As an industry, graphic design can feel vague. With graphics everywhere you look, and images performing all sorts of roles, it’s hard to know what a Graphic Designer might do or how to become one.

At the most basic level, Graphic Designers are professionals who communicate messages through visual representations. They can inform, inspire action, and connect directly with their audience through beautiful graphics.

Although it may seem incredible, the graphic design industry has been around since the late 1800s when industrial technology first made it possible to do more advanced technical design work separate from a publication’s written components. Designs such as logos started even earlier than that, though. Some even believe it started with branding on domestic animals all the way back in 13th century Egypt.

The term “graphic design” was coined in 1922, and these days, there are talented designers all over the world doing artistic projects their predecessors could never have imagined possible.

What’s Included in the Graphic Design Industry?

There may be an overwhelming number of how designs are created, but there’s actually a specific set of services Graphic Designers usually offer.

According to industry research by IBISWorld, the graphic design industry in comprised of the following activities:

  • Visual Communication Design
  • Corporate Identification Design like logos
  • Graphic Art
  • Creating Illustrations
  • Medical Illustrations

Although these are listed as typical activities, there are limitless options for skilled Graphic Designers in the digital world.

4 Ways Graphic Designers are Using Photoshop

With creativity being at the heart of graphic design, creative technology comes in handy for everyday work. Imagine if all of your favorite animated shows were hand-drawn and then digitized—there would certainly be many fewer options available!

Adobe Photoshop is a must-have tool for professional Graphic Designers. In fact, it’s often listed in job descriptions as a requirement for any role that might require design work, even if the title isn’t Graphic Designer.

A few common Photoshop tasks in the graphic design industry include: preparing images for print, color correction, retouching, creating image composites, and creating graphics for digital displays.

Prepare Images for Print

At its core, Photoshop is a photo editing software. It has a long list of interesting features to create artwork, but many Graphic Designers still use the basic functions on a regular basis.

Tasks like cropping and rotating an image are simple and Photoshop makes it easy. There are also many aspects of images the program can adjust, such as brightness, contrast, and saturation. These functions make it painless to get images ready for a picture-perfect print.

Graphic Designers often use Photoshop to prepare images for projects like brochures, flyers, and catalogues. It’s an asset for any creative project where images will be in print.

Color Correction & Retouching

In graphic design, all elements of an image matter. Think of the most beautiful picture you can recall. What makes them memorable? Is it the color? The scenery? Or perhaps smiling people? Any aspect of a digital image can be Photoshopped to create an ideal vision.

Photoshop offers many ways to correct color to create a certain mood or effect. Knowledgeable Designers can change the tone, add a color to make the picture feel warmer or cooler, or even turn the image black and white.

There’s also a comprehensive suite of healing tools to retouch small spots you may not want in an image. These are commonly used for tasks such as removing unwanted blemishes or touching up damaged areas on a digitized photograph.

Creating Image Composites

A composite image is one that’s created using multiple graphics or images. Most creative images you see in magazines or on album covers are created by graphic designers through this compositing process.

Photoshop has excellent capabilities for taking bits and pieces from one image to another to create anything you want. When combining images or adding illustrations, Designers have the option to use the layers feature, which allows them to separate the image and work on individual aspects down the pixel level.

Composite images can be simple pieces of artwork, or complex fantastical images. It includes the ability to add someone to a photo they weren’t in, such as a family member in a family picture, or remove an unwanted photobomber. Many creative composite images are also used in ads, both print and digital.

Graphics for Digital Display

According to Adobe, Photoshop transforms images into “flights of pure imagination.” It’s perhaps no surprise then, that it’s great at creating graphics specifically for digital displays.

With the ability to add creative elements and manipulate individual parts of virtually any image, the quality of graphics you can create for digital use is incredibly high, making Photoshop an indispensable tool among Graphic Designers.

One of the best features for digital display design is the array of masking tools, which allow you to “hide'' certain parts of layers in an image. The program also offers a variety of special effect filters to change the appearance of images. From transforming an image to sepia tone or using motion blur to create the effect that an object is moving, special effects make it possible to transform an image in almost any way imaginable. You can even use masks and filters together.

Where to Learn Adobe Photoshop for Graphic Design Skills

If you’re ready to learn Photoshop, there are in-person and live online learning options, as well as specialized topics.

Noble Desktop offers several Photoshop courses. From Photoshop in a Day to Photoshop Bootcamp to Advanced Retouching, there are classes for beginners and more advanced users.

Want to skip the commute? Find live online Photoshop courses using the Noble Desktop Classes Near Me tool. The Classes Near Me tool allows you to compare available courses from multiple training schools. You can use the same tool to locate Photoshop courses in your area.