For those without a design degree, it may be tempting to clump all graphic designers into the same category. After all, how different can they be, right? The answer may surprise you because you’ll find they are very different.
Most designers go into their profession with a certain amount of reverence for aesthetics, that’s true. However, you wouldn’t ask a plumber to do the wiring in your home, even though they’re both in the construction trade. Likewise, you wouldn’t ask a logo designer to craft your website or vice versa. Graphic design is as unique as an individual and their approach towards visualizing a design.
While lighting could strike and you’ll stumble over a “jack of all trades” designer who is truly good at everything, the chances are slim. To help you narrow your focus, here are some of the most sought-after categories to consider when hunting for your next perfect designer:
Designing Around Print Layouts
Designers well-versed in the world of print are very different from those who work solely on the web. Knowing how to do multi-page layouts, incorporate bleeds, and how to work in programs like InDesign are crucial. Think someone who can design magazines, brochures, catalogs, newspapers, and even book covers. Having a background and grasp on the file requirements printers must work with will make the difference between a design done right the first time, and spending time revising a subpar one.
Ever wonder how decorative bags, boxes, and other packages can be made to look so seamless? Designers who work on packaging need to have a good grasp on three-dimensional design, as well as how to break it down flat. While many designers might ultimately figure it out, it can result in hours wasted in frustration.
Those who design websites come in two groups: those who make a website aesthetically pleasing, and those with an in-depth knowledge of HTML and code. In the end, great websites can be built both ways, and often you’ll find the two working together to make your stellar website a reality.
- Web Designers – Many web designers work in CSS (Cascade Styling Sheets), or utilize the many templates already available via WordPress, etc.
- Web Development – Developers are a completely different breed. You might call them the unsung heroes of your website design. Generally not as aesthetic-based, developers work on the back-end of your website to make the functionality work optimal. They will often incorporate the design ideas of a web designer, along with the feedback from user experience and quality control.
Designers who mostly use their creativity for specific elements online work in a very flat design concept. This can include website headers, backgrounds, specific elements, and banner ads. It can also include some print-related design, such as for magazine ads, billboards, etc.
Need to develop your brand identity? You’ll likely start with a logo designer. You’ll find those who are exceptional at what they do, mostly focus on this one aspect of design. Part of the reason behind this comes down to the science of shapes, negative space, color, and the research involved to present a stellar logo. While many designers could probably come up with an icon or wordmark for your business, a logo designer will develop your entire brand’s identity.
Just as not every person is good at drawing, not every designer is good with illustrations. That’s why there’s a specific group of people willing to take on the task. Illustrators come in two forms: those who draw with pencil and paper, and those who do it with computers. While some may be good at both, the way their illustrations manifest comes down to the way they work. Illustrators are another segment of graphic design where the designers will typically focus on honing their skills.
Design with Typography is another area of expertise that designers can take an interest in. Businesses who want their designs to leave more of a polished impression will want to have typographers have the final say. Having the ability to place type in a visually compelling way is extremely valuable.
3D designers develop their designs with 3-demensional relevance. Some will design for things like architecture, vehicle design, etc. while others will focus on video game design. The programs in which these designers work can be complicated and difficult to navigate if you’ve never done it before. Additionally, each segment can have their set of programs to work in. For instance, a game designer will be working in a different program than someone designing a new model car, etc.
Some designers work in a different form of multimedia – TV, and video. Understanding how to design with video and the programs associated with it can take years to master, and for good reasons. There are many moving parts to consider: pun intended. From the images to the filters, to sound, and additional layers – multimedia design is a complex field, and not any designer is equipped to deal with.
There’s no doubt about it that graphic designers do some amazing things. When you choose the right designer for the job, the results can be even more astounding. So, when you plan to hire your next design piece, yo need to ask yourself what kind of designer you’re really looking for. This will save you time, make you more efficient, and the designs they deliver more effective.
– Artwork Abode