How to Create Graphic Art

By Karen Ruth Duvall

A graphic element can enhance the message of written copy in an advertisement, newsletter, flyer, web page, or most any media. You don't need to be Rembrandt or Norman Rockwell to create eye-pleasing graphics that get the job done. Graphic art is a visual message that's easy to recognize.Historically, graphic art meant printmaking, or the tactile art of drawing and painting using traditional tools applied by hand on paper or canvas. But today, modern graphics for commercial use is done on the computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketch pad or plain white paper and a pencilPC or Macintosh computerSelection of fontsGraphic softwareScanner (optional)

Creating the Graphic

Step 1

Define the graphic's objective. Will it be used to sell something, as in an advertisement? Or will it help convey the message in a newsletter or magazine article? The answer will guide how the graphic needs to look when it's finished.

Step 2

Loosely sketch the idea on paper. Seeing the graphic two-dimensionally not only gives the artist a cursory glance at what he or she envisioned, it also speeds up the creation process when putting it together on the computer.

Step 3

If type will be incorporated into the graphic, select a font that complements the image and style of what it's going with.

Step 4

Recreate the sketched idea using computer graphic software. Scan the drawn image if needed, or simply refer to it while using the paint or draw tools.

Step 5

Save the graphic as a file that can be imported into another software program like Microsoft Word, Publisher, or Powerpoint. Formats like .tiff, .jpeg, .gif, and .eps are compatible with most software.

Step 6

Print the graphic to check colors, size, and to proof spelling if type was used.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the graphic is for Internet use, the resolution should be no less than 72 dpi (dots per inch). Sometimes royalty-free clip art or photographs added to a graphic can enhance the visual message.
  • Graphics for the web must be RGB (red, blue and green), and graphics for print must be CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).Graphics to be reproduced on a commercial offset printer should be high-resolution, preferably no less than 300 dpi (dots per inch).