Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Four C's Of Graphic Design

Work opportunities in the career field of graphic or web design are increasing dramatically as more and more companies use the internet for marketing and spreading consumer information. Design work is also needed for traditional forms of media such as newspapers, magazines, and even advertisement signs and billboards. If you have a penchant for pictures and a desire to make a place for yourself in the world of technology, consider obtaining an online graphic design degree or take a look at graphic and web design programs at a local university or community college. Below, we discuss the four C's you will need to rocket to the top of this exploding industry.


Graphic designers work closely with their clients or employers to create images that explain, illustrate or advertise. Whether designers work on a freelance basis or find jobs with large companies, they must communicate clearly and directly with business owners. They must understand a company's core mission in order to represent it visually, for example. They also need to understand the aims of each project and be able to turn those ideas into graphics and images. The best designers also must have a good working knowledge of mass communication, especially if they are employed in advertising departments. That means the ability to write and edit copy, a good understanding of media law and familiarity with the cultural implications of words and symbols.


The second basic ability needed for a successful graphic design career is drawing and composition. Although much of a graphic designers work is completed digitally, the basic kinesthetic ability needed for drawing remains paramount. The skill of composition includes an understanding of color theory and an appreciation for balance. Luckily, graphic design schools give the chance for a lot of composition practice. Getting an online graphic design degree will prove that your ability to sketch is in tip top shape.


In the digital age of the twenty-first century, work in graphic design requires the ability to use computers. At minimum, you will need familiarity with programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Illustrator. You may also need to work with computer-aided drafting programs and internet publishing systems. Like composition skills, computer skills can be learned at graphic design schools across the country. In fact, online graphic design degree programs and their counterparts and art institutions and public universities require a senior project that will act as a portfolio of your design skills.


The ability to turn ideas into pictures is the last but most important skill needed for a successful graphic design career. Your corporate clients will provide ideas for artwork, but it will be up to the designer to make it happen. If you are considering going to school for graphic design, you probably already have a strong creative instinct. To improve it, pay attention to the signs, symbols and displays that surround you in everyday life. Next, devote as much time as you can to practicing your art. By the time you finish an online graphic design degree, your skills in communication, composition, computers and creativity will qualify you for the highest paying and most interesting jobs in the business.