Create Graphic Images

A strong, simple graphic image

Graphic images, also known as graphic designs, are created using elements of type, imagery, color and shape, in order to communicate a message or idea visually. Type refers to stylized printed words. There are literally hundreds of typefaces to choose from to express yourself with. Imagery is incorporated into graphic design with use of photos and illustrated elements. The elements are combined in a clever, eye-pleasing juxtaposition to deliver the desired message.


1. Plan your graphic image by sketching rough ideas with pencil on paper. Decide what elements you will include in your graphic image, including any words, photos, illustrations, colors or shapes. Keep in mind the message you wish to convey. Make several sketches, arranging your graphic elements in several different ways. Erase and redraw as needed to complete your rough idea sketches. Pick the most eye-pleasing rough to develop into a graphic image.

2. Open a new file in a word processing or graphics program, name it and save it. Begin your design by typing in any words you will include. Choose a typeface that closely matches your rough sketch. Size and position the type elements according to your rough sketch. Change the color of the type if desired.

3. Import any photo or illustration files you will be using into your graphic image file. You may also scan photos or illustrations that are on paper and import them into your graphic image file. For best results, photos and illustration elements should be at 300 pixels per inch (ppi) or higher. Size and position photos or illustrations according to your rough sketch.

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4. Finish your graphic image by adding any additional graphic elements in your rough sketch. These include borders, shapes and color. Some word processing and graphics programs come with clip art that you may use in your graphic image. Print a proof on your computer printer to check your work. Make changes as necessary.

5. Decide print your graphic image, depending on your needs. You can print multiple copies using your computer printer. For high-volume printing, consider copying or commercial printing for the best combination of quality and price. For T-shirt projects, consider ink jet transfer printing or commercial screen printing. Always get a price quote before committing to a print job, and see a proof of the job before approving for production.