Graphic Design Research and Study Opportunities

Thousands of study and academic opportunities in Graphic Design are available internationally. Conferences and summer schools in Graphic Design are organized regularly in the best academic centers of the world. The majority of universities and many foundations also offer BA, MA, and Ph.D. programs in Graphic Design as wells as postdoctoral research grants, awards, and fellowships. Below you will find the updated list of international opportunities available in Graphic Design.

Scholarships in Graphic Design

Fellowships in Graphic Design

Graphic Design Conferences

Graphic design relevant accounts on Twitter

Graphic design as a discipline

Hundreds of times a day, we are exposed to what graphic designers create. In the era of visual learning, both businesses and individuals try to reach us with the visual representation of the information they want to deliver. That very process, translating the desired idea, emotions, and message through visual materials, is the responsibility of graphic designers. Technological advancements brought the necessity to create visuals for the digital world and offered numerous tools for doing that. 

As an activity, the creation of visuals objects existed maybe as long as we humans live. Most of the first records of graphic design craft date back to Egyptian hieroglyphs, at least 17,000 years-old cave paintings. 

Currently, graphic designers are an inseparable part of business organizations, especially for marketing departments. Many business outcomes, such as the volume of sales, the level of brand awareness or recognition, etc., are directly related to graphic design's success. 

Graphic design is a specialization where professionals create visual content to communicate messages, form associations, and lead the viewers to predefined marketing or other goals. Such a deep psychological influence can't be simply implemented by learning purely technical skills to use graphic design software. Graphic designers should clearly understand people's perceptions with certain shapes, colors, and layouts to construct visuals that hit the right points on the brain. Besides, successful graphic design is about real out of box creativity, the ability to both catch the trends and dictate new ones. 

Graphic design has its kind of legislation, consisting of graphic design elements and principles. The elements include:

  • Color
  • Form 
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Space
  • Texture 

Those are the key visual factors graphic designers should know how to work with. There are also the main principles graphic designers should keep in mind. 

These graphic design principles include:

  1. Balance: the visual should look pleasant and do not "weight heavy" due to many and asymmetric creative solutions
  2. Contrast: the background and the main design elements should appear in the proper contrast so that the latter stand out and stick in the viewer's brain
  3. Emphasis: make sure the viewer's visual focus is kept on the most important element. 
  4. Movement: other than real motion, this principle makes sure the eye of the viewer smoothly slides through the elements of the visual and doesn't get stuck in someplace
  5. Proportion: the visual size and weight of the elements should be proportional to each other and do not look artificially bigger or smaller

Besides the mentioned, graphic designers should also be excellent communicators, as very often they work with clients who request visuals for their ideas. It's not easy for non-professionals to clearly explain what they imagine in their mind. Moreover, clients might often imagine something and fail to understand how it can be when implemented completely. 

So, graphic designers should also have great empathy, communication, and cooperation skills to figure out different projections according to clients' needs and the principles mentioned above.  

Graphic design studies

The specialization of a designer, in general, is a widespread profession. You might find many academic degrees and short training which can prepare you for a career. On the other side, there is also a big demand for graphic designers in the job market, based on their connection to almost all life spheres described above. 

The academic path of graphic designer students starts with a bachelor's or associate degree in Graphic design. In parallel to the general education on the main principles of design, you will learn highly developed computer skills. 

The two main investments in a Graphic designer's career include design programs and computers with above-average power. The main graphic design programs include Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. You would need to buy and install the original versions of that software, and there is a need for powerful technology to use that software. 

There are exactly Graphic Design Degrees in most universities, which include underlying and communication classes, where students learn about digital processes, design, and typography. 

You might study graphic design in Digital Art & Animation degrees, where you will gain skills for illustrating or animating. 

There is also a multimedia design degree, which gains skills for different media forms. Graphic design can also be studied during communications, marketing, or PR degrees, which among technical skills, will also teach the way to communicate and persuade audiences. 

There are also degrees not directly related to graphic design, but still, they give you a chance to explore the skill. Those degrees include: 

  • Animation and Special Effects
  • 3D Graphics
  • Commercial and Advertising Art
  • Digital Arts
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Product Design
  • Drawing
  • Photography.
  • Web Development.

Those degrees' main purpose is to teach you how to apply artistic and computer techniques for interpreting commercial concepts. Professors of the mentioned degrees will guide you through art and design, printmaking, concepts sketching., color theory, modeling, etc. 

Graphic design careers

It might sound strange what you should read under this subheading, as it seems the graphic designer's only career option is a graphic designer. However, there are different directions within this specialization, and depending on which one you choose, your sphere of activity will be different. 

Visual Identity graphic design

Graphic designers who work in this field contribute to branding that is harmonic to the brand's core identity and main characteristics. Within this cooperation, graphic designers may develop all the company's branding elements, including logo, typography, color palette, image libraries, style guidelines, etc. 

Marketing & advertising graphic design

As already mentioned, graphic designers are especially needed for the company's marketing or communication departments. Here are where the company's ideas are generated and promoted to large audiences. Designers prepare visuals for online and offline advertising channels for this type of graphic design job, making eye-catchy visual materials for the company's target audience. 

User interface graphic design

UI designers are widely demanded in IT companies, as they design the overall convenience of the user experience in different digital transforms. Here, besides purely focusing on graphic design's main principles, the designer should also consider the design's functionality. UI designer works on visual components of the on-screen buttons, menus, sections, etc. They can also design the interface for the whole platform: the application, game interface, etc. 

Publication graphic design

Graphic designers develop digital versions of the publications that would then be printed. Here as well, the technical convenience of the design is essential. They create layouts, typography, artwork, add photography, graphics, and illustrations. In many cases, designers should also advise on what size and material the final publication has that will make the made design look better. 

Packaging graphic design

Graphic designers who develop packaging designs should feel the space and the functionality of their made design. They should understand how the packaging will fit the product. Besides creating a visually appealing product, they should also consider technical aspects like the right storing conditions for the specific product. 

Motion graphic design

Graphic designers may also develop designs in motion, such as animation, audio, video, and other moving effects on the visual material. This trend is becoming gradually more and more popular with the trends of video-visuals. 

Environmental graphic design

This type of graphic design description mainly resembles the job description of the interior designer. However, such kind of design specialization exists as a separate type. Environmental graphic designers construct the design elements inside some environments, which can be both close and open areas. The goal is to make the design elements fit the overall spirit of the atmosphere. So, environmental graphic designers may work on office decor, design certain walls in entertainment places, etc. 

In practice life, graphic designers usually face the need to develop any the design required by the companies or individuals they are working for, without strict boundaries across the different specialization. In general, a skilled graphic designer should fit all of the mentioned, and we hope this section of ARMACAD will help you in that.