The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) includes a remarkable page on the approach to graphic design as a profession.  Without a doubt, it is a page to make you think whether you just like art and wants to use it in your line of work or whether visual appearance and information functions should be part of the economic market through a variety of communication media.

So, if you are considering a career or change in your career, this AIGA article should be examined.

Therefore, let’s dissect AIGA’s page before you analyse your vocation.

The Traditional Graphic Design’s Definition:

Improve the visual appearance and function of messages and information.

Job Industry:

  • Work with the publishing industry on (books, magazines, newspapers) to communicate a message and support the interests of the target market and the client;
  • Work with advertising to promote the qualities of commercial products and services;
  • Work with the communication of information to translate numerical and textual explanations into visual forms to help people understand the message.

Benefits of the Profession:

To distinguish a business, a brand, an innovative approach from the competition or communicate a service or consumers or potential clients.

Graphic Designers Working Tools:

Typography, photographs, illustrations, graphic images, icons, and abstract symbols to create images and texts that attract attention and, therefore, make the target audience understand and memorise the company’s message.

The purpose of this passage is to evaluate and position the work description of graphic designers.  The design professionals communicate ideas to cause a ‘call to action’ on possible potential clients. The aesthetic visual “art” (space, texture, colour, lines, scales, form and shape) incorporates not only creative but functional aspects related to the interests of the company and of the audience. In other words, you will communicate ideas (of other people) through text and image.

You will need to articulate ideas for your clients, listening to them to understand their needs and, at the same time, use a strong public speaking and writing skills to convey your solution options either by phone or email.

Sentence caption  by Milton Glaser

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF A GRAPHIC DESIGNER

  • Excellent written communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Active and proactive listening
  • Understanding clients’ preferences and cultural backgrounds
  • Interest in different aspects of artwork for the public
  • Confidence and professional talent
  • Research and consultation
  • Open to collaboration
  • Excellent in interpersonal relationships and establishing rapport
  • First-rate in customer service

CREATIVE THINKER & PROBLEM SOLVER

fractal digital art
Fractal Digital Art by Kahji Asakawa from Pixabay

Another essential skill to improve your career is to be a creative thinker and creative problem-solving person. A creative thinker approaches a problem or a challenge with a creative open mind to be able to reach solutions or opportunities and, consequently, come to innovative responses to that problem. The Graphic Designer’s goal is to create original solution options into appealing texts and images or other creative means.

Skills & Abilities of a Problem Solver

  • Open to brainstorming and different ideas
  • Talent to sketch solutions
  • Ability to represent ideas
  • Perceptibility
  • Sense of Aesthetics
  • Attention to details
  • Talent to balance creative art and marketing functions

DIFFERENT SPECIALISATIONS TO A CENTRAL IDEA

Expanding on the material posted by AIGA, let us survey the specialities that graphic design professionals can follow. In our times, computers and internet are changing so many aspects of life, and that also includes graphic design. It seems that in this profession the peak is never reached, since when we reach a climax, we find it is just the beginning for another phase.

The impact of technology in communication and the way we can work with is actually disturbing and amazingly surprising. Graphic design is, likewise, taking advantage of this development. Graphic designers need to feel comfortable with the various forms of technology, such as InDesign and Adobe used by many companies to produce digital prints, along with website development technologies, being fluent in programming languages and web content management system platforms, similar to WordPress.

With marketing covering both online and offline business, graphic designers need to create:

  • Illustrations
  • Presentations
  • Books, magazines, catalogues, newsletters, newspapers
  • Marketing material, such as flyers, brochures, postcards, posters
  • Packaging and labels
  • T-shirts designs
  • Reports
  • Web designs

The Main Specialisations in Graphic Design:

Multimedia Designer

uses art, sound and design skills to create television and films productions, set designs, animation and other forms of multimedia fields. It requires, naturally, imagination and creativity balanced with technical expertise in software applications.

Web Designer

works along the development of a website with the creation of pages,layouts and graphics. With the management of content for the web page, the graphic designer will ensure continuity from page to page. Fluency in computer graphics, graphic design and internet technology is essential. Areas of work include advertising, entertainment, web development, multimedia design and e-commerce.

Logo Designer

creates brand identity image for a company or service to promote recognition by consumers. They work in graphic design firms or advertising agencies, most times in conjunction with other specialities to produce a unique, memorable representation of a company.

Brand Identity Designer

creates visual and textual elements to define a brand with materials such as business cards, stationery, promotions, brochures, media advertising. This material will be used as a marketing tool communicating the values and strategic vision of the company with a consistent image. It is a vast area involving modernising of the visual image in logos, tagline, typography, colour palette, icons, design, etc.

vector art
Small Poly Animal Vector Art by Денис Марчук  from Pixabay

Creative / Art Director

works hand-in-hand with marketing, managing a team of graphic designers, artists, producers, writers, photographers in advertising agencies, magazines, newspapers, manufacturers and public relations firms, or as free-lancers.

Photo Editing / Photoshop Artist

is one of the most well-known areas among graphic designers who manipulate and customise images. As you can imagine, careers using Photoshop are in almost every job openings for graphic designers.

Layout Designer

works with advertising agencies or printing companies to create the layout of images and text in a pleasing format for printed media, in magazines, brochures, flyers, books, CD booklets, posters, labels, reports, etc. The main view is to ensure that the images and texts are printed pleasingly that ensures readability and aesthetics to the reader.

TYPOGRAPHY

Readability refers to the ease with which a person can understand a page or text. It depends on the content and the typography elements used on the site. Graphic designers need to be competent in the creation and choice of legible, well-designed typos (or fonts) being familiar with their line-height and tracking to improve the readability of the text to the target audience.

Readability is central for websites because it is imperative to keep the content within the range of the specific target audience. There are several tools available to test the readability of the text, but the graphic designers must prioritise the elements of typography to arrange all the contents of the page professionally with an attractive appearance while preserving the aesthetic value of the content.

Reasons to Prioritise Typography:

  1. The final result of the graphic designer’s work needs to be an effective medium of communication between the customer and the company;
  2. The main goal is to attract attention using the correct fonts allowing the reader to perceive information from the text;
  3. It must hold the reader’s attention with creative highlighting of texts that are captivating to produce great content;
  4. Typography conveys certain feelings and moods with the design of their fonts. As a consequence, the choice of typefaces is essential as they indicate how the content is understood. The creation and repetition of the same pattern throughout the text creates the artistic effect of harmony and continuity;
  5. Good use of typography reflects professionalism and creates recognition and trust from the customers.

HIGHLIGHT YOUR MOST RELEVANT SKILLS

dod puppy photo
Dog Puppy Lapphund by Spiritize from Pixabay

There are many aspects that need to be connected to produce a good graphic designer. It is a profession for those who love to learn, enjoy the challenge to be always finding ways to stay ahead of the next curve. To have certain freedom for creativity and, simultaneously, be limited to the restriction and functionality of the software in the creation of the highest quality of communications to the target audience.

CONNECTIVITY & EVOLUTION

As Natalie Norcross mentions, careers in this field are also evolving. With the vast availability of software offered to the market, graphic designers “are no longer glued to their workstations”, what makes it easier for organisations to outsource professionals from any part of the world.

Nowadays there is a rise of freelance designers who work from their private spaces to companies anywhere in the world greatly impacting on business cost-efficiency revenue. Graphic designers offer a necessary tool which balances artist, technological, economic, marketing and architectural expressions and this field will still evolve, as advances in society and technology move forward.

Sources:
https://www.creativeboom.com/tips/11-signs-you-should-become-a-graphic-designer/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/09/how-graphic-design-is-evolving/#1c8815a31ff3
https://www.aiga.org/what-is-design https://www.thebalancecareers.com/graphic-design-skills-list-2062400
https://fremont.edu/top-8-graphic-design-jobs/
https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/17/8-reasons-why-typography-is-important/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAD7wiPaOSjvr32NR1ik3dAxb4GnKZeAP-ZnVSJADBkizTCqjFQ_zyf9jBmrR22HbCGKjybrnUuhzVe8UKJF5ie3YcGcwq1KMtU0cGP0PQb0i-VpiCSqSFFRZsPUg5h7MDfJvHlLfCxwouDPuruZKaFbSV_LyNCvxtNM5VA5HlK4c
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/09/how-graphic-design-is-evolving/#3bcf1e111ff3
https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/typethos-inspiring-typography-quotes-tips/
https://99designs.com.au/blog/creative-inspiration/10-famous-design-quotes/
https://www.graphicdesigndegreehub.com/lists/5-specializations-for-a-graphic-design-degree/

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Cidinha Moss