A graphic designer is someone who creates visual concepts, by hand or by using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They help to make an organization recognizable by selecting colour, images, or logo designs that represent a particular idea or identity to be used in advertising and promotions.
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Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of web screens and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, colour, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a page or screen, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, they collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Their work typically involves the following:
Graphic design is becoming increasingly important in the sales and marketing of products. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing. Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create credits for motion pictures, while others work with print media and create signs or posters.
Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. They must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using a computer program.
Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information. Most use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs. They must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.
Graphic designers often work on projects with other graphic designers and marketers, business analysts, writers, and programmers. They must collaborate to produce successful websites, publications, and other products. Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities.
Graphic designers generally work in studios where they have access to drafting tables, computers, and the software necessary to create their designs. Although many work independently, those who work for specialized graphic design firms often work as part of a team. Some designers telecommute. Many graphic designers collaborate with colleagues on projects or work with clients located around the world.
Most graphic designers work full time, but schedules can vary depending on workload and deadlines. In 2010, about 29% of graphic designers were self-employed. These individuals may need to adjust their workday to meet with clients in the evenings or on weekends. In addition, they may spend some of their time looking for new projects or competing with other designers for contracts.
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