Analysis of graphic design Essay Example

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  1. Define graphic design, the industry structure, its relationship to other industries and to society as a whole.

A graphic designer primarily produces visual communication used to convey a specific message. They define concepts that are easily understood by the public or targeted audience. A graphic designer must simplify complex information and adhere to the specific needs of the client. Planning, analyzing and executing the design come under the purview of the designer.

A graphic designer is involved in designing printed material like books and magazines, designs for corporate communication and identity, computer web designs and interfaces, environmental issues and promotional designs. The visual communication appeals, evokes thinking and effectively conveys the message and the best will either instruct, inform, interpret or persuade. Graphic designers use technology and media for communicating and also factor in socio-cultural elements to best convey messages.

The graphic designer has links to the construction industry as an interior designer for commercial and residential buildings, landscape designer. For the film industry, theatre and television, sets are created. The manufacturing industry has industrial and product designers. Furniture, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, fashion, glass industry also requires designers. The visual media is increasingly attracting designers in animation, web designs and digital games. They also design illustrations, displays for exhibitions and layouts. In fact “everything we use and experience today from a newspaper, a cup, a car, a map, a computer, a medical device, a chair, a street sign, or a shelter has been conceived by a designer”(Sasaki, 2008).

The graphic designer is closely linked to society as the designer works to make a better life for the people (Bernard P, 1991). They spread the message of responsible behaviour in society and also they are the people who could convey the message of change in society by making the society aware of the changes that will foster a better life be it the removal of bias, prejudices or evils that exist. The environmental and cultural messages that affect the larger world society are best conveyed by graphic designers as they follow a language that is understood by humanity and not just one region, like messages for the UN.

  1. Employment obligations and responsibilities of a graphic designer within day to day work.

A graphic designer needs to thoroughly understand the function of a specific design piece. The client and employer must be informed about the method used to convey the requested message effectively with regard to visual impact, aesthetic creativity of the idea or information. It must be within the time limit and budget limitations of the client.

Day to day job requirement of a graphic designer is to meet clients or managers and discuss requirements, estimate the time and quotes for a particular idea. He could be busy developing and creating a concept for many ideas at the same time. He has to be innovative so there is no plagiarism. He has to judiciously use different types of media including computer based designs, draw rough sketches. If has to interact with his team which could consist of various other professionals like copywriters, printers, web developers and photographers. He has to proofread all material that is for the print media.

  1. Identify 10 workplace issues that can cause conflict between employees, employees and management or employees and clients. As a guide include: employee related issues or client related issues or computer related issues. From the 10 issues suggest possible solutions to them.

  1. Meeting deadlines is the biggest nightmare for any graphic designer because that gets him into a tizzy with the client as well as the manager. Sometimes the designer may do a hurried job to get the design out on time and it may be qualitatively inferior. In this situation it is best to give the client a realistic time frame. Then the designer must priotorise his work and work to a schedule.

  2. Unfamiliarity with latest computer software could also be difficult to handle. He must keep abreast with the latest technology and design programmes like Quark Xpress, Photoshop, FreeHand, Acrobat Director, Dreamweaver and Flash to name just a few.

  3. Handling clients can be a high pressure job beginning with design ideas and getting clients to pay the correct remuneration. Also the know-it-all client has to be dealt with tactfully or you are likely to lose the account. The solution is to have a proper contract before you begin the work so that all parties know what they are contracting. Your payment expectations and your methodology should be clearly explained.

  4. Sometimes designers take on more work than they can handle within the time frame. Everyone has to earn but you must study your own schedule before accepting a new account.

  5. The e-mails and mobiles and colleagues are also a distraction as they eat into the creative time. Schedule a time for these and switch off the mobiles while designing.

  6. The graphic designer is always facing heavy competition and criticism can give a very tangible low. It is best not to take criticism personally and to learn to accept that the team member could be right and work from there.

  7. Sometimes the team has opposing ideas or concepts or interpretations and things can really get out of hand. It is best to keep your cool and work around the problem according to client expectations.

  8. Most often clients are not clear about what they want and cannot express their needs. The graphic designer needs to be intuitive and needs to have extraordinary skills in handling a client who can pay well but does not know how to communicate what he wants.

  9. A problem with the team leader could arise if the graphic designer takes time to create the perfect design regardless of time frame. There are bound to be words exchanged. It is best to limit perfectionism or you are bound to lose out on a job.

  10. Working alone is not a problem but working in a team to aesthetically bring out the required effect is challenging. The manager must be specific about each persons role in the team as well as the relationship with the client must be maintained so that a healthy dialogue exits between manger, team and clients.

  1. What are the current wages and salaries for graphic designers?

The graphic designers at the junior level gets between $40, 000 to $55, 000 in Sydney but 40,000 to 45, 000 in Melbourne, $30,000 to 35, 000 in Brisbane. While a senior designer can get 470,000 to 75,000 in Sydney in Melbourne the rates are $60,000 to 85,000 for graphic and web designers. Senior designers using a web interface gets $85, 000 to 1,00,000 in Sydney. In Perth the designer gets paid by the hour $25-$30. These findings have been published for the year 2010 as defined by the website ‘living in Australia’

  1. A description of professional standards and ethical practices as set by the Australian graphic design Association (AGDA) or the Design Institute of Australia (DIA)

Both the authorities have laid down a code of ethics wherein in a designers responsibility to the environment and the community are highlighted so as the designer causes no harm to the natural environment or community. The social and aesthetic standards of the community must be maintained. The designer must always work in the best interest of the client within his professional duties. He must not work for the competition without informing the client. All matters related to the client have to be kept confidential. A designer must not infringe on the work of another designer and must not supplant the work. Criticism of another designers work must be valid and lead to positive outcomes. Plagiarism and ‘free pitching’ must both be taboo. The basis on which the remuneration is calculated must be conveyed to the client before hand, if a company is to benefit from the designers recommendations then the client has to be informed and no remuneration can be accepted for recommending a designer. For the purpose of publicity all information given must be correct and should not seem laudatory or biased. Clients can credit the designer for the work provided it has not been extremely changed by the client. The graphic designer must always work towards keeping the dignity of the profession intact (DIA).

  1. A definition of trademark and copyright.

According to the Australian law a trade mark is a right that is granted for a letter, number, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture and/or aspect of packaging. A registered trade mark is legally enforceable and gives you exclusive rights to commercially use, license or sell it for the goods and services that it is registered under.

“Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects the original expression of ideas, and not the ideas themselves” these may be applied to books, music, films, sound recording, newspapers, magazines, artwork. In addition the following are also protected by copyright-typographical arrangements, data bases, media broadcast, computer programmes.

  1. An explanation of how a copyright can be applied to graphic design material.

If the graphic design has not been paid for, then the copyright exits with the creator unless specified in the agreement.

Logos that are similar to the logos of other companies and or businesses is and infringement.

For advertisements the rules are a little different. If you use a similar style and layout as that of another advertisement it is not an infringement but you cannot copy the material of that advertisement.

When using a computer make sure that he typeface you are using has software licensed to you. (Australian Copyright Council)

  1. A general explanation of the purpose of contracts from both the clients and designers perspective.

An agreement between the client and the designer is legally binding. The client needs a contract so that the remuneration can be specified and agreed to for the work the client has specified. Terms and conditions can be laid out. Approval sheet for the design should be attached which is signed by the client. The time frame is known to both parties. If the work is of poor quality and not satisfactory then the contract should state what the consequence is for the designer. If the work is not completed on time or additional costs have accrued the contract should state how it should be dealt with.

  1. Identify methods through which the designer can stay informed and update knowledge in keeping up with the emergence of new technologies and trends in the industry.

The internet is a vast source of information. Graphic designers can look up blogs that have the latest information. They should keep an eye open for the new trends in designing. Interacting with the new graduates from design institutes can give them an idea about what is being taught there. They should keep an eye on advertisements aimed at graphic designers that advertise a new skill. Computer skills need to be kept up to date as more and more work is being done on computers. Go to exhibitions and see what’s happening.

  1. An outline of your personal career objectives, including a job description and possible opportunities for employment.

Employment can be found in large advertising, publishing and designing firms. They can team up with design consulting firms or as part of a design team in business organisation. Free-lance designers have to work longer hours to establish themselves. Designers can work from home, from the client’s office or from a design studio. Designers will have to face rejection of their work or frustration when the design is not as creative or aesthetic and will work overtime to meet production demands especially in the print and publishing industry as thy have a shorter deadlines. “Designers are business owners and have set hours like any business” (Dryer T).


Australian Government. IP Australia retrieved

Bernard P (1991) The Social Role of the Graphic Designer. Lecture delivered in Minneapolis in 1991. Reprinted in Essays on Design I: AGI’s Designers of Influence, London 1997, retrieved

Sasaki S (2008) The Role of Graphic Design in International Development was originally for Seoul’s 2008 Design Olympiad in Seoul, Korea (9-12 October 2008) retrieved

Design institute of Australia. DIA Code of Ethics retrieved

Dryer T for Graphic Design Forum. Design Client Code of Conduct retrieved