In today’s world, wherever you look, we are being bombarded with corporate messages, brand messages and marketing campaigns all vying for our attention. The competitive nature of business in the modern world is increasingly turning towards graphic designers to create a unique image, logo, brand and message to capture an audience and convert them into customers and loyal followers of the business. Images attempt to persuade us, through emotive contexts and communication. The role of the graphic designer is to utilize a range of skills to produce images, colors, textures, logos, illustrations and other graphic components to ensure the process of converting potential customers to actual customers. The mediums utilized by small and large businesses alike, are ever expanding as they attempt to create a competitive edge in the marketplace. These mediums include websites, brochures, company profiles, business cards, promotional material… the list is endless. With the increasing utilization of graphic design in business, the demand for competent, trained and experienced graphic designers is at an all time high. With the emergence of online shopping behaviors and the role of the internet and website as a main portal for businesses to engage with, and sell to potential customers, this trend of increasing demand is set to continue at an accelerated rate.
Graphic design has been the mainstay of print media communications for decades, proving to be an essential component in publishing history. In the midst of structural change, with the emergence of internet, computing and web technologies, the realm of graphic design is rapidly changing; not only in the mediums that are favored as communication channels, but the tools available to these designers for their creative direction and production. The popularity and affordability of online web marketing, when compared with traditional communication mediums, has created an unprecedented demand for graphic designers, where the visual appearance and impact is considered as, or more, important than the actual content that is being communicated.
The role of effective web design is a relatively new skill, with its requirements for creative content and design changing rapidly. Increasing demand for aesthetically appealing and architecturally designed websites has created a previously unseen demand for skilled and qualified graphic designers. Whatever medium we see, graphic design is inherently a comprehensive component of the design and delivery of such messages.
These designers have become a central component of all business and brand identity formations, communications and marketing collateral. From designing logos and brands to brochures, catalogues and websites, designers are able to transform the ideas of businesses through a creative process to a visual representation of the organization which is instantly recognizable by the general public. One only has to think of some of the leading brands, such as Shell and Ferrari, where the logos of the business, without any reference to the company itself, instantly bring to the fore the business brand and the products it represents.
The future of design is in some ways the future of technology; as computer and online technology continue to expand and permeate the central fabric of business life, the functions and mediums that graphic designers currently utilize will continue to expand. One example of this is the video production as a marketing tool to tell the story, provide the experience and deliver interactive content to entice and convince consumers to purchase particular products and brands. Whereas in the past, the role of video production was the sole area of specialized cinematic teams and videographers, the emergence of After Effects templates which are edited in Adobe programs – the graphic designers ‘bread and butter’ – means the production of interactive and multimedia production has entered their realm.
It has become obvious through the previous discussion that these designers are skilled individuals who are well versed in design software and creative direction. These skills must be learnt; and with the rapid adoption of technology within the profession, continually updated. As a result, graphic design courses are becoming increasingly popular, not only amongst students, but experienced designers who require their knowledge and skills to be updated to keep up with the rapid technological change that is covered by graphic design courses today.
There are numerous skills which a successful graphic designer must possess to be successful in this competitive environment. Not only is imagination and creativity a prerequisite, but the skills learnt from educational institutions offering graphic design courses. Familiarity and confidence with the use and implementation of software packages such as the Adobe range is essential. Creative designers must not only be familiar and confident with a range of computer visual packages, tools and applications, they must be familiar with the various forms of communication to best suit the market and business being contracted for. Furthermore, understanding the role of typography is essential, being familiar with a wide range of typefaces with the confidence to utilize them to achieve the desired effect.
When contemplating a career in this industry, it is essential that you have the platform of skills that you are able to personalize with creativity. Graphic design courses provide the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise required to enter the industry, and lay the base for a long and rewarding career. Additionally, as technology is constantly in a state of flux, with new tools and applications being developed, it is essential that you have up-to date knowledge of trends in the industry and the software and applications utilized to create graphic design material. For those in already in the industry, a refresher course can certainly do no harm.