It has been almost 4 years of college now, and in these past years I have been majoring in graphic design. Now, as I am about to finish my last semester of college I am realizing that I never really stopped to think about how I could define graphic design to someone who has no knowledge about it. In Juliette Cezzar’s article, What is graphic design?, she refers to graphic design under another name “communication design”. When I read those words, I had to stop and think about them. I then had to mentally go back all the pieces I have ever designed so far, up to this point. After thinking about it, I realized that I understood what Cezzar means by “communication design”. The goal of a graphic designer is to be able to affectively communicate with their audience and convey a message.
Cezzar then continues to define graphic design as “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system, or from a company’s digital avatar to the sprawling and interlinked digital and physical content of an international newspaper. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.”
After reading this definition, it became very clear that there is no simple way of defining graphic design because it is such a complex subject that takes on so many different forms. Graphic design is a visual art that can be physical such as a poster, or it can be digital such as a website, or it can be both. The visual art can involve type, texture, images, colors, graphics and patterns and it can be used for many different purposes. Cezzar writes about two types of experiences in design, the experience that happens instantly and the experience that happen over a longer period of time. Design that is meant to be an instant experience are posters, advertisements, packages, and many other types of print design. Design that is meant to be experienced over a long period of time is motion graphics, for example animations. Books and websites are another example of design that is experienced for a prolonged time and at the user’s leisurely pace. With book and website design, the user is in control of their own experience.
There are so many areas of graphic design that I had not mentioned such as branding, user interface design (UI), type design, hand lettering and so many other types of design. It is a broad field just like its definition, but the goal is the same. First, a graphic designer is presented with a problem. It is then the designer’s job to create a visual solution, to that problem, that successfully communicates the message to the audience.
For more information on Juliette Cezzar’s article, What is graphic design?, click the link down below: