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Dec 03

What is Graphic Design?

2007 at 05.48 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

It seems to be embedded in human nature to try to label things to identify it. Labeling itself is not bad, but I’m talking about making things sound more fancy or smart. It’s already hard enough to get everybody on the same line when using well known terms. It’s all subjective and everybody has a different vision or interpretation.

Over exposure

We get bombarded with terms and definitions on a daily basis and new wordings are popping up regularly. That's why I want to focus on something that has been around for quite some time. Since it's been around that long it should be easy, right? So instead of reinventing new buzzwords, let's try to understand, define and describe those that have been around. Let's take Graphic Design for example.

at is Graphic Design?

What is Graphic Design?

My guess is that there will be many different interpretations. That's why I would like to run a little experiment here to see if I am right. What I am asking is to write down your thoughts of what Graphic Design is and means to you. However, there are a few rules: don't go Googling the term or look it up in a dictionary. I want what comes up in your mind without any influence from an outside source. So don't go cheating or looking at what others wrote :) I think when we compare it to the official definition it could prove to be interesting.




permalink this comment Marc Calatayud Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 06.24 pm

Graphic design is a variant of art. Starting with Toulouse Lautrec, graphic design always had an explicit purpose or meaning besides being just artistic or pleasant to your senses (e.g. making people want to go somewhere/have something/do something/think something)



permalink this comment Nate Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 06.42 pm

As my Jon Hicks desktop says, “Design is just lining things up.” But to me, Graphic Design is the art (yes it’s an art) of visual communication. It’s a little broad, but so is the field itself.



permalink this comment John Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 06.50 pm

Graphic Design is simply solving visual communication problems.



permalink this comment Matt Cline Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 06.50 pm

I would define graphic design as “the arrangement of visual elements to communicate a message”.

I would define *good* graphic design in terms of establishing harmony between the elements in the design in a way that reinforces the message being communicated.



permalink this comment Martin Lindkvist Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 06.58 pm

To design graphics, not designing a real object. It does not necessarily have anything to do with function, graphic design could be pure beauty.

..or I don’t know, this was harder than I thought.



permalink this comment liam Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.02 pm

Making words and pictures line up.



permalink this comment velk Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.10 pm

My definition of graphic design is anything that is purposefully designed and part of a still medium—web, print or other still graphics. It is usually part of a commercial endeavor and it seeks to communicate some other message beyond pure ascetic or feeling.

Things like Flash animations are not graphic design but rather motion design and are akin to the relationship between motion pictures and photography… a lot of the same principles apply but there are additional rules and skills required.



permalink this comment Jarad Johnson Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.10 pm

Graphic Design, to me, is the ability to take information of all kinds and display them in visually attractive ways, that also help to deliver the message to a user.

That’s the professional marketing side anyway. As Graphic Design evolves online and in the offline worlds I believe the definition will continue to be remolded by generations to come.

I mean, everyone is a Graphic Designer, just look at MySpace ;)



permalink this comment nick husher Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.23 pm

Graphic design is the practice of applying an appropriate and aesthetic a visual look to an object or concept.

Bad graphic designs are either not aesthetic or inappropriate in the context of the thing they are presenting.



permalink this comment .carsten Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.23 pm

The term Graphic design surely once wascreated to describe graphic works on paper on on other material. It always has some craftmenship and artwork runnig up with it’s meaning.

Today media in wich graphic design is used is more different that’s what it makes it so hard to describe. I would say even today with it’s wider range of topics it still means domnating a space by graphic artwork combined with some craftmanship. It is creating a creative surrounding of everything going much more into details than Webdesign i.e. which can only be to get a proper harmony of spaces on a screen depending on usability etc. Webdesign is a basis on which graphic design can create a deeper decoration or even dominate the appearance.

It is the same with former Printing. The classic craftman printing could be strictly following the rules of good temporary taste but with graphic design it’s quite more: from individuality up to creating a brand. This still is graphic design I think.



permalink this comment Rob Weychert Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.26 pm

Visual communication.



permalink this comment Steven Teerlinck Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.27 pm

In my opinion it’s about communicating information to other human beings. It’s a way of presenting this information visually in a pleasant, (anti-) structural, ... way. Although it’s not always a means to an end: sometimes it’s all about the design itself (meta), but I guess that would be art, because there is no defining line between art and (functional) graphic design.



permalink this comment Jared Christensen Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.42 pm

Graphic Design to me is making things easier for other to observe and understand. Taking an idea and turning it into a picture. A picture it worth a thousand words after all.



permalink this comment Doris Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.44 pm

Devising ways to visually present and organize information.



permalink this comment allgood2 Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.44 pm

I consider graphic design to be about making data and information visually appealing. Something that mixes art and information to serve a purpose—mostly advertising whether its for a commercial product or grassroots activism.



permalink this comment Sean Foushee Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.46 pm

To me it’s simple in definition, using visual elements to convey an emotion or statement.



permalink this comment zimmi Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 07.50 pm

I would say graphic design is any design that uses some graphic elements barring background-color CSS property whic - IMHO - is not an element of graphics.

So for me, graphic design is every design where I find something else than just text. But it’s hard to label websites with this term: Is it a graphic design or not?



permalink this comment Aaron Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.01 pm

Graphic design is the purposeful solving of typical problems—be it clothing, books, advertising, web design, etc.—in the most creative and aesthetic way possible.



permalink this comment hcabbos Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.19 pm

To me, it’s the purposeful organization of information with varying degrees of line, texture, shapes, and all the other things we designers do to beautify our work. The bottom line is that it’s the communication of information for the intended audience that defines what I do.



permalink this comment DeaPeaJay Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.23 pm

Graphic design is an intentional collection of pixels to serve as a visual aid.



permalink this comment Keith Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.28 pm

To me “Graphic Design” is the process of *visual* communication.  It’s a pretty broad definition and either envelopes or intersects lots of other disciplines.

On a practical level, if you’re using images, layout and typography to communicate something you’re doing graphic design.

Again, pretty broad, but… :)



permalink this comment sho'fr Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.29 pm

for me graphic design is just a way to communicate with colors, images, layout, fonts, white space on paper, screen or film.



permalink this comment GregOne Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.33 pm

Graphic Design is the art of creating visual representations of informations.



permalink this comment Sophist Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.36 pm

Hhm. In my opinion, it is designing something visual to convey a message to an audience. I think? Like designing corporate identities, magazine layouts, interface, even t-shirts. I think they are all part of graphic design. So yeah. I’ll stop rambling.



permalink this comment Tom Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.46 pm

Just spontaneous as you ask Veerle, I think graphic design is:

‘Translating any kind of communication into a clear visual experience’

And thanks for a real inspiring blog



permalink this comment Lisa Firke Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.46 pm


Well, my first stab really is more of a definition of “layout”:

*Layout* refers to the intentional and artistic placement of visual elements on a two-dimensional plane.

*Graphic design* encompasses a bit more: the rationale behind the intention and the art. It also usually includes the creation of some or all of the visual elements themselves.



permalink this comment Dustin Brewer Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.54 pm

The first thing that comes to mind when I think “What is graphic design” is “graphic communications” and I think of it as a way to communicate an idea to people graphically. However generic it sounds I think this is my opinion in a first-thought kind of way.



permalink this comment Germán Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 08.59 pm

Hi! I think Graphic Design is a discipline that helps interpersonal communication. It helps people explain a message, visually, through color, forms and type.
It is no decoration, nor art. It is design.
Thank you! Excuse my english :)



permalink this comment katha Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.04 pm

I think “Graphic Design” is putting predefined things, the content, in a easy understandable, logical and beautiful way together.
It doesn’t have to be a totally new idea. It doesn’t have to be trendy, and it doesn’t have to make people raising their eyebrows in surprise.
It should “just” transport the information in a good way from the product to the reader.



permalink this comment mark wallis Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.08 pm

graphic design for me anyway is using visual assets (imagery, typography) to communicate some sort of message, sort of like a visual language ...



permalink this comment urothane Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.18 pm

I think the definition is simple and very encompassing. Using visual clues strategically to communicate a specific message. This can include fonts, colors, textures, images or anything else that strikes a feeling visually. It differs from art in that the artist is trying to get a clear message out where a “fine art” piece is not as explicit. Graphic design is the square to fine art’s rectangle.



permalink this comment Doug Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.18 pm

Graphic design is the skill of taking pieces of art, other design, typography and general pop culture and organizing them on a medium or mediums to convey the intended message.



permalink this comment Kenny Meyers Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.26 pm

Graphic design is visual communication. The movement and styling of graphics and types to communicate a message to an audience.



permalink this comment pitpawten Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.31 pm

An ultra simplistic definition of Graphic Design:

The art of placing images and text in such a way that the overall result is aesthetically pleasing as well as informative.

It differs from digital art in that Graphic Design is intended to inform as well as entertain (not that art cant also inform).



permalink this comment Ricky Irvine Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.45 pm

Graphic design is the arrangement and integration of visual elements — perceived or deemed necessary — composed for the purpose of communicating an idea or message.



permalink this comment Tom Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.54 pm

Graphic Design is a loosely-defined visual language in which colors, shapes, textures, and/or type are combined to create a structure that communicates ideas in a recognizable, easily digestible way for the intended audience.



permalink this comment skip wiley Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 09.55 pm

the visual manipulation of symbols through which the inexhaustable energies of the universe pour



permalink this comment Eric Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.00 pm

I think graphic design is the informed but un-predictable arrangement of images and type to communicate a congruent message :-)

It’s also a very rewarding and enjoyable way to make a living!



permalink this comment Chris Basey Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.06 pm

Long time lurker, first time commenter!

For me graphic design is visually communicating thoughts and ideas and finding visual solutions to interaction problems.



permalink this comment Hanne Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.09 pm

Graphic design is, in my opinion, designing something, a graphic, for later and displaying it in some sort of media, like the web. Building something can be a team effort and for me, the graphical part of it is called the graphical design. (Well duh^^ ) You cannot build a website with a person that knows about Photoshop or Illustrator alone. So, graphical design, for me, is the graphical element in a project.



permalink this comment ben Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.10 pm

i tend to think of graphic design as finding solutions to problems, then executing the solution. I suppose the problem with this definition is that it sort of leaves out the graphic and the design part….so perhaps it should be more like this:

A graphic designer is a person finds solutions to problems (often driven by marketing needs). Graphic design then is the visual (graphic), well thought out and structured (design) parts of the solution to the problem.



permalink this comment Hrvoje Blazekovic Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.14 pm

Graphic design is a visual balancing act.

Balancing the wishes and needs of the client with your need to create something new, different and beautiful with the desired message/feeling/target audience in mind.

huh… where did that come from?

Great experiment Veerle



permalink this comment david Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.16 pm

Graphic - Any visual art form/media: Illustration, Painting, Photography, Web, Sculpture, Videography, etc., and most uniquely Typography.

Design - Thoughtful process of placing elements with respect to order, contrast, balance, scale, texture, space, shape, light, color, etc.

The interesting part is that Graphic Design can be implemented in so many mediums, making it difficult to quantify. I think of “Graphic Designer” as the individual(s) that pull it all together. Some GDers have the ability to paint, some to write programming code, others have photography or eloquent copy in their back pocket. But they all should be able to deliberately compose the communication intended. Value is then placed on their creation, just as with any other art.



permalink this comment Jaime Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.22 pm

Graphic Design is to create graphical messages that can be read by a specific target, sometimes universally. Graphic Design is to build visual structures that communicate, all into aestetics. Graphic Design is function over form.



permalink this comment Edwin Khodabakchian Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.24 pm

It is the art of creating a simple yet inspiring representation of a concept or object to help users understanding and memorization.



permalink this comment Naomi Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.34 pm

Mine is probably rather vague, but here goes.

Graphic Design: The act of organizing information and conveying a specific message or messages in an aesthetically pleasing way.



permalink this comment Corvida Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.36 pm

Graphic design is another form of art. When I think of graphic design I immediately think of web design, though it’s not limited to web design. It’s digital. It’s typography, gradients, colors, vectors….it’s everything you can think to use in photoshop. It’s real and it’s fake. It’s abstract and then again it’s not. Graphic design is personal and digital.



permalink this comment Ignacio Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.38 pm

Is what I do. My job. :)



permalink this comment lester Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.46 pm

My take…

Graphic design is commissioned (paid or probono) visual communication with a key central messaging/branding. It is utilized in packaging, billboards, ads, multimedia and software.



permalink this comment Jen Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.47 pm

Graphic design is a method of communication and an art that uses primarily visual means to reach out to a prospective audience in any type of medium (print, tv, internet.)

Personally, graphic design is a method of taking someone’s concepts and transforming them into a piece of art that both respects the original vision of the client as well as making an impact on the people who will access, view, or have interaction with the art.

Can you tell I majored in English at university?



permalink this comment Brendan Falkowski Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.57 pm

Catching the eye without distracting.



permalink this comment Jan Oberst Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 10.59 pm

If it’s something people deal with regularly I want the design to be just right. If that design has to do with the look, or how good my customer can process the data I’m giving to him, it’s graphic design.

I’m talking about websites or web applications right now: Everything that hasn’t to do with the pure data backend, and how to calculate things on this data, is graphic design. It’s processing data so the user can analyze it better and faster.

That processing is the way we display data. I think it’s even the decision if an article is spread to three different pages on a newspaper website (just to give an example of where I think graphic design ends). But of course it’s color, contrast, style and all that boring stuff everybody considers design.



permalink this comment Andrew Reitsma Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.16 pm

Graphic design is the process of arranging a set of visual elements into a certain configuration that communicates an idea or message, that is done without reference to its arranger. This is in contrast to creating visual art, which is similar, yet seeks to exemplify the “arranger”.

That’s my two cents.



permalink this comment alec Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.21 pm

Graphic design to me is the a way to please the eyes through colors, shapes, and other primal things that all people no matter their race, gender, age. It is more then expression, to some people it is life.



permalink this comment Hania Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.21 pm

To me graphic design is art created with a computer.



permalink this comment kristarella Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.42 pm

I had some musings about “Science” (my main field) recently and checked out many articles about it. It was rather refreshing - hope this is for you too!

Graphic Design: the creation of images for use in print or web.

At it’s simplest form; I could perhaps try to define creation of images as being from other images, lines and shapes… or something like that :P



permalink this comment kerry Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.44 pm

to me, graphic design is print related, as opposed to interactive. i would see a graphic designer to be someone who designs brochures or packaging NOT web sites or flash animation. graphic design is laying out images and/or type to be aesthetically pleasing.



permalink this comment Rory Fitzpatrick Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.46 pm

The creation and manipulation of graphical images/illustrations, usually digital.



permalink this comment Alex Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.48 pm

It’s manipulating colours and shapes on the surfaces of things (print/web pages/lifejackets) to convey a message, be that a feeling, attitude, instruction or an advert.

And after all that, make it look damn hot.



permalink this comment Nick Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.49 pm

It’s the things that you see when you close your eyes when you think of the perfect way to visualize your feelings.



permalink this comment jethro Mon Dec 3, 2007 at 11.53 pm

Graphic design is the application of the graphic arts to creating effective graphics and graphical components. It is mostly concerned with pieces rather than the whole. Creating logos, buttons or decorations would be examples of typical tasks. It may be considered part of higher level design disciplines but it’s scope is still limited to the production of art assets.



permalink this comment Tim Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.07 am

Attempting to inform and/or entice an audience through the placement and construction of visual elements in a predefined set of constraints.



permalink this comment Peter Čuhalev Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.11 am

Well what I tell my friends that I do is that I make things prettier and draw stuff.

But actually there is a lot more of idea and thought process behind that, from corporate identities, posters or just brochure.

They are all just getting the idea best across visually.



permalink this comment Jehad Assaf Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.13 am

In my opinion, graphic design is both art and science. Based on precise science (the golden ratio for example) as well as free interpretation and personal creativity, we use graphic design as a tool helping us share our ideas, concepts, visions and thoughts.



permalink this comment Jan Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.14 am

Graphic design is a way of expressing our feelings. It’s also a way to influence on other’s people feelings.

Personally for me it’s a way for breaking out of average. I truly hope that I’ll be same day good as you are.



permalink this comment snarfel Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.22 am

it’s bound to be something simple. how about: ‘communication of information visually in a 2-dimensional space’.



permalink this comment Morty Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 01.19 am

Graphic design is for me something that:
- is made by human (I mean it seriously, have you seen pictures from program Apophysis?)
- evoke some feelings, asociations or emotions
- don’t has to have any deeper sense
- can be seen (do you think that graphic design is also something that you can ONLY touch or ONLY smell? I don’t think so)

..well I can’t think out any more now…
I’m curious about the results!



permalink this comment Rommert Zijlstra Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 01.21 am

Design is making things work.

When you’re talking about design and especially Graphic Design it’s making things work for your target audience. It’s not creating beautiful images, or interfaces, but it’s making the images or interfaces work.

Your example is Graphic Design. It refers to the question you’re asking us. It’s created to accompany the actual message. Graphic Design isn’t about the twrily things, the gradients, the fumbly bits. But it’s about the message. It’s about making it “work”,

Of course you might argue that the new desktop background you created is design too. But that’s not design. It’s art. Sure, it conveys a message, but the design isn’t created to accompany the message or - for that matter - make it work.

That’s how I think about Graphic Design.



permalink this comment Michael Mahoney Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 01.39 am

Graphic Design is synergistic visionary solutionizing to maximalize efficiencies in the brand deployment systems realm creating end-user experience deliverables with an end-to-end goal of increasing ROI.




permalink this comment matt Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 01.41 am

graphic design is using copy, color, and imagery to communicate an idea.



permalink this comment John Faulds Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 01.54 am

I’ve worked in print design for nearly 15 years (and then later web design) and over that time I guess I’ve done work that some would consider to be that of a graphic designer, but I’ve never really thought of myself like that, I guess because I came to design via the ‘back door’ (learning the skills on the job while employed to do something else) and didn’t have any formal design training.

So I guess I’ve always thought that graphic design involved some sort of creation of images, illustrations etc. - something I didn’t get involved with much as I was mainly doing layouts (newspapers, books, catalogues) and working with other people’s text and images until I started working in web design.



permalink this comment Haree | ഹരീ Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 02.43 am

What’s a Graphic? Conveying idea of something using graphical elements (images, text etc.) to a viewer.

Then, what’s Graphic Design? Making the Graphic better so that the idea is easily conveyed. :)

I didn’t checked the official definition, but I hope my version too defines it.



permalink this comment Chad Behnke Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 03.16 am

Graphic Design is visual communication. It is the application of visual data organization into a cohesive, aesthetic whole.



permalink this comment Brent Miller Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 03.36 am

Graphic design = visual problem solving with a dash of style



permalink this comment JozB Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 04.30 am

For me, is an visual expression of shapes and colors mostly with harmony, in order to represent an idea or message.



permalink this comment Michael Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 05.36 am

Graphic design is essentially the skill of visually presenting information so as to make the content both more compelling and comprehensible.



permalink this comment Red Ketchup Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 06.15 am

Graphic Design is the enhancement of communication from sender to recipient.



permalink this comment Mei Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 07.22 am

Graphic design is expressing ideas/ messages visually through pictures, shapes, colors etc.

(this is one of those questions that the more I answer, the more wrong I think I may get!)



permalink this comment Corrine Ellsworth Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 07.24 am

DESIGN is the intensional arrangement of space and matter.

GOOD DESIGN packages both space and matter to unfold in a beneficial way.

GRAPHIC DESIGN is the intensional visual arrangement of space and matter, typically formed to convey messages or meaning.

Well, that’s my attempt! I’d love to read the others as I’m working on a phd in design at the moment. Thanks for the neat idea Veerle! :)



permalink this comment Chris Lee Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 07.41 am

In my mind, graphic design is exactly like it sounds.
It’s the process of designing graphics. This can mean taking premade graphics and arranging them or literally making the graphics. The focus being on design though.
Just like an industrial designer designs physical products, like a stapler or an iPod, a graphic designer designs graphics.
It is the most logical form of graphic art. It is within the same realm as mathematics, because there can be an art to it, but there are some fundamental rules in place that, if followed correctly, will produce functional and even professional work. However, like Einstein coming up with e=mc^2, there is creativity required.
The work produced is more a solution than a piece that you’d hang on your wall.



permalink this comment Ben Smith Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.21 am

Visual communication of an idea, a feeling, a lifestyle, a brand… now I feel like I’m in media sales!



permalink this comment Adrian Vogel Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.29 am

What is graphic-design?
One thing first, it’s kinda funny how we use a term every day and when it comes to discribing it and putting it in a clear definition one sits infront his Monitor and has to arrange the thoughts.

For me Graphic Design is above all a process! It’s not just the result, it is a path with many junctions and at every single one there is a decision to make. Perhaps a little bit far-streched but I like it :)
It is the conditioning of information in a creative visual way. Which tools we use to achive that goal is up to us - but we always have the target in mind and think of the needs it’s supposed to satisfy. (You wouldn’t use the zapfino to write “US-Army” or “Bundeswehr” nor would you color it in pink - besides it would generate a great contrast between meaning and first visual impression)

Done without wikiedia ;)
BTW: Thank your veerle for the great topic!

Cheers Adrian



permalink this comment kiki1313 Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.43 am

In my mind graphic design at all is making harmony while presenting something. One of the most important components of graphic design is the concept - the idea which is the appropriate/convincing way to present the thing.

The style, the look and feel, the colors, the shapes and many more are the tools in our hands while making this harmony.



permalink this comment Jelle van den Berg Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.43 am

To me, it’s a combination of shape, colour and typography, serving a specific goal, meeting the need of my customers.



permalink this comment Mihai Constantinescu Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.58 am

graphic design: converting need(s) in art;art obeying needs



permalink this comment k_Aleksz Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 09.40 am

Graphic design?  a tease for the eye



permalink this comment James Howard Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 09.42 am

Graphic Design is the process of expressing something in a form other than simply words. By adding (or indeed solely using) graphical elements, a designer can add more meaning than simply type, or can draw attention to the type.



permalink this comment kristarella Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 09.46 am

I’m glad you withheld the comments until now!  (I was shocked to see 30 emails in my inbox after a couple of minutes!) Great ideas I realise now that my (above) definition only addressed the “what”, or the “how” without the “why”. I could use my given definition for art as well, but for graphic design the element of communication is important.



permalink this comment Matt J Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 10.03 am

Communicating information in a way that is appropriate to the information being communicated.



permalink this comment Kevin Hamm Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 10.19 am

Graphic design: the two dimensional expression of a solution defined by four-dimensional beings. The translating from the four dimensions of real life to the two dimensions of a graphic is where the artistry comes in.

Don’t take this the wrong way, it’s truly an amazing skill to have, and I truly admire your work, Veerle.



permalink this comment Mark Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 10.38 am

Graphic design is using colors, type, shapes and content to pass a message on to your audience.



permalink this comment Issam El Armi Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 10.58 am

Graphic design: the art and techniques of creating artwork that transmits information and feelings.



permalink this comment .carsten Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 11.04 am

John said:

Graphic Design is simply solving visual communication problems.

An industrial designer would say: Design has to visualize all the features of the product - it’s strength, weight, etc. So what’s the diffenece to graphic design ;-)



permalink this comment Timo Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 11.48 am

Graphic design is conveying a message using visual media!

nice initiative Veerle hehe…



permalink this comment Martijn Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.13 pm

Is graphic design and art one and the same thing?

Both are a composition of colors, type, shapes, ...
Both try to communicate a message.

I think that the big difference between the two is that art doesn’t need to be appealing or beautiful. Graphic design in fact does. Graphic design has to be pleasant to watch to. That’s the function of graphic design and therefore sets it apart from the rest.

Sometimes it’s easier to say what graphic design is not. And sometimes it’s easier to compare graphic design to something similar.
Sometimes you see things better by not directly looking at them.

Oh crap, there are already a million things in my head that break down my own defenition!

Maybe, Veerle, your comment page is the definition.



permalink this comment g-rom Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.43 pm

I agree with John. On the one hand, graphic Design is a tool to solve communication problems: getting a message across implies structure, rhythm, noise minimisation, hierarchy, etc. Graphic design (presentation) comes in support of content / structure / interactivity and strategy.

But, on the other hand, graphic design (presentation layer) has also a value per se. Of course, we tend to prefer harmonious proportions and colours. But more than that, like the man who washed his car and had the feeling it worked better afterwards, we tend to forgive more things to a beautiful website. The design of a website (or of any other medium) has an influence on the perception we have of its quality.

Sorry for being lengthy on this one. Great topic, Veerle.



permalink this comment Alexander Berglund Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 12.44 pm

To me it’s visual communication.



permalink this comment Gilbert Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 01.55 pm

Good post. I’m bored of buzzwords and think that clients should be able to reduce their bill by €10 for every buzzword used in a meeting. Clear and concise communication is an art and the web design/development community should be proud to practice it. Anyway enough of the rant…here’s my attempt at a definition.

Graphic design involves creating scrumptious print materials and web pages within a specific set of constraints. These constraints can include a colour palette, set of fonts, photography and illustrations which are relevant to the image your client wants to portray.



permalink this comment GregOne Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 02.13 pm

Martijn said:

I think that the big difference between the two is that art doesn’t need to be appealing or beautiful. Graphic design in fact does.

If i ask you to design, for example, a poster for a very dark horror movie? It’s still considered graphic design and it might use good composition rules, but it might not be beautiful, yet it will still convey its message effectively. On the other hand, and that’s where a proper differentiation might be, if you look at a Francis Bacon painting, it’s dark, some people might not find it beautiful at all, but it still conveys emotions. Only in this case, the meaning that the audience gets is different from one person to the other.

Maybe we could say that graphic design expresses its content directly, so that it is understood (ideally) by everyone in the same way, whereas art expresses it indirectly, i.e. the understanding of the content is not planned, but left to the audience. Of course, that’s personal, but i’d be curious to hear what others have to say about the difference between art and graphic design, especially since it gets very blurry sometimes.



permalink this comment Marcel Thomas Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 02.24 pm

Visual desire



permalink this comment MrQwest Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 02.51 pm

To me, Graphic design is about making form & function look nice.  Pleasing to the eye, and to entice the user.



permalink this comment diogo Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 03.15 pm

Writing a note on a post-it is graphic design, whether you are or not a graphic designer. I like to think that, as a professional, i do it better then the majority of people.

Is it art? sometimes.



permalink this comment DeaPeaJay Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 04.38 pm

Personally I consider graphic design to be for computers. It may start out as a sketch or drawing, but eventually it’s purpose is to be in a computer and from there it can be printed out or whatever.

Point being. All Graphic Design IMO has a computer involved in the process in some way.



permalink this comment Ben Spencer Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 04.39 pm

I agree with the people that have said that Graphic Design is about visually communicating a message. But I think we can be more specific than that as other forms of communication, such as sign language, or even body language, also fits under this same definition.

So I would say that Graphic Design is a way of visually communicating a message through a variety of media.

Whether it’s done badly or not is irrelevant!



permalink this comment Rubens Fernando Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 04.48 pm

I think that Graphic Design is the convergence of illustration, photography, and design.



permalink this comment Dave Brenner Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 04.49 pm

Not to sound cynical but lately I feel that more people define graphic design as something easy to do and aesthetic eye candy. Personally I feel graphic design is the effective use of strong composition, grids and white space to compliment visual elements.



permalink this comment Mike Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 05.00 pm

The question reminds me of of 5th grade when the teacher asked “What is art?”
...and the girl next to me said it is fart without the “f”

...I guess that would make it “raphic esign” without the gd….but that is dumb.

...So without thinking too much, it a visual puzzle to communicate. Unless there is nobody there to see it.



permalink this comment Candace Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 05.06 pm

When I first heard of Graphic Design I thought it was art created on a computer!

Now I’m not really sure since so many company’s hiring “graphic designers” seem to look for people who know everything about computers! I’ve seen job listing that should have been listed as looking for computer programmers not graphic designers.



permalink this comment Choppinus Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 05.18 pm

Graphic design consists in organizing elements according to some constraints such as size, space, colors, proportions, harmony, ..., in order to make sense, thus to give pleasure.



permalink this comment Christina Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 06.00 pm

I think Graphic Design is art used to entice.



permalink this comment Martijn Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 06.32 pm

GregOne said:

If i ask you to design, for example, a poster for a very dark horror movie? It’s still considered graphic design and it might use good composition rules, but it might not be beautiful, yet it will still convey its message effectively.

Indeed, the tone will be dark and maybe horrifying but in the end it will still be an appealing horror poster!

If you wouldn’t be too scared to go watch the movie, you maybe would go, just because of the poster. But I can try to paint you something form the darkest places of my mind, not that I have any, and I wouldn’t feel the need to make it visually appealing. It probably would be ugly as hell but still reflecting what I feel.



permalink this comment Marco, the site guy Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 06.33 pm

Graphic Design no more than traditional art’s paper mache.



permalink this comment Djuro Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 06.40 pm

Graphic design is creating visual art for EVERYBODY to understand.

(as I NOW feel it.)



permalink this comment Martijn Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 06.45 pm

GregOne said:

Maybe we could say that graphic design expresses its content directly, so that it is understood (ideally) by everyone in the same way, whereas art expresses it indirectly, i.e. the understanding of the content is not planned, but left to the audience.

This is also something I can agree with ...



permalink this comment Gabe Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 07.03 pm

I’m a little surprised that I’ve only seen it mentioned a few times so far, but I think the core of graphic design is about solving problems—visually and with typography.

The degree to which always depends on the project, but jobs often compose of working with what you’ve got. You have to use their logo, a certain color palette, a certain image, a certain message, and work with the clients own assumptions about what “works”.

That’s what graphic design is—that challenge of taking what you’re presented with and producing a piece that visually communicates your clients goal effectively and elegantly.



permalink this comment Tom Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 07.14 pm

Graphic Design is art created on the computer.

Veerle - you’re an artist :) A good one at that.



permalink this comment Wade Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 07.51 pm

Graphic design is the organization of textual and graphical elements to aid in understanding or solve a problem. It is not art.



permalink this comment Evincirei Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.03 pm

Graphic Design beautifully, appropriately and carefully upholds the content, emotions and experience it represents.



permalink this comment Chris Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 08.11 pm

I believe graphic design is something you actually cannot define. You just try to make it as good looking and functional as possible depending on its audience.



permalink this comment Dean Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 09.49 pm

Graphic design is communicating through visual media. It’s that simple.



permalink this comment Dan Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 10.49 pm

Graphic design = visual message



permalink this comment heckmueller Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 11.21 pm

I’ll have to reach a little further to give my deffinition of graphic design.

In my oppinion graphic art is an act where the artist trys to materialize his vision of beauty or expression. The result has to be deeply pleasing for himself, but not for anyone else. That’s probably why most artists have a hard time to live from their art. Also, graphic art is a very creating process.

Graphic design differs from graphic art in asfar, as it is not about the personal satisfaction of the designer, but about the satisfaction of more then one person. The customer has to have that satisfying feeling, as well as the target-audiance the customer wants to reach.

Graphic art can be incredibly subjective, while graphic design tries to be more of an objective thing. Naturally, that’s not entirely possible.

To find this largest common denominator that pleases most relevant people with the highest possible level of personal satisfaction is what graphic design is all about.

At least in my oppinion. ;)



permalink this comment mug25 Tue Dec 4, 2007 at 11.57 pm

Art that makes $$$!!!



permalink this comment ronica Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 01.03 am

In it’s simplest terms Graphic Design to me is visual communication. Taking information, written information and making visually pleasing as well as keeping it informative.



permalink this comment Polski Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 03.59 am

Graphic Design is visual representation of communication. It is also the hoogie and a silent fart.



permalink this comment Jackie Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 04.30 am

To me, graphic design is a way of reinterpreting the world around you in an abstract or “artistic” way, using electronic or other two-dimensional media such as print for example; with colors, shapes, illustrations and/or typography, so as to create something new and different that is unique, yet is commonly recognizable as a symbol of something we all know, and would allow the viewer to see something familiar in a new way. I believe it is also a form of art and visual communication which we could not do without.



permalink this comment John Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 07.47 am

Graphic Design is communication visually, usually on purpose.



permalink this comment Tomas Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 08.32 am

hunh.  It seems to be one of those things so broadly defined it ends up having more meanings than it should.  But I guess I could vaguely pin it down as using image and/or text to exert the influence of something.  Told you it’d be vague.



permalink this comment Jinka Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 08.52 am

... is playing with shapes, forms, colors, type. Arranging/rearranging on a medium/surface. Often trying to get a point of an idea across. Most often bound to clients/commercial wishes.

Homo ludens loves GD…



permalink this comment Tyson Rosage Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 08.55 am

Using style to represent a message.



permalink this comment thierry.beeckmans Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 09.47 am

Graphic design, is a method of communication, that should be attractive to the consumer and invite them to look again.



permalink this comment Paul Compton Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 10.13 am

Graphic Design is not

  Art. Art is Art.
  Pretty colors.
  Bad kerning.
  Bad typefaces.

Graphic design is

  A tool. A very very clever one.
  Communication on more than a visual level it has the power to invoke feeling and emotions.
  Always evolving.
  Visible to all yet… invisible to all except a special few.

Again just a few very broad pen strokes.



permalink this comment diogo Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 10.54 am

I accept (doesn’t mean i agree with) all definitions that are given here. I don’t accept when people say it is impossible to define graphic design.
Is it impossible to define medicine? or carpentry?



permalink this comment James Lipscomb Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 11.47 am

Graphic Design is ultimately the practice of communicating a message through a visual medium.



permalink this comment Matias Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 12.31 pm

Graphic Design is the effort to try to make things more beautifull.



permalink this comment Jacob Cass Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 01.10 pm

Hi Veerle, I actually did an exact post of this about 5 days ago on my graphic design blog, if your interested.

What do you think?



permalink this comment Rachel Maxim Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 03.39 pm

To me…graphic design is about presenting content in a visual or graphic way that provokes a desired response or emotion.



permalink this comment Billy Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 03.42 pm

Graphic Design is the method of taking a “message” and visually articulating it through something visual.



permalink this comment Jeff Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 03.56 pm

Graphic design is an attempt to change the world, using visual stimuli, which evokes an emotive response.

If someone buys that skin-tight pair of jeans, after seeing your magazine ad, depicting that “oh, so sexy” model… the world has changed. If someone donates their time or money to a worthy cause, because of the poster they saw hanging in their local shopping mall… the world has changed.



permalink this comment Brian Ford Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 03.56 pm

To me, graphic design is any juxtaposition of text and graphics to solve a communication problem.

This is distinct from information design, which requires information, but not necessarily graphics.

This is also distinct from the general concept of design, which doesn’t require a problem to be solved.

It was suggested above that bad kerning, bad typography, etc. is not graphic design, but I would disagree:

Those are simply examples of bad, or ineffective graphic design.



permalink this comment revy Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 05.14 pm

i think graphic design has a lot to do with visual communication and taking ideas and turning them into something visual.



permalink this comment Mary Stanton Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 06.11 pm

A means of visual communication by structure and organisation of words and images



permalink this comment jo Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 06.25 pm

for me it’s designin something especially for modern media, like the internet



permalink this comment kate Wed Dec 5, 2007 at 08.07 pm

In a nutshell, graphic design is visual communication through images and type.



permalink this comment Ritz Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 02.14 am

I think “design” is the act of creating products or systems that solve problems.

Graphic Design is just designing(solving problems) using graphics as the tool.

Being a good designer doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being artistic. But I sure hope everything “designed” is as beautiful as possible!



permalink this comment Kurt Potts Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 02.54 am

Graphic Design:
The art of combining text, photos and illustrations to inform or entice the viewer. A graphic design must include text or it is just art. Graphic design does not require a computer.



permalink this comment Jeff Fitzgerald Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 03.13 am

Graphic Design is attentive visual communication.



permalink this comment Charlie Triplett Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 03.31 am

Well, that all depends.



permalink this comment ashok Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 02.36 pm

Graphic design is marketing tool to publicity of your product in the market.



permalink this comment Murtaza Chang Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 03.09 pm

Beats me :)
hmm well…
Graphic Design are just two words for guys like me but for serious designers it could mean a lot:)
Probably thats the reason I still suck at graphic designing :(
“Design is organizing anything or everything in a manner which pleases your eye, heart or lungs for that matter and graphic design is the same thing applied to graphics :D”



permalink this comment Bram Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 08.09 pm

My guess, Any form of visual artistic representation. :)



permalink this comment Johny Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 09.38 pm

Graphic design is an invisible hand that guide your focus on various things. It is the feel which you want to achieve. It is something to look at.



permalink this comment Daryn St. Pierre Thu Dec 6, 2007 at 11.43 pm

Graphic design is an art form that is often times used to convey messages and ideas visually, in a manner that can be appreciated by a vast majority of viewers as well as focus on an intended target audience. It is used to evoke certain emotions and desires.

A lot of people tend to think that Graphic Design is very cookie-cutter and copy/paste but that’s false. Maybe in some cases and for some ‘artists’ it is, but for others that are passionate about their work and their career (and/or have a job that requires them to do something outside of the boundaries of drone design work), it is an art form and an expression.

It’s basically art for the future and art that appeals to a larger audience. A good Graphic Artist has the ability to solve those visual communication problems that make a lot of advertising schemes fail to get their intended point across.



permalink this comment Christy Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 06.37 am

First, I had to page down really fast to resist reading any other comments. And not looking it up first on google… that is a tremendous amount of self-control but as I type I am resisting.

graphic design:
the art / act of creating a “visual” utilizing color, placement, alignment and space to enhance, alter or “design” for effect.

Ok, that was hard and really doesn’t pinpoint it exactly but it was what pops into my mind immediately.

I will be very interested to see where you go with all of this Veerle; and if I may be so bold I think I know what could have been a small part of the spark that inspired this discussion you have started. And if so, then I applaud your effort.

Now I’m off to read the comments and see if I’m widely off the mark (or lacking in vocabulary :)



permalink this comment Christy Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 07.03 am

I’ve read through all of the comments now and there are two things that I see: the first being that “visual communication” was typed so many times I lost count.

Second is for anyone who said that “graphic design” is not art… show me a movie poster that has been framed and hung on a wall, a travel poster, or even a record album and I’ll beg you to tell me it isn’t art!



permalink this comment Benni Graf Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 09.00 am

For me, Graphic Design is when one creates something visible with the purpose of it being seen.
(Design is creating “things”, Graphic stands vor “everything that’s visible)
Pretty general, I know, but I think it hits the term.
(BTW, I didn’t read the previous posts, so I’m sorry if this one appeared already)



permalink this comment rezolution Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 10.36 am

Graphic design is the appealing link between the eye and the entity.

Wow. I hope someone quotes me, years from now. That was deep.



permalink this comment Angelo Cioffari Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 12.23 pm

hi all,

art is art… and art is not functional, graphic design is functional (by consequence graphic design is not art) graphic design is only a functional method: convert a idea/concept in a visual element.

maybe we need/have a high creative visual skills for our work, but we are light years to be a visual artist (for my concept of artist)

a movie poster (for example) is not a piece or art, when botticelli a movie poster draw is not automatic art, only because a artist a movie poster draw is art?




permalink this comment Jacob Cass Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 02.12 pm


Thanks for your traffic to my site, everyone seems to have liked What Is Graphic Design on my site. Yet, sadly, no where near the amount of comments found on here.

I believe graphic design is communicating a purpose through type and image.




permalink this comment Steph Boudreau Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 03.15 pm

Graphic design is delicious coherent visual goodness.



permalink this comment Hakob Kostanyan Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 05.37 pm

I think that graphic design is a some kind of intrepretation of ideas visiuly



permalink this comment Jeremy Fri Dec 7, 2007 at 07.32 pm

Graphic Design is the art of visual communication. Graphic design steps outside of the world of subjective art, because art applies only to what the creator sees as art. I can throw a hamburger against the wall and call it art, and most people wont agree. Graphic Design on the other hand is completely objective and exists to serve specific goals of visually communicating a message, service or idea. There is “bad design” that is completely effective, there is “good design” that is completely ineffective. Graphic Design steps outside of the world of simply “pleasing to the eye” and enters the world of business goals (or organization, movement, ect.) Graphic Design personally to me is taking a bunch of information, character ect of a specific entity and translating it into a visual language that correctly communicates to the audience. I like to make comparisons of design between literal spoken languages, such as “Could the viewers understand this? What will this say to the audience?” ect.



permalink this comment A.J. Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 02.59 pm

I’m going with….the art of designing graphics, those posters, logos, banners, headers, etc. built from scratch or modifying photographs or drawings, etc.



permalink this comment D. v. Eijk Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 03.52 pm

Hmm, let’s split this up:

Graphic: in my humble opinion this word has originally only to do with things that are printed. Compare e.a. visual design which has a wider sense.

Design: relates now to ‘graphic’. So the creation and arrangement of graphical elements to make them answer certain goals.



permalink this comment Heather Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 04.44 pm

I consider myself an engineer of information. Graphic designers must solve communication problems just as an engineer would solve moving people from one side of a river to the other. The engineer would asses the situation and build the best bridge for the conditions. Likewise, a graphic designer gathers information from the client, asses the needs of the client, how to address the specific audience and builds the best bridge between the two.



permalink this comment Teppo Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 07.40 pm

Graphic design is all about conveying ideas and influencing the thoughts of your audience.

It’s not a process of making things pretty and shining, it might just as well be the opposite that has the effect you’re hoping to see.

It’s more about knowing how the human mind really works than knowing how to draw or paint.



permalink this comment David Frayre Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 07.51 pm

Grapic design its not art.

Graphic design is visual comunication, and serves some porpuses like put something in common, sell ideas, help understand something better, give exact information quickly.

some parts of graphic design are:

Editorial Design
Type Design
Signs Design
Corporative Image Design
Interactive Design
Information Design

this parts of graphic design are developed in some cases by skills like Illustration, graphic design software, photography, social and personal context (which is not a skill).

other things that help Graphic design to fulfill its roll is the knowledge of the basic elements like color, forms, figure, communication or even gestalt theory, this elements are similar for example to the basic elements of a building, if they are well done and used they can support all the parts that make a building but if they are poorly done they can lead to the collapse of the structure, it is the same with the basic elements of design, if you use them well they can help you support your graphical composition.

if you guys want to read a bit more of the basic elements of design search for books of Wucius wong, there you can read in detail about the bases and how they are used

sorry if this was too long.



permalink this comment Brian Ford Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 08.58 pm

There is “bad design” that is completely effective, there is “good design” that is completely ineffective.

I don’t think this is the case at all.  Bad design = ineffective design.  Good design = effective design.

I would agree if you had said There is “ugly design” that is completely effective, there is “pretty design” that is completely ineffective.

Perhaps that is what you meant, though.



permalink this comment matelo Sat Dec 8, 2007 at 09.49 pm

For me, Graphic Design is not art, becouse is not subjective, it has to transmit the same message to everybody, so graphic design is the communication of messages in a graphic way.



permalink this comment Mike Anderson Sun Dec 9, 2007 at 08.41 pm

Graphic Design is intentional, visual communication. Sometimes it is as elegant as “lining things up,” sometimes more or less.

Good [insert discipline* here] design is invisible, great [insert discipline* here] design reiterates the intent with it’s existence.

*Disciplines include: Graphic, Car, sticky note, vibrator, shovel, etc.



permalink this comment Werbeagentur Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 10.30 am

Graphic Design is the art to find forms for our senses. Product Design is the Art to find a speach and form for complex technical thinks, so that the human beiing is able to communicate with the result.



permalink this comment Tjobbe Andrews Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02.44 pm

Graphic design? Definition?

I don’t think you can define graphic design as such, as there are so many disciplines such as typography, animation, 3d, print, screen etc.

To me a graphic designer is someone with multiple skills, someone who can design me an amazing Web site - but code it really badly, and also design me a logo, business card, letter heads and a flyer to go along with it.

I would ask someone who introduces themselves as a graphic designer what area of expertise they are in, as I respect that there are a multitude, as there are with “Web design”.

Most of my friends in the industry or people I have met introduce themselves as Web designers, whether they are coders or programmers. It’s just easier, off course, it depends on the person who’s hand your shaking, and what they know about it..



permalink this comment Toni Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 05.02 pm

Graphic design is conveying a message to an audience with the use of colour, design, text and imagery to make it visually appealing. It includes print design, web design, illustration and advertising?



permalink this comment Shir Adivi Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 08.45 pm

Dear Veerle,

I don’t need outside sources to describe Graphic Design, in my case it comes from the heart…

Graphic Design to me used to be a dream waiting to come true.
Today it’s my job, my passion, it’s who I am, and the best part is, I’m getting paid for it! It’s a way to express myself.
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I do before going to bed.
It’s a part of me, if you take it away, it would be like a Tom without Jerry.

For example, a Top model needs to be tall and beautiful for the job. She eats salads all day to stay skinny, her make-up and hair has to be perfect every second of the day. I won’t even talk about high heels…

Now a Graphic Designer ... pffff Who cares if she or he is well dressed, ugly, fat in a wheelchair or even a dwarf.
The only thing needed is a creative mind, a laptop and patience.

But at the end of the road, I believe that we designers all want the same thing ... to be remembered.

Shir Adivi



permalink this comment Snehal Chitlange Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 11.16 pm

Here There Everywhere… Its all Graphic Design… :)



permalink this comment Cristiano Rastelli Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 11.42 pm

First in italian:
Significa conciliare ciò che è arte, passione, cuore con tecnica, impiego, testa.
Try to render it in english:
Fusion of art, passion, heart with technique, usage, head.

Hope is clear what I mean. What I feel.



permalink this comment Ryan Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 03.07 am

There really isn’t any “official” definition. It differs from person to person as we can see from all of the comments above and below.

Personally, I think it’s the illustration of portraying ones thoughts ,ideas, expressions, into that of what is being communicated - in a nutshell.



permalink this comment Amanda Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 04.37 am

I have normally associated graphic design with information. It’s a form of visual communication, whether it be for branding a product, or designing a webpage to communicate a vision or idea. It’s a form of art, but I feel it has more function.



permalink this comment alex freeman Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 04.53 am

making pictures talk



permalink this comment Omi Tzek Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 05.58 am

As an information designer born from computer science and industrial math, design is the mental process for solving a problem… but instead infodesign, graphic design is the construction of visual messages no necesarily with a usability degree within… the latter as discipline.. as profesional practice, graphic design focused on product instead process (as in information design) closely related with artistical tools and development.



permalink this comment Rebecca Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 08.40 am

Graphic design, to me, is creating an theme, look, or brand for an object, such as a website.

Can you tell I’m not a graphic designer? :)



permalink this comment jo Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 11.20 am

graphic design is simply

“a buffet for eyes,which has only one logic that there is no logic”



permalink this comment Arnaud Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 12.58 pm

For me it would be:

- Give a visual personnality to something (Service, company, object/product, printed thing, ...)



permalink this comment Hakob Kostanyan Wed Dec 12, 2007 at 11.10 pm

Graphic design I think is a expression of ideas visually



permalink this comment Werbeagentur Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 02.20 am defines graphic design as “the art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words, and ideas to convey information to an audience.” A graphic designer is responsible for arranging and using elements on different types of media (such as a poster, a package or a website), most likely with the use of a graphics software program such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign. These elements include:

  * Photos
  * Illustrations
  * Type
  * Shapes
  * Color
  * Texture



permalink this comment Prague Design Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 11.12 pm

Our main focus is to combine images into an art form that communicates a purposeful message to the masses.



permalink this comment traylorillo Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 04.34 am

Graphic Design is creating order out of chaos, distilling meaning from confusion.



permalink this comment Pete Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 12.35 pm

Kevin McCloud said it best (i’ll paraphrase):

“Where art and design differ is that with design, you can produce the most fantastic piece of artistry but if it doesn’t sell its a failure”

All design is based upon more than just asthetic value.



permalink this comment Edward Wed Dec 19, 2007 at 07.57 pm

Graphic Design is taking taking content and/or graphics and designing a presentation out of it.



permalink this comment Craig Sat Dec 22, 2007 at 08.02 am

Graphic design is something like packing a moving truck. Sure you could just throw everything in there and drive away, but instead you make it fit. Nice and neat. So things don’t bump around and fall over.

Graphic design is viewed as simple. So deceivingly simple on the surface that everyone thinks they can do it.

Graphic design is what artists do because they can’t make money doing art. Which is why so many people say that graphic design is art. And it isn’t.

Graphic design is like becoming a priest from a classified ad in the back of a magazine. Anyone can call themselves a graphic designer. You don’t need to take a test or be qualified in any way. Just hop on a computer with InDesign and there ya go. Graphic designer.

Graphic design is when you have to sit in front of a computer while some schmuck vicariously lives his artsy dreams by instructing you to move things around.

Graphic design is a portfolio full of junk you aren’t really proud of, and a computer full of kick ass designs that never made it into print.

haha this is all so true!



permalink this comment petimi Sat Dec 22, 2007 at 12.10 pm

First of all hello to all!
Very interesting question.

I think graphic design is th place where digital artists (designers) can display imagination in their mind.



permalink this comment andrej Wed Dec 26, 2007 at 11.30 pm

Graphic Design is the process of making a purposeful visual distinction.



permalink this comment Melissa Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 05.35 pm

I was once told by my professor that ” you are only as good as your referance “. I think this is a good rule to follow. We dont need to recreate the wheel!.

I love being a Graphic Designer!



permalink this comment Paul Ocal Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 10.42 am

Graphic design is orgasms for the eye.

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