Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1         The Role of the Graphics Designer

Chapter 2         Qualifications in Order to Become a Graphics Designer

Chapter 3         Is a Graphics Design Degree Essential?

Chapter 4         The Types of Graphic Design Programs Available

Chapter 5         How to Choose the Right Graphics Design Educational Facility

Conclusion

Graphics Designer Ebook Header

Introduction

A graphic designer, or graphic artist as they are also known, is a person who places together images or motion graphics (or both) with typography in order to produce their work.  They will primarily create such work for printed, published or electronic forms of media (newspapers, magazines, TV, film, internet) for use in advertising.

However, there are some graphics designers whose work makes them responsible for illustration, typesetting and web design.  But as these are specialty subjects within the field of graphic design, only someone who has taken training in this particular field will work on such projects as these.

The main responsibility of a graphic designer is to present information in such a way that, not only can it be easily accessed, but also it looks pleasing to the eye.

Most of the work you will see done by graphics designers is that which they produce for their clients in order to promote, publicize or advertise a certain product, service or topic.

Although there are a lot of graphic designers today who have obtained their degrees by going to college, or one of the many credited trade schools, there are others who have not.  In fact, in some cases, there are businesses where a degree is not considered to be essential, and these positions are filled by those people who have been in the business for a number of years, and so have vast amounts of experience.

But what is essential if you wish to get on as a graphics designer, is to produce a good portfolio.  It is this portfolio which will show off your talents to their fullest, and will normally require that you update and change things within it throughout the rest of your career.

Today, most portfolios compared to 20 years ago have now been digitized, and so will often be available to prospective clients either through the internet, on a CD or a DVD.  Whereas 20 years ago, a graphics designer would have had to carry all their work around in either a big black book or binder.  So as you can see, with the invention of the computer and the way technology is progressing, so does everything else, including the role of the graphics designer.

Through this book, we will show you what you will need to do if you wish to take up a career in graphics designing.

Chapter 1 – The Role of the Graphics Designer

The main roles of a graphics designer (graphics artist) are to plan, analyze and then design a visual answer to a communication problem.

It is up to them how they get the message across, and it can either be through the use of print, film or some form of electronic media using various different methods.  The methods that they will use in order to convey this message will be through the use of type, photography, animation, illustration, color and certain print and layout methods.

It is the graphics designer who develops the overall layout and design of magazines, journals, newspapers, corporate brochures or reports and many other kinds of publications you see today.  There are even some whose main role is to design promotional displays, marketing brochures, packaging or the logos for products and businesses.

But today, there is an increasing number of graphics designers whose sole role in their field is to design web pages for the internet, interactive media and multimedia schemes.

While there are some graphics designers whose role is to produce the credits you see at the beginning and end of all those movies and television programs that you watch.

So certainly, when it comes to being a graphics designer, there are plenty of options and different ways in which their talents can be used.

However, the first step a graphics designer will need to take in order to develop the design for their client is to determine what they actually need.  They will need to know what it is that the message he is trying to convey will portray, and how to make it more appealing to the customer or user of the product or service.

When developing a design for their clients, a graphics designer will look at several different factors in order to plan and execute their design at their target audience.

The factors that they will take into consideration in order to achieve this include the following:

  • Cognitive
    Cultural
    Physical
    Social

In order to get the relevant information they need to produce a piece of work which will do everything that the client requires, is to meet with the client, as well as their own creative or art directors (if the company has them).  Plus, they will carry out their own research on the subject matter as well.

It is essential that, if you really want to excel in the world of graphics designing, you need to identify the needs of your clients consumers.  As you will soon discover, a lot of your work will focus on helping to create a communication strategy for your client, as well as actually doing the designing and layout work as well.

Many graphics designers, in order to produce a design for their client, will either produce sketches or layouts through either the use of a computer or by hand.  When putting together a design for their client, they will look at various different elements in order to produce something that not only the client will like, but will cause a reaction from their target audience.

The elements that will need to be included within any design they produce include:

  • Colors
  • Sound (if required)
  • Artwork
  • Photography
  • Animation (if required)
  • The style of type (font) they will use
  • They will select the size, as well as how the different elements when all brought together, will look either on the page or on the screen.
  • They may also design graphs or charts produced from data provided by their client.

In many cases, a graphics designer will also take time to consult with copywriters as to exactly what type of text they should be used to accompany the visual part of their design.  Once all these elements have been brought together and they are satisfied with what they have produced, they will then present it to their client for them to approve.

However, for those graphics designers who work for either printing or publishing company, they may actually assist the printers in choosing the kind of paper and ink which will be used for each publication.  Plus, they will be required to review the design to check for any errors prior to it actually being published.

Many graphics designers today will now use a wide range of graphics and layout software in order to help them produce their designs.  Certainly, when it comes to producing designs for web pages or other forms of interactive media, then this graphics designer will use computer animation and programming packages in order to develop and produce a design for their clients.

The great thing about using such software programs is that they are easy to use, but they provide the graphics designer with a lot more flexibility.  By having this flexibility, they are able to explore a larger number of alternatives for their designs.  But also it helps to cut the amount of time down that it actually takes to produce and present the completed design to their clients and then to the target audience.

Finally, not only does it save them time, but it also helps to reduce the costs associated with producing designs using the more traditional methods.

So now we have taken a look at what it is a graphics designer does, we will need to take a look at the type of qualifications they need and where these can be attained.

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