Graphic design is defined as the art or skill of combining text and pictures on advertisements, magazines or books. It is the process of visual communication and problem solving that uses type, space, image and color. Graphic design is technically a subcatagory of visual communication and communication design; although, these terms are sometimes used interchangably because of how similar they are.
Purposes and Types of Graphic Design
Graphic design can be physical or virtual. It can be used for any of a variety of purposes; including commercial, educational, political or cultural. People have combined type, form and image on printable materials, such as posters, advertisement and packages, for over one hundred years. Information visualizations and graphics for newspapers and magazines have been around just as long. Motion graphics, however, are more recent. Posters, printed advertisements and packages are specifically meant to be experienced all at once; they reveal their purpose to the viewer immediately. On the other hand, motion graphics are meant to be experienced over a certain amount of time, sometimes not revealing their purpose until the middle, or even the end. Motion graphics are often used for the opening credits of a movie or to acompany an online article.
Books with pictures and magazines are another form of graphic design created to be experienced over time. However, unlike motion grapthics, the time it takes to read a book or magazine is determined by the reader, not the creator. Some commercial websites, catalogues, and digital or physical museum displays also fit into this category.
How Can I Get a Graphic Design Certificate and What Can I Do with It?
Many community and technical colleges offer graphic design programs. These programs can be completed much faster than an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Graphic Design degree, because it requires you to take less general education classes. You can complete this program in a traditional classroom or, at some colleges, online. These programs typically last two to five semesters, depending on the school.
The purpose of a graphic design program is to prepare students for entry level jobs as technical graphic designers. Once someone has an entry level job, they can work their way up a Mid-Level Designer, Senior Designer and, eventually, a Art/Creative Director, or any of several variations of these titles, depending on the company.
There are many categories and sub-categories of graphic designers. First, there is print. Print includes package design, advertising and branding, marketing, print publication designer and logo design. Of course, there is also digital graphic design. Front-end web designer, developer/designer, User Interface (UI) Designer and User Experience (UX) Designer are all examples of digital graphic design jobs. There are even jobs for graphic designers in the film industry. These graphic designers are typically responsible for opening and closing credits, as well as specialized knowledge of industry software packages.
Graphic design is a great job for anyone who needs to have the freedom to express their creativity at work.