What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Overall, a graphic designer is responsible for a brand’s visual elements, especially the webpage that many companies depend upon to generate leads at scale. But a graphic designer doesn’t necessarily have to focus on the digital side of the marketing mix; many successful designers also specialize in the print media niche. Either way, the best pros are proficient in several disciplines, making their contributions all the more valuable to marketers. 

So, what exactly does a graphic designer do, and how do they help brands communicate with people more effectively? Here’s a quick breakdown to outline the basics of what the job actually entails.

What does a graphic designer do for print media?

Some graphics designers specialize in print media, which still requires a high technical proficiency. These pros use the same software as digital graphic designers, but the difference lies in the result. Whether they be billboards, restaurant menus, or business brochures, producing physical media requires a particular talent to create those high-definition graphics and photos we take for granted.

Among other talents, graphic designers know the ins and outs of subtleties like typography, photography, fashion, or anything else that adds value to print media. But always remember that the best also possess an intangible quality: marketing talent. Knowing how to use pro-grade software like Photoshop and Adobe Creative Cloud is one thing; creating a great product with them is another challenge entirely.

What does a graphic designer do for a website?

On the digital side, you have web designers who have the same skills but with key differences. Mainly, a digital graphic designer knows how digital media look best on a website. For example, you may have a great logo picked out, but once your graphic designer works with it, you discover that the file isn’t even in the proper format, a vector file. A digital designer also knows web code like PHP, HTML, and CSS, which helps them make a website’s graphics load faster and display at a higher quality.

However, most of them don’t offer to perform search engine optimization (SEO) services, but there is a little bit of SEO involved when it comes to proper alt tags and tactful no-follow links. Usually, if a job requires a full SEO audit, a graphic designer takes a back seat to other marketers, yet their contributions are still incredibly valuable to brands. Without web design services, digital marketers wouldn’t be able to capture a website visitor’s attention and keep them interested in the brand.

In a mature website, web designers plan everything down to the website’s icon in the browser tab. Maybe a banner image isn’t really highlighting the brand’s strengths, or perhaps the media needs compressing? So, a graphic designer might recommend changing the placement of visual elements further down the page for a better impact. Sometimes, adding a simple graphic to a lead capture pop-up can yield better engagement.

Ultimately, a graphic designer’s primary responsibilities boil down to communicating brand messages through visual elements.


Infographic created by Dogtown Media – mhealth app developer