Behind every iconic logo, movie poster, book cover or business card is a graphic designer delivering a very specific message or idea to an audience. At its core, graphic design is just visual communication that has been creatively and systematically planned to solve a particular problem or achieve a certain objective.
Graphic designers are high in demand across a huge range of industries, from large government departments to small start-up companies. Brand recognition and design are vital factors when communicating with audiences in a digital age. To be able to effectively communicate with audiences, businesses will need someone with the creative flair and design skillset to create a variety of physical and digital materials that communicate their specific message or concept. These materials often include logos, posters, brochures, advertisements, packaging and infographics. Some designers also specialise in user interface (UI) which involves designing how a device or piece of software interacts with its user, and user experience (UX) which refers to the overall experience of using a system or service.
Graphic designers usually require a qualification such as a degree or diploma in graphic design (or a related field) to meet hiring standards. By attending a university, college or academy, aspiring designers can truly learn their craft by studying topics such as studio art, design principles, computerised design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. While in education, aspiring graphic designers can begin to develop a comprehensive portfolio which will be essential when meeting future employers and clients.
One of the most vital skills for graphic designers to have, other than their creative and artistic talent, is their ability to communicate with people. Designers will need to be able to effectively propose and negotiate costs with clients (if you’re a freelancer), as well as explain any technical details or terminology to customers or clients who might not fully understand the jargon. They will also need to communicate with other designers to ensure that the desired information, ideas and messages are accurately reflected in a final product.
If you’d like to hear more about becoming and working as a professional graphic designer, you can hear from Shaun Taylor, a freelance graphic designer and web designer operating in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter. To see more of Shaun’s work, visit his website here.
Seed’s Creative Director, Jon Prest, sat down with Shaun to discuss his working life and his journey into the creative industry: