Graphic Design 101 – The Basics

Graphic Design 101 – The Basics

“Every passing year, we experience a fresh set of changes happening in the world of graphic designs. This is because of the intense competition in the $36 billion industry.”

Akash Kumar
Blogger, digital marketing expert

A graphic designer is someone who creates visual concepts, by hand or by using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They help to make an organization recognizable by selecting colour, images, or logo designs that represent a particular idea or identity to be used in advertising and promotions. Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, colour, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Their work typically involves the following:

  • Meet the clients to determine the scope of a project
  • Advise clients on strategies to reach a particular audience
  • Determine the message the design should portray
  • Create images that identify a product or convey a message
  • Create designs either by hand or by using computer software packages
  • Select colours, images, text style, and layout
  • Present the design to clients or the art director
  • Incorporate changes recommended by the clients into the final design
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic design is becoming increasingly important in the sales and marketing of products. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing. Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create credits for motion pictures, while others work with print media and create signs or posters.

According to a research that WPRocks.com made in 2015, the pay scale since 2012 for a graphic designer is $44,150 per year and $21,22 per hour. Not bad, right?

Now, “web design” describes the tasks of designing HTML driven web pages to be displayed over the Internet. It has become a very lucrative business as more and more companies need websites for their brands. Here are a couple of tips regarding web designing and its power to convince new customers:

  1. Include a tagline: A tagline is a statement or a motto that represents a website’s philosophy and mission. It should be the most obvious element on a website’s front page and it should clearly describe the website in one phrase. Statistics show that a website has just 8 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention for them to browse the site further. Without a clear tagline a website would have a hard time keeping visitors long enough to browse the inner pages.
  2. Implement site search: As with taglines, site search is a very important element on a website. When users are looking for something they typically look for a text field where they can enter their search term. Include a search button and clearly specify the search text, don’t use text such as Go or Submit, because these expressions tend to mislead your website’s visitors.
  3. Use a site map: Site maps are a relatively new website feature that improves web page navigation and also search engine optimization (SEO). Site maps in essence are a structural representation of a website’s pages and architecture. It can be a document in any form, or a web page that lists the pages on a web site, typically organized in a hierarchical way.
  4. Don’t break the workflow: “Workflow” means every operation that a user is doing on a website. For example filling out a form, registering on a website, browsing categories, archives, etc. Don’t break these workflows, let the user cancel any operation. By not letting the user cancel an operation, we’re forcing them to finish it even if they don’t want to.
  5. Don’t design misleading UI controls: By user interface (UI) controls we mean web page elements, components and widgets that a user can interact with. Don’t design graphic elements that look like buttons, but are not. You often see text that is underlined and looks like links, but are not clickable. By not having the action that the users were expecting, they would think that the site is broken and eventually leave.
  6. Give meaningful feedback: Feedback is essential for a website. This is the communication channel between the site and the users. With the help of feedback we let the users know what’s going on the site.
  7. Don’t overuse Javascript: With the advent of Javascript and the AJAX technique, web designers and developers can create responsive, transparent websites, but as with all new technologies there is a cost. In this case the cost is browser inconsistency. Not every user has an up-to-date web browser. They also might not have Javascript enabled by default. By using Javascript on a website extensively we block out these users.

As you can see, there’s a lot to learn to become a well-rounded web designer. MI Group provides graphic design services, as well as several other eBusiness services. Contact us today! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @MIGroupUSA @ShopBVM @MIGroupJamaica

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