What Is the Work of a Graphic Designer?
Graphic designing is not a job meant for just anyone. Those who look to forge a successful career path in the graphic design field often need to have a special type of mind. This might sound clichéd, but if you hope to become a successful graphic designer, you have to have a passion for it and consciously take up the profession as a career choice. If you want to become a graphic designer, you have to really enjoy it and be willing to make a career out of it. The field requires just the right balance of unbridled creativity and humility; you have to have confidence in your talent and creativity and at the same time, must have the heart to gleefully give in to the client’s taste preferences. Furthermore, it requires from you the readiness to give up the claim to your work of art while it is seen and appreciated by tens of thousands of people. However, you may be able to take credit for your work privately or at design award functions (if you’re lucky enough).
Requires More Than Just Artistic Ability
Although it might seem similar to the work of an artist, the work of a graphic designer is different in so many fundamental ways. Unlike in the art or entertainment industry where every artist gets to have their name on the final product, the focus of a graphic designer is to have the final product serve a specific marketing purpose with their artistic creation and not receive credit for the work of art. The work of a graphic designer typically involves the use of creativity and artistic expression that can be used to influence or motivate a certain target audience, or to sell a particular product or an idea to them.
As a result, the graphic designer requires more than just artistic ability to excel in his or her profession. Below are the general skills that are expected of people looking to break into the graphic design field.
Graphic designers must have the capacity to view their work from the client’s perspective. They should be able to see clearly through the client’s needs and requirements and understand the message that the client wants to be conveyed through the artwork. They need to be able to understand the client's target market and have an understanding of how they will perceive the work. This will help them tailor their work accordingly to convey the client’s message in a compelling way.
Artistic ability is obviously essential to graphic design work. Most successful graphic designers today have always had an artistic flare growing up. Most have had a certain affinity with drawing, sketching, and always have been fascinated by color and logos that they came across as kids. At the end of the day, graphic designers must be able to create aesthetically pleasing designs for their clients and consumers. They’re often required to produce rough figures of design ideas by way of hand-drawn sketches. At other times, they use computer programs to do that.
Impeccable communication skills are also required in graphic design work. A large part of their work involves talking to their clients, superiors, customers, or other designers to guarantee that they’ve thoroughly understood what is required of them. Only then can they make sure that their graphic designs are accurate and effective depictions of the ideas or messages that the client wants to be conveyed.
With technology changing the working landscape for every job out there, graphic designing, too, has come to rely heavily on the use of computers, dedicated applications, and specialized software to carry out routine tasks. Most graphic designers today rely completely on these computer-based programs for their routine work. Therefore, it is safe to say that graphic design work these days requires a fair bit of computer knowledge.
Creativity is at the heart of this job. The client’s desired message has to be creatively sewn into the artistic renderings so that it can cut through the clutter out there and can be effectively conveyed through the graphic design. Graphic designers are required to constantly come up with fresh ways to capture the fancy and interest of the client’s target audience. They are supposed to devise new and unique approaches to effectively convey the desired message and idea to the consumer.
Time Management Skills
The work of a graphic designer can often get hectic and taxing as they’re constantly pushed to meet deadlines. Often, they are working on a number of projects at the same time and time management is, therefore, a natural and essential theme of the game.
Merging Business and Creativity
Having an affinity with everything arts and colors growing up doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re meant to take up a career in graphic designing. A sense of business and consumer psychology is also important for one to be a successful graphic designer. Although most graphic design professionals have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or an associated field, it isn’t before they have a thorough grasp of business, consumer psychology and branding, that they can make the transition from good to great. The understanding of things such as how ads can be laid out and balanced, or how characters or color can be put together, what font would convey a certain branding message or go on to create a certain brand persona in the consumer’s mind, etc. have a significant impact on the bottom line.
The Tasks Performed
Graphic designers will typically perform the following tasks in the course of their duties.
- Meeting clients or the art director to decide the scope of a project
- Counsel clients on what tactics to use to target their desired audience
- Establish the message that the design should convey
- Design images that will identify the client’s product or message
- Design graphics for product photos, logos, and websites
- Deciding on the fonts, color, and layout
- Presenting the design to the art director or the client
- Make any subsequent changes that might be required
All in all, graphic design work can be a fulfilling job, both intrinsically as well as extrinsically once the graphic designer learns to make use of all the skills that are required by the job. Graphic designing work requires merging creativity with business sense while making use of a designer’s artistic ability, computer savvy nature and communication skills. Graphic designing also pays handsomely enough while providing the intrinsic satisfaction of doing engaging work that continues to satisfy one’s artistic flare.