Graphic design is a skillset that has been a critical part of developing brand for a long time, ever since we’ve put pen to paper, or even ochre to a rock wall. Drawing, sketching, manipulating text and images to ‘present better’ than you would without employing these skillsets is imperative in a modern business environment. But as we’ll discuss through this article, it takes a certain type of person to be a graphic designer as well as a very certain type of person to be a fantastic graphic designer.
What do they do, really?
Good question. There are a few different breeds of GD, and they all have their place within the business ecosystem. It’s near impossible to be a Graphico that can manipulate within all genres of work, but occasionally you’ll find a unicorn with the strength and power to put forward cutting edge design, to different demographics and industries.
A wild beast that has been tamed into the clean straight lines of the corporate sector. Dependable with a minimalistic ideal of aesthetic.
The hawk that still flies free. Not limited by style guides and spot colours, this animal breaks all the rules. But sometimes, they can create brilliance not seen by any other.
Identity/Brand Driven Designer
It’s all about the logo man. Seriously. Oh, that and typeface.
Slick. Fast and working for the pixel. Integral in the world of Facebook and Google display. Useless with print and outdoor media.
How does Graphic Design shape Brands?
Graphic design literally gives a business a visually representation. Without some kind of graphic component, a business is invisible. This is why is it crucial to make your graphics a very high standard and communicate what your business does and how it does it; quickly and effectively.
A new term, but apt. As more and more graphic designers gain invaluable skills in marketing, the industry becomes more and more ‘betterer’ at developing graphics that sell to certain demographics. What used to be two jobs, is quickly becoming one. It does take a talented graphic designer to analyse their work and match it to demographics accordingly… but it is becoming more acceptable and common to complete some or both of these tasks in a studio environment. However, a dedicated and caring marketing strategy shared with a focused graphic designer will always win.
An ageless skillset
Graphic design is an ageless skillset. Everyone (almost) has drawn something in their life. The ability to draw and create emotion has been a respected act for millennia. The modern day equivalent just harnesses the technology we have around us to produce art in a commercial sense at scale and with uber efficiency. GD’s are artists. We see differently and analyse items which normal people would deem ridiculous (ie typeface, pixel width, emotive colours, white space, and make the logo smaller). But it’s these ridiculous analytical moments that give us the clarity and insight into how to design a better (or easier to read) world.
Designing for new formats
We’re constantly needing to upskill. Every few months the software we use is updated/upgraded. New tools blend into new environments. A graphic designer 15 years ago would never have dreamed of spending 80% of their design canvas in a mobile phone environment. What we’re working on today, will be irrelevant in another 5-10 years as new media continues to push through into our realm.
Consumer use drives design in the modern world. Were hundreds of years ago, art spoke to the masses and in many ways determined the media that was used – today we rely on consumer analytics to drive what art form we should create. If Google Glasses had been used in a retail and consumer way, we’d definitely be designing for that canvas today.
But it’s great fun to think about what’s next. Especially in the world of tech.
The future of graphic design
We won’t stop.
However much we thought that the introduction of more efficient consumer digital cameras, video cameras, smart phone design software, software driven graphic design would give design back to the people – graphic designers have never been busier. That in part is because ‘not everyone is a designer’. If they were, the world would be a much more beautiful place. But. We are giving some of our tools to the consumers and in a way, they’re doing pretty well. Between Instagram and Snap giving users graphic templates and other tools to create content, Messenger and Apple giving users video filters and AR tools to avatar and ‘be the you, you want to be’, the future looks like an even busier one for all the graphic designers to work ever closer with the web developers to ensure we continue giving the consumer even more ways to make the world beautiful around them.
So yes. The future is bright. And if the technology we’re reading about now becomes apparent – our world will have a digital twin, sooner rather than later.