What is Graphic Design

The article concerns the question – What is Graphic Design. Graphic design refers to communicating a message to the audience by using a combination of images, words, symbols, typography, visual arts and ideas. Graphic design involves visual communication and presentation for a professional or artistic cause. Usually, it always involves working for a client to promote business or a social cause, expand the reach of an organization or even for just providing directions to commuters and travelers.

What is Graphic Design


Forms of Graphic Design

Graphic design is an integral part of all forms of media. From the smallest advertisement in the daily newspaper to the largest billboards, graphic design is used everywhere. Some of the key forms of graphic design include:

  1. Advertisements
  2. Posters
  3. Magazine and newspaper layouts
  4. Business cards
  5. Book jackets
  6. Billboards
  7. Greeting cards
  8. Product packaging
  9. Brochures
  10. Train schedules
  11. Credit cards

Elements of Graphic Design

Graphic design comprises of elements like color, type and images that together combine to deliver the desired effect. The major elements of graphic design include:


Colors add life to graphics. In a graphic design, colors are used to create different effects, evoke varied emotions and highlight text. Using different colors for backgrounds provides a different feel to the design and enhances its visual appeal.


Lines are mainly used to divide content on a page – be it a newspaper page, a magazine page or a web page. While designers usually use simple straight lines, other line types include dotted, zigzag and curved which are used even for actual illustrations and graphics.


Shapes are one of the most important and basic elements used for creating designs, illustrations and patterns.


Fonts are critical for effectively presenting text in print and digital formats. Using different font styles helps to highlight text that is important from marketing or strategic perspective. Also, using different font styles and sizes help to direct or channelize user attention. Today, several graphic designers prefer to play with fonts to create interesting designs and patterns, an art that is known as typography.


Last, but certainly not the least, artwork or photographs, images and illustrations are the defining elements of a graphic design. Designers can either create their own images or get a photo shoot done of the particular product or service or buy images available in the market. Whatever the source, getting the apt image or illustration to convey a specific message or idea is the key. An image or a photo is often the face of the campaign and any mistake can make or break the campaign forever.

The work of a graphic designer is one of the most challenging jobs in the field of media and communications. It requires the individual to have a blend of great creativity, technical skills and knowledge of consumer tastes and preferences.

While the knowledge of designing software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign is fundamental, coming up with original concepts and ideas is the most challenging and in turn satisfying.

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