What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design is the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect. In other words, graphic design is communication design; It’s a way of conveying ideas through visuals and design. Spray Mockup Collection
The types of graphic design are wide ranging in both the print and digital worlds. Posters, fliers, business cards, packaging, billboards, and logos are a few examples of predominantly physical print works, while email marketing and web design dominate the digital landscape.
Graphic design can be used by companies to promote and sell products through advertising, by websites to convey complicated information in a digestible way through infographics, or by businesses to develop an identity through branding, among other things.
Elements of Graphic Design
Elements of art are the basic units of any visual design that form the design’s structure and convey its visual messages. Elements are used in conjunction or opposition with each other to create visually striking and impactful designs. The elements of graphic design are:
Line – The most basic of the design elements. Lines can be curved, straight, thick, thin, two-dimensional, three-dimensional. A line is simply an element of design that is defined by a point moving in space.
Shape – A shape is a two-dimensional defined area created by lines. Different types of shapes include geometric, abstract, and organic shapes, all of which are basic elements of design.
Color – Color is one element that is especially important in attracting attention because there is psychology behind the feelings that color can evoke. There are three main characteristics to color: hue (the color family), value (how light or dark the color is), and saturation (the purity of the color).
Typography – Typography is the art of arranging type. This one is critically important as it can greatly affect the design’s messaging. Different weights (bold, regular, or light), combined with varied sizing, colors, and spacing, can add power to the concept the designer is trying to communicate.
Texture – Texture in design refers to how things look like they’d feel if they were to be touched. For example, texture can be rough, smooth, glossy, soft, hard, etc. Texture is another element used to draw attention. It can be added to other elements like shapes, colors, images, and type.
Size – Size is simply how small or large something is. In design, size is used as an indication of importance and it can also create visual interest in a design by using contrasting sizes.
Space – Space refers to the areas of the design that are left blank. These areas include any distance or areas between, around, below, or above other design elements. Designers intentionally place spaces in the design to add emphasis to areas of the design. Small Honey Jar Collection Label Mockup
Principles of Graphic Design
The principles of design suggest how the designer should best arrange the various components of a page layout to ensure the elements of the overall design are connected to one another. The principles of design include the following:
Balance – Achieving visual balance in graphic design is done by using symmetry and asymmetry. This is achieved by balancing the design in weight – meaning shapes, lines, and other elements are distributed evenly. So even if the two sides of the design aren’t the exact same, they have similar elements. Balance is important because it provides structure and stability to a design.
Alignment – Alignment is about keeping the design organized. All aspects of the design should be aligned with the top, bottom, center, or sides to create a visual connection between the elements.
Proximity – Proximity creates a visual relationship between the elements of the design. It minimizes clutter, increases viewer comprehension, and provides a focal point for viewers. It doesn’t necessarily mean the similar elements need to be put right next to each other, it just means they should be connected visually.
Repetition – Once you’ve chosen how to use your elements, repeat those patterns to establish consistency throughout the design. This repetition ties together individual elements and strengthens the design but creating a feeling of organized movement.
Contrast – Contrasting is used to emphasize certain aspects of the design. Using contrast allows you to stress differences between elements, ultimately highlighting the key elements of your design that you want to stand out.
Types of Graphic Design
Over time, graphic design has become pretty multifaceted. The overall concept is composed of different fields and specializations. Here are some of the most common types of graphic design:
Corporate design – Corporate design has to do with the visual identity of a company. Any visual elements that make up a brands identity, such as a brand’s logo (made with logo design software), can be associated with corporate design. This type of graphic design is used in brand marketing to communicate brand values through images, shapes, and color.
Marketing and advertising design – Probably one of the most widely known types of graphic design: marketing and advertising. When most people think of graphic design, they’re most likely thinking of marketing and advertising design. Social media graphics, magazine ads, billboards, brochures, email marketing templates, content marketing – all examples of this widely used type of graphic design.
Publication design – Publication design traditionally refers to print medium, but again, with the constant digitalization of our generation, it has crossed over to digital publishing. Publication designers need to work closely with editors and publishers to ensure layouts, typography, and illustrations are tastefully combined producing the best possible end result. Examples of publication graphic designs include books, newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and eBooks.
Environmental design – Environmental graphic design is the use of visual elements in environments to connect people to those places. The purpose of environmental design is to improve people’s experiences in those places; whether it makes the experience more memorable or informs the viewer. Architecture, road signs, signage, event spaces, and wall murals are all examples of environmental design.
Packaging design – When you buy a new product, it most likely has some form of packaging or visual element such as a label, sticker, or wrapping that is used to prepare the product for distribution or sale; these elements are created by packaging designers. It’s crucial that these designers are aware of current trends within the marketplace to ensure successful product marketing.
Motion design – Simply put, motion graphics are graphics that are in motion. This can include animation, audio, typography, imagery, video and other effects that are used in online media, television and film. This is still a somewhat new area in graphic design as technological advancements have allowed designers to explore new mediums.
Web design - Page layout, choosing images, and deciding on the best typography for a website are all part of web design. Web design ties closely with UI design and UX design, which aims to create an interface that balances aesthetic appeal on the front end page with optimal usability.
UX design - UX design, also known as user experience design, is about enhancing user experience. This specific type of design focuses on the structure and logic of the design elements that users interact with. UX designers work to improve a product’s usability, accessibility, and users’ pleasant interaction with the product, with a goal of maximizing customer satisfaction. This is done by performing both pain point and usability analyses post-product launch.
UI Design - UI Design, or User interface design, pertains to the interactive elements of a design. This type of design requires a good understanding of users’ needs because it focuses on anticipating what users will need to do on the device and ensuring that the interface has the elements that make those actions possible. These elements include things like dropdown lists, toggles, breadcrumbs, notifications, progress bars, etc. Basically, UI design is expanding the graphic design definition; designs that have any interactivity are UI, even if they incorporate static images.