Graphic design is planning the visual layout: the graphic designer’s responsibility is the appearance of the message.
Graphic design is an art form, which is applied for example in advertising, web sites, printed products, electronic publications, movies, logos, package design, signboards and signposts. Elements of graphic design include colors, symbols, text, typography, shapes and pictures, materials, and sometimes movement.
The tasks of a graphic designer can also include illustration, photography and doing graphics.
A person whose main tasks deal with the layout of flyers and other things, based on the available graphic and text material, is not a graphic designer but a layout designer.
Close to the occupation of a graphic designer is the art director (AD), who in addition to graphic design, is required to have skills related to information gathering and application and commercial thinking. The art director is in charge of the visual appearance of the publication as a whole.
The tasks of a graphic designer include many choices. S/he decides the text typeface and size, title styles, the format, separation of the introductory chapters, the alignment of pictures and the location of the captions.
When it comes to printed media, the graphic designer is also in charge of other things related to the visual layout. S/he chooses the paper quality, sheet size, printing method, cover quality and the binding.
An illustrator is specialized in demonstrating written text through images. Illustrators work in various occupations of graphic communication for different media.
Many illustrators make their living by illustrating books, advertisements and magazines. Illustrators sometimes make animated movies or do lettering work. Trained illustrators know the usual graphic means of expression, the combination of text and image, typography and the opportunities that photographs provide.
There are no formal qualifications to become an illustrator, but the majority of professional illustrators today have a degree in graphic design. Many illustrators work as freelancers or entrepreneurs. The work of an illustrator is creative work which requires an eye for visuals, craft and inventiveness.
Some illustrators or graphic designers specialize in comics. A comic is a presentation where a group of consecutive images forms a coherent story. The images may include written text in the form of captions and speech bubbles.
Comics in newspapers often employ humor, but it is by no means required. Comic artists or cartoonists may create long-stories and publish albums about difficult topics. Still, the most prevalent mediums of comics are newspaper
strips, comic books and albums.
A caricaturist is also an occupation in the field of communication and applied arts. Caricaturists create drawings, whose main content is meant to be humorous. The work of a drawer of high-quality caricatures is also often more challenging visually.