain specialization in the field of design, it is very important not to stop self-study so as not to lose competitiveness. Modern design is an extremely dynamic and rapidly changing field in which it is very important to constantly follow trends and learn new things. Freepik is a go-to place for all designers, they offer all the assets you need, in one place. Find and download the best high-quality photos, designs, mockups, and great background images that you can use in your designs.
A graphic designer creates all kinds of visual content on the Internet and offline, which makes this profession extremely popular and promising. The scope of activity of such a specialist covers many areas, which include printing and outdoor advertising, corporate identity, identity and other branding elements, web design, content for social media, infographics, packaging and more.
A professional graphic designer must have a variety of knowledge, skills and tools. Among them, it is worth noting the basic design basics, Adobe's graphics processing software package, Figma web and UI/UX design service, 3DSMax modeling, visualization and animation software, and much more. This profession has a range of employment options, including freelance, design studio, digital agency, and in-house designer position. You can learn graphic design on your own on the Internet, at specialized courses or by obtaining an appropriate higher education at a university.
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