Graphic design is used whenever visual intricacy and creativity are applied to the presentation of text and imagery. Contemporary design practice has been extended to the modern computer, in particular WYSIWYG user interfaces, often referred to as interactive design, or multimedia design.
Anywhere there is a need to communicate visually, there is potential enhancement of communications through graphic design. Here are a few examples:
From road signs to technical schematics, from interoffice memorandums to reference manuals, graphic design enhances transfer of knowledge. Readability is enhanced by improving the visual presentation of text. Intricate and clever pictures are used when words cannot suffice.
Graphic designs have a unique ability to sell a product or idea through effective visual communications. It is applied to products as well as elements of company identity like logos, colors, and text, together defined as branding. See advertising. Branding has increasingly become important in the range of services offered by many graphic designers, alongside corporate identity and the terms are often used interchangeably.
Graphics are used in textbooks for subjects such as geography, science, and math to illustrate theories and diagrams. A common example of graphics in use to educate is diagrams of human anatomy. Graphic design is also applied to layout and formatting of educational material to make the information more accessible and more readily understandable.
From decoration, to scenery, to visual story telling, graphic design is applied to entertainment. From cover to cover in novels and comic books, from opening credits to closing credits in film, from programs to props on stage, graphic design helps set the theme and the intended mood.
From scientific journals to news reporting, the presentation of opinion and facts is often improved with graphics and thoughtful compositions of visual information. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, television and film documentaries may use graphic design to inform and entertain.
On the Web
Graphic designers have long been involved in web design. Combining visual communication skills with the interactive communication skills of user interaction and online branding, graphic designers often work with web developers to create both the look and feel of a web site and enhance the online experience of web site visitors. In the job field, companies these days look for someone who can do both graphic and web design. There is a great deal of argument in the professional design community about whether or not this trend is positive. Although it has created new job opportunities for skilled graphic designers, it has also created a glut of web designers who think they can do graphic design but really have little artistic talent. It is important for designers to understand the intricacies of the other medium before offering the skill as a professional service (transitioning from graphic design to web design).