What is Graphic Design?

What is the role of the Graphic Designer?

To define graphic design it is the art of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines or books and excel in visual representation.

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What job opportunities’ exist?

Some of the job options that would be available to myself would be:

  • Advertising

Presenting products or issues on a large-scale made for public viewing. Advertising campaigns are a good way of getting a product across to consumers and to even highlight issues within society.

  • Animator

Animators work in the public viewing sector either on films tv or even in the music industry. Animators bring life to 2D and 3D characters or ideas in the most visually appealing way possible.

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  • Illustrator

Illustrators can work alongside graphic designers working on things such as books, films, album artwork and game arts such as concept design. Illustrators can also be freelance and broadcast their work via the internet to clients.

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  • Printmaker

Printmakers excel in the field of making their own usable fabrics and patterns within the industry. They can be used within product design, interior design and fashion and textile.

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  • Product Designer

A product designer tackles problems in the general public within design. They look at objects and visualise how they can make them better or even to invent them completely from scratch.

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  • Web Designer

A web designer takes ideas from clients and makes a professional and visually pleasing website that can be broadcast to other clients and the general public.

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Some other jobs that interest me that I could hopefully use graphic design to get into:

  • Art Therapy

Art Therapy is helping people express their emotions through an artistic outlet such as painting, drawing or sculpture. This interests me because I connect personally to this issue myself and to help others is something I like to do.

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  • Community

Community is a more generalised job role as you could work within a community in a wide variety of companies. Working as community would be to interact with the public and support them and help with events.

I would be very interested in looking into Product design as I did it at GCSE but I haven’t done much of it since.

What skill sets are needed by a Graphic Designer?

Skills I think a Graphic Designer should have are:

  • Critical thinking

The ability to critically think is of vital importance if you are a graphic designer because you’ll need to either question others on their choice or have to self reflected on why you’ve done something. Say that you have designed a logo for a local pluming company. After completion you’ll have to ask yourself; does it reflect the business well? Does it make sense that you used the image or even the style of font? If you don’t ask yourself these questions the client/public may not like the design.

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  • Patience

Patience is something you’ll need in any creative route because you’ll always have times were you will feel frustrated within your work but patience and perseverance will always prevail.

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  • Adobe systems

Adobe systems is a must to have at least basic knowledge as it is the software that you need to be able to design anything from a business card to a roadside billboard. A client would not like it if you brought back a design and you’d tell them you used paint. The programs that would be vital are Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. There are other programs but these three would give you enough knowledge to at least design flat designs.

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  • Teamwork

Teamwork can make the dream work. Teamwork can help you and others because you can thrive off each others strong skills and then get help to improve whilst learning new techniques through traditional and contemporary means.

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  • Colour Theory

Colour theory is also another vital skill because knowing what colour to use when and how they work together can make or break a design. Colours can influences readers and can trigger a reader to stay onto a website.

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  • Web design skills

A frequent product a client will ask for will be a website. If you do not have these skills then you’ll be losing out on clients and money.

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  • Print design

The knowledge of print will help with a graphic designer’s profession this can also link into colour theory and layout design. It is a more traditional process as everything is more digital.

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  • Typography

Typography is used in every aspect of graphic design. If it’s logo design, website creation and layout design.

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Who do you think are top five design companies within the UK and why?

My personal top 5 graphic design companies within the UK:

Out of the design companies I researched I liked Tomato as they had a strong focus on cross-platform and multi-media art. This appeals to me strongly. Being interested in music and also 3D design.

Carlidge Levene’s book and publications is what caught my attention initially as they have a very simplistic system that is pleasing to see. Also their printed communication has a nice mix of type and illustration.

Magpie Studios website was the least appealing to me as it doesn’t show any information in a clear way but it is very stylised with the moving images on the page. The images that I saw I really liked because of their use of image within their pieces. I also got a somewhat comedic feel from some of their pieces which I enjoyed seeing.

I looked into Lambie-Nairn because I recognised a lot of their work like O2, Natural History Museum and This Morning. ‘Products of Empathy’ was the piece that made me choose them as I liked the use of shapes and colour and the range of products they produced from it.

Purpose in my opinion have a very bold and direct way of conveying the message they want to get across which is I chose them. The straightforwardness is good to see rather than open-ended questions.

Which skills do you already have?

The skills I would say I have would

  • Critical thinking.

Critical thinking is taking a problem and deconstructing it to its finer details/form. You ask questions such as why? Why did the artist choose this? Why is it presented the way it is? It is a analytical review and questioning your own means.

  • Basics of InDesign and Illustrator.

Starting university we have been introduced to InDesign as a tool to help with publication development. We have made 4 books already and we have learned how to set up ongoing themes. I used Illustrator more in college when we would make logos and just general, well, illustrations. I enjoyed using this program but I found it much harder to use as it was so fiddly nonetheless I could still get outcomes that I would be happy with.

  • Microsoft systems knowledge.

I have been using Microsoft systems most of my life and I would say that I know Word and Powerpoint the most. Powerpoint, in my opinion, is the most important Microsoft program to know because you would need to present to clients weather it would be your rough ideas or even a final product using powerpoint puts it into a format that is professional.

  • Experience with a range of materials.

Materials I have experience with would be:

Traditional materials like paper and card to unconventional materials like foam, worbla finest arts (a thermoplastic used in armour creation) lightening LED’s, resin and Thibra (simular to worbla). I also have some experience in using a sewing machine and multiple fabrics from cottons to PVC leather. This could help me within graphic design because different textures and outcomes could be achieved through using unconventional materials. Why try to mimic a distressed leather pattern when I could get some leather and distress it myself. The photos below will show my work using these types of materials.

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Entire costume was made with craft foam, EVA foam and Worblas finest arts.    Photographer – Paper Cube.

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Costume made from craft foam, EVA foam, Worblas finest arts, PVC stretch                                                      leather, Vinyl, Resin and LEDs.                                              Photographer – Paper Cube.

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Wig made from wire and extra wig wefts. Photographer – Martin Siggers Photography

  • Patience

As a graphic designer, things will go wrong and you need to have the patience to take a breathe, step back and then eventually start again.

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  • Determination

Determination has been a key skill I would say I have. I started a graphics course in 2015 to defer it to think about my life choices. I didn’t have to come back and I spoke to many people who didn’t come back after taking a break from university. I my case though I had a different mind set. I wanted to be the first of my mum’s children to go through university and make her proud. I wanted to make myself proud and through tackling all of that doubt and to come back in 2016 ready to start the course all over again, to me at least I think that portrays determination.

What other skills do you need to acquire? And what steps will you take in obtaining these skills?

  • To further my knowledge in Adobe programs. This can be achieved by courses on Lynda.
  • Traditional practices. I can research these and then go from there in getting the materials.
  • 3D design programs to 3D print. Also machines like laser cutter. I can book into the college to get inducted.

Which ways can you use interactive “self promotion” in obtaining job opportunities?

The examples of self promotion that I think I should be using:

  • Website
  • Business cards
  • Facebook page
  • Online portfolio. I have started up a Behance I need to get examples of work.
  • Art shares. (I picked up a booklet of shared artists at MCM Expo and they broadcast student artists work in 4 issues a year).

Examples that I am already using:

Instagram is my main social media as I like the format of having a picture be the main focus of attention.

Twitter is a new social media that I am trying to get the hang of. I like it but the limitation of only having 140 characters doesn’t let me get all the information.

WordPress is my main platform where I can write up all my processes and thoughts.

LinkedIn is a more business focussed website I am in the process of setting this up and I hope it can help me in finding work or opportunities.

Behance is a professional website where you can share your work. I have, as of this point in time, posted one photo and I found the process very smooth and easy to do. I will most likely use this frequently.