Graphic designers develop and prepare information for publication with particular emphasis on clarity of communication and the matching of information styles to audience requirements.
Graphic designers sometimes refer to their area of specialisation as visual communication and some university courses use this as the course title.
The information they deal with not only requires a sound understanding of text based communication but also requires them to skilfully use the communication properties of symbols, colours and pictures.
They prepare concept layouts and mock-ups to discuss project details with clients. They prepare or subcontract diagrams, illustrations and photography. They resolve all communication elements into a final format to suit the required physical or digital media.
They select paper and other printing materials, resolve manufacturing details and produce instructions for others involved in the reproduction process. They organise and oversee proofs and colour separations to prepare for printing and liaise with suppliers who specialise in the many forms of digital and computer based information distribution mechanisms.
Graphic designers often work as part of a project development team. While other specialists such as marketing managers and advertising specialists work on the strategies of distributing information to the market place and determining beneficial product positioning the graphic designer may be working on the image and branding that will appeal to and attract the intended customer.
The immense volume of visual material produced to support both commercial and cultural purposes means that the areas of employment open to graphic designers are very broad. There are many opportunities for employment within companies that have constant graphic requirements as well as great scope for self employment selling services to businesses and organisations with only occasional needs.