Join Kristin Ellison for an in-depth discussion in this video Design comes in many forms, part of Getting Started in Graphic Design.
Graphic design is all around us, from logos, magazines and posters, to signs, product packaging and marketing pieces. In every instance, a designer has chosen type faces, colors, images, and designed the layout with the goal of getting and more importantly, keeping our attention. Design is a powerful and important form of communication that can determine the success of a piece. Whether that piece is an invitation or a logo for a major corporation, it serves as an ambassador and will either attract interest, go unnoticed or repel your intended audience.
But getting it right isn't just about making it visually appealing. It's also about making sure it communicates your message in a way that will resonate with your intended audience. Each type of design, such as a logo, a poster or a brochure has a specific job. Doing that job is a key element in the success of that piece. Let's start with logos. A logo is a visual mark that represents a company, a person, a product or an event.
Its job is to attract attention and communicate the essence of what or who it represents in the most immediate way. Logos are highly condensed graphics packed with meaning and because of that, every design decision is that much more powerful when it comes to the message it communicates and who it communicates to. The most important first step is understanding the client, who they are trying to reach and what they are trying to say with that mark. With that information in hand, you can then explore which colors, images and type will best communicate the intended message to the intended audience.
Posters are a favorite job among designers because they often enable a designer to really stretch their creative wings. Although their primary purpose is to communicate an event or a program, they're often competing with other visuals vying for our attention, so standing out is essential for their success. Another aspect to consider is longevity. Beautiful posters often live on as art, so using the opportunity to craft something truly compelling can mean greater value for your client as well as for you, the designer.
Book and magazine design is complex due to the volume of text and images and the job of a publication is to present the content to the reader in a way that's easy to navigate. Because of that, publications require a well-thought-out plan and some serious attention to detail. There are many moving parts, so consistently applying styles to the type and layout is essential. It's these styles that act as navigational clues for the reader. Infographics are graphic representations of information and their job is to tell stories in a fun, engaging and easy to digest way.
Infographics require designers to dig through the stories they're trying to tell so they can pull out the key elements that will frame it accurately. Then comes the challenge of building that visual story for the viewer. To do that, designers need to know which types of charts and graphs will best communicate the information they're trying to deliver. Advertisements have a number of jobs we've touched on here, including standing out and grabbing our attention, telling stories and in some cases, providing us with visual beauty and delight.
These are just a few types of design you may work on. Whatever job you have, it's essential that you understand the product or client you are promoting, the intended audience, and the purpose of the piece. Without these things, your design will fail to communicate its message and its beauty will only be skin deep.
To help you get started, Kristin curated a playlist of courses covering just the foundational elements of design. View and subscribe to the playlist here.