I love the term graphic designer because it can mean so many things and thus give you the freedom to explore so many facets of the visual world.
I mention a couple of the important differences between designers and production artists in my post Why You Need to Hire a Designer, but now I want to specifically focus on graphic designers. There are a lot of different types of designers: software designers, brand designers, user experience designers… the list goes on and on.
A graphic designer works strictly with visuals. Now what that doesn’t mean is that they whip something up all willy-nilly. If we think about designers as problem solvers, then a graphic designer is an individual who creates visual solutions. But aren’t these solutions subjective to the one creating them?
Good graphic designers do their homework and great ones consistently refer back to their research. This is design after all – not art. If you make a decision as a designer, you better be able to state exactly why you made it and how it addresses the issue at hand. This not only helps keep subjectivity at bay but it also allows everyone involved in the process to be well informed.
Now many definitions on the web say that graphic designers specialize in visual communication using images and the sort. However, I like to think of them as information specialists. They inform themselves when creating and developing designs but also inform those who engage with those designs.
What do you think a graphic designer does? Do you agree with my definition? Let me know in the comments below!