Graphic arts
A type of fine art, graphic art covers a broad range of art forms. Graphic art is typically two-dimensional and includes calligraphy, photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, lithography, typography, serigraphy (silk-screen printing), and bindery. Graphic art also consists of drawn plans and layouts for interior and architectural designs. Today, graphic art is usually associated with commercial art that is used in marketing. In this case, the purpose of the graphic art is to capture the interest of the audience on the product or service in order to increase the volume of business.


Throughout history, technological inventions have shaped the development of graphic art. In 2500 BC, the Egyptians used graphic symbols to communicate their thoughts in a written form known as hieroglyphics. The Egyptians wrote and illustrated narratives on rolls of papyrus to share the stories and art with others.

Design.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 26 Oct. 2010.
This is Later in the Middle Ages, scribes manually copied each individual page of the manuscripts to maintain their sacred teachings. The scribes would leave marked sections of the page available for the artists to insert drawings and decorations. The art alongside the carefully lettered text enhanced the religious reading experience.

Johannes Guttenberg invented the printing press in 1440. The printing press facilitated the mass-production of text and graphic art and eventually replaced manual transcriptions altogether.

Again during the Renaissance years, graphic art in the form of printing played a major role in the spreading of Classical learning in Europe. Within these manuscripts, book designers focused heavily on typeface.

Due to the development of larger fonts during the Industrial Revolution, posters became a popular form of graphic art used to communicate the latest information as well as advertise the latest products and services.

The invention and popularity of the television changed graphic art through the additional aspect of motion as advertising agencies attempted to utilize kinetics to their advantage.

The next major change in graphic arts came when the computer was invented in the twentieth century. Powerful computer software enables artists to manipulate images in a much faster and simpler way. With quick calculations, computers easily recolor, scale, rotate, and rearrange images.

Tools of the trade

Graphic artists applying for positions in today's job market are expected to be familiar with computers and a variety of software in order to create the most appealing, up to date designs.

Graphic art software includes applications such as:
  • Adobe Illustrator
    Adobe Illustrator
    Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Systems. Illustrator is similar in scope, intended market, and functionality to its competitors, CorelDraw, Xara Designer Pro and Macromedia FreeHand....

     – an application that allows artists to manipulate vector graphics
  • CorelDRAW
    CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation of Ottawa, Canada. It is also the name of Corel's Graphics Suite...

     – similar to Adobe Illustrator, it is another vector graphic manipulation tool
  • Adobe Photoshop
    Adobe Photoshop
    Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems Incorporated.Adobe's 2003 "Creative Suite" rebranding led to Adobe Photoshop 8's renaming to Adobe Photoshop CS. Thus, Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the 12th major release of Adobe Photoshop...

     – a bitmap graphics software including powerful graphics editing tools that provide a large variety of editing functionality
  • Adobe Dreamweaver – a tool that facilitates the creation of webpages and dynamic internet content
  • PhotoImpact – a digital photo editor
  • Adobe InDesign
    Adobe InDesign
    Adobe InDesign is a software application produced by Adobe Systems. It can be used to create works such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers and books. In conjunction with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite InDesign can publish content suitable for tablet devices...

     – desktop publishing software used for layout and design manipulation
  • QuarkXPress
    QuarkXPress is a computer application for creating and editing complex page layouts in a WYSIWYG environment. It runs on Mac OS X and Windows. It was first released by Quark, Inc...

     – similar to Adobe InDesign, it is another desktop publishing software tool

Free Tools of the Trade

    Paint.NET is a proprietary freeware raster graphics editor program for Microsoft Windows, developed on the .NET Framework. Originally created by Rick Brewster as a Washington State University student project, Paint.NET has evolved from a simple replacement for the Microsoft Paint program, which is...

     - photo editing capabilities with lots of plugins to expand use
  • GIMP
    GIMP is a free software raster graphics editor. It is primarily employed as an image retouching and editing tool and is freely available in versions tailored for most popular operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.In addition to detailed image retouching and...

    - similar to and photoshop

Besides computers and software, graphic artists are also expected to be creative with processing camera work, registration, crop marks, and masking.


One of the most common career paths for a graphic artist today is web design. With the popularity of the World Wide Web, the demand for web designers is immense. Graphic artists utilize their creativity with layouts, typography, and logos to market the client’s business. In addition to creating graphical designs, graphic artists also need to understand hypertext, web programming, and webpage maintenance in order to successfully create a webpage.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.