Graphic design
Overview
 
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (i.e., printers, programmers, signmakers, etc.) – undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The term "graphic design" can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation.
Quotations

A great trademark is appropriate, dynamic, distinctive, memorable and unique.

Primo Angeli

An image ... is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service.

Daniel Boorstin

Graphic design is the paradise of individuality, eccentricity, heresy, abnormality, hobbies and humors.

George Santayana

Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated.

Paul Rand

Encyclopedia
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (i.e., printers, programmers, signmakers, etc.) – undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The term "graphic design" can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. The field as a whole is also often referred to as Visual Communication or Communication Design. Various methods are used to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use typography
Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

, visual arts
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

 and page layout
Page layout
Page layout is the part of graphic design that deals in the arrangement and style treatment of elements on a page.- History and development :...

 techniques to produce the final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), web sites, publications (magazines, newspapers, and books), advertisements and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition
Composition (visual arts)
In the visual arts – in particular painting, graphic design, photography and sculpture – composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art or a photograph, as distinct from the subject of a work...

 is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.

History

While Graphic Design as a discipline has a relatively recent history, with the name 'graphic design" first coined by William Addison Dwiggins
William Addison Dwiggins
William Addison Dwiggins was a U.S. type designer, calligrapher, and book designer...

 in 1922, graphic design-like activities span the history of humankind: from the caves of Lascaux
Lascaux
Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves in southwestern France famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. The original caves are located near the village of Montignac, in the department of Dordogne. They contain some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be...

, to Rome's Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column
Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in Rome, Italy, which commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars. It was probably constructed under the supervision of the architect Apollodorus of Damascus at the order of the Roman Senate. It is located in Trajan's Forum, built near...

 to the illuminated manuscript
Illuminated manuscript
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations...

s of the Middle Ages, to the dazzling neons of Ginza
Ginza
is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaichō, and north of Shinbashi.It is known as an upscale area of Tokyo with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses. Ginza is recognized as one of the most...

. In both this lengthy history and in the relatively recent explosion of visual communication
Visual communication
Visual communication as the name suggests is communication through visual aid and is described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon...

 in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is sometimes a blurring distinction and over-lapping of advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 art, graphic design and fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

. After all, they share many of the same elements, theories, principles, practices and language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

s, and sometimes the same benefactor or client. In advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 art the ultimate objective is the sale of goods and services. In graphic design, "the essence is to give order to information, form to ideas, expression and feeling to artifacts that document human experience."

The advent of printing

During the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 (618–907) between the 4th and 7th century AD, wood blocks were cut to print on textiles and later to reproduce Buddhist texts. A Buddhist scripture printed in 868 is the earliest known printed book. Beginning in the 11th century, longer scrolls and books were produced using movable type printing making books widely available during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Sometime around 1450, Johann Gutenberg's printing press made books widely available in Europe. The book design of Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

 developed the book structure which would become the foundation of western publication design. This era of graphic design is called Humanist
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 or Old Style.

Emergence of the design industry

In late 19th century Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, the movement began to separate graphic design from fine art.

In 1849, Henry Cole
Henry Cole
Sir Henry Cole was an English civil servant and inventor who facilitated many innovations in commerce and education in 19th century Britain...

 became one of the major forces in design education in Great Britain, informing the government of the importance of design in his Journal of Design and Manufactures. He organized the Great Exhibition as a celebration of modern industrial technology and Victorian design.

From 1891 to 1896, William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

' Kelmscott Press published books that are some of the most significant of the graphic design products of the Arts and Crafts movement
Arts and Crafts movement
Arts and Crafts was an international design philosophy that originated in England and flourished between 1860 and 1910 , continuing its influence until the 1930s...

, and made a very lucrative business of creating books of great stylistic refinement and selling them to the wealthy for a premium. Morris proved that a market existed for works of graphic design in their own right and helped pioneer the separation of design from production and from fine art. The work of the Kelmscott Press is characterized by its obsession with historical styles. This historicism was, however, important as it amounted to the first significant reaction to the stale state of nineteenth-century graphic design. Morris' work, along with the rest of the Private Press
Private press
Private press is a term used in the field of book collecting to describe a printing press operated as an artistic or craft-based endeavor, rather than as a purely commercial venture...

 movement, directly influenced Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 and is indirectly responsible for developments in early twentieth century graphic design in general.

Twentieth century design

The name "Graphic Design" first appeared in print in the 1922 essay "New Kind of Printing Calls for New Design" by William Addison Dwiggins
William Addison Dwiggins
William Addison Dwiggins was a U.S. type designer, calligrapher, and book designer...

, an American book designer in the early 20th century.

Raffe's Graphic Design, published in 1927, is considered to be the first book to use "Graphic Design" in its title.

The signage in the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 is a classic design example of the modern era and used a typeface designed by Edward Johnston in 1916.

In the 1920s, Soviet constructivism
Constructivism (art)
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th...

 applied 'intellectual production' in different spheres of production. The movement saw individualistic art as useless in revolutionary Russia and thus moved towards creating objects for utilitarian purposes. They designed buildings, theater sets, posters, fabrics, clothing, furniture, logos, menus, etc.

Jan Tschichold
Jan Tschichold
Jan Tschichold was a typographer, book designer, teacher and writer.-Life:Tschichold was the son of a provincial signwriter, and he was trained in calligraphy...

 codified the principles of modern typography
Modern typography
Modern Typography was a reaction against the perceived decadence of typography and design of the late 19th century. It is mostly associated with the works of Jan Tschichold and Bauhaus typographers Herbert Bayer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky and others....

 in his 1928 book, New Typography. He later repudiated the philosophy he espoused in this book as being fascistic, but it remained very influential. Tschichold, Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 typographers such as Herbert Bayer
Herbert Bayer
Herbert Bayer was an Austrian American graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, art director, environmental & interior designer, and architect, who was widely recognized as the last living member of the Bauhaus and was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company's...

 and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.-Early life:...

, and El Lissitzky
El Lissitzky
, better known as El Lissitzky , was a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect. He was an important figure of the Russian avant garde, helping develop suprematism with his mentor, Kazimir Malevich, and designing numerous exhibition displays and propaganda works...

 have greatly influenced graphic design as we know it today. They pioneered production techniques and stylistic devices used throughout the twentieth century. The following years saw graphic design in the modern style gain widespread acceptance and application. A booming post-World War II American economy established a greater need for graphic design, mainly advertising and packaging. The emigration of the German Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 school of design to Chicago in 1937 brought a "mass-produced" minimalism to America; sparking a wild fire of "modern" architecture and design. Notable names in mid-century modern design include Adrian Frutiger
Adrian Frutiger
Adrian Frutiger is one of the prominent typeface designers of the 20th century, who continues to influence the direction of digital typography in the 21st century; he is best known for creating the typefaces Univers and Frutiger.-Early life:Adrian Frutiger was born in Unterseen, Canton of Bern, as...

, designer of the typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

s Univers
Univers
Univers is the name of a realist sans-serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1954.Originally conceived and released by Deberny & Peignot in 1957, the type library was acquired in 1972 by Haas. Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei was later folded into the D...

 and Frutiger
Frutiger
Frutiger is a series of typefaces named after its designer, Adrian Frutiger. Initially available as a sans serif, it was later expanded to include ornamental and serif typefaces.-Distinctive characteristics:Characteristics of this typeface are:...

; Paul Rand
Paul Rand
Paul Rand Paul Rand Paul Rand (born Peretz Rosenbaum, (August 15, 1914 — November 26, 1996) was an American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs’ NeXT...

, who, from the late 1930s until his death in 1996, took the principles of the Bauhaus and applied them to popular advertising and logo design, helping to create a uniquely American approach to European minimalism while becoming one of the principal pioneers of the subset of graphic design known as corporate identity
Corporate identity
In Corporate Communications, a corporate identity is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives...

; and Josef Müller-Brockmann
Josef Müller-Brockmann
Josef Müller-Brockmann, , was a Swiss graphic designer and teacher. He studied architecture, design and history of art at both the University and Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. In 1936 he opened his Zurich studio specialising in graphic design, exhibition design and photography. From 1951 he...

, who designed posters in a severe yet accessible manner typical of the 1950s and 1970s era.

The growth of the graphic design industry has grown in parallel with the rise of consumerism
Consumerism
Consumerism is a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. The term is often associated with criticisms of consumption starting with Thorstein Veblen...

. This has raised some concerns and criticisms, notably from within the graphic design community with the First Things First manifesto
First things first 1964 Manifesto
The First Things First manifesto was written 29 November 1963 and published in 1964 by Ken Garland. It was backed by over 400 graphic designers and artists and also received the backing of Tony Benn, radical left-wing MP and activist, who published it in its entirety in the Guardian...

. First launched by Ken Garland
Ken Garland
Ken Garland is notable as a British graphic designer, author and game designer. Garland established Ken Garland Associates in 1962.Garland studied design at London's Central School of Arts and Crafts in the early 1950s...

 in 1964, it was re-published as the First Things First 2000 manifesto
First things first 2000 Manifesto
The First Things First 2000 manifesto, launched by Adbusters magazine in 1999, was an updated version of the earlier First Things First manifesto written and published in 1964 by Ken Garland, a British designer....

 in 1999 in the magazine Emigre 51 stating "We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design." Both editions attracted signatures from respected design practitioners and thinkers, for example; Rudy VanderLans
Rudy VanderLans
Rudy VanderLans is a Dutch type and graphic designer and the co-founder of Emigre, an independent type foundry.VanderLans studied at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. Later, he moved to California and studied photography at the University of California, Berkeley...

, Erik Spiekermann
Erik Spiekermann
Erik Spiekermann is a German typographer and designer. He is a professor at the University of the Arts Bremen....

, Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton was born in 1963, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ellen Lupton is a graphic designer, writer, curator, and educator. Well known for her fascination and study within "typography", Lupton decided to expand her love for design, and later took on the graphic design world...

 and Rick Poynor
Rick Poynor
Rick Poynor is a British writer on design, graphic design, typography and visual culture. He began as a general visual arts journalist, working on Blueprint magazine in London. After founding Eye magazine , which he edited from 1990 to 1997, he focused increasingly on visual communication...

. The 2000 manifesto was also notably published in Adbusters
AdBusters
The Adbusters Media Foundation is a Canadian-based not-for-profit, anti-consumerist, pro-environment organization founded in 1989 by Kalle Lasn and Bill Schmalz in Vancouver, British Columbia...

, known for its strong critiques of visual culture.

Applications

From road signs
Traffic sign
Traffic signs or road signs are signs erected at the side of roads to provide information to road users. With traffic volumes increasing over the last eight decades, many countries have adopted pictorial signs or otherwise simplified and standardized their signs to facilitate international travel...

 to technical schematics, from interoffice memorandum
Memorandum
A memorandum is from the Latin verbal phrase memorandum est, the gerundive form of the verb memoro, "to mention, call to mind, recount, relate", which means "It must be remembered ..."...

s to reference manuals
User guide
A user guide or user's guide, also commonly known as a manual, is a technical communication document intended to give assistance to people using a particular system...

, graphic design enhances transfer of knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

. Readability
Readability
Readability is the ease in which text can be read and understood. Various factors to measure readability have been used, such as "speed of perception," "perceptibility at a distance," "perceptibility in peripheral vision," "visibility," "the reflex blink technique," "rate of work" , "eye...

 is enhanced by improving the visual presentation of text.

Design can also aid in selling a product
Product (business)
In general, the product is defined as a "thing produced by labor or effort" or the "result of an act or a process", and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce ' lead or bring forth'. Since 1575, the word "product" has referred to anything produced...

 or idea
Idea
In the most narrow sense, an idea is just whatever is before the mind when one thinks. Very often, ideas are construed as representational images; i.e. images of some object. In other contexts, ideas are taken to be concepts, although abstract concepts do not necessarily appear as images...

 through effective visual communication. It is applied to products and elements of company identity like logo
Logo
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition...

s, colors, packaging, and text. Together these are defined as brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

ing (see also advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

). Branding has increasingly become important in the range of services offered by many graphic designers, alongside corporate identity
Corporate identity
In Corporate Communications, a corporate identity is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives...

. Whilst the terms are often used interchangeably, branding is more strictly related to the identifying mark or trade name for a product or service, whereas corporate identity can have a broader meaning relating to the structure and ethos of a company, as well as to the company's external image. Graphic designers will often form part of a team working on corporate identity and branding projects. Other members of that team can include marketing professionals, communications consultants and commercial writers.

Textbooks are designed to present subjects such as geography, science, and math. These publications have layouts which illustrate theories
Theory
The English word theory was derived from a technical term in Ancient Greek philosophy. The word theoria, , meant "a looking at, viewing, beholding", and referring to contemplation or speculation, as opposed to action...

 and diagram
Diagram
A diagram is a two-dimensional geometric symbolic representation of information according to some visualization technique. Sometimes, the technique uses a three-dimensional visualization which is then projected onto the two-dimensional surface...

s. A common example of graphics in use to educate is diagrams of human anatomy
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

. Graphic design is also applied to layout and formatting of educational material to make the information more accessible and more readily understandable.

Graphic design is applied in the entertainment
Entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

 industry in decoration, scenery, and visual story telling. Other examples of design for entertainment purposes include novels, comic books, DVD covers, opening credits
Opening credits
In a motion picture, television program, or video game, the opening credits are shown at the very beginning and list the most important members of the production. They are now usually shown as text superimposed on a blank screen or static pictures, or sometimes on top of action in the show. There...

 and closing credits
Closing credits
Closing credits or end credits are added at the end of a motion picture, television program, or video game to list the cast and crew involved in the production. They usually appear as a list of names in small type, which either flip very quickly from page to page, or move smoothly across the...

 in filmmaking
Filmmaking
Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

, and programs and props on stage. This could also include artwork used for t-shirts and other items screenprinted for sale.

From scientific journals to news reporting, the presentation of opinion and facts is often improved with graphics and thoughtful compositions of visual information - known as information design
Information design
Information design is the skill and practice of preparing information so people can use it with efficiency and effectiveness. Where the data is complex or unstructured, a visual representation can express its meaning more clearly to the viewer....

. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, television and film documentaries may use graphic design to inform and entertain. With the advent of the web, information design
Information design
Information design is the skill and practice of preparing information so people can use it with efficiency and effectiveness. Where the data is complex or unstructured, a visual representation can express its meaning more clearly to the viewer....

ers with experience in interactive tools such as Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast...

 are increasingly being used to illustrate the background to news stories.

Skills

A graphic design project may involve the stylization and presentation of existing text
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

 and either preexisting image
Image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

ry or images developed by the graphic designer. For example, a newspaper story begins with the journalists and photojournalists and then becomes the graphic designer's job to organize the page into a reasonable layout and determine if any other graphic elements should be required. In a magazine article or advertisement, often the graphic designer or art director will commission photographers or illustrators to create original pieces just to be incorporated into the design layout. Or the designer may utilize stock imagery or photography. Contemporary design practice has been extended to the modern computer, for example in the use of WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get. The term is used in computing to describe a system in which content displayed onscreen during editing appears in a form closely corresponding to its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product...

 user interfaces, often referred to as interactive design, or multimedia
Multimedia
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

 design.

Visual arts

Before any graphic elements may be applied to a design, the graphic elements must be originated by means of visual art skills. These graphics are often (but not always) developed by a graphic designer. Visual arts include works which are primarily visual in nature using anything from traditional media
Media (arts)
In the arts, a media or medium is a material used by an artist or designer to create a work.-Architecture:In the art and science of architecture, the design and construction of buildings and interiors, infrastructure and other physical structures are created...

, to photography or computer generated art. Graphic design principles may be applied to each graphic art element individually as well as to the final composition.

Typography

Typography is the art, craft and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type. Type glyphs (characters) are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type is the selection of typefaces, point size, tracking (the space between all characters used), kerning (the space between two specific characters), and leading (line spacing).

Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic artists, art directors, and clerical workers. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users.

Page layout

The page layout aspect of graphic design deals with the arrangement of elements (content) on a page, such as image placement, and text layout and style. Beginning from early illuminated
Illuminated
Illuminated may refer to:* Illuminated dance floor, a floor with panels which light up with different colours* Illuminated Film Company, a British animation house...

 pages in hand-copied books of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and proceeding down to intricate modern magazine and catalogue layouts, structured page design has long been a consideration in printed material. With print media, elements usually consist of type
Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

 (text), image
Image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

s (pictures), and occasionally place-holder graphics for elements that are not printed with ink such as die
Die (manufacturing)
A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material using a press. Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create...

/laser cutting
Laser cutting
Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, by computer, at the...

, foil stamping
Foil stamping
Foil stamping, typically a commercial print process, is the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver, but can also be various patterns or what is known as pastel foil which is a flat opaque color or white special film-backed material, to paper where a heated die is stamped onto...

 or blind embossing.

Interface design

Since the advent of the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 and computer software development, many graphic designers have become involved in interface design. This has included web design
Web design
Web design is the process of planning and creating a website. Text, images, digital media and interactive elements are used by web designers to produce the page seen on the web browser...

 and software design
Software design
Software design is a process of problem solving and planning for a software solution. After the purpose and specifications of software are determined, software developers will design or employ designers to develop a plan for a solution...

, when end user interactivity
Interactivity
In the fields of information science, communication, and industrial design, there is debate over the meaning of interactivity. In the "contingency view" of interactivity, there are three levels:...

 is a design consideration of the layout or interface. Combining visual communication skills with the interactive communication skills of user interaction and online branding, graphic designers often work with software developer
Software developer
A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process. Their work includes researching, designing, developing, and testing software. A software developer may take part in design, computer programming, or software project management...

s and web developer
Web developer
A web developer is a software developer or software engineer who specializes in, or is specifically engaged in, the development of World Wide Web applications, or distributed network applications that are run over HTTP from a web server to a web browser....

s to create both the look and feel
Look and feel
In software design, look and feel is a term used in respect of a graphical user interface and comprises aspects of its design, including elements such as colors, shapes, layout, and typefaces , as well as the behavior of dynamic elements such as buttons, boxes, and menus...

 of a web site or software application and enhance the interactive experience of the user or web site visitor. An important aspect of interface design is icon design
Icon design
Icon design is the process of designing a graphic symbol that represents some real, fantasy or abstract motive, entity or action. In the context of software applications, an icon often represents a program, a function, data or a collection of data on a computer system.Icon designs can be simple,...

.

User experience design

Considers how a user interacts with and responds to an interface, service or product and adjusts it accordingly.

Printmaking

Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing on paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

 and other materials or surfaces. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print. Each piece is not a copy but an original since it is not a reproduction of another work of art and is technically known as an impression. Painting or drawing, on the other hand, create a unique original piece of artwork. Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix. Common types of matrices include: plates of metal, usually copper or zinc for engraving or etching; stone, used for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts, linoleum for linocuts and fabric plates for screen-printing. But there are many other kinds, discussed below. Works printed from a single plate create an edition, in modern times usually each signed and numbered to form a limited edition. Prints may also be published in book form, as artist's books. A single print could be the product of one or multiple techniques.

Tools

The mind may be the most important graphic design tool. Aside from technology, graphic design requires judgment
Judgment
A judgment , in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. At the same time the court may also make a range of court orders, such as imposing a sentence upon a guilty defendant in a criminal matter, or providing a remedy for the plaintiff in a civil...

 and creativity
Creativity
Creativity refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new that has some kind of value. What counts as "new" may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs...

. Critical, observational, quantitative and analytic thinking are required for design layouts and rendering
Artistic rendering
Rendering in visual art and technical drawing means the process of creating, shading, and texturing of an image, especially a photorealistic one. It can also be used to describe the quality of execution of that process...

. If the executor is merely following a solution (e.g. sketch, script or instructions) provided by another designer (such as an art director
Art director
The art director is a person who supervise the creative process of a design.The term 'art director' is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games....

), then the executor is not usually considered the designer.

The method of presentation (e.g. arrangement, style, medium) may be equally important to the design. The layout is produced using external traditional
Media (arts)
In the arts, a media or medium is a material used by an artist or designer to create a work.-Architecture:In the art and science of architecture, the design and construction of buildings and interiors, infrastructure and other physical structures are created...

 or digital image editing tools. The appropriate development and presentation tools can substantially change how an audience perceives a project.

In the mid 1980s, the arrival of desktop publishing
Desktop publishing
Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...

 and graphic art software applications introduced a generation of designers to computer image manipulation and creation that had previously been manually executed. Computer graphic design enabled designers to instantly see the effects of layout or typographic changes, and to simulate the effects of traditional media without requiring a lot of space. However, traditional tools such as pencil
Pencil
A pencil is a writing implement or art medium usually constructed of a narrow, solid pigment core inside a protective casing. The case prevents the core from breaking, and also from marking the user’s hand during use....

s or markers
Marker pen
thumb|MarkerA marker pen, marking pen, felt-tip pen, flow or marker, is a pen which has its own ink-source, and usually a tip made of a porous, pressed fibres; such as felt or nylon.-Permanent marker:...

 are useful even when computers are used for finalization; a designer or art director may hand sketch numerous concepts as part of the creative process. Some of these sketches may even be shown to a client for early stage approval, before the designer develops the idea further using a computer and graphic design software tools.

Computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

s are considered an indispensable tool in the graphic design industry. Computers and software applications are generally seen by creative professional
Creative professional
A is a person who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative endeavors. Creative professions include writing, art, design, theater, television, radio, motion pictures, related crafts, as well as marketing, strategy, scientific research and development, product development, engineering,...

s as more effective production tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

s than traditional methods. However, some designers continue to use manual and traditional tools for production, such as Milton Glaser
Milton Glaser
Milton Glaser is a graphic designer, best known for the I Love New York logo, his "Bob Dylan" poster, the "DC bullet" logo used by DC Comics from 1977 to 2005, and the "Brooklyn Brewery" logo. He also founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968.-Biography:Glaser was born into a Hungarian...

.

New ideas can come by way of experimenting with tools and methods. Some designers explore ideas using pencil and paper. Others use many different mark-making tools and resources from computers to sculpture as a means of inspiring creativity. One of the key features of graphic design is that it makes a tool out of appropriate image selection in order to possibly convey meaning.

Computers and the creative process

There is some debate whether computers enhance the creative process of graphic design. Rapid production from the computer allows many designers to explore multiple ideas quickly with more detail than what could be achieved by traditional hand-rendering or paste-up
Paste up
Paste up refers to a method of creating or laying out publication pages that predates the use of the now-standard computerized page design desktop publishing programs. Completed, or camera-ready, pages are known as mechanicals or mechanical art...

 on paper, moving the designer through the creative process more quickly. However, being faced with limitless choices does not help isolate the best design solution and can lead to endless iterations with no clear design outcome.

A graphic designer may use sketches
Sketch (drawing)
A sketch is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work...

 to explore multiple or complex ideas quickly without the distractions and complications of software. Hand-rendered comps
Comprehensive layout
In graphic design and advertising, a comprehensive layout or comprehensive, usually shortened to comp, is the page layout of a proposed design as initially presented by the designer to a client, showing the relative positions of text and illustrations before the specific content of those elements...

 are often used to get approval for an idea execution before a design invests time to produce finished visuals on a computer or in paste-up. The same thumbnail
Thumbnail
Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words...

 sketches or rough drafts on paper may be used to rapidly refine and produce the idea on the computer in a hybrid process. This hybrid process is especially useful in logo
Logo
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition...

 design where a software learning curve
Learning curve
A learning curve is a graphical representation of the changing rate of learning for a given activity or tool. Typically, the increase in retention of information is sharpest after the initial attempts, and then gradually evens out, meaning that less and less new information is retained after each...

 may detract from a creative thought process. The traditional-design/computer-production hybrid process may be used for freeing one's creativity in page layout
Page layout
Page layout is the part of graphic design that deals in the arrangement and style treatment of elements on a page.- History and development :...

 or image development as well. In the early days of computer publishing, many "traditional" graphic designers relied on computer-savvy production artist
Production artist
A production artist is a technical and creative position in a creative profession. The job title originated at advertising agencies, assigning what was known as paste-up work to the position. Production artists work closely with the designer and art director to execute the design...

s to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing to learn the computer skills themselves. However, this practice has been increasingly less common since the advent of desktop publishing
Desktop publishing
Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...

 over 30 years ago. The use of computers and graphics software is now taught in most graphic design courses. As well, many graphic designers take advantage of a multitude of online tools and resources including color pickers, fonts, clipart, tutorials and more.

Some of the most popular software programs being used for Graphic Design are products of Adobe Systems Incorporated. They are Adobe Photoshop (a raster-based program for photo editing), Adobe Illustrator (a vector-based program for drawing), Adobe InDesign (a page layout program), and Adobe Dreamweaver (for Web page design).

Occupations

Graphic design career paths cover all ends of the creative spectrum
Creative industries
The creative industries refers to a range of economic activities which are concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge and information...

 and often overlap. The main job responsibility of a Graphic Designer is the arrangement of visual elements in some type of media. The main job titles include graphic designer
Graphic designer
A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures and...

, art director
Art director
The art director is a person who supervise the creative process of a design.The term 'art director' is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games....

, creative director
Creative Director
A creative director is a position often found within the graphic design, film, music, fashion, advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well....

, and the entry level production artist
Production artist
A production artist is a technical and creative position in a creative profession. The job title originated at advertising agencies, assigning what was known as paste-up work to the position. Production artists work closely with the designer and art director to execute the design...

. Depending on the industry served, the responsibilities may have different titles such as "DTP Associate" or "Graphic Artist", but despite changes in title, graphic design principles remain consistent. The responsibilities may come from or lead to specialized skills such as illustration
Illustration
An illustration is a displayed visualization form presented as a drawing, painting, photograph or other work of art that is created to elucidate or dictate sensual information by providing a visual representation graphically.- Early history :The earliest forms of illustration were prehistoric...

, photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 or interactive design. Today's graduating graphic design students are normally exposed to all of these areas of graphic design and urged to become familiar with all of them as well in order to be competitive.

Graphic designers can work in a variety of environments. Whilst many will work within companies devoted specifically to the industry, such as design consultancies or branding agencies, others may work within publishing, marketing or other communications companies. Increasingly, especially since the introduction of personal computers to the industry, many graphic designers have found themselves working within non-design oriented organizations, as in-house designers. Graphic designers may also work as free-lance designers, working on their own terms, prices, ideas, etc.

A graphic designer reports to the art director
Art director
The art director is a person who supervise the creative process of a design.The term 'art director' is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games....

, creative director
Creative Director
A creative director is a position often found within the graphic design, film, music, fashion, advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well....

 or senior media creative
Senior media creative
The position senior media creative is found on the advertising agency side as well as on the client side.The senior media creative oversees and develops the creative work of a product launch or product repositioning....

. As a designer becomes more senior, they may spend less time designing media and more time leading and directing other designers on broader creative activities, such as brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 development and corporate identity
Corporate identity
In Corporate Communications, a corporate identity is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives...

 development. Also they are often expected to interact more directly with clients.

Related disciplines

  • Architecture
    Architecture
    Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

  • Art director
    Art director
    The art director is a person who supervise the creative process of a design.The term 'art director' is a blanket title for a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games....

  • Communication design
    Communication design
    Communication design is a mixed discipline between design and information-development which is concerned with how media intermission such as printed, crafted, electronic media or presentations communicate with people...

  • Concept art
    Concept art
    Concept art is a form of illustration where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design, idea, and/or mood for use in films, video games, animation, or comic books before it is put into the final product. Concept art is also referred to as visual development and/or concept design...

  • Copywriting
    Copywriting
    Copywriting is the use of words and ideas to promote a person, business, opinion or idea. Although the word copy may be applied to any content intended for printing , the term copywriter is generally limited to promotional situations, regardless of the medium...

  • Creative direction
    Creative Director
    A creative director is a position often found within the graphic design, film, music, fashion, advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well....

  • Design
    Design
    Design as a noun informally refers to a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system while “to design” refers to making this plan...

  • Desktop publishing
    Desktop publishing
    Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...

  • Environmental graphic design
    Environmental graphic design
    Environmental graphic design is a design profession embracing many design disciplines including graphic design, architecture, industrial design and landscape architecture...

  • Industrial design
    Industrial design
    Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

  • Information design
    Information design
    Information design is the skill and practice of preparing information so people can use it with efficiency and effectiveness. Where the data is complex or unstructured, a visual representation can express its meaning more clearly to the viewer....

  • Instructional design
    Instructional design
    Instructional Design is the practice of creating "instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing." The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction, and...

  • Interface design
    Interface design
    Interface design deals with the process of developing a method for two modules in a system to connect and communicate. These modules can apply to hardware, software or the interface between a user and a machine...

  • Landscape Architecture
    Landscape architecture
    Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions...

  • Marketing communications
    Marketing communications
    Marketing Communications are messages and related media used to communicate with a market...

  • Motion design
    Motion design
    Motion Design is a subset of graphic design in that it uses graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context through the use of animation or filmic techniques...

  • New Media
    New media
    New media is a broad term in media studies that emerged in the latter part of the 20th century. For example, new media holds out a possibility of on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, creative participation and community...

  • Technical writing
    Technical writing
    Technical writing, a form of technical communication, is a style of writing used in fields as diverse as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, the aerospace industry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology....

  • Typography
    Typography
    Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

  • Web graphic design

  • Related topics

    • Aesthetics
      Aesthetics
      Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...

    • Adobe Photoshop
      Adobe Photoshop
      Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems Incorporated.Adobe's 2003 "Creative Suite" rebranding led to Adobe Photoshop 8's renaming to Adobe Photoshop CS. Thus, Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the 12th major release of Adobe Photoshop...

    • Color theory
      Color theory
      In the visual arts, color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual impacts of specific color combinations. Although color theory principles first appeared in the writings of Leone Battista Alberti and the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci , a tradition of "colory theory"...

    • Composition (visual arts)
      Composition (visual arts)
      In the visual arts – in particular painting, graphic design, photography and sculpture – composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art or a photograph, as distinct from the subject of a work...

    • Design education
      Design education
      Design education is the teaching of theory and application in the design of products, services and environments. It encompasses various disciplines of design, such as graphic design, user interface design, web design, packaging design, industrial design, fashion design, information design, interior...

    • Design principles and elements
      Design principles and elements
      Design elements and principles describe fundamental ideas about the practice of good visual design that are assumed to be the basis of all intentional visual design strategies. The elements form the 'vocabulary' of the design, while the principles constitute the broader structural aspects of its...

    • European Design Awards
      European Design Awards
      The European Design Awards, also known as the ED-Awards, are annual awards presented to European designers for outstanding work in the communication design field...

    • First Things First 2000 manifesto
      First things first 2000 Manifesto
      The First Things First 2000 manifesto, launched by Adbusters magazine in 1999, was an updated version of the earlier First Things First manifesto written and published in 1964 by Ken Garland, a British designer....

  • Graphic art software
  • Graphic design occupations
    Graphic design occupations
    A number of occupations are commonly classified under the broad term of graphic designer. Graphic design career paths cover all ends of the creative spectrum...

  • Graphics
    Graphics
    Graphics are visual presentations on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, computer screen, paper, or stone to brand, inform, illustrate, or entertain. Examples are photographs, drawings, Line Art, graphs, diagrams, typography, numbers, symbols, geometric designs, maps, engineering drawings,or...

  • Information graphics
    Information graphics
    Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education...

  • List of graphic design institutions
  • List of notable graphic designers
  • Logotype
  • Material culture
    Material culture
    In the social sciences, material culture is a term that refers to the relationship between artifacts and social relations. Studying a culture's relationship to materiality is a lens through which social and cultural attitudes can be discussed...

  • Newspaper
    Newspaper
    A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

  • Paper
    Paper
    Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

  • Pen
    Pen
    A pen is a device used to apply ink to a surface, usually paper, for writing or drawing. Historically, reed pens, quill pens, and dip pens were used, with a nib of some sort to be dipped in the ink. Ruling pens allow precise adjustment of line width, and still find a few specialized uses, but...

  • Professional web designers
    Professional web designers
    Professional web designers are found in many web design companies with the goal of creating websites that meet client specifications. Satisfying client needs and wants is the main objective of all web design teams. A web design may include a project manager, staff designer, senior designer, art...

  • Style guide
    Style guide
    A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field...

  • Value
  • Visualization

  • External links



    Graphic design professional associations
    The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
     
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