What can a graphic designer do?

Thanks to the convenience that internet gives us, it becomes easier to follow up your friends even we live so far away. I believe most of my close friends have known I am currently a college student who is studying graphic design in U.S. (College? Yeah, you are right, I am pursing my second bachelor degree, not a master degree.) But, what does a graphic design student actually learn? Are we design logos, posters or brochures? I constantly being asked about these questions again and again. And here’s my answer.

What is graphic design?

When you typed in the google search bar, the definition of graphic design is the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.

We design logos, posters and brochures, but that’s not the only thing that I learn from school. The variety of the courses that my school gives us the chance to experience different field in design. For instance, we learn the traditional graphic design like typography, the layout, brand identity and also the general knowledge of graphic design, at the same time, we learn photography, videography, some basic coding in web design class, design the user interface on the app in UI/UX class, 3D modeling and some animation in 3D class and using design elements to make cool animation in motion graphic class.

It seems a lot to learn, but that’s how much that a graphic designer can do in the real world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every graphic designer needs to be very good at all of this, I’m just saying there are so many different types of graphic designer who are working on the different field in the industry but all related to the visual art.

Different types of graphic designer

After the brief explanation about the classes I’m taking at my school, I bet most of you still don’t know what that is. Let me break it down to different design-related roles and explain each of them specifically.

  1. Editorial design: Basically, the editorial designer’s job including edit the magazine layout, annual report layout by using different typeface and grid system. Their job is to organize the content including the imagery and the article and make them look good and easy to read.
  2. Web design: More and more people are going to this field due to the high demand that it has nowadays. A web designer needs to know HTML/CSS knowledge and of course the generally design knowledge. Most of them works for advertising agencies or web development firm.
  3. UI/UX design: these two designer are often work together or some of the company even combine them together nowadays, a UX designer cares how the product feel, the main task to a UX designer will be how to make the app logically flows from one step to the next. Meanwhile, a UI designer cares how the product look and how it lay out, they design each screen or page and make sure they use visual communication to follow the route that UX designer design.
  4. Motion graphic design: using graphic design principles to create video then bring still graphics to life with visual effect. Most of motion graphic designers are familiar with 3D program as well, the main goal is still communicate with the costumer. It just use different way to present. You can see motion graphic works on the commercial or the concerts as well.
  5. 3D designer: 3D program can apply on different field of art, be more specific for 3D graphic designers, they often use the 3D program to create life-like image or they will cooperate with visual affect program to create some cool motion graphic pieces.

There are still many different types of graphic design jobs that I didn’t cover, but think about that, isn’t that crazy that knowing there are so many different things that a graphic designer can do.

No matter what design-related roles that you take. As a designer, I think the most important task that we all share is using our work to communication with people. The process usually includes lots of research about topic, find the reference, decide the vibe you want to go, start sketching out the idea and then bring it into the computer create a digital version.


Currently, I am a junior design student, I haven’t decided which route I want to go by far. I just want to keep the option open and exploring different program at this point. Although learning a new program from the beginning is always stressful, once you get used to the program, everything is getting better and faster than you think. Then you will always want to learn more and dig in more by yourself after that. It’s important to get the ability to create some cool work, but I think the try and error process is the most important part to me. By failing multiple time, you start to learn how to break down to different steps and build your own design process.

I hope this can help you guys at least get the idea about what am I doing in U.S, and I can’t wait to share more stuff to you. Peace out!