A lot of the work a graphic designer produces is never seen. From logos and flyers to letterheads and websites, only one concept will make it through to be seen by the world.
Even when that final concept is chosen, most people don’t realise the hard work that has gone into a single image which may just be a small part of the final design. This can actually be seen as a good thing at times, for example with photo editing. If you can’t tell that the photo has been edited then the work done must have been pretty good but of course no one knows it.
Photo editing itself will break itself up into many tasks such as:
Manipulating: Altering the original photo but not necessarily adding in anything new; adjusting what’s already there.
Painting: Painting in new or removing certain sections of a photo.
Composition: Possibly creating a new image from the original one.
These are just three of many more to do with photo editing and thats just one task a graphic designer may carry out.
A graphic designer will create or chose the typography to be used and in most cases its likely to be more then one font set or format being used within a piece of work and its important that those fonts work well together.
A Graphic designer will look at colour but it won’t be a case of just picking one out. Usually its about creating a whole colour palette for any given piece of work and to create a palette, a designer has to make sure that each colour chosen works together within the palette in addition to reinforcing the psychological message.
There’s also the issue of colour systems which means that certain colours will look different on different materials and devices and therefore need a different colour system to produce the work. This actually limits the colours that can be used.
A graphic designer will also produce graphics for any given piece of work. A graphic could consist of lines, shapes, symbols, icons or anything else that the designer can draw/reproduce.
Believe it or not but an empty canvas can be a daunting image because the options are infinite so graphic designers use grids to add some logic to an empty canvas and begin piecing together a final document.
A final piece of graphic design utilises all of these skills plus many more to create one single document or one array of documents but the fact is that each task requires the graphic designer to have and implement dozens of ideas. All of these little ideas then need to compose the final big idea.
The truth is that a graphic designer will likely produce more then one final idea so the above could be done as many as 5, 10 or even 20 times just to produce one final document.
What does a graphic designer do? – They learn, create and reiterate to compose a symphony of communication.