It’s strategic visual communication, the bulk of my daily works. A graphic designer heavily relies on strategy and intuition. Some messages, such as those on traffic signs, don’t have to be visually beautiful, they just have to communicate effectively. Some messages, such as those on marketing campaigns, however, need to be expressed creatively with the highest visual appeal for them to be relevant and effective.
I once believed that the graphic designer position was a general all-in-one Swiss-Army-knife style of artist. I used to assume that if one makes graphics using a computer, one is qualified to be a graphic designer. In truth, the graphic designer position heavily focuses on communication effectiveness using a combination of typography, iconography, photography and other visual elements. This doesn’t mean that a graphic designer is also a typographer, an illustrator, a 3D modeler or a photographer. A graphic designer, very much like designers of other fields, utilize a mixture of creativity and existing products to create something new with its own identity and aesthetics.
In many ways, I am lucky that my experience has helped me to obtain the necessary skills to work as a graphic designer more efficiently. I started my creative path in fine arts, and as technology became more advanced and accessible, I adopted the personal computer as my main tool for art, whether it’s sketching, painting or modeling. During my college years, I built a student-run photography studio, and I only recruited the best photographers in the area. Of course, the videography option was also a necessity for any photography studio. Editing photos and videos is time-consuming work. The job required professional DSLRs, top-quality lenses and powerful computers; it’s an expensive business to get into. I learned much from this team of passionate photographers and videographers. With my experience in fine arts, computer graphics and photography, I have become a much more efficient graphic designer. Sometimes when I find myself in a team that’s short of an artist, I have the necessary skills and knowledge to fill in the missing positions and get the job done.