Graphic design

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi

Graphic design is the art of communication, stylizing, and problem-solving through the use of type, space, and image. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term “graphic design” is used interchangeably with these due to overlapping skills involved. Graphic designers use various methods to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use a combination of typographyvisual arts and page layouttechniques to produce a final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), print advertisements, posters, billboards, website graphics and elements, signs and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as images, shapes and color which unify the piece.Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.

Skills

A graphic design project may involve the stylization and presentation of existing text and either preexisting imagery or images developed by the graphic designer. For example, a newspaper story begins with the journalists and photojournalists and then becomes the graphic designer’s job to organize the page into a reasonable layout and determine if any other graphic elements should be required. In a magazine article or advertisement, often the graphic designer or art director will commission photographers or illustrators to create original pieces just to be incorporated into the design layout. Or the designer may utilize stock imagery or photography. Contemporary design practice has been extended to the modern computer, for example in the use of WYSIWYG user interfaces, often referred to as interactive design, or multimedia design.

Visual arts design

Before any graphic elements may be applied to a design, the graphic elements must be originated by means of visual art skills. These graphics are often (but not always) developed by a graphic designer. Visual arts include works which are primarily visual in nature using anything from traditional media, to photography or digital art. Graphic design principles may be applied to each graphic art element individually as well as to the final composition.

Typography

Typography is the art, craft and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type. Type glyphs (characters) are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type is the selection of typefaces, point size, tracking (the space between all characters used), kerning (the space between two specific characters), and leading (line spacing).

Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic artists, art directors, and clerical workers. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users.

Page layout

The page layout aspect of graphic design deals with the arrangement of elements (content) on a page, such as image placement, and text layout and style. Beginning from earlyilluminated pages in hand-copied books of the Middle Ages and proceeding down to intricate modern magazine and catalogue layouts, structured page design has long been a consideration in printed material. With print media, elements usually consist of type (text), images (pictures), and occasionally place-holder graphics for elements that are not printed with ink such as die/laser cuttingfoil stamping or blind embossing.

Interface design

Since the advent of the World Wide Web and computer software development, many graphic designers have become involved in interface design, in an environment commonly referred to as a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This has included web design and software design, when end user interactivity is a design consideration of the layout or interface. Combining visual communication skills with the interactive communication skills of user interaction and online branding, graphic designers often work with software developers and web developers to create both the look and feel of a web site or software application and enhance the interactive experience of the user or web site visitor. An important aspect of interface design is icon design.

Interface design

Since the advent of the World Wide Web and computer software development, many graphic designers have become involved in interface design, in an environment commonly referred to as a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This has included web design and software design, when end user interactivity is a design consideration of the layout or interface. Combining visual communication skills with the interactive communication skills of user interaction and online branding, graphic designers often work with software developers and web developers to create both the look and feel of a web site or software application and enhance the interactive experience of the user or web site visitor. An important aspect of interface design is icon design.

User experience design

Considers how a user interacts with and responds to an interface, service or product and adjusts it accordingly.

Printmaking

Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing on paper and other materials or surfaces. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print. Each piece is not a copy but an original since it is not a reproduction of another work of art and is technically known as an impression. Painting or drawing, on the other hand, creates a unique original piece of artwork. Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix. Common types of matrices include: plates of metal, usually copper or zinc for engraving or etching; stone, used for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts, linoleum for linocuts and fabric plates for screen-printing. But there are many other kinds, discussed below. Works printed from a single plate create an edition, in modern times usually each signed and numbered to form a limited edition. Prints may also be published in book form, as artist’s books. A single print could be the product of one or multiple techniques.

Tools

The pencil is one of the most basic graphic design tools.

The mind is an important graphic design tool. Aside from technology, graphic design requires judgment and creativity. Critical, observational, quantitative and analytic thinking are required for design layouts and rendering. If the executor is merely following a solution (e.g. sketch, script or instructions) provided by another designer (such as an art director), then the executor is not usually considered the designer.

The method of presentation (e.g. arrangement, style, medium) may be equally important to the design. The appropriate development and presentation tools can substantially change how an audience perceives a project. The image or layout is produced using external traditional media and guides, or digital image editing tools on computers. Tools in computer graphics often take on traditional names such as “scissors” or “pen.” Some graphic design tools such as a grid are used in both traditional and digital form.

In the mid-1980s, the arrival of desktop publishing and graphic art software applications introduced a generation of designers to computer image manipulation and creation that had previously been manually executed. Computer graphic design enabled designers to instantly see the effects of layout or typographic changes, and to simulate the effects of traditional media without requiring a lot of space. However, traditional tools such as pencils or markers are useful even when computers are used for finalization; a designer or art director may hand sketch numerous concepts as part of the creative process. Some of these sketches may even be shown to a client for early stage approval, before the designer develops the idea further using a computer and graphic design software tools.

Computers are considered an indispensable tool in the graphic design industry. Computers and software applications are generally seen by creative professionals as more effective production tools than traditional methods. However, some designers continue to use manual and traditional tools for production, such as Milton Glaser.

New ideas can come by way of experimenting with tools and methods. Some designers explore ideas using pencil and paper.[12] Others use many different mark-making tools and resources from computers to sculpture as a means of inspiring creativity. One of the key features of graphic design is that it makes a tool out of appropriate image selection in order to possibly convey meaning.[13]

Computers and the creative process

There is some debate whether computers enhance the creative process of graphic design.[14] Rapid production from the computer allows many designers to explore multiple ideas quickly with more detail than what could be achieved by traditional hand-rendering or paste-up on paper, moving the designer through the creative process more quickly.[15] However, being faced with limitless choices does not help isolate the best design solution and can lead to endless iterations with no clear design outcome.

A graphic designer may use sketches to explore multiple or complex ideas quickly[16] without the distractions and complications of software.[citation needed] Hand-rendered comps are often used to get approval for an idea execution before a designer invests time to produce finished visuals on a computer or in paste-up. The same thumbnail sketches or rough drafts on paper may be used to rapidly refine and produce the idea on the computer in a hybrid process. This hybrid process is especially useful in logo design[17] where a software learning curve may detract from a creative thought process. The traditional-design/computer-production hybrid process may be used for freeing one’s creativity in page layout or image development as well.[citation needed] In the early days of computer publishing, many “traditional” graphic designers relied on computer-savvy production artists to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing to learn the computer skills themselves. However, this practice has been increasingly less common since the advent of desktop publishing over 30 years ago. The use of computers and graphics software is now taught in most graphic design courses.

Nearly all of the popular and “industry standard” software programs used for graphic design since the early 1990s are products of Adobe Systems Incorporated. They are AdobePhotoshop (a raster-based program for photo editing), Adobe Illustrator (a vector-based program for drawing), Adobe InDesign (a page layout program), and Adobe Dreamweaver (for Web page design). Another major page layout tool is QuarkXpress (a product of Quark, Inc., a separate company from Adobe). Both QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign are often used in the final stage of the electronic design process. Raster images may have been edited in Adobe Photoshop, logos and illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, and the final product assembled in one of the major page layout programs. Most graphic designers entering the field since about 1990 are expected to be proficient in at least one or two of these programs.

Occupations

Graphic design career paths cover all ends of the creative spectrum and often overlap. The main job responsibility of a Graphic Designer is the arrangement of visual elements in some type of media. The main job titles within the industry can vary and are often country specific. They can include graphic designerart directorcreative directoranimator and the entry level production artist. Depending on the industry served, the responsibilities may have different titles such as “DTP Associate” or “Graphic Artist“, but despite changes in title, graphic design principles remain consistent. The responsibilities may come from, or lead to, specialized skills such as illustrationphotographyanimation or interactive design. Today’s graduating graphic design students are normally exposed to all of these areas of graphic design and urged to become familiar with all of them as well in order to be competitive.

Graphic designers can work in a variety of environments. Whilst many will work within companies devoted specifically to the industry, such as design consultancies or branding agencies, others may work within publishing, marketing or other communications companies. Increasingly, especially since the introduction of personal computers to the industry, many graphic designers have found themselves working within non-design oriented organizations, as in-house designers. Graphic designers may also work as free-lance designers, working on their own terms, prices, ideas, etc.

A graphic designer reports to the art directorcreative director or senior media creative. As a designer becomes more senior, they may spend less time designing media and more time leading and directing other designers on broader creative activities, such as brand development and corporate identity development. They are often expected to interact more directly with clients, for example taking and interpreting briefs.

 Today News

Organizing for Action
Allen —

If it wasn’t actually happening, this would be hard to believe:

There are people who oppose protecting clean water — and they’re lobbying hard.

Right now, polluters are taking advantage of loopholes in the Clean Water Act that affect waterways and wetlands across the country, potentially threatening the safety of our drinking water.

President Obama and the EPA have proposed common-sense standards to keep our water safe.

This is an important moment, and it’s easy to weigh in: Just add your name to stand in defense of clean water.

The EPA is right to take action — they have proposed a rule, based on the best available science, that will restore Clean Water Act protections to nearly 2 million miles of streams. This isn’t just about conserving our natural resources — it’s about our health.

Without common-sense standards, sources that provide water to the drinking supplies of 117 million Americans are at risk.

So if clean drinking water matters to you — and unless you’re a big polluter, it really should — add your name today:

http://my.barackobama.com/Stand-Up-for-Clean-Water

Thanks,

Ivan

Ivan Frishberg
Climate Change Senior Advisor
Organizing for Action

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About Villasoma

Creative individual with more energy than your average 60 year old....Hay! everyone this is my bio. I am a single, 57 year old African/Native American gay male. I stand 5’7’ inches tall. Dark brown hear, the little that is left on my head, with a light brown almost gray mustache. “I know that sounds weird but it’s true.” I attended Sacramento City College and received a Graphic Design degree. I have 5 classes left to complete my Bachelors Degree in Digital Communication which I intend to do in San Francisco. Right now I’m living with a wonderful diverse group of people “yes group.” What are the things I like to do you ask? Well first off I enjoy messing around with different computer graphic software programs i.e., Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat. I download music to MP3 player for traveling background noise when I’m walking, setting on light rail going back and forth to different areas in the city. I also, listen to my mp3 when I am designing as a source of creativity. I should exercise but if the truth be known dancing has and is my form of exercise. Gym’s makes me nervous I feel inadequate. I’m passionate, caring, understanding, open-minded, generous with friends, good since of humor (quit wit), critical thinker meaning I usually think out side the box, fun loving and most of all artistic not autistics….”LOL!
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