Graphic Design: Definition, Tools and Software for 2021
With the evolution of communication and digitalization, companies have more and more varied needs. Graphic design is one of them. Indeed, communication channels have never been so numerous and companies can use many different types of media to spread their message. In order to be more impactful, they have to use graphic design.
Whether it’s creating Instagram or Facebook posts, banner ads, newsletters, or even corporate goodies, graphic design has a central role to play in the visual communication of a brand.
In this article, we explain what graphic design is and provide you with a list of tools you can use. That said, if you need to create visuals, we advise you to work with an agency specialising in graphic design.
Table of contents
What is graphic design?
Graphic design is the skill of creating visual communication materials intended to be printed or displayed on a screen. In other words, graphic design encompasses all visual communications used by companies as a means of advertising and to support their visual identity. This can be both images or text.
The media concerned are therefore very numerous. Every object, product, site, or document that surrounds us has a visual identity that has been thought up by its designers. In this case, it is always a graphic designer who creates this visual identity. Graphic design agencies offer o wide range o services: web design and web development, graphic design or animation creation that can help make your brand’s online presence more visible.
What are the skills of a graphic designer?
Graphic design is a thriving field. Today, the number of industries that need it is constantly growing. If you need an in-house graphic designer, or if you need to create visual materials, we recommend working with a specialised graphic design agency.
The skills of a good graphic designer
Whether you decide to hire a graphic designer or work with a graphic design agency, there are two types of skills you will be offered: technical skills and creative skills.
These skills refer to the mastery of graphic design tools. More concretely, the agency must master a series of software programs to design your visual media. We will come back to these software packages later in the article.
These skills refer to the ability of the graphic design agency/designer to listen to you and to offer you solutions adapted to your company’s needs. More concretely, does your service provider take the time to understand your project? Do they ask you many questions? Do they understand your company’s vision?
It is important that the agency or designer you work with understands these elements. They form the basis on which your visual materials will be created. So the more your partner understands about your business, the more consistent their designs will be with your brand.
To assess these skills, always ask the agency/designer to see their portfolio. This will allow you to see the designs he or she has already created and whether his or her style fits your brand.
The tools of graphic design
There are different types of graphics software. Some allow you to design images or do photo editing. Others are for motion design and animation for digital advertising. Others are for developing web pages or user interface development. Let’s look at some examples.
Some examples of graphic design software:
- Adobe Photoshop: undoubtedly the most famous of the Adobe It allows you to create digital images from scratch or from an assembly. Numerous effects and settings allow you to create unique images. You can also use this tool to manipulate 3D images. Photoshop is the classic of image editing.
- Adobe Illustrator: Unlike its cousin Photoshop, Illustrator specialises in 2D image design. Easier to use, it allows you to create logos, fonts, or more complex images such as a comic book
- Procreate: an application designed to create digital images on a tablet. You can use the pen and the tablet to create illustrations by hand; a much more difficult task with a mouse.
- Gimp: Probably the best-known alternative to Photoshop. The main advantage is that it is free. Indeed, graphic design software can be very expensive. Fortunately, there are some good freeware programs that allow individuals to get started without spending a dime. Gimp is one of them.
- Myfonts.com: This is a website that lists fonts. You can use it to design your own font library for free. There is a feature that allows you to find a brand’s font just by taking a screenshot of it!
- Pencil2D: It is one of the best free 2D animation software. You can design animations frame by frame. It can be useful to make your graphic design more dynamic.
- Sketch: a must-have software for web design. Sketch is often recommended by web design. But then again, there are many competing programs that might be better for you.
In conclusion, graphic design is an expertise that every company needs. It is necessary for effective visual communication. In this article, we have presented the basics of graphic design by giving a definition, presenting the skills related to this expertise, and made a list of creative tools.