Round peg in round hole of graphic design

In 1922 typographer William A. Dwiggins coined the term graphic design to identify an emerging field. I could have imagined that the typography was getting boring, or it was simply the insatiable nature of man, who just wanted something more, or perhaps the industrial revolution required more for the deserving kick. In our world today the graphics design world has even further emerged that the sect can be classified as an industry on its own yet good graphics artist are getting more difficult to find, and where you find them the general consensus among employers is that they are rash and erratic, in fact most want to work freelance to give them the freedom that they feel their skills expresses, meanwhile to the graphics artist I have related with before coming up with this write up it was a case of “Give a dog a bad name and hang him” an English proverb depicting that It is very difficult to lose or change a bad reputation. They feel some graphics artists are to blame for the bad reputation or label. A similar proverb is “he that has an ill name is half hanged”. But for me it is more important to make known the possibilities in the graphics design field, this write up will highlight a few so that graphics designers can learn the required addition skills and specialize so that employers can be clear on which variant to call a bad name.

Graphic design is an ever-growing field, and the demand for specialized and skilled designers is on the rise daily. When looking for the right person to take up a design job, knowing the different types of graphic designs will actually help identify the needed specialist. Follow me as we list some variants.

  1. Environmental graphic design

Speaking about those designs that visually connects people to a place to improve the overall experience, it’s simply about ensuring a space ends up much more informative, memorable, interesting or just naturally easier to navigate through experience.
Have you wondered how you arrive abroad and by just opening your eyes you find your way to the train station and jump on a train to arrive at your destination with very minimal drama.

More examples include signages, exhibition stand graphics, transportation navigatory designs, office, home or public space branding, wall murals and retail store interiors and this is just to mention a few

  1. Art and illustration for graphic design

I would first like to point out that a graphics designers and art illustrator are very different in an unbelievably divergent way but that will be a topic for another day, I had to mention this because many simply just see them as the same.

If we are to quickly state a difference it will be that graphic art illustrator creates original artwork while graphics designers use their skills of creating compositions to communicate and solve problems.

I must admit however that I haven’t seen or read anywhere that graphic art and illustration are technically a type of graphic design but because a whole lot are created for varying commercial use within the context of graphic design that has systematically forced a union of this roles, it is however worth noting that if your end product are listed in the following then you are actually looking out for a graphic art illustrator;
Comic book compilation, textile patterns or T-shirt designs, video games, infographics or technical illustrations and again this is just to mention a few.

3. Packaging graphic design

Ideally all products require some form of primary packaging to protect and prepare them for secondary and tertiary packaging, transportation, storage, distribution, sale and eventually usage of the products, all this of course must be in tangent for the product not only communicating to the consumer but also connecting with them, people only buy products that can tell the consumers a story they can relate to. This is why this graphics designers are trained to use their graphics as a marketing tool. Their skills usually require a greater deal of the print processes, understanding of manufacturing and in essence industrial design.

4. Motion graphic design

Many times, graphics are needed to hold animation, audio, videos, imagery and text together in case of online media that has become a great tool in communication today, it is true that it’s easier to send a product video to a prospect than to send literature, people find videos, skits and animations easier to understand hence the growing need for motion graphics

“Motion graphics designers” have suddenly become “hot cakes” a somewhat new specialty for designers. These guys have added technological advancement value which has reduced production time and costs, making the art form more accessible and affordable. Now, motion graphics is one of the newest types of design and can be found across all digital platforms, creating a whole new concept and opportunities.
Application of this skill is not limited to advertising, teasers, presentation, animated logos, video games, GIFs, apps and websites

  1. Visual identity graphic designer

This set are concerned with brand identity, I mean they figure out how a business or organization communicates its personality, tone, reason for existence, essence, memories, emotions and experiences to its group of audiences.

Visual identity graphic designers must possess a general knowledge of all types of graphic design in order to create design elements that are suitable across all visual media. They also need excellent communication, conceptual and creative skills, and a passion for researching industries, organizations, trends and lifestyle.

Remember that brand consistency is key in the heart of a visual identity graphics designers, if you find them, they actually stay longer in your organization.

  1. User interface graphic design

A user must interact with a device or application, and this is done with an interface, the user interface (UI) graphic designers make this happen.

In the context of graphic design, UI designers focus on the user’s visual experience and the design of on-screen graphic elements like buttons, menus, interactions and more. UI designers are usually team players, having both excellent graphic design skills and a serious understanding of UI/UX principles, good understanding of graphics apps, coding and knowledge of programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. These guys are needed for app design, game interface, web page design and themes design (WordPress, Shopify, etc.)

  1. Marketing & advertising graphic design

Marketing is major for every business so it is not out of place to believe that this graphics designers are by far the most popular of the lot, people will always find visual content more engaging, so graphic design helps promote and communicate more effectively.

Marketing graphic designers sort out postcards and flyer, magazines/ newspaper advert, banners, posters and billboards, brochures (print and digital), signage and trade show display, vehicle wraps etc

  1. Publication graphic design

Publications which are usually distributed to the public has a classic design and is traditionally a print medium, although recently we are seeing a rise in digital publishing.

Publication graphic designer will work on directories, magazine, newspapers, catalogues, books, annual reports and such like

Publication designers must possess excellent communication, layout and organizational skills, in addition to graphic design expertise, they need to understand color management, printing and digital publishing.

I don’t think our industry is ripe enough for 3D graphic designers so I will leave that for the future. In the meantime, we definitely need a forum to build and expose our graphic design community and encourage them to prepare for the possibilities available so that “there are three responses to a piece of design- yes, no and wow- wow is to aim for” – anonymous

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