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Think back to a time when something visually stuck with you. Maybe it was an art exhibit at a museum or a mural painted on a city wall. You may not be able to describe what was so striking about the piece and what made it gain permanent residence in your memory, but you know you’ll never forget it.

Creating engaging, unique visual graphics — all built around a brand — has the same effect and is key to modern digital marketing. In the same way that a jingle or funny commercial can stick in your head for decades, visuals can do the same. 

What company wouldn’t want people to be visually drawn to their ads? The thing is, visually stunning advertisements don’t just appear. They take creativity, purpose, thought, and great graphic design.

What Exactly is Graphic Design?

Graphic design, in the simplest terms, is visual communication via photos, illustrations, and typography. It shares many concepts with art in physical mediums, such as drawing, painting, and sketching, but it’s all done digitally through a computer. 

The most common tools for graphic designers include Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Sketch, and Canva.

How Does Graphic Design Help Companies Stand Out?

When it comes to digital marketing, graphic design is a key mechanism. In today’s digital works, every company must have a website. And, with the multitude of websites out there, it’s important to stand out and be unique. That’s where branding comes into play.

Branding is a big part of a graphic designer’s job. They create all visual elements for the brand, including logos, icons, and color palettes. Those visual elements are then used to establish a known look-and-feel for the company, which is used for all ads.

Think of Coca-Cola. While their graphic design has changed over the years, it’s still the classic Coke icon with the #F40009 red (Pantone 2347 C). Their brand is so popular, that people own Coca-Cola branded items, like mini-fridges, magnets, and bottle openers.

Stunning, memorable graphic design can help keep a company top of mind for a customer. In fact, according to Kissmetrics, visual dimension is the no.1 influencing factor that determines the purchasing decision for 92.6% of people. Anytime a person wants to buy a soda and sees the Coca-Cola logo on the machine, it will trigger their tastebuds with the taste of a Coke and that’s the one they will pick.

Design Your Career in Digital Marketing

Ultimately, graphic designers are specialized digital marketers that use their creativity and visual design systems to help organizations drive sales. Interested in creating visually appealing experiences for users? A career in digital marketing could be perfect for you. 

According to Glassdoor, the average pay for a digital marketer is $53,000 a year. It should be noted that the average pay increases significantly if the job location is in a metropolitan area, like San Francisco, where the average pay for a digital marketer is $86,000 a year.

The job outlook for digital marketing is also very promising. Not only does the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipate a 6% increase in jobs over the next decade, but it’s also clear that the need for a strong, compelling online presence is essential. Every company, no matter the product, will need digital marketing professionals with graphic design skills.

Get Started Today

Want to get started building up your new digital marketing career? Enroll in our Digital Marketing Nanodegree program today, and start learning from the comfort of your own home.

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.