Graphic design is one of the many tech disciplines available for people with artistic minds. Successful designers can take product details and design methods to generate a finished product suitable for a given brand or company’s standards. Designers must take the basic steps to turn an original idea into content visible across print and digital media channels.
This article will provide you with insight into graphic design processes that all graphic designers should be aware of. Graphic design is a highly competitive field, so it’s important to have the right skill set and competitive edge to stand out against the competition.
What Is Graphic Design?
Graphic design consists of creating visual content for passing messages to a specific demographic. Graphic designers often work for multimedia companies creating brand logos, banners, flyers, animation, 3D modeling, technical drawings, and signage. They also find jobs in web design firms that may need an extra eye for designers to join the creative process.
There are different types of graphic design. The most common ones are visual identity graphic design, marketing & advertising graphic design, user interface graphic design, packaging design, publication graphic design, environmental design, motion design, art, and illustration for graphic design.
While different design software is available to reduce the demand for graphic designers, there will always be a need for a professional who can pay attention to the human factors of design ideas.
What Are the Five Components of Graphic Design?
Components of graphic design are those features that are always present during the creative process irrespective of the type of graphic design in question. These core components are composition, white space, alignment, repetition, and contrast.
A graphic designer has to tell the story of the brand that owns the message they are trying to visualize. This critical component must be done professionally, meaning it should be visually appealing with the correct color palette, styles, and layout. You need to have a creative mind to determine which composition is most suitable for a brand’s project and actual design.
In graphic design, white space is the blank space that appears between elements. It may seem like nothing, but it plays a significant role in the overall outlook of the layout. There are two types of white space; passive and active. Graphic designers focus on learning how to strategically add functional white and negative space during the creative process.
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How is the information added to the layout? Is essential info the most dominant or is it hidden within less relevant content? An excellent graphic designer masters alignment to make sure that viewers are not distracted from the purpose of the layout. At the same time, they want to be subtle, like the design approach.
Repetition is a great way to emphasize the parts of the graphic design that you want the viewers to pay attention to. However, professionals must check the density of each element to avoid over repetition. Professional graphic designers know how to find the right balance.
Another critical component of graphic design involves putting two elements within one design layout in opposite ways. It goes beyond color choice and contrast, including things like texture, clarity, light, size, and everything else in the layout. The proper contrast can make a piece significantly more engaging.
What Is a Graphic Design Process?
A graphic design process includes every requirement necessary during the design project, from when a design receives an assignment to submitting it to the client. These processes occur in stages and are usually the same during the execution of all graphic design projects.
During team design projects, every team member is given a brief with details about the graphic design process. They must all work in harmony with the necessary design tools to see the product to its completion quickly and efficiently.
What Are Graphic Design Processes Good For?
Graphic design processes are essential for successfully implementing client ideas into visual content. These processes may have different features and benefits, but all boils down to meeting the needs of the client’s project. Some specific benefits of the graphic design processes are listed below.
- Marketing strategy. Graphic designers work closely with organizations’ marketing teams to promote brand products and services. They may be required to design banners or any other visual that can convey the message necessary for advertisements.
- Efficient branding. Graphic designers create unique logos for companies. Apart from these logos, they also make pictures and other designs that make it easier for customers to identify the brand. Effective branding ensures that a company appears professional and consistent across the market, boosting their global brand recognition.
- Build trust. Businesses stay ahead of the competition by dominating their niche with their unique signature. The graphic design process plays a key role in ensuring that companies maintain a unique design to build trust and loyalty within their target audience.
What Are the Steps of the Five Graphic Design Processes?
There are several graphic design processes, but they can be summarized into five key stages. When you get a graphic design project, you need to read the creative brief, conduct design research, design your first draft, get feedback from the client, and finalize the design. You can learn more about the five-step graphic design process for professional designers below.
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Read and Understand the Creative Brief
The creative brief is like the design requirements provided by the client in collaboration with the graphic designer. It contains details regarding what the client expects of the designer during the project. Before starting any project, a graphic designer and others in the creative team must read and understand the creative brief to get a clear picture of the best innovative approach to reach the goals.
Some clients simply tell the graphic designers what they want and allow them to make the creative brief for approval. Some critical details that the brief should contain include audience demographics, project purpose, content type, and project roadmap.
Complete Your Design Research
The competitor design research is the second part of the graphic design process. It is a crucial part of the design process that helps you determine how to proceed with a client’s design. Find out what others in the same niche are doing. Visit the social media pages and websites of significant competitors of your clients so you can study their most engaging design.
Note that there is a difference between research and flat-out plagiarism. You should never copy the design of another organization and pass it off to your client. This infringement is not something that is taken lightly in any industry. So, as you research, gather inspiration from reliable competitors and come up with original designs that are unique and engaging.
Try Your First Draft
After mastering your creative brief and researching competitors, it’s time to try your first draft of the logo, banner, or whatever project the client has requested from you. Remember to apply all the graphic design components to your draft to make it as professional and clean as possible. Remember that even if the client asked for creativity, you still need to prioritize the client’s wishes.
Some of the best tools for graphic designers are Adobe illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe in-design, Canva, and Inkscape. There are many other options in the market. Just pick the most suitable and start drafting your design. Having a digital drawing tablet is also helpful if you love the pen and paper experience.
Submit and Get Design Feedback
When you feel like the first draft design is professional enough and has met all the requirements from the creative brief, you need to submit it to the client and get their feedback. Don’t take this essential step for granted, as it can provide you with insightful project tips. The client might be 100 percent satisfied with the creative process, or they may have some adjustments for you to make.
Client feedback is vital because it ensures that you meet all your client’s needs. Depending on the agreement or design feedback you have with the client, they may be able to ask for multiple revisions on the entire project at no extra charge. The design review stage can be challenging to the creative process if the client isn’t satisfied with the design concept or design decision.
Proceed to create the Final Design
The final output of the creation phase should consider all the client’s feedback throughout the project. If everything is up to their standards, the client can pass your design off to the branding or marketing team.
How Can I Learn Graphic Design Processes in 2022?
To learn graphic design processes, you need to learn graphic design itself. Various institutions teach the techniques that are required to become a successful graphic artist. It doesn’t matter if you learn the skills in a university, attend a graphic design bootcamp, or teach yourself through online courses like Udemy and Coursera. You should pick the option that’s best suited to your needs.
Universities typically offer graphic design as part of an art bachelor’s degree. This is an ideal education route if you want a well-rounded understanding. If you already have a college degree or are simply looking for an accelerated alternative to a university, consider attending bootcamps for visual and graphic design. If you don’t have the time and funds for either option, you can opt to teach yourself with online courses.
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Graphic Design Processes FAQ
No, you do not need drawing skills to be a graphic designer. However, you need to be artistically inclined to use the tools at your disposal to design content for your client. Things like typography, illustrations, and images require creative insight to complete. So, even if you do not need professional drawing experience, you need to think like a visual artist.
A graphic designer is a visual artist who creates design elements and structures to pass specific messages to the intended audience about an organization’s brand for marketing purposes. An illustrator is also a visual artist. However, illustrators work on commercial products on behalf of the company.
The workflow is the sequence of events that need to occur for graphic designers to carry out their tasks from start to finish. Visual design processes may also be referred to as the workflow since they are the stages that professionals must follow accordingly to complete their work.
Graphic designers may have job titles like production artists, multimedia designers, UX designers, book designers, layout artists, web developers, and multimedia animators. Professional designers could also work as video game artists, illustrators, and art directors.
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