What do (great) graphic designers do

What do graphic designers do for your business?

What exactly do graphic designers even do? As designers, we often forget that what we actually do is alien to many people, to a certain extent. My family and friends know I work in graphic design. But, if asked to explain what it is I do on a daily basis, I find they can’t. My parents are still trying to figure it out!

Taking this fact into account I find myself wondering, “If so many people don’t actually understand what I do, how can I expect them to decide to work with me?”

What the heck does a graphic designer even do?

No two professional graphic designers are exactly alike just as no two doctors are alike. A professionally trained designer communicates a message through a visual medium like photography, typography, video, illustrations and so on. The mark of a truly great designer is someone who can achieve targeted communication effectively and in the quickest amount of time.

Let’s look at that in a real world situation.

I recently watched the remake of ‘Mad Max’. The movie was great, but long before I watched the film I had seen lots of promotional posters. As you’d expect for a big budget movie, the promotional posters were highly effective. This demonstrates my earlier statement about how graphic design is an effective communication method when marketing an idea or message.

what do graphic designers do

How the ‘Mad Max’ poster communicates

  1. What’s the message?

All posters communicate a message. You could be forgiven for thinking, “what’s the message in a movie poster?”

In this case, the message is ‘If you like high energy action packed movies with a somewhat violent edge then your going to want to go see Mad Max”.

The graphic designer (or designers) who worked on this poster have used design elements such as texture, colour, light, typography, rhythm and composition with the aim of grabbing my attention and communicating the message. It worked.

  1. Speed of communication of the message

The poster communicates its message in 3 seconds. We live in an extremely busy world. We are bombarded by visuals all constantly vying for our attention. A successful piece of graphic design grabs our attention and translates its message in seconds.

  1. Target audience for the message

This ‘Mad Max’ poster appeals to me. Why? I’m a 35-year-old male. I enjoy highly stylised visual films and I’m not against a dash of action. I am the target audience for this film.

The designer knows this. A professional designer will take the time to understand who the target market is for any product of service and tailor their design to appeal to that audience. My mother isn’t going to be watching ‘Mad Max’ anytime soon (or ever); she is not the target market. This is an extreme over simplification in order to illustrate my point.

This is just a glimpse of what graphic designers can do. We are the communication experts. I have to say it is a very creative and rewarding profession. It feels fantastic to create a piece of design for a client that communicates exactly what they do or to the audience they wish to reach. Maybe we need to create a poster to communicate what we do so my friends and family finally understand!

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