Graphic design is often referred to as communication design. This is the art of bringing ideas to life with visual content and can be done with more than just images. Words can also be included to support the design. This type of design can be applied to something as small as a postage stamp or can be used in a full-length film.
Most people will associate graphic design with the instant image. For example, a movie poster. This will feature images from the movie or photographs of the stars along with catchy taglines and details of the movie itself. All of this will be carefully laid out on the poster so that it can be taken in by the viewer in an instant. The layout and most of the design will have been created and implemented by a graphic designer.
Some of those who work in graphic design would describe it as art that has a purpose. It may include photos, illustrations, symbols, and logos. The designer will have a strong understanding of shape, color, type and texture and how to use these elements to convey a message and attract the attention of the viewer.
Traditionally, the designer would use a sketchpad to work out ideas and despite advances in the technology, many will still take this approach to get their initial plans down on paper. However, these days, most of the work involved in graphic design is done on the computer. These are an essential element of the design process as they allow much more creative freedom. As computers have increased in their usage, so has graphic design software. Specific types such as Photoshop are used regularly to enhance images. However, different designers will take a different approach to their work and it may also vary according to the type of project that is being worked on.