Graphic Design Defined

My definition of graphic design has seen many changes and additions over the years. During my time as a undergrad majoring in Industrial design I saw graphic design as simply making posters. While simple by definition it intrigued me enough to pursue a minor in graphic design to supplement my ID background. As I stepped into my first graphic design course (Graphic Design Theory with Meredith Davis) I was exposed to a larger component of graphic design – the art of communication. This course almost made me change my mind about pursuing graphic design. It was more than posters or even logos and cool type, the “fun” stuff. As I read more and really listened, I bagan to have greater appreciation and respect for it. I saw graphic design as a tool to get messages across. I tried to keep this with me when I entered the work force after graduating. I started working in the newly formed marketing department at UNC Charlotte in their student union. I was also working as a freelance designer part time. Working provided me with another aspect of graphic design – problem solving. Unlike undergrad where we receive a project brief for a project that list expected outcomes and requirements, in the professional setting we are presented with a problem and left to determine the best method to communicate the idea or message. To solve these “problems” I need to understand culture, language, composition, even some areas of psychology to ensure the message reaches the audience. As a graduate student I am gaining a better understanding of the historic definition of design. From how revolution influenced how designers created and the impact it had on language (Fall of Imperial Russia) to the impact of technology on how we create and who can be deemed a “designer” (crowdsourcing, computers, etc). Graphic design is communication, influence, social change and more. Each reading, project and discussion contributes to my growing definition of the subject.

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One response to “Graphic Design Defined

  1. I agree with your last line. It’s really hard (almost impossible) for me to say exactly what areas graphic design touches, other than –it literally touches everything (the “and more”). And your right, the outcomes or results in design problems in the “real” world, can often be intangible at the start.

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