What actually is graphic design?
How about this definition for starters?
“the art of communication, stylizing, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image”
Does this help us? Let’s think about it. The art of communication. So far so good. This tells us that we are talking about an art (not a science, note) – with its connotations of subjectivity and sometimes beauty and perhaps also mystery – and communication – delivering a message. Stylizing – recognisable and identifiable, but non realistic; more representation than actual. Problem-solving – link back to communication, perhaps i.e. how do we give the visual impression to our clients that we want to give them? And finally the use of type, space and image – that’s to say, primarily through pictures and not words (as we all know a picture paints a thousand words …).
So what does this all mean? Well, simply, that graphic design is all about communicating your message (however complex or simple) as effectively as possible. And since the meaning of communication is the response you get, it’s clearly crucially important to get it right.
Type virtually anything into a search engine, select “images”, and see what you get. I typed “graphic design” … and got a very wide range of pictures. They all use the same words, but they each project a different image, a different sense of the people who created them. And perhaps most importantly, a different opinion on the capability of the people who created them. To a very large degree it’s subjective, of course, but surely that’s the whole point. Since it is so subjective, so intangible, and so personal, all the more important to get it right!
So how do we get it right?
First, think about what “it” is! Is “it” your existing brand that you want refreshed? Are you a start up? Are you looking for a brochure, a catalogue, or simply an image or a logo. And of course when we say “simply” an image or a logo, let’s not forget how important a logo can be, since it projects so much about you.
Here’s a favourite image:
We’re fairly confident that we don’t need to say what it is. It’s what it makes you think of, and the emotions that come with it, that are important. And that’s how we get it right – by ensuring that the graphic design makes the people looking at it think what you want them to think, and feel what you want them to feel. And you achieve that by talking to people who are experts not only in design themselves but in understanding how best to communicate the message. By talking to people who seek to understand you and your clients.
And the good news is this – here’s a direct link to people who can help you:
And finally … 3 quotes to end on …
We like our quotes. We think that they elegantly summarise what we’ve been saying and give you the gist perfectly. So here are three on graphic design, from three of the most talented people who ever lived, which we think you’ll enjoy:
- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” (Leonardo Da Vinci)
- “I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it” (Pablo Picasso)
- “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means” (Albert Einstein)
Wonderful aren’t they?