Creative & Design

What is Graphic Design? A Beginner's Guide

Aug 2, 2022

What is graphic design? What do graphic designers do and how can they help? Learn more by with our beginner's guide to graphic design.

Alicia Jefferson - Guest Contributor
What is Graphic Design? A Beginner's Guide

What we'll cover

Graphic design is more important than ever. If you are a small or midsize business owner looking to advertise your services better, tell the world about your mission, and give your brand an identifiable look, graphic design could prove to be of value for you.

In this piece, we’ll define what graphic design is, how it’s applied in different business contexts, and how it can be especially beneficial for small or midsize businesses.  

What is graphic design?

Graphic design is the use of text, pictures, and graphics for visual communication. In simple terms, graphic design is what a graphic designer does, i.e., create visually appealing content. The intent is to advertise, make the user experience easier, or define a brand with an easily identifiable logo.


Graphic design for social media marketing (Source)

Why is graphic design important? 

A good graphic design is important for effective communication. As a small business owner that may be just starting out, it’s important to market your business and convey your objectives as clearly as possible. 

Graphic design done well can increase visibility among your customer base by using visually appealing elements and concepts that attract their attention. This will encourage them to engage with your site more—and more eyes on your site can subsequently mean an increase in sales. 

What are the different types of graphic design?

As a small business owner with no background in graphic design, this might be what you immediately associate with graphic design. Fancy websites and pretty apps may come to mind, but web design is just how the website and its pages are put together. This includes pictures, words, or unique themes.

  • Advertising and marketing design: Businesses advertise and market their products or services to drive sales. This is done via billboards, brochures, and ads for social media, websites, television, and newspapers designed by graphic designers.


An ad for Chobani (Source)

  • Logo design: Graphic design is used to create distinguishing symbols, known as logos, and other branding elements associated with your brand. 


Unique logos (Source)

  • UI, interactive design: User interface (UI) consists of animations, transitions, visual elements, and animations. If you have a clunky web or app design that is difficult for people to use, you could lose customers.


UI design for a mobile application (Source)

  • Web design: Web design is just how a website and its web pages are created by putting together elements such as pictures, words, fonts, icons, logos, colors, and themes, among other visual concepts.


Themes, fonts, and photos are carefully chosen to help your site look more appealing (Source)

  • Information and data design: Infographics and other forms of data design, such as charts, maps, and diagrams, help in better organization and visualization of complex data for simpler comprehension. 


Data presented in an easy-to-understand and appealing format (Source)

  • Motion design: This simply means graphics in motion; for example, a graphic designer can create eye-catching animations or GIFs for your campaign.

A graphics interchange format or GIF image (Source

What is a graphic designer?

A graphic designer is a creative professional who produces a wide array of media for web design, interactive design, and more. Essentially, a graphic designer is the architect of a graphic design project.

An ideal graphic designer has a keen sense of design and knowledge of the latest design trends and what reaches users the most. Essentially, a good graphic designer has their thumb on the pulse of what’s thriving in the digital space right now and, ultimately, what’s going to attract more customers to your business.  

What does a graphic designer do?

Some of the things that a graphic designer might specialize in are:

  • Creating visual concepts that represent your brand: We are all familiar with the lime and lemon logo on a bottle of Sprite. A graphic designer is responsible for that label you’re so used to seeing. The layout, icons, buttons, color scheme, theme, font, and typography used on your site or app are all supposed to be designed by a graphic designer.

  • Keeping your logos up to date with trends: Logos keep evolving as time and design trends change. The ever-changing golden arches of the McDonald's logo are an excellent example.

  • Design PPTs for internal stakeholders: A graphic designer can help marketing and communication teams by presenting data about their campaigns in an easy-to-understand, visually appealing format.

  • Photography/creating video assets: A graphic designer might create or assemble a series of photos and videos that can help you make your brand's message concise and easy for potential customers to understand.

  • Creative ideation: A graphic designer should be able to come up with innovative designs and creative and fresh ideas for campaigns.

The benefits of having a graphic designer if you’re a small or midsize business 

Graphic design done right can successfully market your brand and keep the visual appearance of your company in line with the times. As a small business, you can stand out with the help of a proficient graphic designer if you have information, photos, and ads that are tailored to your mission. If you invest in quality graphic design assets, you don’t have to worry about leaving an impression on your target audience when you’re competing with larger, well-known brands. 

Affordable graphic design tools to get you started

Whether you’re a small or midsize business or a large enterprise, graphic design can help you convey your brand’s message effectively and attract potential customers. Several different types of graphic design can assist you in achieving your business goals. 

You can save your newly hired graphic designer’s time and energy by providing them with some of the finest tools of the trade, such as the ones found here.

About the author

Alicia Jefferson - Guest Contributor

Alicia Jefferson has been a content writer for nearly a decade. She has contributed to several websites and written specialized content with graphic design being the latest specialty.
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