If you’ve never worked with a graphic designer before or you know you need help with your branding, web design or a new print brochure but have no idea where to start, you may be wondering exactly what a graphic designer does.
I think the best way to describe graphic designers is as visual communicators. We work from a brief to understand what problem you need to solve or what outcome you want to achieve and then figure out the best way to communicate this visually so that your core message is clear and resonates with the right people, i.e. your potential customers.
When you come to Grafixbiz, for example, we’ll find out as much as we can about your business, products and services. Whether we’re designing your logo, print brochures, website, social media pages or creating an advert, we’ll think about what you want them to achieve and put together different design ideas that we think will help you get the right results.
And this is key – as graphic designers, we can work across all the touch points of your brand from its initial creation to your website, stationery, business cards, product brochure and beyond. We’ll think about how different design elements can carry through all your marketing materials, so that there’s a sense of consistency and identity that means your customers will come to associate things with your business, whether they find you via social media, your website or because of a direct mail campaign. Whatever the project, we never lose sight of your objectives.
Another really important thing to know about working with a graphic designer is that we think about creating results that are measurable. We can help with things like split testing landing pages on your website to try out different call to action buttons or sign up boxes, for example, to see which generate the most interaction.
We look at web design holistically, developing the design to enhance and complement the content, and then use tools such as Google Analytics to understand how your website is performing.
An average day of a graphic designer
I’m not sure there is such a thing as an average day for a graphic designer, especially if they’re freelance or run their own design or marketing business.
As a rough guide though, our days can include:
- meeting with clients like you to discuss your business objectives and the brief for the job
- creating design concepts
- quoting for projects
- gathering information and data through research
- exploring new creative ideas; presenting concepts to clients
- working with a range of media, including photographs and computer-aided design
- working on layouts and art working ready for print
- updating our skills in emerging technologies
- developing interactive design
- commissioning illustrators or photographers
- liaising with printers, copywriters, photographers, stylists, illustrators and account executives
Is there a difference between a graphic designer and a web designer?
These days, the line between graphic design and web design is blurring more than ever before, especially with the advent of open source web design platforms such as WordPress that don’t require the same depth of coding knowledge as websites in the recent past.
That being said, it’s still not unusual for graphic designers to work alongside web developers to ensure that there’s no compromise on design or functionality; it depends on the complexity of the brief.
Many graphic designers work well in print and online, which can actually benefit clients because the designer provides consistency across the brand, regardless of whether a customer is coming to it via the Internet or in print.
There are of course differences between designing for print and designing for the web. In print, for example, the different elements of the page don’t need to interact with one another and design tends to be a more linear process. When we’re designing for the web, we have to think about how visitors move through the site, how they will expect the different elements to work and interact, where their eye will be drawn first, how people skim content, colours that prompt action and how the design will look on mobile devices.
You may find that some graphic designers have niched down to either designing for print or the web, or designing for specific industries, rather than splitting their focus across both. It’s down to the individual.
Aren’t graphic designers expensive?
As with most things in life, there are inexperienced graphic designers with very low rates as well as senior designers charging much higher rates. It’s all about value, experience, creativity and support.
In fact, working with a graphic designer may be more affordable than you think. Many graphic designers will offer scaled packages to fit the needs of small businesses, as well as larger clients.
Graphic designers have experience of visual communication and understand the importance of measuring outcomes. They also tend to have connections with other marketing, print and design professionals and can offer a full service, even if it’s by virtue of putting you in touch with their network. This makes them an invaluable resource for your business.