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graphic design

What is "graphic design"?

Graphic design encompasses any visual art that is created for business or practical use, as opposed to "fine arts" and other visual artwork created for personal pleasure, decoration, and so on. This is a very loose definition, but defines the creative process for this kind of artwork as created for business purposes. The images used on this website, for instance, and the way it is laid out, are all examples of graphic design.

Why do I need a graphic designer?

If you are creating a website, an brochure, a flyer, or any of dozens of different types of items representing your business, it makes a huge difference to the way potential customers view your business if that item looks like it was done by a professional. There are some people who are not professionals who have an innate talent for graphic design, but for those who don't hiring a professional makes a huge difference in the credibility of your business.

Can I use the same images for a website and a brochure?

There is a huge difference between images used on a website and images used in a hard copy brochure. While the creation of the original file may start out in the same way, web graphics are utilize the RGB (red-green-blue) color space format, while images for print are created in the CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) color space format which generally encompasses fewer overall colors.

Images for print are much larger in size, created at a much higher resolution generally starting at 300 dpi (dots per inch), while web graphics are specifically created in a very small size—72 dpi—so that a website loads quickly. A web graphic can be created from an original print graphic since resolution can be lowered. Done correctly, the web graphic will retain the crispness and clarity of the original print graphic and keep your website not only in line with your print materials, but also looking good.

The opposite scenario, creating a print graphic from a web graphic, does not work. Too much information is missing, too much information is not present, for it to have any chance of success at all. Achieving attractive, quality images on the web and in print takes expertise and talent.

Read more about images used for websites.
Read more about images used in print.