What actually is Graphic Design?

Wikipedia defines Graphic Design as:

Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of typography, photography, and illustration. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term "graphic design" is used synonymously. Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography, visual arts, and page layout techniques to create visual compositions. Common uses of graphic design include corporate design(logos and branding), editorial design (magazines, newspapers and books), wayfinding or environmental design, advertising, web design, communication design, product packaging, and signage.


A broad and varied subject as you can see, and one, as a Graphic Designer, I have to agree with. Graphic Design, to me, is an art form all of its own. And when someone asks me what I do and I tell them I am a Graphic Designer they nod sagely, picturing me at my PC sketching designs and colouring in logos.


The truth of it is, that my life as a Graphic Designer is an absolutely weird and wonderful one

That’s part of the reason I love it so much. From creating logos for local businesses to designing wedding invitations to corporate branding, website design and everything in between it’s hard for me to sum up quite what I do on a daily basis as a designer. And in some ways, just as hard to explain what I don’t do.


Graphic Design iMac Desktop

At my heart, as a designer, I have a love of typography and this naturally becomes part of a lot of the designs I create, especially when you consider a large portion of working with corporate customers or businesses is often designing business cards, leaflets, brochures and posters. I love how simply transforming the font used, kerning or typography style can change the overall feel of a piece in seconds. Typography can form a huge part of brand imagery and allow a business to create a unified brand. The use of a certain font offers a clean and professional image when applied across all aspects of the business; from the company to website to external collateral.


And, yes, I absolutely agree with Wikipedia’s definition of Graphic Design being a form of visual communication, to me, that probably sums up design in a nutshell. My job is to convey the message you give me, in to a visual format for your audience, whether this audience is someone receiving an event invitation or a customer viewing your company logo.


Whatever the true definition of Graphic Design, all I know is that I’m grateful to be able to do a job I love every day.