What is Graphic Design?

03Oct10

Graphic design is not a recent discipline; it has been in our lives since the caves of Lascaux (caves in southwestern France known for its prehistoric cave paintings) but the term “graphic design” appeared recently. William Addison Dwiggins first used the name “graphic design” in 1922.

Graphic design is solving a problem by means of visualization using creativity, technicality and knowledge of art history and previous works by other graphic designers. This visualization is achieved by the use of different media such as fine arts, illustration, space, photography, abstract graphics, typography, and page layout…  Graphic design is used in every aspect of daily life such as tickets, billboard ads, brochures, logos, movie posters, street signs, and business cards… Graphic design is also referred to as visual communication design.

The elements (letterforms and visuals) have to be organized in such a manner to transmit a specific message to a certain target audience. The message that you want to give can be transferred to the target audience in an easier and more effective way by graphic design tools because people tend to relate better with visual materials than the verbal ones. When they see certain visuals they have a tendency to relate them with their own personal experience and the message of the graphic designer is understood.

Graphic design is the union of creativity with a certain need. This means that graphic designers use different visual material in such a way that the audience gets the message much more easily than the verbal message. Also the visual message is easier to remember than the verbal one.

What differs graphic design from fine arts is that it is a mixture of arts and business. In graphic design there is a need, a message to visualize, a budget and an aim. A graphic design should be original, pleasing the eye but these criteria are not enough. Functionality is an important aspect of graphic design.

A graphic designer is the person who is distant both from a client’s product and the target audience. This means that the designer doesn’t have a close bond with neither of them. The important thing for the graphic designer is to understand what the client wants and figure out how the audience would respond to it by means of visuals. Therefore the main goal of a graphic designer is to use the visual language that the target audience would respond to, to not sell the product but communicate the message in a creative manner.

Graphic designer’s job is to evaluate a message, find different approaches to convey it to the target audience, create the best solution, link that solution to visual elements, find the balance between the images and the letterforms. Now graphic designers mostly combine and balance these elements by the use of specific software in a digital environment.

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One Response to “What is Graphic Design?”


  1. 1 What is Graphic Design? (via aslı.) « Pd64's Blog

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