I get asked so often, "what does a graphic designer really do?" A graphic designer has a very complex job because there are so many tasks we must do in order to do our job well. If you have ever wondered what we do...here are our thoughts.
Graphic design jobs have many misconceptions and they go all different ways. Some think we just doodle and draw on the computer. Some think we aren't really artists at all. Some see us as marketers or advertisers. And some think we have a really easy going and fun job. While some of these are true to an extent, none of them fully encompass what we do on a weekly or even on a daily basis. So who are we?
1. We are the sales people
If a designer owns their own business, they are salesman. Without this aspect of our business, we could not even get to the graphic design work. We must not only be creative in art, but also creative in the way that we are going to market our business and find clients that will work well with us. This includes hours of prospecting, networking, meetings, calls, emails, and so much more! And this is only the beginning....
2. We are the business people
As a graphic designer, we are not the same as a marketer, advertiser or business manager. But, we do take on each of these roles to an extent. This is not our main area of expertise but without great knowledge of these three areas, we could not begin to do our job well at all. So, we must stay educated and informed in these areas so that this can influence the other aspects of our business.
3. We are the thinkers, problem solvers, and strategists
Creativity is the cornerstone of what we do. It's not just that we sit and draw but creativity also includes business problems that we set out to solve. Creativity for us is listening and understanding a business' problems and finding a way to solve them through design. To do this, we spend hours researching and brainstorming so that we can creatively come up with a solution and help your business in the long run.
4. We are the artists
Once we find a concept and direction that works, we start sketching. This is where the fine art side of our jobs comes out. This is the best way to get many ideas down on paper efficiently and effectively before we start conducting graphic design on the computer.
5. We are the graphic artists
After we have conducted our ideas, drawn and illuminated the options that we don't like, we begin the process of translating our drawings onto the computer. This is what most people think the whole process of graphic design entails, but it is just one small part.
6. We are the learners
Our specific field is ALWAYS changing. We want to never stop learning. We want to always increase our knowledge in every area of our business. This includes business, marketing, advertising, strategy, positioning, design styles, design trends, design software, design skills and more. We want to never be stagnant, and through reading, listening to podcasts, and taking classes, we attempt to always be evolving and growing so that we can serve our clients in the best way possible.
What are the misconceptions about your job?
To learn more about What to look for in a Graphic Designer, read our blog on this topic.
Also, Is Graphic Design an Investment or an Expense? may be of interest to you.