What is graphic design? - A Beginner's Guide (2023) (2023)

Are you a creative person who loves visual arts? Do you always have a sketchbook at hand? For many people, art is both a passion and a hobby. But others want to devote their lives to the art form, mastering communication with visual composition and making it their profession.

In the modern world, there are many forms of design, and as new technologies develop, more and more are appearing. Design is a dynamic and exciting field, and it's a great way to feel productive and creative while pursuing your passion.

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What is graphic design?

Design is simple, but so ubiquitous that it's hard to pin it down in one simple definition. Technically, graphic design is the communication of an idea using visual media. Graphic designers use a variety of tools to achieve their goal, including things like typography, colors, shapes, and illustrations.

When you think about the many ways this art form touches your life on a daily basis, it's amazing.

The magazine you read at breakfast? In order to produce it, a lot of graphic design work has been done for the design and layout of covers, ads and any special features or infographics.

The cereal box and the coffee packets? The ads you see on your way to work, on billboards and on the side walls of buses? What about the business cards and stationery your company uses? And when you look at your phone, each app is designed and made more useful by a talented UI designer.

Here is an example ofTop design portfolio website templatesyou can check

In short, graphic designers touch every aspect of our visual world in one way or another.

Graphic design has become a dynamic and diverse field, growing with each newly invented technological medium.

It ranges from traditional media such as print magazines, posters and flyers to modern methods such as websites and apps. This will never end and the demand for skilled workers is growing every year.

Types of graphic design

Because it's very diverse and consists of many different fields, it helps to break the layout into different categories. Designers can work in teams that bring all these different things together, or they can work in a specialized field and just do one thing. As with all companies, the most successful companies are often niche companies where a company or individual may be known as an expert in a field.'

  1. printed books and periodicals
  2. advertising and marketing
  3. brand identity
  4. digitales User-Interface-Design
  5. product packaging design
  6. dynamic layouts
  7. Illustrative and artistic
  8. environmental design

printed books and periodicals

Let's start with the fields that most people associate with the layout. As simple and text-based as they may appear, all books and magazines require a high level of design. Design is much more than illustrations. A simple page layout can be presented in many ways, from the number of columns to including photos and illustrations. How are the chapters different and what are the topics and captions titled? What colors are used?

Finally, the cover design is always an essential element, as it also serves an advertising purpose. How does it attract attention? If a random viewer walks by and sees it at the kiosk, will they immediately know what the post is about? Do the headline, typography, colors, and images work to convey a clear message? Implementation is more difficult than it looks.

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advertising and marketing

Advertising touches our lives almost constantly. Websites show them everywhere, magazines seem to be full of them, and roadside billboards litter our landscape. Print and visual advertising is a clear example of design in its purest form, as it requires the creator to communicate a message effectively. Whether the goal is to inform or to sell, ads must convey a message to the viewer.

Advertising agencies hire many designers to put together their campaigns. The advertisers (and the women) collect the general ideas and make the sale, while the line designers make the actual product.

brand identity

A more subtle form of marketing is corporate brand identity. This is an area of ​​design that requires a lot of thought and overall planning. A corporate identity consists of a logo, a font and a choice of colors that are used in all corporate materials. In today's connected world, visual identity is an integral part of how customers connect with a brand.

We all know some famous brands like the Coca-Cola font or the Apple logo. Think about how rooted they are in the companies they created. The red background and white font on a coke bottle are the same ones used on their websites, business cards and all of their ads. The Apple logo can be found on every device they make and is usually placed in ads with no other text. Apple Stores usually only have one logo. Lots of people drop in and wonder what's on sale inside? Probably not many. This is the power of brand identity.

Most companies only dream of achieving this level of brand identity, but it all starts with a talented designer working to make something as simple as an unbite apple recognizable and meaningful to consumers.

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digitales User-Interface-Design

Websites, software, and device apps require design at different levels. Of course, there are programmers who design the functionality of the application and build it on a technical level. But more often than not, these people hire UI (user interface) design experts to make the UI work well and look good.

On a broader level, UX (user experience) designers work to make the app ecosystem work. It's not just about how things work. It's about human psychology and putting things where users expect them to be. How many times have you visited a website and had to search to find basic information? If the UX design was up to the task, it shouldn't have taken so long.

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product packaging design

Walk down the aisles of your local supermarket or retail store and you will see thousands of products. How can companies make their products stand out? If they're Coca-Cola or Apple and already have a brand identity, it's a lot easier. But what if a company is just getting started? The brand can only represent that much when the customer walks down the aisle looking for something specific to buy.

Product packaging comes in many forms. While some of the limitations come from things like the size and shape of the boxes, there's still plenty of room for a graphic designer to work their magic.

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dynamic layouts

As technology advances, designers must evolve as well. Many formerly static ads are now mobile and dynamic. Animated ads on web banners, GIFs and even moving billboards mean a new specialty has been created in this field. Designers working in this field should have experience in animation and film technology, as well as compositional techniques and ways of communicating with movement. If you are not sure which animation software to choose, here is the list of the most common onespopular animation softwareim 2021.

Illustrative and artistic

A lot of people who get into design careers do it because they like to draw or because they love art. They are natural visual communicators. For them, the brand identity and typography of the work is interesting and rewarding, but many want to make more art.

Illustration is also an integral part of design, from children's books to technical manuals. Many works of art are published in advertising and print every year.

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Some graphic designers like to create their designs from scratch, while others specialize in image editing and composite photography.

T-shirts, fabrics, websites, video games, infographics, and comics are just a few examples of how these designs can be used. Much is done commercially and much is created for the love of art.

A successful illustrator portfolio is crucial if you want to have a successful career in the design industry. Here are someStunning Illustrator portfolios on Pixpawhich will surely inspire you to create your portfolio website.

environmental design

If you were to combine interior design and graphic elements, you would have what is called an environmental designer. They use signage, murals and branding to enhance a visitor's overall experience in a building. It is most noticeable where many people come and organizers want to make a good impression: Think stadiums, conference rooms, trade fairs, public transport or retail stores. It is also common practice at franchised or chain brand locations such as hotels or restaurants. These companies invest a lot of time and money into creating a positive and memorable customer experience.

Get inspired by theseamazing interior design portfolio websitesand discover how to create an impressive portfolio to showcase your interior design

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Popular design tools


Regardless of their specialty, designers use the same elements in their work. These are the tools of the trade.

Some examples of design elements are:

  • Typography
  • Kor
  • the image
  • Illustration
  • Photo
  • Project


Typography describes the typefaces a designer might use in their work, but it's also a specialized form of design. Someone has to design all of these fonts, and some jobs may require designing a font from scratch. Additionally, there are several ways to modify existing fonts with kerning, tracking, and alignment to improve flow in a design without destroying the original font's aesthetic.

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Color is an important design element and one of the most important decisions a designer has to make. Choosing a color palette is often one of the first tasks when starting a new design challenge. Colors communicate more than you might think at first glance. They have a deep psychological effect on us, and learning color theory is an important part of becoming a designer.

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Fashion, illustration and photography.are all the visual elements that can be contained in oneProject. It's up to the designer to figure out what goes where and why, along with what fonts and colors. The merging of all these elements is the art of design, it requires creativity and originality as well as a deep knowledge of proven techniques and methods.

You must read our article about itunderstand design principleswhich describes the basic theories that make a work of fine art attractive.


Like photography and other creative works,Adobe has a near monopoly on graphic design softwareused commercially. There are competitors and some are gaining a lot of traction. Adobe's pricing is far from competitive, and many aspiring designers opt for a similar program with the same functionality without the subscription costs.

Illustration work is usually done in a vector-based art program. Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard. These programs allow you to create vector graphics that, unlike photos or raster images, can be printed and resized indefinitely.

Graphic designers also work with raster images for various purposes. Photoshop is usually the tool of choice to do this. Although photographers rarely play with features, Photoshop has tons of tools to draw from scratch and create paths and shapes.

The final design component is the creation of full designs and documents. While Photoshop or Illustrator can be used to create each element, the entire finished product is created in a publishing program such as InDesign.

Adobe InDesign is used throughout the publishing industry to design their printed books and flow text with images. Graphics created in Illustrator are added, and elements such as shapes, colors, and typography can be added.

We did some research and put together a listBest graphic design softwareon the field today. Tried and tested, these tools can help you create spectacular custom designs that will leave your customers in awe.

Graphic Design Jobs

Designers work in many different ways. As with many creative positions, opportunities range from working as an employee of a larger organization to being self-employed and freelance.

As an aspiring graphic designer, you need to create a professional design portfolio website to showcase your work and profile. Your online portfolio is key to attracting and impressing potential employers, clients or employees.

Design portfolio websites need to go beyond simply showcasing your designs. You also need to think outside the box, discover your creative genius, find your expression and present your work in the best possible light.Guide to building your graphic design portfolio, essential reading for anyone serious about graphic design as a career.

Show off your design portfolio

Make sure the portfolio website builder you choose offers the flexibility, features, and ease of use you need to create a professional website without the need for any coding skills. A little inspiration is good.

Pixpa is a website building platform they trustcreative professionalsaround the world.

Offering a simple and powerful drag-and-drop website builder, Pixpa includes client galleries, ecommerce tools, and blogs to help you manage your entire online presence from one integrated platform. Discover all the features that make Pixpa the perfect choice for designers and other creative professionals.

Start your free trial to create graphic design portfolio websites on Pixpa in minutes.


Showcasing your work online via a well-designed portfolio website is essential, even for design students. YourStudent portfolio websiteThis will help you when applying for higher education, internships, jobs and also when planning to start your design practice.

As you grow professionally, the role of the design portfolio website in attracting new clients becomes more important. It acts as your gateway to the world and the first interface between you and most potential customers. Therefore, it is important that your design portfolio website is designed in a way that clearly complements and presents your work without being distracting.

Graphic design resources and guides:

  • Examples of the best websites with graphic design portfolios
  • Top 25 Design-Portfolio-Websites

Career choice in creative agencies

Many designers eventually work as employees in larger companies. In some cases, these positions can be apprenticeships, almost like internships or apprenticeships. If you have an opportunity to work with a great designer and learn how their business works, you should always take it!

Within companies you will find designers working in creative and marketing departments around the world. It doesn't matter what type of company or what they sell — all great companies hire creative people to fill those positions and help them build their brands. For the designer, however, the position can get a bit formulaic. Imagine you work for Apple. Is it better if one day they ask him to change the name of the company from scratch? No, you'll probably work within an existing framework and keep things new and fresh, if not exactly original.

Designers working for creative agencies can show a little more creative power. They will end up working with many different clients, doing things from overhauling existing products to creating entirely new things from scratch. They spend far more time conceptualizing and presenting ideas.

Another advantage of working in creative agencies is the potential for growth. While aspiring designers don't get rich, creative directors and art directors often make six figures.

How to start your own business as a graphic designer

After all, there are many independent designers. This is the best way for artists who have mastered a specific, high-demand niche. These people will make the most money and have the longest customer lists. The most successful freelancers have been in the industry for decades and are sought out by name when a business needs a specific look or type of project.

The beauty of freelancing, however, is that you can go your own way. No rule says you can start your career as a freelancer or even freelance in agencies. You can work when you want, where you want and on your terms. All of this means you can fix it quickly if needed.Learn new graphic design skillsor try a new market to stay competitive. Of course, the hardest part of freelance work is the business aspects. You are solely responsible for legal, licensing, tax issues and many other things that may arise.

graphic designer salary

The average starting salary is between $40,000 and $47,000 per year. It's a bit difficult to pin down exactly what designers do, however, as job titles vary significantly from company to company. Design tasks are often assigned to others while directed by art directors or other managers. In other words, designers are multitaskers.

In general, the average salary for a graphic designer ranges from $55,000 to $83,250. However, there are big differences depending on where they live and whether they work for themselves or for large companies.

The highest paying graphic design jobs are those with a lot of experience, hired for specific projects, usually on a contract basis.Another high paying optionIt is intended for management positions such as art director or creative manager, with salaries for executive positions such as these ranging from $76,600 to over $110,000.


Designers do a lot more than most people realise, and even in this field there are more specialties and niches than one can count. For example,Check out these design blogson a variety of topics including home decor, web design, product design, and typography. The above are not exhaustive; Even the smallest companies hire designers to work on multiple projects. For talented artists with an eye for design elements, it's a fun and dynamic industry.

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