Graphic Design, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” It has become a massive industry in its own right, as pretty much anyone with anything to give to the modern world will need one of the products of the practitioners of this art, whether that be in the form of a company logo (as seen in the header image of this post), or concept art for an architectural project such as a simple suburban cookie-cutter house or, on the flip side, a massive, cutting-edge skyscraper that defines the very word itself. Newspapers depend on graphic designers to create an aesthetically-pleasing and consistent layout for information which will be consumed by potentially millions of people, and applications also need these people to make their app easy to use and eye-catching, as we usually judge within a few seconds which one might suit our purposes the best when browsing the likes of Google Play, so these are critical elements to consider.
The Design Process
A meeting is organised between the client and graphic designer(s). The client outlines what they want from this project (eg. a company logo), how much they are willing to spend on it, and when they want it done by.
The individual or team working on the task set forth by the client must do research in order to find out what might be appropriate for their particular conundrum, whether that’s finding out the market that the finished project will be exposed to, or seeing what competitors might have to get a good reference.
Ideas are explored, and creativity is stimulated. Mindmaps, brainstorms and moodboards are prepared, inspiration is sought etc.
Small sketches are made to have a visual representation of any ideas created in step #3. Usually these are pencil and paper creations.
#5. Development of Ideas
The best thumbnails are selected by the designer or a team of designers, and more-detailed mockups are created in design programs such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.
#6. Client Presentation
The client is shown everything that’s been created. Sometimes the client agrees on the spot if it’s exceptionally well-done, or if budgetary/time constraints are a major factor, but often the client provides feedback and changes are made based on their specifications. Sometimes an entirely new design is required, and more money is pumped into the project.
#7. Preparation of Finished Artwork
The project has been approved, all that there’s left to do is to send it all to the printer. A quick proofread of everything is done, along with alignment of the design to the printer’s specifications. Done!