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What is graphic deisgn

Simply put, graphic designing is making visually communicating art using a software installed on a computer or hosted on some website. That’s all there is to it or is it?

The discipline is wildly evolving and branching out a lot. It’s like most the traditional and physical art (paper/board drawing, painting and all that old art) is getting absorbed and reinvented into the digital space. It’s fair to say graphic design is the art of today.

For example, say the famous Picasso’s paintings. He painted all those masterpieces on paper/boards back then.

(In case you don’t know Picasso. He was a very famous Spanish artist. He died but his paintings are very famous and his name lives on with them)

But now, the same kind of stuff can be made on a computer or a smartphone. And because there are so many graphic design software, the kind and nature of art is very diversified. That diversity is what makes the different types of graphic design.

In this post I’m gonna break down this whole graphic design thingy and introduce you to all the kinds of jams in this forever-expanding space of graphic designing. If you’re a beginner designer or someone who wants to venture into the discipline and make a carrier out of it, this post is perfect for you. 

Types of graphic design

There are only two categories of this jam. Each category also branches out to different categories. I’m gonna get into that in a bit. I just categorized them according to how they are made. The two main types are:

  • Static graphics
  • Dynamic graphics

Static graphic design

Static design is exactly what it says it is. Making stuff that doesn’t move. Above there are two logos and two posters. These kind of designs are made through brushing, painting and coloring.

Exactly the way you used to draw weird (if not embarrassing) art on paper in your 1st grade is how you make this kind of stuff. But unlike in your 1st grade, your designs are more finer and sexy, thanks to intelligent graphic design software.

Static graphic design software

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Inkscape
  • CorelDraw GRAPHICS Suite
  • Photoshop (most dope popular)
  • GIMP
  • Sketch
  • Canva

These are just a few out of hundreds, if not thousands of graphics software out there. Making a choice in the beginning can be a daunting quest(been there, I know).

Static graphics branches further into different categories. But this time, the categorization is based on the purpose.

But all of these are generally made using the same technical knowledge and principles so much that an average graphic designer can be able to make them all competently. Here’s the list.

Types of Static graphics

  • Logos
  • Illustrations
  • Fonts
  • Icons
  • Posters/Fliers
  • User Interfaces (you may need to learn some code here, mostly HTML and CSS)

That’s all for a general overview of static graphics. Now lets get into the other main category which is more fun and interesting.

Dynamic Graphic Design

Here’s a simple example for dynamic graphics. This is an animation for our company registration services that I made with Adobe After Effects.

Dynamic graphics are cooler and more interesting but they’re more work. You really need to put in some long and frustrating hours into just getting used to the software used to make this kind of stuff.

Then put even more hours to be able to make something that would be cool enough to make you money or satisfy a client. That’s the bad news. But the good news is…

Dynamic graphics are in high demand and because of that there are more opportunities for someone who chooses to make a carrier out of that. Really pays big if you know how to monetize the dynamic graphic designing skill. We’ll get into that a little later.

Let me give you a peek of the software used to make dynamic graphics.

Dynamic graphic design software

  • Adobe After Effects (my personal favorite)
  • Blender
  • Powtoon
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Cinema 4D
  • SketchUp
  • VRoid Studio

And again, this list is seriously short-listed. There are a gazillion software out there that can do dynamic graphics. Most of them are specialized into making a small number of types of dynamic graphics. Here are the types that dynamic graphics branches into.

Types of Dynamic Graphics

  • Whiteboard/Blackboard animations
  • Text animations
  • Logo animations
  • Web animations (you need to learn some code to kill this one)
  • Video editing
  • Cartoon animations

The more graphics types a software can make, the heavier and more difficult it is to master. As a graphic designer, you should aim to master those kind of software.

They may be hard and frustrating to learn but the good news about them is that when you become a pro, they don’t choke your creativity.

The small and straightforward software may be cool for those small and light jobs but they won’t give you enough space to get the wildest fantasies into reality.

So that’s my free advise to the wanna-be or could-be designer. If you wanna start designing, start with the scariest and most intimidating software. You’ll thank yourself later.

What are graphic designer jobs

Ok…I wasn’t planning to include this part in this post but I was surprised at how many people are looking for this information on the web.

About 33,100 of you guys just want to know the jobs of graphic designers. So I’ll give you a peek into the graphic design industry. Actually, I’ll make another blog post about that only and link it here when it’s complete.

Here’s the list of graphic design jobs

  • Graphic designer
  • Art director
  • Interior designer
  • Web designer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Video Editor
  • Logo designer
  • Photo Editor
  • Visual designer
  • User Experience designer
  • User Interface designer
  • 2D/3D artist
  • Visual effects artist
  • Character designer
  • Game animator
  • Story board artist
  • Layout artist

I hope that’s most of the jobs. If you know other jobs that I’ve missed on this list just drop them in the comments section then I’ll update the list.

Graphic design is my passion...So what?

Right, you have a graphic designing skill that you are passionate about but you’re not sure how you can make significant money from it. It’s really satisfying to make art or graphic footage but at the end of the day you want to make your skills bring in some cash for yourself.

So here I’ll show you several ways you can make money as a graphic designer. I’ll explain each method and the pros and cons of each.

How to make money as a graphic designer

1. Stock sites

There are companies out there that just specialize in selling other people’s art or graphics. You can simply go on their site and sign up as a contributor. Then upload your work and when someone buys and downloads your work, you share the money from the sale with the stock agent.

Free advise…don’t aim really high with this option. You’ll put in a lot of work but reap little. That’s the norm with most stock agencies. Here’s a short list of stock agencies for art and graphics.

Pros
  • Easy and free to get started.
  • The agency does the marketing for you.

Cons

  • Competition is freakin’ fierce.
  • Needs high quality work in great quantities to really pay off.
  • No control over your work.
  • Some stock agencies end up taking advantage of your work and rip you off.

2. Freelancing

This is you chasing people that need your graphic design skill. The primary thing you want to do if you choose this method is building a portfolio. Your portfolio will show off your graphics skills to potential clients and will market you to them.

There are lots of freelance websites out there and most of them are totally free to join. You just join, build a profile that would look sexy to a potential client and then bid for the jobs you can do. Sounds simple right? 

It’s may not be that simple in the beginning because you’ll be competing with guys with better and  sexier profiles than you but it gets smoother as you get more jobs and more satisfied clients leaving good reviews on your profile.

If your profile grows more and more sexy (lots of 5-star reviews), the tables will turn in your favor for good. Clients will chase you, even if you raise the price of your services they’ll keep coming. That’s the good news.

Here’s a list of the most popular freelancing sites.

Pros

  • You work when you want, it’s flexible.
  • You choose who to work with.
  • Business grows as you do more work.
  • You meet different job opportunities especially when a client is impressed.
Cons
  • Very difficult to get clients in the beginning.
  • Competition is fierce for graphic design skills that are easy to learn.
  • Cash flow is not consistent as clients are not found all the time and evenly.

3. Blogging

This is the best thing that you can do for yourself in your graphic design carrier. Trust me when I say this, making a blog is a quest you want to die after doing and enjoying. As a graphic designer, you accumulate a lot of knowledge and skill about so many things.

You know about graphics software. You know how to use the graphics software. You know so many tricks of making anything visually enticing. You know how to keep eyeballs looking at one thing. All this you know and it can serve you very handsomely if you create your own blog.

Graphics media is what is used by online marketers to sell anything online.

Do you know why they use that kind of stuff? Because it converts people into customers the greatest. All seasoned marketers have a secret graphic designer in their pocket and that designer is the key to their most successful landing pages that wreck in thousands of dollars every month.

If you would become a blogger and your own secret graphic designer for the business that you’ll create, you’ll wreck in moneys for yourself too. Blogging is more rewarding. It’s generally more work but it’s rewarding.

And let me say that if you want be a successful graphic designer blogger, you’ll need more than graphic designing skills. You’ll need writing and online marketing skills too. These you can learn as you go along the way.

Pros

  • Potential is huge. As long you work hard and with guidance from industry experts, you will make a significant income stream.
  • Long-lasting and passive success.
  • You make friends and partners from the community you build.
  • You control everything, you’re the boss of the biz.
Cons
  • Needs money to start.
  • It’s more work especially if you don’t outsource some of the tasks.
 

Conclusion

That’s it folks, a full overview of what graphic design is and what it has in store for those who want to make a carrier out of it. It’s not hard at all, just a small learning curve and you’re already an expert. Designing is not difficult at all.

What is difficult is making the most out of the graphic design skill. That’s what you should be worried about and educating yourself. Two people with the same graphic design skills have different levels of income. Why is that? The difference is in the way they get their skills to profit them. You want the best way to make the most out of your graphic designing skills.

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