Graphic design is much more than taking a picture and adding text to it. It’s the art of communicating visually, visual problem solving.
So why is it so important? Well, imagine walking in a shopping centre and every shop has their name above their door in the same font, no colour, no style, no shape… Or what about magazines? If you page through a magazine and you just see one big block of words without any style, colour, images or different layouts. Would it keep you interested to read through the magazine?
This is where graphic design comes in – the visual message that a brand, magazine, billboard or poster sends needs to keep the reader’s attention to get your message out to them.
Graphic design has been with us since as long ago as 15 000 BC. Yes, it started in the age of the cavemen, who made symbols and pictographs on cave walls. It was used by monks in the Dark Ages. Even the Egyptians used it when creating papyrus.
Interesting elements in graphic design
When designing, you work with different elements to compliment your design, such as texture, line, shape, space.
What about typography?
Typography forms an important part of the graphic design process. Your choice of typography can set the mood and emotion in your design. There are different type styles, such as friendly, aggressive, calm, successful. By using the exact same words but in a different font, you can convey two different messages.
In this image I have used exactly the same words, “You are the one I want…” Can you see the difference in the message given by the words, when you make use of different fonts?
Shapes and patterns
When adding a shape to a design, you need to think about the message that you want your brand to convey. Is your brand strong, successful, feminine, trendy, do you want to show stability? If you decide to use a circle in your logo, this could suggest any of the following, safety, protection, free movement, completeness, unity, femininity and many more. It is really important to think about the meaning of the shape before using a triangle, square, geometric form etc. in your design. It is the same when using patterns; patterns can convey a feeling of stability, order or even motion.
Just like type fonts, colour also plays a big role in sending out the correct message when designing something. Look at the difference in the mood between the white text on the red background and the red text on the black background. Romantic vs Scary – while using the same words.
Every colour you use can have a different meaning, but the lack of colour could have a meaning as well. Purple can give a meaning of rich or royal, where blue can portray reliability or calmness. Red has a lot of meanings – love, danger, passion, violence or even adventure. Instead of just adding a few colours together you can look deeper into the meaning of each color. Do not use too many colours. Most well-known brands only use two colours in their logo. So how do you choose which colours to use together? Here you can think about complimentary, contrasting, reflective and analogous colours.
Lines can suggest different meanings. A thin line can suggest frailty and easy to break, where a thick line can suggest strength and difficulty to break. A vertical line can suggest dignity, upwards growth, lack of movement. Where a horizontal line can suggest security and stability. You can also choose between lines such as diagonal, curved, zigzag, dashed, artificial and natural.
I constantly find myself when standing in a shop or even when I am watching television, not looking at what the name is on a logo or advertisement, but actually looking at the shapes, colours, lines, fonts and white space used by the designer. To me, graphic design is a really interesting field to explore. Even after I finished my degree, I constantly find myself doing research, tutorials and watching “How To” videos. This is an industry that is constantly evolving, and it is best to upskill, especially with the constant updates to the tools used.
Hiring a full-time graphic designer for your company?
Why not hire a virtual assistant to take care of the graphic design tasks you must get done in your company? Your virtual assistant can take tasks such as the following off your plate:
- company branding
- website designer
- social media designer
- eBook designs
- even image editing
Why not give it a try? Our world is changing and as we go into the future, virtual work will become the “go-to” option. We can already see this happening. To find more information about virtual assistants, take a look at VA Connect.