What is Graphic Design? The Art of Communicating Visually

Published: October 5, 2023

When we look around us, especially at the media we are surrounded with, we do not realize consciously that most of it revolves around graphic design.

Our thought processes, buying preferences, and even lifestyle choices are being impacted by graphic design’s clever and intelligent use. But what is graphic design? And for how long have we been using it as a tool for convincing, communication, and even in times to provide clarity?

Despite the fact that the term “graphic design” has only been in use since the 1920s, the art form itself has been an essential component of visual communication for thousands of years. Early instances of graphic design can be found in old manuscripts and even prehistoric cave drawings.

Today’s graphic design business encompasses a wide range of fields. It’s an exciting field that’s constantly changing, but its adaptability can make it difficult for a newcomer to grasp what graphic design is and what kinds of work experts do.

We at the Internet of Learning are here to make this concept and its fundamental concepts easier for you. So, what are you waiting for? Continue reading to learn more about graphic design, its principles, and the designing process itself!

What is Graphic Design? 

Suppose we just focus on the graphic design definition. In that case, we can put it as the practice of creating and organizing the aesthetic components of a project or task into a visually appealing outcome. It includes everything from planning the layout of a journal to making a poster for a theatre show to designing product packaging.

complete information about graphic design

Almost everyone uses graphic design in their everyday lives, whether adding text to a picture for social media or color-coding a spreadsheet for work. The goal of to communicate or improve a statement.

Good visual design simplifies conversation. Consider a worksheet with data analytics. A graphic designer may use various colors to emphasize which metrics are increasing and which are decreasing, making it simpler for the viewer to grasp swiftly.

What Are The 3 Types of Graphic Designs?

Before we move on to understand that what is the graphic design process, let us look at the three major types.

Types of Graphic Designs explains
  1. Website Design
  2. User Experience (UX) Design
  3. Motion Graphics Design

1. Website Design

Website design is the process of organizing and constructing the look, layout, structure, and design of web pages. It concentrates on the main face and the front-facing elements of a website.

Graphic designers mix various visual components, such as text, photographs, graphics, and video, to create attractive and user-friendly sites and pages. UX and UI design is also strongly related to web design.

2. User Experience (UX) Design

UI (user interface) and interactive design, like web design, have become increasingly important abilities for a graphic designer. This discipline concentrates on aesthetically appealing forms and layouts to bridge the distance between complicated computing and the user experience.

A graphic designer works on building visual designs and elements that make it easier for a user to understand and navigate the website. We recommend you check out the best UI/UX design courses to learn more

3. Motion Graphics Design

Motion graphic design is a new specialty area in the business, but it is rapidly expanding, and demand for Motion Graphic Designers is increasing. This form of design, at its most basic, includes any graphic in motion. Examples are animations, banners, opening scenes, teasers, and video games.

The Process of Graphic Designing – 7-Step Process 

Lastly, in the process of understanding what graphic design is, we shall now cover and explain the process of designing for your better understanding and ease.

  1. Define The Project Scope
  2. Research And Gather Information
  3. Brainstorm And Ideate
  4. Develop The Concept
  5. Create The Design
  6. Refine And Revise
  7. Finalize And Deliver

1. Define The Project Scope

In this first step of the graphic design process, you not only define the aims and objectives of this whole exercise that you’re undertaking but also lay out the things that should be covered and included, as well as elements that should not be made part of the process, design, and the final product.

You will also cover different elements such as time duration, costs, and the use of manpower involved, just like when defining the scope of any other project.

2. Research And Gather Information

In the second stage, you will work with your team members or even, at times, individually to research the target audience and the market for which you are designing a particular graphic. You need to gather detailed information about how they perceive things in terms of visuals and esthetics and, of course, involve certain psychological elements in it as well.

3. Brainstorm And Ideate

Once you have gathered and researched relevant information about your target market or even a client that you’re working for, you need to start brainstorming different ideas and putting them in some form so that you’re able to work on the one that you have finally selected and include the best elements from all the different brainstorming results.

4. Develop The Concept

As the name suggests, in this particular stage, you will now develop the concept for your graphic design based on the ideas and elements you have shortlisted from the brainstorming stage. This step is very important as this is sort of the framework or foundation that you are laying down for your design.

5. Create The Design

In this stage, you will use your developed concept and start turning it into a design. When working on this graphic design, remember to keep the core elements and basic principles of graphic design in mind, especially unity, harmony, and the use of imagery.

6. Refine And Revise

Once you have created the design and it has reached a form, it is recommended to keep refining and revising it, especially if you can take feedback from your client or even from a sample of your target audience and population. Keep reviewing your work, revising it, and polishing it further until you’re happy with the result.

7. Finalize And Deliver

Now that you are satisfied with what you have created and it is in alignment with the requirements of your client or is a match with what your target audience will perceive in terms of visual communication, you must lock in the final graphic design and deliver it as per promised deadlines and pricing.

What Are the Core Elements of Graphic Design?

Before we further explore what is graphic design art? Let us first define and understand the core elements of graphic design to make the comprehension of the process easier.

Core Elements of Graphic Design

Any designer must have a command over the core concepts of graphic design. So, in case you’re wondering how to become a graphic designer, the first step is understanding the core elements described below.

  1. Typography
  2. Color
  3. Imagery

1. Typography

Graphic Designers must consider the relationship between how text appears and what it conveys when dealing with text. The discipline of arranging text in clear and interesting ways is known as typography. As varying type options can convey varying moods or emotions, understanding this is a must. 

Good typography should establish a powerful aesthetic order, provide harmony, and establish the appropriate tone. It should also align with the brand message and overall communication persona.

2. Color

Color is perhaps the most important and obvious element of a design. It can create an impact right away, and it is noticed by everyone, even those without a design background. Colors can be used in backgrounds or within other elements like lines, shapes, or typography. 

This is why it is important that as a graphic designer, you are well versed in color theory- all the rules and guidelines involving using different colors and tones to send out a particular message.

Colors create emotions and moods. For example, red can represent passion, and green can represent nature. Therefore, a graphic designer must develop a strong command over different color models and color palettes and their use under different circumstances.

We recommend checking out the best color theory courses to help you gain command over this element further.

3. Imagery

The third core element of graphic design is Imagery. Imagery is the visible depiction of objects, people, landscapes, and concepts through photographs, illustrations, drawings, and graphics. Images are part of visual language in graphic design, which helps convey information faster than words.

When we talk about how a graphic design is created, a portion of it depends on the usage and placement of certain imagery. This is why it is very important for you, as an aspiring graphic designer, to understand the different rules and expectations of using imagery in your work.

What are the Major Principles of Graphic Design?

When you, as a potential designer, wonder what graphic design is, we are sure you must have thought about terms like unity, balance, or contrast. All these, as well as others, are basically the major principles of graphic design.

For you to become a successful professional graphic designer, it is a must that you understand the importance as well as comprehend the usage of these different principles of graphic design. We have discussed these in further detail below.

  1. Balance
  2. Contrast
  3. Emphasis
  4. Harmony
  5. Unity

1. Balance

When we talk about balance, we basically relate to how symmetrical the use of space, imagery, and even text looks in a particular design.

Graphic designers must consider the distribution of design components. Unbalanced designs can be lively, whereas balanced designs provide security. Shapes, hues, textures, lines, and other components are used to attain balance.

2. Contrast

Contrast is using opposing elements, such as light and dark, to create visual interest. It is basically one of the major core elements of attraction and visual communication in graphic design. Contrasts not only help different things become highlighted, but the clever use of contrast also aids in making certain things subtle and a part of the imagery background.

3. Emphasis

Dominance and emphasis in a design make a main point. It aids the design movement and can direct the observer to other areas of the design. It is critical in graphic design as it helps highlight and put forward the basic and important message of your work.

As a graphic designer, you must understand and know different techniques for creating emphasis in your work as well as have an understanding of when actually to use these techniques for certain elements.

4. Harmony

One of the primary objectives of visual design is harmony. Every element in a decent design must function together and complement one another. On the other hand, a style can become boring if everything is the same; this is why designers must achieve a delicate balance of harmony and contrast.

Therefore, any graphic designer worth their salt should know how to use different elements from varying backgrounds so that they do not seem jarring and clashing and rather send out the visual message in a harmonized manner.

5. Unity

Unity refers to using design elements to create a sense of oneness in a design. In this core element of graphic design, a designer works around using different methods to connect multiple text, images, and abstract designs.

What is Graphic Design - FAQs

What Is the Trend of Graphic Design?

Minimalism, bold lettering, and vintage style are some of the current graphic design trends.

How Has Graphic Design Changed Over the Years?

Graphic design has changed over time as new tools and design practices have been introduced. Designers now have access to various tools and methods as the field has become more digital and interactive.

What Is a Graphic Design Degree?

A graphic design degree is a course of study that trains students for a job in the field. It usually involves design principles, software applications, and digital media classes. We recommend you check out the best graphic design courses to learn more about this.

Conclusion

We hope that through this write-up, you were able to develop an understanding of what is graphic design and how it plays a role in our daily lives. In this blog, we have tried covering all the basic elements and principles of graphic design and explaining the process.

As graphic design is an important component of visible communication, it uses visual components to make aesthetically attractive and effective designs. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you invest your time in graphic designing courses and improve your artistic abilities and knowledge, especially those around color theory, contrast, and image harmony.

Through this article, we hope you gained certain clarity and are now better positioned to decide whether graphic design is your calling based on the theoretical side of things.

We wish you the best of luck in your professional learning endeavors!