Where might Graphic Design be used?

Graphic design is used everywhere. As discussed in my previous blog, (What is Graphic Design) we have seen that it is used for posters, logos and advertisements, etc.

In this blog, I am going to explore where graphic design is used in each of the following: Film/TV productions, Computer games, Magazines/newspapers, Websites and Apps. All of these areas use graphic design to achieve their desired products but in different ways.

Film and TV Productions:                                                                                                   Graphic design is used very widely in film and TV productions. Without it, these productions would either not proceed or would be of a very poor quality.

The first area that graphic design is used for is the creation of props to be used. These props can be used for dressing the set (books, upholstery and soft furnishings, devices), special effects (cars/people in dangerous situations) or to be used by the character (walking stick, umbrella, gun). Props are used to enhance the visual experience of a film and to help introduce a different dimension to the production.

The next area that graphic design in used is the creation of stickers and wrappers for items. This is used to create an alternative aspect within the production as well as if the company does not have licensing rights for such products. Instead, an alternative is created with a different logo and style. This

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Fig 1, Morley Cigarettes (Fake copy of Marlboro)

can either be similar to that of an actual product or completely different. On the subject of creating different logos for a product, an alternate logo/sign may be created for a business or several that are features within a production. For example: a business, restaurants and pubs, shops, etc. This is done for the same reason as why products need alternate stickers and wrappers.

Graphic Design is also used in the promotional department. This is where posters, DVD artwork and print collateral are created to promote and support the production. In addition, graphic design is used in many different ways in the pre-production process, including VFX (Visual Effects). This can incorporate the design of the film titles, on-screen graphics and user interfaces.

In conclusion, the Film and TV production industry uses graphic design on a very large scale to enhance the final outcome. Without it, many of the productions may not be of the quality we are used to.

Computer Games:                                                                                                                 Graphic design is used widely in computer games too. For a game to be created, there are several different items that need to be considered. These include what the world will look like, how the characters will look and what items will be included in the world. E.g. cars and other transportation, wildlife

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Fig 2, Character design

and people. When designing a character, they will need to be designed in detail. This includes how their skin will look (colour, features, etc) and the clothes that will be wearing (type of clothing, colour). The creation of the environment and scenery will need to be designed for the concept of the game story.

For example, if a game was set in the desert, a desert with appropriate scenery would need to be created. In addition, graphic design is also used for the construction of props that are needed within the game, such as billboards, body armour, doors, etc. Props help the game look better and also give the player a more interactive gaming experience.

Moreover, graphic design is also used for the creation of the user-interface of the game, allowing the user to play the game and change the settings. Promotional aspects are produced through the usage of graphic design too, including the game cover artwork and advertisements on posters or adverts.

Magazines/Newspapers:                                                                                                      Within the journalism profession, graphic design is used on a regular basis to create magazines and newspapers. This is usually used to produce the front cover and layout of the publication. The visual layout is extremely important as it will either attract the audience’s attention or it will not, meaning that the product will not be purchased. Images and artwork will need to be included in the paper to help as a reference and to address the articles written.

Front covers include images and title texts to inform the audience what will be included in the issue. Large colourful images are used to attract the attention of the audience as well as large bold texts that are sometimes in colour, being

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Fig 3, Magazine Front Cover

dependent on the background used. The fonts of the titles will also need to considered. They need to be readable and also have some relation as to what they are being used in conjunction with. For example, if an article was written about the history of the wild west, an appropriate font would need to be used, similar to that used in that specific time period. In addition, the inside of the publication needs to have an acceptable layout and typeface. If the cover is impressive but the internal layout is not, the audience may not make the purchase.

Websites:                                                                                                                                          This section is very similar to how graphic design is used in magazines and newspapers. The visual layout is the most important factor as it will either make or break the website in term of user numbers. The layout needs to

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Fig 4, Adobe Website

be clear and concise so any user can navigate the site easily. The use of texts will be included to inform the audience what the websites content is and images will also be added so as a reference point, in regards to the text or contents.

Logos are also another area that graphic design is used. A company may decide to include a logo on their website to notify the audience who it belongs to.

Apps:                                                                                                                                             Graphic design is also used in the creation of apps. It is used to create the

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Fig 5, Apple App Icons

app’s icon as well as what will be included in the app, whether it will include a game or a news/magazine layout. If a game is to be created, the use of graphic design will be similar to that of creating a computer game, however, if the app will be a news design, it will be used similar to that of a magazine/newspaper publication.


Conclusion:                                                                                                                                           In conclusion, graphic design is used for many different creative reasons and is used almost everywhere. Without it, the world would look quite plain. It is used as a tool to communicate information visually when this cannot be done through the use of verbal text.

One Reply to “Where might Graphic Design be used?”

  1. You have identified clearly the key areas Graphic Design is used throughout media production, perhaps the only area missing coverage is Advertising, but you have essentially alluded to this.
    In terms of Games it is fair to say that whilst a character is designed, this is a separate specialism of Character Design and the act of implementing this is Modelling and Animation; there is a wealth of Graphic Design in most games used to set the scene in locations as is the case with TV and Films, beyond the usual marketing materials for the game itself.

    It is fair to say that Graphic Design uses visual language to communicate with a wide-range of audiences and this can be both to the conscious and sub-conscious levels; arguably it works best when speaking to the latter and goes by largely unnoticed.

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