Graphic Design 101

Graphic Design is a popular job at present time. It has been there since the dawn of humanity – from the glyphs on the temples of lost civilizations to the recorded history of the Ancient Egyptians, India, Aztec and Mayans to name a few of whose history were recorded through graphics. Technology has changed but the purpose of graphic design remains the same and that is to provide information that is visually entertaining. It’s the year 2023 and I’m still seeing posts or I’ve been receiving questions about as to how to become a graphic designer or rather where graphic design will lead them. 

The Industry of Graphic Design

Before you voyage into the realm of graphic design, you must have a holistic view of the industry. Let us just split it into two hemispheres – the corporate and entertainment. The corporate setting are businesses serving utilitarian purposes to our society such as financial institutions, engineering, telecoms, information technology and manufacturing. The other hemisphere is the entertainment which provides us an escape to the frustration of our daily lives such as television series, movies, cartoons and vlogs. Oftentimes teenagers pursuing a graphic design career mostly have interest on the entertainment side including myself (simply because I love cartoons).  When they get into the actual practice some find creating branding and corporate identity boring and frustrating which is the same as in real life setting. But then working as a graphic designer in the corporate setting is actually the first step to get you into the business of graphic design. But if you want a challenge, then go to the entertainment industry that requires highly proficient skills in animation, special effects and videography.  

Tools You Need 

Now that you have a glimpse of what is about to happen to your future, you need to decide whether you want to pursue a career as a graphic designer. If so, the next thing you need to do is learn the technologies needed. As we all know, Adobe Creative Cloud is today’s best industry technology standard for graphic design. All graphic design job descriptions require a skill in Adobe Creative Cloud even though some recruiters or managers copied it from others because they don’t really know the purpose. To give a clear description, I enumerated the function of each tool.        

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphic application which means that its basic unit is a point rather than a square pixel that is why it is the tool for “drawing”. If you create a point A and a point B and draw a line in between, that is a vector thus it is called a vector graphics. Since its unit is a point, it can provide you with fine details similar to a real drawing of a technical pen.  

Adobe Illustrator is used to create logos, icons, infographics, technical diagrams and objects needed to animate in Adobe After Effects. Adobe Illustrator itself is capable of applying 3D Effects and making a flat drawing appear 3D. You can also import vector objects in 3d tools like Blender and convert them into a 3D model.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop has gained popularity because of its photo enhancement capability 1.5 decades before the filter effects in our mobile apps. Adobe Photoshop can remove wrinkles, blemishes, cellulitis and other imperfections. Other than enhancement it can even restore old and damaged photos. Back in the 2000, Adobe Photoshop was used to create the elements of a website by slicing each part and coding them. Now Adobe has extended its capability on creating GIFs as well as applying 3D effects also. Adobe Photoshop is also used for digital painting thus transcending you graphic design skills into the art world.   

Adobe Indesign

Adobe Indesign used to be the Pagemaker and is known for book and magazine layout. It is perfectly designed for layouting because of its pagination, automated table of contents, stiching and so many features you need for publishing a book or magazine. One of the powerful feature of Indesign is data merge where you can generate the same design for different information. For example you have a single design for a business card for 100 employees. All you need is to import the data and execute data merge. Another benefits of Indesign is you can create an interactive PDF where there can be buttons and videos. 

Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is known for the video special effects like smoke, lightning, melting and many more.  But as more requirements for animations are needed in the corporate industry, After Effects was also used to create animations with predefined behaviors. As mentioned above, you can import your vector graphics here in After Effects.  

Adobe Premiere

Adobe Premiere is the leading video editing tool. You can import different file formats, trim video and apply transition effects. The fun part is the creative effects that can make your video look cinematic. With the rise of the vlog industry, Adobe Premiere is now at the height of its popularity. 

Adobe Animate

Adobe Animate is the good old Macromedia Flash. It is when Adobe bought the latter that it became Adobe Animate. If you want a hardcore 2D animation then this is the software for you. Adobe Animate also allows you to draw directly on its artboard using a brush tool.  


Figma is a browser-based application tool for creating web and mobile application user interfaces. It is lightweight and there’s no need for installation. It provides you with 3 free projects and requires a subscription if you exceed. Figma provides a complete package for creating mockup design, wireframes and prototypes on how the proposed interface works.

I hope this information will help you if you pursue a career in graphic design. I studied Adobe Illustrator back in 2008 and became a full time freelance graphic designer in 2017. It has been my childhood dream to become an artist and I have financed and finished my Masters of Arts major in Multimedia Arts through working as graphic designer. For those reading this, goodluck to your voyage in the world of graphic design. Perseverance is the key.        

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Cavite, Philippines |

%d bloggers like this: