What is graphic design?

Effective visual communication

What is graphic design?

The term graphic design encompasses many different specialisms, and has a different meaning to everybody

Some people instantly associate graphic design with the creation of a logo, business cards and stationery. Others think of packaging, brand identity, brochures and signage. Whatever route graphic design takes, it is essentially a method of communication. It can be physical or digital and is used to effectively convey a message in visual form.

Graphic design plays an important role in the success of all types of businesses, by combining creativity, technology, aesthetics and thought processes. Intelligent and attractive design is integral to building a brand and communicating the right message to the desired audience.

Some graphic designers specialise in certain aspects, be it web design, branding, video production or display graphics. Most designers will have spent many years honing their craft and employ highly evolved technology to perfect their art. When you’re looking to employ a graphic designer, you’ll need to choose the agency with the appropriate skill set for your project.

Corporate Identity

Often the first design element created for any business is the logo. A graphic designer must possess a good knowledge of creative design to create a logo design that fits with your business needs and objectives. They will be guided by your business type, the sector in which you operate, your customer (or desired) customer base, your products and services, and also the ethos of your business – its personality and vision. Your logo must be designed with future applications in mind, so it can be reproduced effectively across all types of visual media, without compromise.

It is helpful to accompany the logo with a set of corporate identity guidelines which instructs how and where the logo should (and shouldn’t) be used, the colour palette, typography and associated imagery and straplines. This assists third party suppliers such as printers to reproduce your logo correctly and maintain consistency throughout your brand.

Website Design

When choosing a creative agency to build your site you need to understand the importance of what we call ‘front end’ and ‘back end’ design and development. A good front end web designer will compose a visually appealing website, which is easy to navigate with clear calls to action, and be mindful of creating an enjoyable user experience (UX). The back end developer or coder, balances this aesthetic appeal with technical functionality. It is their job to determine how the site actually works. They ensure the website is search engine friendly and built in accordance with the latest technological standards.

Printed Graphic Design

Despite the growing and inevitable trend towards digital and online media, print still has its place. More and more people are getting their news and entertainment from mobile devices, and ebooks are now the norm. However, printed publications such as brochures, annual reports and catalogues are still the preferred choice of many. Graphic designers specialising in print design will have experience and knowledge of the printing industry and will know how to specify artwork for printing; how to select appropriate materials; and suggest finishing touches that can turn an average publication into something really special.

Graphic Illustrators and Graphic Designers

There is a difference between a graphic designer and a graphic artist, although some designers manage to do both extremely well. Graphic designers tend to be more concerned with organisation, layouts and typography and cleverly intersperse imagery from various sources to enhance their work. Illustrators produce original artwork and tend to collaborate with graphic designers, writers and editors to inform their creations. The value of using a graphic illustrator cannot be over played. Their skills can turn a mediocre brochure, website or report into something incredible.

Marketing and Advertising

The ultimate aim of advertising and marketing is to sell a product or service. We are all continuously bombarded with advertising messages in our homes on social media, TV and radio; in shops via packaging and point of sale graphics; and whilst walking down the street there are billboards and signs everywhere we look.

A successful advertising campaign can take weeks and even months to implement, and a good marketing designer must not only be talented in creative design, but should have excellent knowledge of branding and consumer psychology. They need to be able employ strategies that communicate your message to your target audience, and achieve a return on your investment.

Packaging Graphic Design

Expert knowledge is required to design a packaging concept, create a mock-up and correctly specify print ready artwork for packaging reproduction. A good packaging designer will be tasked with communicating a visual message to entice the consumer into making a purchase, as well as creating packaging which is fit for purpose in terms of storage, product protection and distribution. Not to mention consideration of environmental factors which are more important now than ever.

So, what next?

Now, hopefully, you are more familiar with the role of the graphic designer in various forms. If you are looking for a Swansea graphic designer or Swansea website designer, or any other type of graphic design service mentioned above, we’d love to hear from you.