Telling someone that I’m a freelance graphic designer sometimes results in a little bit of silence. Seeing that further explanation is necessary, I usually go on to say that I design websites. That helps most people. Though in reality that explanation falls short of what I do. Design is complicated. And if you haven’t had the need to work with a graphic designer, you might not know you need one. So what does a graphic designer do and why you might benefit from working with one?

The perception

It’s not usual for me to spend hours on stock photo websites looking for the right images for a project. This results in coming across some weird ones and I often wonder under what circumstance I would ever use an image like that. (Stock photos have also spawned a very funny collection called “Women Laughing Alone with Salad” that you should visit for laughs.)

A search for images of a “graphic designer” results in images of people staring at blank computer screens while using a stylus, or lifting Pantone color swatches in the air. Usually the images are men. Bearded men. It’s not exactly like looking into a mirror.

But the stock image do reflect the perception of what a graphic designer does. I do spend a lot much time in front of my laptop

What does a graphic designer do?

Design happens in all types of places. From the postage stamp on an envelope to the logos you see every day. Whether design is used for commercial, educational, cultural, or political messages, a designer is behind it.

I communicate visually through my design.  My role is to help a client communicate their vision and message through clear, modern design. Doing this through images, words, and/or graphic elements is design. Developing a logo design takes in consideration the target audience and industry. Website design necessitates usability issues and an understanding of communicating concisely.

A more detailed explanation of the work a graphic designer does is provided by AIGA, an organization for design professionals.

Do you need a designer?

Graphic designers, like other creative people, make connections and wonder about the meaning behind what they see. There’s a desire to make something that didn’t exist before. To watch an idea move from a thought, to a sketch, eventually to a final images is exciting and drives my passion for design. It’s in your best interest to work with someone that is driven to communicate your message to others.

Finally, designers are keen observers and are curious about objects and messages. Possessing a hyper awareness of the visual and textual world around them. This post touches on what does a graphic designer do and why you may benefit from working with one.