What is a Graphic Designer?


CreativeGraphic Design

To err is human, we all know that. However, we are not in ancient times anymore. It’s 2020 and technology is at your fingertips, if that doesn’t contribute to your betterment, I’m not sure what will. Here is a common profession in the creative family that is often mistaken, misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Point to be taken. If you’re an educated person and running a business, especially one that deals with creative people, you ought to know what a graphic designer does, how he/she is designated and what to expect from him/her.

It’s Graphic Designer, not Graphics Designer.

For some reason, most people call this graphics designer. If you’re unsure how this profession is spelled and pronounced, you can easily refer to Google or Wikipedia. Really, it’s not that hard.

One common misconception people have about this profession is that it’s often mistaken for David Copperfield. You know the magician who made the Statue of Liberty vanish in front of a live audience.

It’s worth noting, that a graphic designer is just a mere human being with no apparent God-like powers. Thus you can’t expect a graphic designer to turn your worst work into beautiful art. Also, I often say this to people—creativity is not a switch that you flip and the magic starts to happen. Creativity is a process, it takes time that involves inspiration, careful study, and research, mixing of ideas, design principles, and laws.

So what does a graphic designer do?

Well, technically, a graphic designer operates a computer application or a set of applications to draw visual elements. These elements can then be used for screens or physical prints. Their work is based on the principles and laws of design, which is based on a mathematical calculation.

Typically, a graphic designer produces static work; still images that do not involve any motion or movement such as book covers, banners, billboard ads and etc. Some graphic designers happen to possess multiple skills from the creative family, but that does not mean all those skills are part of the graphic design package.

You cannot expect a graphic designer to know animation, motion design, 3D modeling, character rigging and etc. A graphic designer is simply what the title/designation says—graphic designer—someone who designs graphics. All those other skills require further study and clearly cannot be acquired in a year or two.

The David Copperfield delusion

Most people, at least in Bangladesh, are under the impression that a graphic designer is also a motion designer, a 2D animator, a video editor, a VFX designer, and a 3D modeler and animator. How convenient eh?

Here are a few examples that demonstrate what I mean.

Actual Facebook Job Vacancy Post
Actual Facebook Job Vacancy Post
Actual Facebook Job Vacancy Post

The science behind it

Let me help you get a clear picture. Let’s say the creative pool is the solar system and creativity is the sun while graphic design, motion design, video editing, VFX design, 3D modeling and animation are the planets. You see, each planet has its own atmosphere, weather system, axis, and etc. They orbit around a giant star because all of them are being affected by the same magnetic field. However, they also rotate on their own axis, creating a difference in exposure to the sun’s light. Also, some planets are small while others are huge and the same for their orbiting ring; earth takes 365 days to make one full circle around the sun, while Jupiter takes about 11 earth years to do the same. And… All of them are governed by a mathematical calculation. Sounds very complex, yeah?


Likewise, these professions are far apart from one another. They do share a common space but don’t work the same way. Each has its own concentration and unique disciplines to understand and master. Learning graphic design may take a few years while video editing may take longer and so on. So don’t make it sound very simple, because it’s not.

There you have it. I hope you’ve learned something old here and that you will refrain from fucking up the employment system any further.

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