As a public relations major, graphic design is unlike any other class I have taken, however, it is probably one of the most relevant classes I will take. Public relations aims to cultivate a thoughtful and consistent brand for a company. With the influx of digital media outlets, graphic design is becoming more frequently used in the field. Brochures, websites, articles, invitations, and really any form of content that will be distributed to the public utilizes graphic design. Even press releases to the media have a uniform format that makes the information clear and concise.
Understanding graphic design and being able to use it efficiently will be a vital skill in the modern public relations field. It is no longer enough for any one employee to have a single skill. Being a good writer will not get you a job in pubic relations, but being a good writer that is also proficient in Photoshop and InDesign will get you a job. Public relations needs graphic design because messages need to grab people’s attention. A thoughtful design can portray information in a way that connects with a specific public. For example, the well-known campaign poster for President Obama that displayed the word HOPE under Obama’s face, used simplicity, color, and style to target the younger generation. With one word and some thoughtful graphic design, President Obama was portrayed as a strong, capable, young man with progressive ideas. It was a clear message that the intended public understood and embraced. And as the artist intended, the HOPE poster was able to “infect the masses with the spirit of change” (wired.com, 2008).
If there was no graphic design in the field of public relations the industry would be stagnant. There would still be event planning and press releases, but the full-construction of a campaign would be nearly impossible. Posters and websites would lack visual appeal and meaning. Public relations thrives on creating images and controlling messages, graphic design is vital in this information branding.