What Is Graphic Design?

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Become a Professional Graphic Designer

Learn what you need to know to break into the world of graphic design.

20:38:04 of on-demand video • Updated September 2020

  • To learn what graphic design is and how to become a graphic designer
  • Learn what a graphic designer does on the job
  • Learn the principles of great graphic design
  • Learn graphic design as it relates to Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat
  • Learn graphic design for the web using Dreamweaver
  • Learn visual communication fundamentals
  • Learn successful layout in graphic design
  • Learn how to get a job as a graphic designer
English [Auto] All right let's not waste any time. Let's jump right into it and try to answer the question what is graphic design. Graphic design is a broad term that has a variety of definitions depending on who you ask. And this fundamental question What is graphic design is a question that I'm going to be answering throughout the entire course. It isn't artsy but it can be. And graphic design isn't about making things look amazing or visually stunning. It's fundamentally in my mind any way creative problem solving that for me is really what it boils down to. Graphic design is many things but fundamentally it's all about visual communication no matter the medium it could be a web site it could be a brochure it could be a business card. It's all about visual communication no matter the format no matter the medium. OK. It's expressing a message that message could be a sales message the message could be a brand or perhaps an idea and so on. It's expressing this idea visually. OK that's really what it's all about. And furthermore it's the arrangement of text pictures and other layout elements all complemented by a color scheme. Now the building of layouts is very similar at least in my mind to putting a puzzle together but often oftentimes we don't have the know the cover of the puzzle box to go from. So we have these components these pieces that we want to try and assemble or put together into a visually appealing layout that expresses the designs message. OK. Now here's some other ideas for you to think about. First of all most people start with a plan. They pour all the puzzle pieces out onto the page and then they kind of move them around and shuffle them around for a while until they think that everything looks OK and really no thought is given to the designs overall message in other words what it is that they're trying to communicate or what it is that they're trying to say. Perhaps they're trying to communicate an emotion or they're trying to express an idea or they want the viewer of the graphic design piece to take some kind of action perhaps downloading a free trial or signing up for an account or something like that so they really give no thought to the fundamental purpose of the design. And I can't emphasize this enough that I strongly suggest that you start with some kind of a plan. Start by determining what it is that you want to communicate and what it is that you want to say and that fundamentally is what Graphic design is all about. Now graphic design can be broken down into three components the imagery the colors and the third one is the typographic Let's take a look at each of these in turn. When I say imagery what I'm referring to is any kind of visual elements that we have for instance photography that we might use textures artwork that we may incorporate into our layout logos icons things like this and any other visual design elements that we wish to include inside of our design. Don't forget that every single piece of imagery if you will has to complement and has to have a purpose for the overall design. OK. Now next we have the colors. Essentially what this is is a combination of complementary colors for the design for the layer that we're going to be working on. And oftentimes this is just a small pallet or small set of colors that we would be using. All right. And then the third one that we have is type biography. Essentially what I'm referring to here is a small set of complementary typefaces to use throughout our design and what wind up doing is establishing a hierarchy of typefaces for our lives. OK. So I hope that makes sense for you. Now all of your design elements so the photography or the imagery the color scheme and also the typographic all must support the designs fundamental message. It really boils down to that fundamental message and this is something that we're going to be addressing more and more as we work our way through the course. But I hope this helps to at least get started in answering the question what is graphic design.