What is graphic design?
Graphic design is solving problems.
Graphic design is art with a purpose.
Graphic design is visual communication.
What skills does a graphic designer have?
I hope this comprehensive list will help foster trust, appreciation and understanding between clients and designers:
♦ The various projects which graphic designers work on, from print magazines to mobile apps, means that designers are highly skilled people. One area of expertise is typography. The fonts that we have on our computers are all created by graphic designers (and there are thousands more). Each font is slightly different, and the smallest detail which may not obvious to the reader but which they register subconsciously, makes a big difference in choosing fonts. Each font is like a different voice, and a good designer knows which voice works best in a particular setting. Fonts are also connected to history, cultures, languages, age of the reader, moods and feelings. Having an in-depth knowledge of typography allows the designer to effectively communicate to a particular audience.
♦ Graphic design is about function, or how things work. Architectural, mechanical and other design fields are also all about function. For e.g., a computer mouse is designed to fit in the user’s hand comfortably, and its buttons are placed in positions that optimize usability. Similarly, a graphic designer will design a reference book with its function in mind, so that the reader can find a page in the middle of the book without going through the rest. To ensure that the book functions well, the designer may emphasize page navigation; numbering, index, table of contents, and so on. By contrast, a novel is meant to be read from start to finish. It will be designed in a different manner that suits its purpose. If the reader finds some text difficult to read, this means that the design does not function well, no matter how pretty it looks. Well-trained graphic designers know the science and statistics behind good design, typically taught in design school. For e.g. one study found that there must be at least 70% contrast between the color of text and the background on which its placed, for it to be read comfortably. Using such information, designers can make beautifully functioning materials for their clients.
♦ We all have a creative side. Many designers are also artists and work with the elements of art; shape, line, color, form, balance, space.
♦ Long ago, books and other graphic materials were produced by hand with paints, inks and brushes. We still use some of the same tools and techniques, but everything has changed with the advent of computer technology. The bulk of the work is done using computer programs, which are highly technical and can require years to master. Graphic designers have to stay on top of the ever-changing world of technology, which also requires them to update their hardware and software every 1 or 2 years. Those who specialize in web design are adept at code and various mobile platforms, and work with programmers if they are not programmers themselves.
♦ After the design stage, print/production is the most important step. A good graphic designer will be an expert in printing, which is a world of its own. This requires knowledge of correct photo resolution, file formats, inks, materials, papers, printers, specialty printing techniques, effects on the environment, and printing costs. A small printing error can cost companies thousands of dollars. Designers make sure that files are prepared and ready to send to print problem-free. Designers also make sure that they or their clients do not use any copyright image in their work–another huge mistake that costs thousands.
♦ Graphic designers are inevitably great with communication, as their field of work is visual communication. A children’s book will be very different from a novel targeted towards adults. Every element will be chosen according to who the message is being communicated to. It’s good to remind ourselves that design doesn’t depend on the personal tastes of the designer or the client, it depends on what is best for the audience.
These are just some basic skills that designers possess and there may be many more depending on the individual.
What do graphic designers learn?
Graphic designers complete a diploma or degree in Graphic Design (or Visual Communication). The period of education is usually 3-4 years– the same as any other field of study. The education is practical and most of the time is spent in labs working on projects and sometimes real-world jobs. Some students also do internships while studying. After completing a diploma or degree, a designer may choose to pursue a specific area such as web design at a more specialized institution. However, after a basic higher education, a designer is often able to self-learn many aspects of graphic design as the technology develops.
How much does graphic design cost?
Graphic design is a “you get what you pay for” business. The cost depends on how long a designer will spend on a project. A complex job with multiple pages will take long to design. A simple logo touch-up can be done quickly. For this reason, the industry norm is to charge per hour. Students and freelancers may have an hourly rate of $25-$45. Large design agencies may have hourly rates that go up $500. However, many designers work for a flat rate roughly based on their hourly rate.
A regular logo designed by a freelancer may cost anywhere between $200-$800.
There are 3 aspects to a design job; quality, time and price, of which the client can only pick 2. If the client needs something quickly and cheap, it will be lacking in quality. If the client wants something that is great and fast, the price will be higher. If the client wants a design to work great, as well as being inexpensive, it will take a long time to get done.
Why is graphic design expensive?
An investment in graphic design is perhaps the most important one for any business. The logo alone puts businesses on the map, makes them memorable and recognizable, provides free advertisement and makes them distinguishable from one another. No business is complete without brand identity, website and business cards, at the very least. Graphic designers are now just as important as lawyers and accountants, who are indispensable for a company. A one-time cost of designing a brand identity will last a business for decades and grows more valuable and memorable over time. A well executed ad campaign will pay for itself multiple times over, since it will bring more business and awareness. If you still think graphic design is expensive, consider that a re-brand of a popular soft drink logo is estimated to have cost $1M (yes, one million dollars)! Although design usually doesn’t cost that much, having a generous design budget only goes towards the success of a business.
Why and when should I hire a graphic designer?
If you have something to say, if you want to visually communicate to your audience, graphic design is necessary. Hiring a professional designer is the best bet for any business in almost all cases. Print shops may undertake basic design projects, but their expertise is in printing, with no guarantee of expertise or qualification in design.