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Specific areas within Graphic Design

I'm really not sure where to place this thread, so apologies if this isn't the right area.

It's quite simple, I was wondering what the actual 'areas' within graphic design are? So for example, typography, logo design, colour theory etc I expect the list would be long but I think it would be good to have it to be able to go through and study the different areas in a systematic manner. I feel I am a little all over the place when learning graphic design.. one day a tutorial on photo-manipulation, another day reading a logo design book... I need some structure.

Any help will be appreciated!

Tony Hardy

That list from AIGA pretty much has it all covered.

Are you in training at the minute GilmoreVisuals? What is it that you actually want to be doing? :)
I am currently studying and completing an apprenticeship in a graphic design firm, but I don't feel like I am learning much of the design aspect, so I am trying to learn through online resources. I agree that the AIGA has all areas covered, however I don't feel like I can structure everything on it as it feel a little too vague to get down to the nitty gritty aspects I want to understand. An example of this would be designing my site which you (and others) replied to, pointing to the need of a grid, something I hadn't really thought about previously. So using these forums for example is a great resource, but I hope to learn things without having to design, post, wait then receive feedback, if you see where I am coming from.

I found this guy on youtube (one of the few theoretical (almost philosophical) video explanations of design) which I found particularly interesting... but if you or anyone knows of similar resources please link!

Tony Hardy

Did you study through a college or Uni? If no, I'd strongly recommend a decent college course, that's where I picked up a lot of my theory. Uni, for the most part, I felt was completely pointless.

If college isn't an option, there are some get books out there. "What is Graphic Design?" by Quentin Newark was what I was given to read through and to be honest, it did it's job.

Which area of the design world are you mostly interested in? I think it's a fairly substantial task to learn everything about everything. Fair enough have a hand in and a little understanding, but I think it comes down to the old "Jack of all Trades, master of none". :)
Yeah, I have done an A level in graphic design (B grade) and now doing a college course (once a week) but so far (after a 4 months) it doesn't feel like I am learning that much. Sure, here and there another trick on Photoshop or illustrator is always useful but would like to get into something a little more challenging. I found this blog article which is the sort of thing I am looking for. I'm not too sure exactly what areas I want to develop, but I guess design layout for posters/leaflets/business cards etc would be something I would like to work at.


Staff member
A course shouldn't really be teaching you tricks and how to use a program, it should be teaching you the fundamentals that will be the basis of the work you'll be doing.. mind you my uni degree wasn't exactly sit down and follow the teachers instructions to learn either, especially after the first year, we went in on average 2 times a week if that lol.

You will/should develop your own style and expertise based around these fundamentals (think layout/proportion/typography etc).

I can do most of the things listed in the article I linked to but I'm not as 'deep' into all the nitty gritty fancy stuff you can do because my area of expertise is my 3D work, it's just that graphic design compliments my work (as does photography) and allows me to offer both extra items to my client (more money :)) along with putting those finishing touches to my 3D renderings.

I did a college course before going to uni, btec art and design foundation (it's basically the equivalent of 2 a levels) because all my old courses (c&g design, gcse/a-level graphic design) had been design orientated and lacked some of the more 'natural' elements you get from art. The course covered a lot more than just design and in my view actually taught me more about different techniques/approaches than a design course, so it's entirely possible you've picked the wrong course and it doesn't suit your requirements.