What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design the art and craft of combining words, images, graphic elements in an artistic manner to communicate a message. A graphic design piece is a vehicle for getting that message across in a visual and engaging format.
A graphic designer creates logos, posters, bus wraps, billboards, packaging and marketing materials, depending on the industry—graphic designers work at magazines, advertising and marketing agencies, and more. Selecting photos and typefaces, and developing layouts for advertisements, annual reports, brochures, magazines and other projects are also part of the gig. It must be noted that social media is is fertile ground for graphic design - from adverts to memes.
Every business, big or small, needs the services of a graphic designer to create media that represents that company to the public. Shoddy artwork, signage, adverts and social media content portrays the company in a less than favorable light. This is why graphic designers are hired to ensure that all visual communication looks professional, is eye-catching, and most of all, emparts the correct message.
Which are the best graphic design courses in Durban?
It really comes down to the type of education you require. You can either do shorter skills-based courses or a longer degree course that is a commitment in both time and money. Here are the best two in Durban :
Pixel Craft Training
Google reviews indicate that the best graphic design courses in Durban are at Pixel Craft. Pixel Craft offers practical media and design courses that teach you exactly what you need to know to produce professional design work.They offer certified, practical training in the big 3 of graphic design - Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
Durban University of Technology
If you are looking for a course that lasts about 4 years then a University such as Durban University of Technology will be a good place to look at. Being a government institute, they only take a certain amount of students so you will have to met entry requirements. Also with the number of protest and strikes that occur at government institutes be prepared for self-study.
What types of Graphic Design are there?
Corporate Identity : A brand is a relationship between a business or organization and its audience. A brand identity is how the organization communicates its personality, tone and essence, as well as memories, emotions and experiences. Visual identity graphic design is exactly that: the visual elements of brand identity that act as the face of a brand to communicate those intangible qualities through images, shapes and color.
Advertising : Companies depend on successful marketing efforts to tap into their target audience’s decision-making process. Great marketing engages people based on the wants, needs, awareness and satisfaction they have about a product, service or brand. Since people will always find visual content more engaging, graphic design helps organizations promote and communicate more effectively. A design with the right elements, colours and typography will "speak" to the right audience.
User Interface / User Experience : Ever been to a website and found it frustrating to use ? A good designer will minimize the "friction" a user experiences when trying to access information on the the site. UI designers specialize in websites, desktop apps, mobile apps, web apps and games. They work closely with UX (user experience) designers (who determine how the app works) and UI developers (who write code to make it work).
Publications : Publications are long-form pieces that communicate with an audience through public distribution. They have traditionally been a print medium. Publication design is a classic type of design—think books, newspapers, magazines and catalogs. However, there’s recently been a significant rise in digital publishing.
Packaging : Packaging designers create concepts, develop mockups and create the print-ready files for a product. This requires expert knowledge of print processes and a keen understanding of industrial design and manufacturing. Because packaging design touches so many disciplines, it’s not uncommon for designers to find themselves creating other assets for a product such as photography, illustrations and visual identity.
Motion Graphics : “Motion graphics designer” is a somewhat new specialty for designers. Formally reserved for TV and film, technological advances have reduced production time and costs, making the art form more accessible and affordable. Now, motion graphics is one of the newest types of design and can be found across all digital platforms, which has created all sorts of new areas and opportunities.
Signage : Environmental graphic design visually connects people to places to improve their overall experience by making spaces more memorable, interesting, informative or easier to navigate.
Graphic Art : Graphic art and illustration are often seen as being the same as graphic design, however they’re each very different. Designers create compositions to communicate and solve problems, graphic artists and illustrators create original artwork. Their art takes a number of forms, from fine art to decoration to storytelling illustrations.
What skills does a graphic designer need to be successful?
A graphic designer needs to possess creative abilities, artistic aptitude and design software competency. The designer has to use his creative abilities to translate the clients message into visuals through the use of the correct colours, types and elements. A designer has to have artistic aptitude to make the correct design choices - choosing the wrong colours will miscommunicate the message entirely as every colour have connotation to it.
Software competency is critical. A designer should, at the very least, be able to use Adobe photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. - the industry standard pixel and vector editing software. InDesign is also highly recommended for multi-page layouts such as magazines and brochures. It is recommended to attend courses that are led by instructors who are certified in these applications as they can be easy to learn but extremely difficult to master to the level of where a professional designer should be.