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Digital Design Primer 1: Introduction

Everybody knows that computers are the gateways to a vast world of information. But have you ever wondered why the websites you visit look just the way they are? In freelance graphic design, it is the right of every person here to know just what goes on behind every web page because after all, that’s where the future is.

Open up your computer, and load your favorite webpage. Look at what you see. Go through blogs and corporate websites, or even check the front-page news of your online newspaper of choice.

Why do the websites look like that?

The process of creating digital elements that show up on various media both in print and electronic is called digital design. Graphic artists and creative designers who work exclusively on these two formats are called digital designers.

If writers are the meat, these guys are the backbone of digital media. They are responsible for creating eye-catching graphics that will draw the viewer’s attention to the printed page, or to the website. Without digital designers, we may very well have been stuck with computers that used the command line alone.

In this section, I’ll give you guys a primer of what digital design is, its breadth and scope, and how you can tell if a so-called designer is worth his price or not.

What Differentiates Digital Designers from Creative Designers?

If creative designers were the professionals responsible for ensuring that the visuals and color schemes for the logo branding and overall image management of a brand were in line with the creative director’s plan of attack, digital designers are the people who do pretty much the same thing—but do so through computers and digital imaging programs.

From the description alone, you can tell that the digital artist has a lot of ground to cover. The digital designer in any marketing and branding team is the go-to person when it comes to what the web layout of this promo website, or the layout of that flyer, should look like.

In general, both creative and digital designers are trained similarly on the onset. But when it comes down to application, digital designers tend to utilize computers more than anything else. Creative elements are created from scratch using programs like Adobe Photoshop, and whether the graphical element will grace the pages of printed paper or hit the Internet via a website, the hands-on approach used by digital designers is on a whole less complex but more involved.

The Two Factions of Digital Design

There are generally two faces in the world of digital design.

One involves the print media. Previously, we mentioned that one of the biggest responsibilities brand management teams had to face was the presentation of printed materials. Creative graphic designers are in charge of this, and are further subdivided into an advertising artwork artist and a print designer.

The other field of interest for a digital designer involves the Internet and digital media. This person makes it his responsibility to design web pages, create graphics to be used by clients on the web, and thus participates more in the fields of web design and digital illustration.

That’s it, for now. In the next post, we will discuss at length the two types of digital designers, as well as other aspects of the digital design trade.