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5 Different ways graphic design is used in our everyday lives

by Chloe Baird


What career opportunities are there for Graphic Designers?

A career as a Graphic Designer can be incredibly rewarding for those with a shared love of creativity and technology.

But what kind of career paths are out there for those interested in graphic design? There are more opportunities than you might think, with graphic design being an important element in many different industries, across a range of roles.

Here’s a list of five ways graphic design is used across different sectors, in ways you may not have thought about before. 

The scope of work for a Graphic Designer is varied.

1. Ads and marketing materials

Advertising/Marketing Designers

Whether we’re talking print or digital marketing materials, having a good Graphic Designer to really make something pop and draw an audience in is important. This could be anything from catalogues to online ads, billboards to website skins.

The job of an Advertising or Marketing Graphic Designer is to make you want to invest in what they’re selling – whether that’s a product, a service, or an idea. They work in tandem with Copywriters, who’s responsibility it is to create enticing copy that meshes with the image. Together, a good Graphic Designer and Copywriter team can create masterful pieces of advertising that can boost sales.

2. Websites

Digital Designers and UX Designers

The job of any good Digital Designer is to create a website that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Through their careful analysis of a company, they can create a website that completely reflects the essence of a brand while creating a positive experience for users. This includes everything from the font, to the colour scheme, to the buttons on the page.

UX Designers fall into a similar category. Many UX Designers have a background in graphic design. They need to monitor user behaviour to make sure the website (or app) is giving customers what they want, and that all the relevant information customers are searching for is readily available. This means making sure that the most important parts of the website are displayed in a clear, obvious and aesthetically pleasing way. 

Designing a website as a Digital Designer or UX Designer is something that requires careful planning and research.

3. Books and magazines

Editorial Designer

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Or should you? Part of the role of an Editorial Designer is to design an attention-grabbing cover that not only fits the genre of the story, but can convey a specific message to the potential reader that tells them what this book is about. Seriously – how often have you picked up a book just because you thought the cover image looked cool?

But the Editorial Designer’s realm is not limited to print – with the rise of e-publishing and more and more publications moving online, an Editorial Designer could also find themselves working in a digital space.

Online or otherwise, their job could include designing a suitable layout for a newspaper or magazine; choosing the right typography (think chapter numbers or headlines in a customised font); and deciding on specific design elements. Each publication will have its own look and feel which must appeal to its target audience.

4. Product packaging

Packaging Designer

It’s all in the details. To create a truly memorable customer experience, a good business will think about their customer’s experience from start to finish. This includes thinking about the kind of packaging their products come in.

Think about the cereal aisle in the supermarket. It’s chock-a-block with cardboard boxes that all contain, essentially, the same thing. You make your purchase decision based on lots of different considerations – price, brand reputation, how tasty a product is versus how healthy it is, etc. But as you’re browsing the aisle, do you ever veer from your original decision because a particularly enticing and delicious-looking image has caught your eye? Or better yet, do you ever pick something up at the grocery store that you didn’t originally intend to buy, simply because its packaging was so eye-catching?

A Packaging Designer has a lot of different aspects to consider, not least practicality. Shape, colour, lettering and materials all come into consideration when designing attention-grabbing yet functional packaging. A product’s packaging can have a large effect on its sales.

A good example would be Who Gives a Crap, a B corp company that make sustainable products like toilet paper and tissues. Their loo rolls come wrapped in funky, colourful designs. Just because it’s toilet paper doesn’t mean its packaging has to be boring!

Does the packaging of a product ever influence your buying decisions?

5. TV, theatre and movie sets

Stage Designer/Set Prop Designer

There are many different elements that go into creating a fantastic backdrop for a TV show, theatre production or a movie. Whatever the genre and no matter the budget, it’s important to draw the audience in to this fantasy by creating the right kind of set.

Have you ever been watching a TV show or movie and something in the background has caught your eye because it was funny, clever, relevant or all three? That was the handiwork of a Stage Designer or Set Prop Designer who thought that little detail would add something extra to the scene.

These Designers work closely with people on set (such as Directors, Producers, Script Writers and other crew members) to ensure that the backdrop of a production fits in with the theme and plot of the story. Some Designers may have to work within an already established artform – a Wes Anderson film has a completely different look and feel to a Star Wars movie. They might use computer programs to conceptualise ideas, and then work with a team of people to bring these ideas to life.

Where could your career as a Graphic Designer take you?

Has this given you some food for thought when it comes to your career in graphic design?

Check out Open Colleges’ online graphic design courses and discover how you can begin an exciting and fulfilling career in graphic design!

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