This Site Was Last Updated On: 5th April 2010
Graphic Design had its roots in the early days of printing. Graphic Design has since evolved as a means of extending and advancing the perception. This is done through the medium of advertising, information delivery, promotion of products and services. Photography, especially Digital Photography plays a central part in the design process these days. Image manipulation is key to creating effective results, and now that designers have easy access to powerful image manipulation software like PhotoShop, Xara Xtreme, Freehand - and equally powerful page-layout applications like Quark Xpress and Adobe InDesign (to mention just two), creating great artwork or thoughtfully produced brochures, booklets and general advertising material has never been easier.
Output can be through a number of media types: conventional printed material, the web, via CDs and DVDs, via e-books and on-line presentations to mention just a few. Design styles also cover a vast span, from the conventional and old-fashioned through to quite abstract (and sometimes obscure) styles. Every Graphic Designer has his or her own style, but having said that, one's style may well evolve over time, or be so broad as to be adaptive to a client's requested style, but generally, we have a comfort-zone that delivers the highest levels of satisfaction when undertaking a design brief.
Of course there are good designers and bad designers: but, as with modern-art, it's really up to the client (or audience) to individually classify any piece of work as good, bad or indifferent. I sometimes wonder just how bad, yet successful, some designs can be, but I accept that the judgment I'm applying is entirely my own, so it's inevitably biased. A client will also have his or her own set of preferences, differences and opinions, with which they judge what they see. The real skill of the experienced Graphic Designer is seen in his or her acceptance of the client's needs and expectations while still bringing an element or two of originality to the commission. Many really good designs (that have stood the test of time) are elegant in their simplicity and clarity of the message they carry. So, designing must also be about pulling-out the core elements from a brief, and meeting them in a clear, uncluttered way. Take a look at the work of a number of top designers and see if you can see where their greatness comes from. I think you will find that most work, not to add detail and complexity, but work hard to remove it, and in doing so, arrive at a much better outcome.