What is Graphic Design?
Graphic design establishes the "look and feel" of a website. It sets the mood for a site. Unlike print materials, a website cannot exist without graphic design elements.
Learning the Lingo
Talking about graphic design can be frustrating if you're not used to putting images into words. To help you learn the lingo, we describe the graphic design of this site below. You would say there is:
- A top orange banner with the company name, logo and slogan (HEADER);
- A top navigation bar (first level navigation) that denotes each section with a green button (TOP LEVEL NAVIGATION);
- A left menu bar (SECONDARY AND TERTIARY NAVIGATION) that lists the page names in green, with the current page highlighted as a darker green button;
- The main REAL ESTATE on the homepage is the photo, with text or copy centered in two columns below. The main real estate on this page is the text "ABOVE THE FOLD," or above the point where you have to begin scrolling to see more.
Where do I Begin?
- Graphic design is a specialized skill. You need special software or to hire a professional graphic designer. Graphic design software can cost just under $1,000. Graphic designers generally charge an hourly rate ranging from free (pro bono) to $300/hour, on the high end.
- Action Potential offers pre-made graphic design templates free with our software, or we offer custom graphic design for $65/hour.
How do I Create Graphic Design for my Website?
Answering the following questions may be helpful in determining your graphic design needs:
- What tone do you want to set for your website? Edgy or Soothing? Crisp or Relaxed?
- Who is your target audience? Your target audience will set the tone of your graphic design. A political organization might want a red, white and blue theme with flag design elements. A child care organization might prefer softer pastels with icons of children's toys and learning tools.
- What feeling do you want to leave with your website visitors? A political organization might want to communicate a feeling of confidence, integrity and strength. A child care organization might prefer feelings of safety, health, growth and love.
Graphic design is highly subjective- everyone has an opinion on what looks good- which means it can be a frustrating process.
How Long will it Take to Create Graphic Design for a Website?
- It can take anywhere from one hour to five months depending on the level of aesthetic quality you want and your ability to respond to initial designs with constructive feedback.
- Prepare to go through at least 2 or 3 different rounds of revisions before you achieve a look that feels right.
- In your communication with your graphic designer, try to be as clear as possible in providing direction. Provide a list of websites that accomplish some part of what you're trying to do. Ask for email confirmation of proposed changes before each round of revision. This can save a significant amount of time.
-- Building Your Website- Webraising
Action Potential Networks, Inc.
...building community one click at a time