The Evolving World of Graphic Design

I currently work part-time for Liberty University’s Office of Student Life. Every day, I sit at my desk for a few hours, lit by the glow of my laptop screen, translating words and ideas into images. My job title is “graphic designer.”

I am lucky enough to, as a sophomore in college, already have a job in my field. However, I know this job is just the beginning for me, especially in a field so closely entwined with technology. The world of graphic design is quickly changing.

For one thing, the name “graphic designer” is passing into oblivion, replaced by the more clear-cut terms User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) designers. UI designers determine how the product (for example, a company website) will appear to the customer, whereas UX designers are more concerned with how the public will interact with the product or company. These two jobs are not mutually exclusive and can be combined into one.

The social role of graphic designers is also changing as these creative individuals realize that good design can influence the public and use their skills to try to improve the world around them. Good design can affect an election, help raise funds for charity, or clearly lay out information that explains controversial topics. The twenty-first century is more visual than ever, and graphic designers are learning how to use their voices.

Despite all these changes, the definition of “graphic design” in and of itself remains essentially the same. Good design relies on both intelligence and aesthetics, as well as an understanding of how others will perceive the product. Graphic design is like putting together a puzzle, placing all the pieces to fit together correctly and eliminating anything that does not complete the picture.

Personally, I can’t wait to see where design goes next.

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