They find the most effective way to get messages across in print, and electronic media using a variety of methods such as color, type, illustrations, photography and various print & layout techniques. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports and other publications. They also produce promotional displays, packaging and marketing brochures for products and services, design distinctive logos for products and businesses and develop signs and signage systems. An increasing number of graphic designers also develop material for Internet Web pages, interactive media and multimedia projects.
The first step in developing a new design is to determine the needs of the client, the message the design should portray and its appeal to customers or users. Graphic designers consider cognitive, cultural, physical and social factors in planning and executing designs for the target audience.
Designers gather relevant information by meeting with clients, creative or art directors and by performing their own research. Identifying the needs of consumers is becoming increasingly important for graphic designers as they continue to develop corporate communication strategies in addition to creating designs and layouts. Graphic designers prepare sketches or layouts - by hand or with the aid of a computer - to illustrate their vision for the design. They select colors, artwork, photography, style of type and other visual elements for the design. Designers also select the size and arrangement of the different elements on the page or screen. They may create graphs and charts from data for use in the publications, and they often consult with copywriters on any text that accompanies the design. Designers then present the completed design to their clients for approval. In printing and publishing firms, graphic designers also may assist the printers by selecting the type of paper and ink for the publication and reviewing the mock-up design for errors before final publication.
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