Graphic design is a process that involves creation, creativity and it usually takes place between a client and a graphic designer, with the latter serving to create a product, or design for a product, an image or marketing aspect for said product. An example is printers or signmakers, like road signs, who need to convey an immediate message to drivers or pedestrians through a short, simple and understandable symbol. Yet what’s interesting is that graphic design is not some 20th, or 21st century invention as some might think, but it can actually be traced to the first man-made cave drawings which represented discernible shapes of humans or animals. This was actually a breakthrough in human evolution, acquiring the capacity of looking at an object and being able to transfer its shape to two-dimensional realms.
Graphic design generally refers to a process that utilizes images, words and/or symbols in order to create an understandable, relatable visual representation of a certain idea or image. That way, the graphic designer can employ a number of methods and techniques to help him achieve a result, such as page layout, visual arts (photos, videos, paintings, etc.) or typography. The term graphic design can be used to refer both to the process itself and to the final product, the end result of this process. It can also be used to refer to certain professional or artistic disciplines that deal with visual presentation and communication. Sometimes, especially in academic instances, the field is called Communication Design or Visual Communication.
The most common uses of graphic design are for publications – magazines, books, newspapers –, advertisements, identity – branding and creation of specific and unique logos –, or product packaging. A good example is a product’s package or casing that contains the product’s logo (stylized name), artwork which could be made up from drawings, painting, photos and a text if the manufacturer want to say more about the product or about the company that makes it. The package will also contain other elements of pure design that are about shape, color, texture and others, that complete the product’s image. Thus, graphic design usually goes hand in hand with marketing and advertising, and it is employed by companies to create a convincing image for their products, one that must attract a certain type of consumer, or all types of consumers, depending on whom the company is focused on. Therefore, say, a Christmas product will have a package that reminds of winter holidays and the concept of sharing and it will be perhaps addressed for whole family use, and so on.