If you have arrived here, it means that you are interested in this topic or maybe you are just curious and want to be documented. Whatever the reason, I hope you find the information you want here. In the following lines, I did my best to write as simply as possible about what graphic design means and what it is used for. I hope it helps you!
Graphic design is a discipline that includes the development of solutions for print, which involves the practice of combining text, images, and colors.
Today, we must also add visual production to graphic design, adapted to electronic media, the Internet, television, etc.
The term graphic design was first used in 1922 by the designer William Anthony Dwiggins (1880-1956). Dwiggins was an American typographic designer, illustrator, and book designer.
The forms and modes of expression in graphic design, in which some messages are expressed and perceived visually, can be classified into the following 4 groups:
1. Advertising materials:
- direct means – brochures, catalogs, flyers;
- standards in the urban space – posters, billboards,
- bright advertisements.
2. Visual identity.
3. Web design, creating websites and smartphone applications.
4. Graphic preparation of books, newspapers, and magazines.
The press, as a means of public and mass communication and information, still represents one of the most powerful ways of presenting information and advertising messages. The press cannot exist from a functional point of view without graphic design. The message that appears in the written press remains recorded for a long time and can be read, stored, or shown several times.
Due to the convenient price, the daily press is accessible to most broad layers of society. For ads to be successful, they must know the character of the publication, the structure of the public (respectively the target group), and the rhythm of the publication. The graphic designer, along with the entire creative team, must know all this information to create a quality advertisement.
Advertisements can roughly be classified into several types:
- by a purpose: advertisements for general consumption and targeted advertisements
- to industry and experts;
- according to appearance: monochromatic and polychromatic;
- according to the way of presentation: individual, for special occasions, and in series;
- by style: typographic, standard, commemorative, literary-editorial, in the form of comics, humorous, in the form of catalogs.
What makes an advertising action in graphic design have an effect?
In order for an advertising action to have an effect, it must be carried out over a longer period of time. This can be done by creating serial ads that repeat over a longer period of time. In order for an advertisement to be as visible and memorable as possible, it must always be published on the same page, in the same place, and in the same format in newspapers or magazines. The appearance of the advertisement does not always have to be identical, but it must be conceptually similar and contain the same idea and the same verbal message.
In terms of style, the typographic advertisement is made up only of letters and ornaments, the standard one is made up of drawings or photos, and the commemorative advertisement contains a single element that reminds us of a certain product and its brand. In the literary-editorial advertisement, the most prominent element is the text, it is written in a journalistic or literary style, while the drawings are used only as an illustration. Humorous advertising is designed as a joke or anecdote about the product or service. Comic book advertising usually presents the product in comic strip form, provides practical advice, and can be highly effective and persuasive.
Catalog advertising contains a larger number of products or services of a particular company, along with all the necessary information, which is why it resembles a page in a catalog.
To create a good and effective advertisement, we must know the main elements of an advertisement:
- the title
- the main text
- the illustration
- and the symbol or logo of the company that places the product or service
It must be direct. It has the best effect when it is highlighted in relation to the main text. The main text should develop the verbal message and be attractive and informative enough to attract the attention of the readers attracted by the title. An illustration is generally a mandatory element of every advertisement. As a powerful means of visual communication, illustration attracts attention, provokes interest, and induces desire that results in action. The use of the symbol or logo is also mandatory so that consumers can associate it with the company that displays it.
This subcategory of advertising materials refers to those materials that reach consumers directly. Within this subcategory, we distinguish:
The brochure represents a successful means of information in the field of business, being practiced in many countries around the world. The main purpose of the brochure is to directly inform business people, users, and consumers about the features of one or more products or services. The information contained in the brochure is often detailed, both in terms of the text and the number of illustrations. We distinguish three types of brochures.
These can be:
- for sale
The technical brochure presents technical data and detailed information about a product, and also contains technical drawings, diagrams, schemes, tables, and texts. This type of brochure is intended for technical experts. The sales brochure is similar to the technical brochure in terms of content and contains both technical data and functional and commercial data about a product.
The quality of the graphic and typographic presentation has a high level. The attention of readers of a commercial brochure is especially attracted by the visual and graphic solution. It is recommended that a company publishes all its brochures in the same format because, after a certain time, they can be collected and put between the covers to be used as a catalog.
The catalog includes the detailed analysis, plan, and program of the entire production of a company or programs of all forms and types of services that the respective company offers. Due to the quality planned during the production of the catalogs and due to a lower circulation than that of the brochures, the catalog is intended only for a narrow circle of users, usually only the most serious buyers and businessmen. In its visual and graphic presentation, it must appear convincing and professional.
A quality catalog contributes to a great extent to the company’s reputation and to the consolidation of trust in the quality of the company’s products and services. By the number of pages, the catalog is much larger than the brochure, its presentation is more qualitative, it is printed on better paper, and contains many more colors. What is common to all catalogs, given that they have to last for a longer period of time, is to make the covers from thicker paper.
The flyer is one of the most well-known means of promotion. It is produced and prepared for special advertising campaigns, fairs, cultural events, or the launch of new products. Also, the flyer is also used as a means and form of information about a certain product or service. The flyer has many advantages, such as a relatively low price, relatively short production time, and the possibility of being printed on cheaper paper. It has a smaller format and usually does not exceed the size of 15x21cm. When creating the design of a flyer, you must make sure that the title and the main message, through which you directly address the reader, attract the most attention.
Graphic Design used in the urban space
In addition to the poster, which is considered the oldest means of promotion, in the urban space, we can also find billboards, illuminated advertisements, and installations in space. With the exception of posters, the other forms of advertising involve some technical and constructive requirements for the fulfillment of which it is necessary to involve experts from several fields: electricians, architects, and industrial designers.
The poster reflects the social, economic, and technological level of the time in which it was made, along with the culture and social environment of that time. Through graphic expression and different ways of visual expression, the poster touches all areas of life. It is a powerful means of information that, although in different forms, dates back to Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Athens, or Rome. Ancient cultures used the technical means available at the time to express a certain message.
The first posters were engraved in stone or drawn on the walls. Today, the poster is still considered one of the most massive means of economic propaganda and there is almost no field in which it is not present. A good poster must have three basic qualities: attract attention, clearly express the message, and be effective.
A poster must attract attention and be interesting. Considering that the average viewing time of a poster is relatively short, the entire quality of the graphic design, choice of text, illustration, and colors must ensure the quick and clear transmission of the message.
Since the message that the poster communicates is contained in the illustration, title, or text, it is mandatory that they be put in the foreground and occupy a dominant position on the poster. For this, a discreet, neutral background is needed. The choice of text is equally important.
- the font
- the content of the text.
The ideal option is for the text to be as short as possible and to contain a strong message. Often, we can come across posters that contain a single word or sentence that achieves the desired effect. Photography is usually indispensable on posters because it has multiple advantages compared to the drawing. Depending on the printing technique, the format of a poster is usually 70x100cm or 70x50cm.
The viewer must understand the communicated message in the shortest possible time. If the message has no effect, then the poster will not generate a positive effect either. This means that the poster has missed its function. The level of growth and improvement of the economic effect, i.e. the increase in sales and placement of products, also depends on the whole message that the poster conveys. A poster that is not functional and does not achieve the desired effects is not a good poster. A good poster can, to a certain extent, influence the number of visitors to an event or increase interest in a certain cultural event.
The billboard exposed in an open space communicates various messages and can be static (placed in a certain place) or dynamic (placed on vehicles). The billboard’s task is to attract the attention of passers-by and effectively convey a message that will cause interest in the product or service it advertises. The surface of this type of advertisement can be different, it can be more than 8 square meters so that it can be seen from as far away as possible. The billboard may have reflectors installed to illuminate it at night.
The exterior surfaces of the means of transport in a city have an exceptional value, however, considering the dimensions and shape of the means of transport, these modes of advertising impose certain requirements and specific limits regarding the composition of the text and the realization of the entire solution. Vehicles in motion pass by the viewers relatively quickly, which requires that the entire solution be presented in the simplest possible way, with little text and sufficiently perceptible color shades.
We have reached the end of this article. Of course, to really learn what graphic design is and to be able to do it, you need more detailed information about each category. In order to help you, I will continue to write.
Thank you for your visit! I hope this information was helpful to you. If you have suggestions or impressions and want to share them with me, I’m waiting for your message in the comments section.
All the best and keep learning!
*info source> notes from different graphic design courses I took