In understanding graphic design, it isn’t absolutely necessary to attend school to know more about the field. What you may need is a foundation of knowledge about its history, practical applications, and theories. It is of course, learning about the basics. There are already plenty of sources and books out there which you can use in self-studying the graphic design field, but don’t expect that you will be that great at first, it is still part of the art category and will require a lot of passion and enthusiasm to improve.
But, if you think that you can really do it and would like to know more about graphic design, we can at least give you a backbone of ideas from the basics to the usual and professional practices.
What is Graphic Design?
Before anything else, you should know and clearly understand first what the meaning of graphic design is. As defined by Wikipedia, graphic design is created to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The field is also often referred to as “Visual Communication” or “Communication Design”.
Simply put, graphic design is a field of art that is usually done by means of computers and/or different applications, and are used to be printed in different outputs like catalogues, magazines, posters, and other printed materials. It is often referred to being a digital constituent of real handmade paintings and drawings. If you enjoy drawing on canvas’, papers or even on walls, the difference about graphic design is that you are doing it within some type of computer application and all the necessary tools are completely installed without the need of buying here and there.
The Basics of Graphic Design
The first thing that you should try to learn are the principles and theories of graphic design. Understanding the principles abstractly and conceptually applying them practically will give you the best foundation for your graphic design studies. Aside from that, its elements are the ones that totally move or create your graphic design. These are the colors, imagery, shapes, text, lines and textures. Even before you go ahead and try your hand at graphic design, you should understand each of these elements for you to easily handle the design process that you will be doing.
Colors and shapes have always been a part of anything that is art related. Even kids will know how to differentiate colors and shapes with one glance, but the challenging part that you may have in this is balancing the colors of your design and learning the best shapes that could fit within. This is not about pointing out that roses are reds, boxes are square or anything like that. In graphic design, you are free to illustrate the art in your mind which you would like to convey to the individuals who will be looking at it.
On the other hand; lines and textures are also different to each other. Lines are usually used to create forms in your design, they are basically the backbone of all layouts in separating your ideas from one another. These are commonly used in the design process of newspapers and magazines alike. There are also different kinds of lines which you can use and that convey different things like dotted, slashed, or even zigzags, it is up to you what to use. Concerning the texture, it is basically referring to the actual surface or feel of your design. Making sure that your readers will feel the texture of your design is one of the best elements that you can achieve.
But what can be the most challenging thing about graphic design? If you may ask, well it is the text. This covers the typefaces, font sizes, alignments and formatting (i.e. bold, underline, italics, etc…). The latter can be easy to do as long as you have chosen the right font. That is the biggest challenge that graphic designers face.
With thousands of fonts available all over the Internet, it may be hard to choose the one that best fits your design, but being the designer, you should know best. You can also try out many different fonts to test for the most suitable one. As long as it matches your design, is legible, and conveys whatever message you are trying to get across, then that could be the best font for you.