Every where we go we see graphic design… in our own homes, shops, tv and other media, carefully assembled colours, shapes, letters and images designed to communicate an idea or a message. The messages or ideas vary massively from conveying information, instruction or endeavoring to just sell. The power of a carefully created graphic can span the boundaries of language, race and culture, the universal language of image.
Graphic design is communication that is deployed visually. In its most simplistic form it can be decorative but this is rarely the case as it’s functional pursuit massively benefits over its ability to just look good. That’s not to say that looking good doesn’t have its place. In fact it does, but combined with purpose is where it demonstrates its true role. It always demands attention, it craves to be noticed, loud, crowded and colorful or minimal and mono, the results can be just as effective. Whether it be large point-of sale (POS) in a retail environment, product packaging in a supermarket competing with a rival brand on the same shelf, products and services can live or die at the hands of graphic design.
More than just words, more than just pictures it is a visual balancing act with communication at it’s fulcrum. It is a jigsaw puzzle with blank pieces that need to be identified and assembled in such order that the final solution makes complete sense. The range of graphic design that we bear witness to each day is of such variety that it is possible that we just take it for granted. How many times have you made a purchase decision without realising why? Often we make subconscious discussions though habit but why is that sometimes we change our minds from our normal choice. Yes it could be information that we have been presented with about the product through advertising, yes it could be the identity of the brand, it could be the way it’s benefits have been presented to us, but ultimately graphically it would have sent us an often subliminal message from which we make a decision.
This is the power that graphic design has when it flexes it’s substantial muscles. It cleverly concerns itself and assembles it’s elements to create a visual grammar and language that we can all read and understand. Over the years graphic design has endured and embraced change. Fashions, fads, styles and trends, but one thing is for sure it never stays still. It can turn full circle over decades, look like it will finish where it started, then venture off in a new direction and start a new journey. As often as it is influential it is also influenced.
Ever since the 15th century with the invention of the printing press words and images could be mass produced or published allowing comments and opinions to be consumed by the masses and with the advent of printing came typography, the visual style and representation by which words are displayed influencing image, branding and logos