Let’s start by the very basics. What is graphic design? Why you want to learn it? In which field of applications you can use it?Â

What is Graphic Design?

In my case, I was doing stuff related to graphic design even before I knew I was interested on it. I always liked to modify the movie posters by replacing the original pictures with my friends head for fun, I was usually the guy in charge of the wedding video that made fun of the groom and the bride & I was always interested in publicity. So let’s start by a basic definition, what is graphic design? You will find multiple definitions over internet about graphic design, its relation to communication, to solve problems & its usages but for me I will summarize it as:

The communication of ideas with visual or textual content to produce a specific effect

In every project you will be involved, from creating posters, logos, or arranging a newspaper layout you will need to use visual or textual elements to express an idea, to give priorities in order to capture the attention of the target audience.

Along this blog we will see the different ways to do that depending on who is the audience & what you want to communicate. Some examples of “specific effect” could be to promote, to inform or to educate.

Why you want to learn it?

For everything I do in my life I define a purpose, an objective. And in my case it’s pretty simple, as I explained in my about me page, it started as a hobby, it’s still a hobby, but I hope someday it can become my main source of income. Once I was able to do some design stuff, I realize a very basic problem, I’ve seen several online tutorials about different software & design resources but I have never really understood the fundamentals. Whenever I was designing a logo, what colors should I use? Which was the best font? Was the logo correctly balanced? That is when I realize that although the exciting part is when we start designing by using Illustrator, Gimp or any other tool, I was missing the fundamentals. And that is the reason I created this blog, to share with you the fundamentals of graphic design. Understanding those fundamentals means that you understand color theory, you know what composition is, what typography represents, you are able to “decode” why an advertising is done in such or such way, you understand visual identity,.. and believe me, once you know these concepts and that you have them incorporated, you will start looking at the world in a different way. I don’t want to exaggerate and tell you that it will change your life, but it definitely gives you a better understanding of the world around you with a creative angle.
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So why do YOU want to learn graphic design? Is it a hobby or Is it because you want to make a living out of it?

How can graphic design be apply?

Even if you want to do it for a living or for fun, you will realize that you will not be able to cover all the areas of Graphic Desing I’m a big Beatles fan, and John Lennon once said: “Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with no one liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it”… I think this was stolen from someone else, but it doesn’t matter, the point is that in graphic design, you should make a decision on what area you will like to work. Here a (short) list, but we will cover the details in another post:

  • Visual identity
  • Logo design
  • Advertising
  • Website design
  • Packaging
  • Corporate communication
  • Branding
  • Press (newspapers, magazines, books)
  • Etc…

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NOTE: Along this blog I will try to cover each of these areas but as my personal interest is on the top 5 I will probably spend more time on those. Of course if you have any particular interest on a certain topic please leave a comment below!

Coming back to Lennon’s quote, I think it will be impossible to work & be good in all areas… so my question to you is:
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Which is the area you want to focus on?

Probably you will tell me that when you start working you would do whatever job is proposed to you, but personally I think it’s not the good approach. Even if you do it for fun. Imagine that what you would really like to do is just focusing on logo design; well, I suggest that when you start practicing you focus on that topic only, and your portfolio should be around that same topic, it doesn’t make sense to include in a portfolio images of web design if your goal is to do logo design. We will talk about portfolios later on, but I hope you get the idea.

3 Concepts to remember of this post:

  • The role of the Graphic designer is to communicate ideas with visual or textual content to produce a specific effect.
  • Understanding the theory of graphic design will open your eyes and let you see the world in a different way… want in?
  • Graphic design has many applications, up to you to decide where you want to focus on!

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See you in the next post!
If you like the article, please share it! Leave a comment below if you found this post interesting.
Let me know why you want to learn the fundamentals of graphic design.

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