What is graphic design (in Utah or anywhere)?

April 29, 2008

A lot of people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them “Graphic Design” but few ever really understand what that is, this seams to the case with some clients as well. I don’t know if its the way that I explain it or that people just can’t wrap there head around it, so I thought I’d try to put it writing. I was reading an article on graphic design on the AIGA website by Sharon Helmer Poggenpohl that I thought  explain it very well.  Here is a portion of the article that I thought explained in a simple manner what graphic design is:

“Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you ‘send’ it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That’s verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all”if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout”you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.

Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.”

I thought that explained it well. Below is also a very good description of what a designer role is in the communication process:

“Designers are the link between the client and the audience. On the one hand, a client is often too close to the message to understand various ways in which it can be presented. The audience, on the other hand, is often too broad to have any direct impact on how a communication is presented. What’s more, it is usually difficult to make the audience a part of the creative process. Unlike client and audience, graphic designers learn how to construct a message and how to present it successfully. They work with the client to understand the content and the purpose of the message. They often collaborate with market researchers and other specialists to understand the nature of the audience. Once a design concept is chosen, the designers work with illustrators and photographers as well as with typesetters and printers or other production specialists to create the final design product.” 

So to clients out there who didn’t fully understand what we do I hope that explained in a way that made sense to you.

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