So many people think that they can do Graphic Design. Just get Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign and a couple of pretty pics... put the text somewhere.... Done. Graphic Design. No. No!
Graphic Design is about visual language and communicating (many Graphic Designers prefer to call themselves Communication Designer). Visual language is something that you have to learn. Graphic Design is objective, it is vital that the message is communicated and received by the masses in the way that was intended. A Graphic Designer has to put themselves in a number of different viewpoints, if not, then they are an artist subjectively producing work that they like... Graphic Design is functional.
Graphic Design involves effective visualization of communication concepts, primarily in print and electronic media (including interface design), in the context of business and technology, socio-political, cultural and educational environments, in transmitting government and institutional aims and services, and in visually explaining and exploring medical and scientific data and processes. Clients usually determine project aims. Graphic Designers help to achieve communication goals by analyzing, structuring, planning and creating images and text to enhance visual communication for specific purposes. Graphic Designers also act as consultants.Graphic Design is all about context. Its all about the brief, about what the aims of the client is. Its not just about making things look 'pretty'. Things that look 'pretty' with no context or aim is art, not graphic design. ....
Please, dont be thinking you can 'design' just cos you have photoshop. You can't. In fact, if you are designing in Photoshop please stop right now! Do you know how to use a grid / kerning / leading / colour palette / semiotics? Even some Graphic Designers on my course aren't sure after 3 years in training. Please dont degrade the Graphic Design profession.
How many times have I designed something at work only for the client to say 'I had an idea for the design myself, i'll send it to you.'
No. No. No. 99.999% of the time, the colours are wrong, the resolution poor, the typography... (arial / times / free downloaded font anyone?) , the composition wild.... This design will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. It won't achieve its function or aim. It will just 'be there'...
If you havent been trained, just don't try and overtake my job.
You wouldn't tell a lawyer the law.
You wouldn't tell a surgeon how to use his equipment.
Don't be thinking design is any less of a profession.
On a different note...
I'm entering my final major project in an Australian Graphic Design competition.. wish me luck!