Talk:Graphic design

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Graphic Design is not Art or Style[edit]

in the start, it says "Graphic design is the art of communication, stylizing, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image." - Graphic Design is a methodology, not an art - and stylizing is not relevant as all in the graphic design process. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 4 September 2014 (UTC)


Previously posted:

It seems that many uses of the term "font" in this entry should be replaced by "typeface". Font is really a specific style and size of the typeface ( Univers Bold Oblique ) and typeface is the entire family of fonts.

that's been done, I saw that "font" was incorrectly used, and considering that this was a definition of graphic design, not just computer graphics, and in relation to the correct terminology of typography, they just had to be changed.

Yes,, and it is being used incorrectly in the discussion above. Consulting Robert Bringhurst's book The Elements of Typographic Style (the Strunk and White of typography) gives us the following definition: font: A set of sorts or glyphs. In the world of metal type, this means a given alphabet, with all of it's accessory characters, in a given size. In relation to phototype, it usually means the assortment of standard patterns forming the glyph palette, without regard to size, or the actual filmstrip or wheel on which these patterns are stored. In the world of digital type, the font is the glyph palette itself, or (emphasis mine) the digital information encoding it.

A typeface is the instantiation of the font on a page. Basically, a typeface is what you see. A font is the digital information that creates the typeface.

No, this is backwards. A font is the instantiation of a typeface (in a particular size), not the other way round. When actual typefaces became first available for the PC, the computer makers incorrectly called them "fonts" and the terminology stuck. However, it has been disputed how consistently people had applied this "font"/"typeface" distinction before the widespread use of the computer.—Gniw (Wing) 15:58, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm under the impression both are right. The majority of typesetter I know use the term font to refer to a specific size and style, but Bringhurt's rather authoritative book contradicts that, and I do know some serious typesetters who also use the term as Bringhurst does. I would suggest, that the term font be used for the specific only for consistency, but a note be added to clarify the alternate usage of the word, since it does appear to have validity and some popular useage. Adam Christopher 18:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Adam

a message?[edit]

also, i'm not necessarily sure that graphic art must convey a speicifc message as implied in the initial description. that implication seems to me more suited towards propaganda/poster art, or commercial graphic design.

no, art is a form of expression and thus will always convey a message whether it be conciously of subconciously 22:28, 23 October 2005 (UTC) It's APPLIED art and therefor it has to follow the message [mostly from AN OTHER ONE e.g. the client] that was ment to be [content e.g.]. That's THE difference with [free] ART as a very personal expression like in paintings and sculptures.

I think you mean commercial art and graphic design. At least it would be udeful to make the distinction, because not all graphic design is commercial. Some of it is personal (not done for any comercial reasons), and some borders on fine art. And not all graphic design conveys messages. Some of it, commercial or not, conveys ideas, emotions, feelings. Are messages equivalent to ideas? Arbo 13:29, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Messages are ideas, emotions, concepts given form so they can be percieved, in this case graphic form see Communication theory and Semiology. Whether this is for commercial reasons or not does seem overy relevant to its definition, the basis of Graphic design is to communicate something and so therefore is a message. --Davémon 09:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
For the record, only the post directly above this one is mine. The edit history for this talk page paints a confusing picture, making it look as if several posts before mine directly above were made by me, but that is not the case. Somehow the system has assigned my signature to the unsigned posts preceeding mine. Arbo 16:19, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Graphic Design must attempt to purposefully communicate a message (idea, emotion, concept, word, etc...), otherwise it is art. Everything communicates, but it is this purposeful nature that differentiates design from art. But even still there would be overlap with thes definitions. I'm not sure the impetus for this purpose must be external. I can certainly create something for my own purposes which is unambiguosly graphic design, (ie a business card to promote my own graphic design services) although there is no external client involved. How could we better differentiate this distinction then? Adam Christopher 19:03, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Adam


Why do these two images represent graphic design? Shouldn't there be classic design pieces on this page? Something historical and recognizable, something that will make someone who doesn't know much about design say, "OH. THAT's graphic design," when they see them? The two shown here don't say anything about graphic design to me.. They're just illustrations.

Vis. comm[edit]

Just a question, what is actually the difference between graphic design and visual communication? Lately the name of university courses in graphic design have been changed to visual communication, so I thought they are the same. But there are two separate articles on these topics. Hayabusa future 10:28, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not totally sure what the difference is, but it seems like graphic communication is more corporate/techi and less design, and graphic design is more concentrated on the look/design aspect.

The profession of graphic design has been known by a number of different names and to this day is a source of confusion. Maybe the cleanup task force can fix this? Graphic arts, commercial arts, visual design and communication, all are murky waters containing graphic design. My assumption is that graphic design is the preferred term despite the fact that the premier graphic design organization in America (AIGA) is really the American Institute of Graphic Arts, which implies more of a printing origin (which it was). In fact, one of the main U.S. professional periodicals, PRINT, had its origins in the printing business, where most graphic designers were employed before consulting firms were widespread. The overall graphic design article needs work but, alas, most graphic designers are quite busy and must not be getting as involved as they should! Unfortunately, with layout software at everyone's disposal, there is a whole lot of graphic art and visual communication going on that is not graphic design.

Both mean the same thing. I believe that graphic design is the most established term. Where I am many designers prefer the term visual communication design, but few actually use it. I have a serious problem with both terms. As a graphic designer, sometimes the solution I come up with for clients are not graphic or visual in nature. (ie. brand naming, or in some cases sound based solutions). I would prefer the term Communication Design, but this is maddeningly vague. Regardless, the word design has been dragged through the mud at this point. Creating graphics is NOT creating graphic design, the same as simply communicating is NOT the same as Communication Design. The more important focus is on the word design. Adam Christopher 19:11, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Adam


This entry is terrible - I have just created a wikipedia account purely to fix this page.

Many notable designers and periods are not credited - Where is Paul Rand? A giant of the industry! Josef Muller-Brockman is mentioned for his 'poster work' - not for his hugely influential book, Grid Systems iiin Graphic Design.

Emil Ruder, Wolfgang Weingart, Peter Saville, David Carson, Neville Brody, Alan Fletcher, Pentagram, D&AD - all missing.

I am going to work on a major rewrite over the next few weeks. This is not on!

Yes, it is extremely lacking. It needs a lot of input from people who work as graphic designers and commercial artists too. Arbo 13:32, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I would agree. I also think more should be said about indie design companies.

Quite frankly it's an embarrasment to the industry -- davemon 17:52, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
It is horrible. Please let's drum up some effort to get this working. Adam Christopher 19:13, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Adam
Note that there is now a Graphic design WikiProject, which is meant to coordinate such activities. --LambiamTalk 10:47, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Support for software section[edit]

The additional external links were proper and provided resource support to the section on software. All the sites were excellent and your reaction seems reflexive.

I don't think software how-to sites are relevant to an article about graphic design, even if there is a short section about software. Links to software tutorials really should go to an article about that particular piece of software. Also, especially in the case of tutorials and how-to material, if one or two sites can't be identified as "the sites to go to", linking to a good web directory instead should be considered. Now if somewhere on the web there was an article about the impact of tutorials, linking to that would be more than welcome. Aapo Laitinen 16:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I can accept that. One of the sites was a good Graphic Design Web Directory, I'll just add that one and keep an eye out for an article on the impact of tutorials. A reasonable explanation. Thank You.


Article structure[edit]

I would like to invite people to look into the structure of the article. As it stands now, the section The classic theory of design doesn't really describe what I have come to know as the classic theory of design. Either the headers and the section's introductory paragraph need to be changed to something more approriate or the article needs major restructuring to accommodate both the classic (and constrained) and the modern (and holistic) versions. Aapo Laitinen 19:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


Anonymous editor placed 'Appreciation of Beauty' in the list of Design Principles. This quality belongs to the designer and observer, and is not a principle of design itself. Really belongs to a discussion of aesthetics --Davémon 09:06, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous editor put references to Kelly D. Williams Morrissey silkscreens - this has yet to become an iconic image of the 20th C, unlike the Milton Glaser ILoveNY logo, so doesn't really bear comparison. --Davémon 10:47, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


I'll be merging Graphic designers into this article. Clubmarx 21:06, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

What I did in the merger:
  • intro: separated methods from mediums, fixed many links
  • removed/edited several POV statements, including Emigre - not a lot of wiki links to Emigre pages, google search has this graphic design article as second results
  • remove schooling - no creditialing for graphic designers
  • remove other red/non links to WP:NN
The history and theory sections are still in need of a lot of work. It starts at 14000BC then is mostly about typography, not graphic design. Clubmarx 22:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Graphic arts merge[edit]

I've put a tag to merge Graphic arts into this article. However, I don't think there is much content that is appropriate to merge. I do think a redirect from Graphic arts to Graphic design is necessary. --Clubmarx 03:31, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Below are some things I posted on the talk page of Graphic arts and on an AfD page for that article. I believe that what I propose is a better solution, --LambiamTalk 17:32, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
    • (from Talk:Graphic arts)
      Identical topics
      It seems to me that this topic is the same as Printmaking and that the two articles should be merged — by someone more knowledgeable with the subject matter than I am. Lambiam 22:29, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
    • (from Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Graphic arts:)
      • Make this a disambiguation page. On the talk page of Graphic arts I have argued that the article should be merged with Printmaking. I have no problem if one of these directs to the other; I don't care which to which. Although there is overlap, I do not agree that the terms "graphic arts" and "graphic design" are synonymous; to me they mean different things. Escher was a graphic artist: he used lithography and woodcuts. He was not a graphic designer. So apparently the same term means different things to different people. An acceptable alternative may be to make this a disambiguation page: Graphic arts may mean: *Printmaking, the art of ... *Graphic design, ... --LambiamTalk 03:39, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

I disagree that graphic design is the same as printmaking. Although, I'm not really sure what 'printmaking' is'. It is certainly not a word I have heard in common usage for quite some time. graphic design can overlap into web design, it can also include other forms off multi-media, branding, corporate identity, signmaking and plenty more. But graphic design, as a principle and concept, stands alone in definition. Graphic arts should possibly also stay separate. The graphic arts could include etching, fine arts, illustration, painting ceramics and many other artisan-based topics. But garaphic design - at least in its 20/21st century mode, is a commercial professional, not an 'art' in the traditional sense.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

No-one said or suggested that graphic design is the same as printmaking. That remark comes from the talk page of Graphic arts, and in that context "this topic" mains: the graphic arts. It used to be the case that graphic arts and printmaking were more or less synonyms. Printmaking is the graphic art form in which an image is printed through one of various techniques, such as engraving, etching, lithography, screen-printing, woodcut, linocut and various other ways. Examples of graphic artists (several but not all of which were also painters) are Rembrandt, Escher, Toyokuni, Daumier, Steinlen, and Masereel. It would be weird to call any of these a graphic designer. --LambiamTalk 12:35, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

To try and answer the difference between graphic design and print making - and I appologise if I am doing this all wrong, it's my first edit. I agree with the previous edit starting ':No-one said', in that print making encompasses the physical act of making a print, using whatever medium the print maker chooses (wood, copper whatever), whereas graphic design relates more to the production of the initial image. The best way I can describe it is through photography, which is a similar 2 stage process. First take a picture. This is synonymous with designing an image to print. Then print it. Now if you do the printing manually - using wet chemicals - as a print maker using a wood block or engraver does, you have complete control over how the finished print will look. Is that tree too dark? shall I increase the highlights in the water? Is the sky too blue, or whatever. By applying ink carefully to a wood block, or copper engraving a printmaker can charge the mood of the whole image.

Personnally I think the problem with this page is that graphic design is a process, rather than a thing. To produce graphic art you go through the process of graphic design. To produce a graphic print, poster, magazine advert, web page, TV station ident or whatever you go through the same process. Examine what needs (or you want) to be produced, examine the limitations/strengths of the medium it is to be produced in (A wood block printer would not be able to produce a moving image, a web designer would not use an image that was 50 feet long, a logo designer would need to know if the image was to be used in grey scale, or faxed and so on). A client does not need to be involved, though it is true that many graphic images are now produced for clients. Fine art is distinct from graphic art only because someone has said so. The work that goes into a comic book can exceed that which goes into a modern painting yet the comic is classed as graphic art and the painting fine art. Was Andy Warhol a graphic artist or a fine artist? Rembrant's work is classed as fine art, yet he also produced prints. I don't think it actually matters what you use to produce the image, computer, pen, paper, woodblock or whatever. If you produce a graphic image then you do so using the process of graphic design. Trying to define exactly what a graphic image is though is much much harder. John.--Cogvos 14:06, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

In how I see the terms used, graphic design is about producing an image in order to get a message across. Graphic artists, like most artists, do not aim to deliver a message. --LambiamTalk 21:42, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

A lot of the terms in this discussion have become very confusing over time.

When I started laying out type and images in the early 1970s, I was called a "commercial artist" (or, even less prestigiously, a 'layout artist'), and I was working in the "graphic arts" field. Historically 'graphic arts' referred to the printing trade -- and did not include fine arts. But then again, a lot of works we now call 'fine arts' were commissioned (esp. by the church) to communicate a client's message and therefore don't fit our current idea that fine arts are works of self-expression -- in fact, they were more like our illustrations.

'Commercial artist' was a confusing title -- a lot of people assumed it was synonymous with 'Professional artist'. Since we were working in the field of 'graphic arts' (i.e., the printing trade), it seemed to make sense to start calling ourselves 'graphic artists'.

That was still confusing and misleading. We didn't create art, we were combining graphic elements to communicate a client's message -- we were using graphic elements to 'construct' messages on 2-D surfaces.

In addition, because fine artists started pushing borders by using printing techniques that had historically been unique to commercial arts, the term 'graphic arts' started applying to any work on 2-D surfaces.

The term 'design' then started to make more sense to those of us constructing messages with graphic elements: designers (e.g., architects, industrial designers, fashion designers) give form to objects. We were giving a special sort of form to ideas using type, images, and color -- a graphic form. We started to call ourselves 'graphic designers'.

But design is both a verb and a noun. The process we use is communication problem-solving, which we unfortunately call "graphic design", and its result is a form that we also call "graphic design".

SO, I think 'graphic artist' is an anachronistic and confusing term that should be abandoned. Artists expressing themselves using techniques and media borrowed from graphic design, are not graphic artists, rather I argue that they are fine artists who are printmakers.

Graphic designers are design specialists whose specialty is using graphic elements to convey messages that are essentially in 2-D -- even though they might be used on 3-D objects and 4-D media.

Therefore, Graphic Design is now a subset of graphic arts, and the 2 pages should not be merged. The Graphic arts page should be expanded as an overview of graphic media. Printmaking is a technique of the graphic arts, and so those 2 pages should not be merged.

However, with the advent of interactive media, 'graphic design' is quickly becoming an anachronistic term, hence the more encompassing 'Visual communication'. I think merging the articles on Graphic Design with Visual Communication makes the most sense. And, since I think the term that is losing ground is 'graphic design', I think the Graphic design article should redirect to the Visual Communication article, expanding that one to include hyper-media.

Or alternatively, keep graphic design restricted to 2-D and make it a subset of Visual Communication, which would also include hyper-media on the same level as graphic design. In this case, a graphic designer designs for print, a hyper-media designer designs for electronic media such as web, CD, etc.

--Renice 00:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

The fact is that the term "graphic artist" is used with several meanings, one of which is: an artist who uses graphic techniques as a means of expression. (I would not say "borrowed from graphic design", since there were graphic artists in this sense – e.g. Rembrandt – long before there was any notion of graphic design.) So the term is indeed confusing, but it is not the task of Wikipedia to prescribe what terms should be used, and which should be abolished. If a term is used with several meanings, we typically use a disambiguation page. --LambiamTalk 00:54, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

"long before there was any notion of graphic design"
exactly -- he was a fine artist using printmaking techniques.

Graphic arts as a disambiguation page makes sense.

--Renice 01:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

"it is not the task of Wikipedia to prescribe what terms should be used"
What does Wikipedia do with incorrectly used terms? It's telling that the American Heritage Dictionary contains the noun graphic designer under graphic design, but it does not have graphic artist under graphic arts. In fact it doesn't contain graphic artist at all.

As a title or classification for artists working in 2-D, graphic artist is simply incorrect. It is not used for intaglio masters such as Rembrandt, or even for artists such as Lautrec or Morris.

If anything, graphic artist could be given a brief mention as a past name for graphic designer, but I don't know what source could be cited. I'll keep looking though.

--Renice 12:28, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe you don't use "graphic artist" for people like Rembrandt and Lautrec, but others do: [1], [2]. --LambiamTalk 21:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Moreover, this "incorrectly used term" is rampant in Wikipedia: Elene Akhvlediani, Alexander Archipenko, István Árkossy, Leonard Baskin, Joseph Bau, Vasili Bazhenov, Max Beckmann, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Isabel Bishop, Friedrich von Bömches, Angel Botello, Konstanty Brandel, Günter Brus, Daniel Chodowiecki, Boris Chorikov, Camille Claudel, Carlos Cortez, Alexander Deyneka, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Eugen Drăguţescu, M. C. Escher, Nina Genke-Meller, Boris Grigoriev, Peter Hammerschlag, Karl Erik Harr, Iosif Iser, Sergei Ivanov, Shalva Kikodze, Pavel Kuznetsov, Eugene Lanceray, Gisèle Lestrange, Johan Lundbye, Christoph Meckel, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, Ioan Mirea, Solomon Nikritin, Józef Pankiewicz, Veno Pilon, Max Pechstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Kliment Red'ko, Hans Richter, Jan Rubczak, Wawrzyniec Samp, Eva Schulze-Knabe, André Segonzac, Volodymyr Sichynskyi, Hugo Simberg, Koloman Sokol, Jindřich Štyrský, Rini Templeton, Francisco Toledo, Simon Ushakov, Victor Vasarely, Apollinary Vasnetsov, Aloys Wach, Alfons Walde, Mihály Zichy. --LambiamTalk 01:00, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

First of all, this is my first in a "discuss" section on wikipedia, so I hope I am doing things right (technically and socially). Merging graphic design and graphic arts, IMHO, is a really bad idea. Graphic design is an applied "art": a professional pursuit. Graphic arts encompasses the production of printed materials (for instance, commercial printers are considered to be part of the graphic arts industry), as well as aspects of fine art. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I am a vice-president of the world body for graphic design, Icograda, and one of the issues we fight passionately for is education of the public as to the distinction between graphic design and fine art. I could get into way more detail about this if it would prove constructive, as well as bring in people who have spent months thinking about this.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by David Berman (talkcontribs) 04:32, August 4, 2006 (UTC).

It's been a few months since the last post, and there's no clear consensus to merge, so I'm removing the tags. Sbwoodside 05:32, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Software image[edit]

I am changing the screenshot from Adobe Photoshop to GIMP The reason is twofold:

Firstly, under the fair use licensing tag of the Adobe image, it states that the image may be used for identification of and critical commentary on the software in question. Using the image to illustrate and example of a type of software does not meet the stated requirement.

Secondly, according to Wikipedia's fair use policy, fair use images shouldn't be used where free alternatives are available.

-Seidenstud 03:03, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

But the new image does not illustrate the use of computers in doing graphic design at all! It is just a random screen shot of a GUI. Where do you find "the fair use licensing tag of the Adobe image"? Should that be apparent from Image:Flowxvi.png? Or is it something on an "About this software" or startup splash page when you run Photoshop? What is the exact wording? --LambiamTalk 20:28, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Seidenstud, How many professinals use the GIMP vs. Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator? If you can show me that puting a picture of the GIMP up there is -more- representational of the industry as a whole i think you should be able to keep it. Otherwise let's keep photoshop screenshots (since we already have a photoshop screenshot in the photoshop article) 20:30, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Move "Graphic Arts" page[edit]

It appears the information on the Graphic Arts entry is best applied as a sub entry into the Printmaking page. It would serve best as an addition or an eastern history of the medium but is not exactly relevant for a Graphic Design entry. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ga1lyons (talkcontribs) 03:09, September 2, 2006 (UTC).

These are completely different things. I oppose moving it into Graphic Design. -- 16:55, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

State of the article[edit]

This page still needs a ton of work. I just tweaked the intro, and I will continue to work on various sections as I have time. Feel free to discuss/change anything I add. Rasi2290 16:25, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Your last edit was a real improvement. Keep up the good work. When you introduced the word "devices", you may have missed the fact that the next sentence in the text also uses that word; the juxtaposition is a bit bumpy, stylistically speaking. --LambiamTalk 20:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I just removed BOTH instances of "devices", and also consolidated the "examples" section, which I felt was difficult to read. Next I'll try to reorganize the current info before any further changes.Rasi2290

Going forward, I will work on the Wikiproject page for this article. Rasi2290

I assume you mean the newly created Wikipedia:WikiProject Graphic design. The scope is a bit wider than just this article. --LambiamTalk 12:08, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. But I personally intend to mostly work on the part of the project that is the graphic design article. Wow, that sentence was quite the bastardization of grammar.Rasi2290

the Purpose of Design[edit]

Everybody's talking about method, but I'd like to propose that we address the actual purpose of graphic design.

In my mind, we design for two reasons: 1) To Organize, and 2) To Compel. Although they often merge, the social ramifications of the latter, and its inherent complexity, are what I'd like to see addressed.

Organizational design takes informative material and presents it in a way that the reader can learn/experience it the way the author would like them to. For example, a physics text will contain all the information on a given topic, but a good graphic designer assists the reader in learning the most important parts that facilitate as complete an understanding of the topic as possible.

Compelling design presents an idea and compels the reader to action. This area is dominated by advertising of one form or another. Advertising’s goal is to create a need perception and provide an apparent solution to that need, in the form of a product or an idea. For example, much of my design work is related to environmental protection. My goal in an environmental action advertisement is to create reader empathy that evokes a protective emotional response.

One area I’m involved in, the Valle Vidal, is a beautiful, mountainous region in northern New Mexico that is being threatened by coal bed methane drilling. The crux of the issue is that, if drilled, this area would feed America’s natural gas needs for one day…two at best, but to get that gas, you’d basically have to ruin 40,000 acres forever.

Believe it or not, this is a heated debate in the current political climate. Everything I do as designer for this cause must evoke anger and outrage in a very large and politically varied demographic -so much so, that they will call a senator or write a congressperson. This is not an easy task, and is nothing short of psychological warfare… albeit for a good cause.

BUT, many causes that designers perform their magic for are not so altruistic.

Many of you might think that this is an advertising issue -something that doesn't apply to you. That's all fine and good, but how many of your clients can afford to hire a separate ad agency? How many of you just provide design and don't influence content?

Is your client really good at what they do? Are your talents leading the consumer to the right person or product for their needs, or are you "painting a pig?" We've all looked the other way at some time or another, or avoided such thoughts altogether, but let's face the reality of the issue: we psychologically compel people to do things they might not have done, unless our talents successfully interceded.

That is why I feel that this topic, the societal impact of graphic design, needs to be addressed. I’m glad to help contribute towards the effort, but by nature it requires a multilateral approach – perhaps even including a point of view from someone whose moral foundations are, shall I say…ambiguous.

Any thoughts?

Joeadair 08:18, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Disagree. The purpose of design is explained in the design page. More specifically, the purpose of graphic design is explained in the communication design page. I know that page needs expanding, but that's where the broader scope should be explained. Graphic design is just a method of communication. The purpose(s) (strong emphasis on the plural) of graphic design is the same thing as the purposes of communication or what is being communicated. The number of purposes for communicating is infinite. Oicumayberight 21:02, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I have to disagree with your assessment as both clinical and simplistic. Claming that graphic design is merely methodology is comparable to claiming that the military is strictly an organization dedicated to physical training. I also disagree with your interpretation of purpose(s) and say that it is intentions and not purposes which are infinite. The purpose is to sell. I stand by my initial statement that there are social implications to graphic design, specifically. Joeadair 16:16, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
"Intentions not purposes?" What's the difference?
"The purpose is to sell?" Communication design serves more purpose than to sell. And you're accusing me of being simplistic?
I don't know how you interpret that "the military is only training" from my statement about design. The military is methodology, but the method is much broader than training. The military is a method of defense and protecting interest abroad. But the military has no interest aside from the interest of the government it serves. If you want to compare the military to graphic design: the military is to governments, what graphic design is to communication. The military is a subset of government.. A government could theoretically exist without a military, but a military cannot exist without a government. Graphic design is a subset of communication. Communication can exist without graphic design, but graphic design would not exist without communication. Even graphic notes to oneself is a form of communication. Communication serves more purposes than selling. Communication utilizes more than graphic design. Selling is a form of communication, but is not the only purpose of communication. There's education, entertainment, collaboration, etc. What does graphic design do other than communicate? What is graphic design other than a method of communicating? Oicumayberight 18:12, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Design is a process. The purpose can be extremely malleable. I can't accept any narrow scope of purpose, I have seen the process applied to such a staggerig variety of opportunities and problems. "The purpose is to sell" is flat out WRONG. For instance, what is the purpose of designing an animated typography sequence which the director wants to convey a characters internal turmoil and pull the heart strings of the viewer who watches this motion picture. This is graphic design, communicating a sentiment or feeling. One problem I have with the term graphic design in general is that the solutions I come up with for my clients often contain more than just graphics, and sometimes contain no visual elements at all. The only consistency of purpose I can say is that graphic design should really be called communication design, since this is what it is about. I realize it seems contradictory, but the term graphic design as we use it is not even about visual communication, JUST communication. Adam Christopher 18:46, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Adam

I apologize for becoming ad homonym in my remarks.

Just to clarify, I'm talking about my segment of design, not all segments. Especially the sales remark. Don't think you guys dabble in my kind of stuff. No time to explain now, but will post a REALLY long-winded description. Right now, I gotta deal with politics via direct mail. At least it's for someone I believe in.

Perhaps reading my original post would help? Joeadair 04:26, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

If the original post you are referring to is the one on this talk page, I just re-read it, and I still don't see why "purpose" beyond design or communication in general is relevant to graphic design. To organize and compel are possible goals of graphic design, but not exclusive or required goals. Graphic designs may intentionally use chaos rather than organization to convey a message or stimulate an emotion, depending on the goal. "Compel" [3] is a strong word. Some graphic designs may aim to mildly persuade instead of strongly or forcefully compel. In addition to compel and persuade there are graphic designs that are meant to inform, educate and train aside from stimulating the emotions.
It sounds as though you are concerned with social, political or personal convictions of the designers more than the designs. I don't deny that designers should understand the potential level of impact and take responsibility for the consequences of their designs. But I believe that's a matter of media studies or political science more than a matter of graphic design. Graphic design is a method of delivering any message, not necessarily impeded by the moral, political, social, environmental, or personal consequences of that message. Oicumayberight 06:58, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The consequences of delivering a message might not fall under graphic design as a profession, but the political and social aspects of design are legitimate, essential concerns for graphic design as a discipline. (By discipline, I mean a department of learning and knowledge, particularly in an academic setting.) Courses in design schools cover these issues — and great number of practicing designers, including most contemporary design writers, care about them as well.
As this discussion demonstrates, there are a great many notions of what graphic design is, or is not. I find these kinds of debates exciting, but ultimately, they are unresolvable. The purposes of writing an encyclopedia article are best served by enumerating the different points of view. Chelt 19:37, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps what began my line of thought, are the type of entries I have seen so far. They seek to break down the profession into a formulaic set of processes, when design in fact is a multi-disciplined art form, which has artistic, aesthetic, psychological and sociological nuances.

I think graphic design has impact.

As a freelance designer, graphic design is not just the tasteful arrangement of objects on a grid for presentation. Graphic design is lots of things... I was trying to describe one aspect of the profession, one which consumes much more of my time than typography or image editing (when that is the type of job I'm working on.)

I get to spend lots of time making beautiful things that are absolutely meaningless in the scheme of life – and I derive a ton of satisfaction from it. But I think the other part of my job is just as important within the field of graphic design… and it does in fact mean something more than a grid does. Joeadair 23:19, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

The part of your job that you described, the part you like the most, sounds a lot like communication design. I can see explaining principles of communication design in the graphic design page, but only as communication design pertains to graphic design. Communication design is applied to graphic design, in the same way that family values are applied to parenting. If you were to make a page about parenting, you wouldn't go too deep into family values for a couple of important reasons. First, family values are not all there is to parenting. You'd want to leave room to write about the other aspects of parenting, respectful of the likelihood that some readers may not care much about the other parts of family values aside from parenting. Secondly, parenting is not all there is to family values. Issues of spouse-hood, personal health, and balancing career would be discussed on the family values page, but not the parenting page.
It's a good idea to explain how communication design ties into graphic design. There just needs to be restraint from going too deep into the principles of communication design aside from how they are applied to graphic design. I can see using one or two examples of how graphic design was used to deliver a message or solve a communication problem. However, the message used in the example should be apolitical or at least a message that few, if any, people would disagree with, like a conflict that was resolved decades ago. Using a message that is politically charged today, would only hurt participation to this page. It would draw more attention to the agenda of the messenger than it would the graphic design part which is the handling of the message. Graphic design is a powerful tool for communicating. We need to present that power as neutral. Oicumayberight 03:37, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable, and I like your take. I'll make a suggested entry and post it here for review and editing sometime next week. Joeadair 14:45, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Art versus design[edit]

The current section in the article is basically an unstructured enumeration of various possible points of view regarding the relationship between art and design, somewhat inconsistently beginning with one particular pov presented as if an apodictic fact ("Design is art with a purpose"), followed by other pov's hedged by weasel words ("Some argue ...", "Others argue ...", "The argument could be put forward ..."). None of these opinions are attributed to verifiable sources, and so this section has no more value than a random reverie. I propose to remove the whole section until it can be replaced by a properly researched and cited exposition. --LambiamTalk 08:51, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The section should be removed until it is rewritten and references objective sources. It's not very professional. I don't think there should be reference to "design" without specifying "graphic design". There are pages that discuss both the meaning of art and the meaning of design. This page should be exclusively for discussing graphic design. This is not the page to discuss differences between commercial art, pop art, folk art, and fine art. They all use graphic design. Oicumayberight 17:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I added the original art v design text (the second paragraph) which, I agree, was short and incomplete, but was at least an attempt at impartiallity. I would, however, delete the whole first paragraph.
I would not remove the whole section as the short paragraph at least gives the introduction to a subject that is debated regularly in the industry. It is a subject that is intrinsic to the discipline. Even the first paragraph of the page has the subjective; "Unlike fine art, it is normally used for commercial purposes". It may be a far from perfect piece of writing, but removing all reference to the subject does the user a disservice IMHO. I have ammended the paragraph slightly and I will research some sources and add them as time allows. I am new to this BTW. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bonzobonce (talkcontribs) 04:09, September 23, 2006 (UTC).
It looks like a commentary on the culture of graphic design. The cultural difference extends beyond graphic design vs fine art. This could become a political debate forum instead of an educational tool. There is a place for it, just not here. I think it should be left out unless someone can prove indisputable differences between art and graphic design. We could just be talking about simple differences of terminology here. If there is any difference, it's probably along the lines of art as "expression" vs art as a "problem-solving" tool. Oicumayberight 06:05, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

The newest edits introduce more problems than they solve. The Elimeliah essay, independently of its merits, has no status as a "reliable source" and is also otherwise "non-notable". It should not be linked to. Is it proper to classify Art as a discipline? Now it is stated as if incontrovertible that art and graphic design are distinct. Well, if that is so obvious, then why is there much debate about it? Is it really necessarily true that "art is created for its own sake"? Much art is commissioned. Or aren't Michelangelo's paintings of the Sistine chapel art? What about applied arts? Does it follow that we need to be privy to the maker's intentions while creating the work in order to assess whether it qualifies as art? There is a reason that "however" is listed as one of the "words to avoid". Very roughly, the tenor of the section is now: "Art is distinct from design. However, design is art." All together, it is not particularly encyclopedic and informative; in any case, it has the characteristics of "original research". --LambiamTalk 10:33, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the section. --LambiamTalk 21:43, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'll bow to the longer term editors here but proving... "indisputable differences between art and graphic design"? If we are looking for that kind of empirical data for everything to do with this subject, then we are on to a loser before we start. Using that criteria, I could pull apart pretty much everything written on the graphic design page. For example, I am still trying to understand what the "classic theory of design" means and quite why it is still on this page. Bonzobonce 12:35, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

What we as editors need to prove, in including a paragraph on "art versus design", is that there are reliable sources backing what we write, for instance showing such a distinction being considered indisputable (or the converse). Something like: "Tschichold (Typografische Entwurfstechnik, p. 101ff) stated that design is not an art form, but that techniques from design can be used in creating art. The viewpoint that design is a new form of art was put forward by David Carson (2nd Sight: Grafik Design After the End of Print, Chapter 1)." See WP:NOR, WP:V and WP:RS. If we do such a thing at all, we must make sure all notable viewpoints are fairly represented and presented. See WP:NPOV. It may be true that not everything we have is properly backed by citable sources, but that can not be used as an argument defending challenged sections. --LambiamTalk 16:19, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
What you suggest may be impossible and might not serve to supply an accurate explanation of graphic design today. Graphic design's place in this world has changed radically in recent years, and what it can be changes more rapidly than "reliable sources" can keep up with.
I doubt that graphic design is even vaguely the animal it was when discussed by experts of the past; not just because of changing technology per se, but because of the freedom that technology provides. Art is now a facet of graphic design, where before it was impractical.
Graphic design was more of a craft and a process prior to the desktop revolution, but sorry Tschichold, that’s all in der Vergangenheit now.
Oh and the (now deleted) notion mentioned above, that art and compensation are mutually exclusive ideas... wow. Joeadair 23:51, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
The essays collected in the Looking Closer series will provide good sources for these kinds of philosophical questions. Looking Closer 3 contains a passel of historical essays, while Looking Closer 4 deals with contemporary issues like social responsibility. All my books are in storage right now, or I'd look myself. Chelt 01:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Use of Computers[edit]

I think the jury is still out as to whether or not computers help the creative aspect of graphic design with expanded options more than it hinders creativity with overwhelming options, limitations in configurations or limits of technical knowledge. One example of where the computer may hinder creativity is the convenience of using installed fonts before considering fonts not installed or typefaces that haven't been converted to fonts. Another example is how learning the technology in the design process can sidetrack the creative train of thought. This is why many professional designers use thumbnail sketches before going to the computer. There's no doubt that computers help graphic production. However, design involves an element of creativity that can be hindered by the technical learning curve of the computer perhaps as easily as it is enhanced by the ease of trial. Oicumayberight 01:33, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but the jury is still out?! Incredibly preposterous Luddite-speak. Joeadair 04:17, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Are you making a point here? If you are, It was lost in the snide remark. If I were a luddite, I wouldn't be using wikipedia. I know there isn't much reference to prove the effects on creativity from the technology either way. We are not talking about production here.
It's obvious to more experienced professionals that production and technical skills are not the same as creativity just by the increased amount of unoriginal work, passed off as professional, proportionate to the growth of the so-called creative software. Software is not creative. People are creative. Software is just a tool. Creativity doesn't come from access to cool tools. Creativity comes from thinking outside the box that the tools often put people in. I'm not making a case for low tech. I'm just stating that when it comes to creativity (not productivity), there's no proof that new tools are more of a source of new ideas than they are a creative mental block. Creativity is different from productivity. Software doesn't' makes a person creative any more than a scalpel makes a person a surgeon. Oicumayberight 08:04, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
This points toward several issues. One is the decline of supporting trades; graphic designers must now perform work previously carried out by stat-camera operators, pasteup artists, typesetters, and prepress men. Another is the debate about what should constitute design education, and where the balance between technology and principles falls. Then there's the question of what constitutes graphic design, as a profession, and whether desktop publishing fits in; this is the real driving force behind the mid-late-90s push for certification of graphic designers.
My overall impression is that the leaders of the graphic design profession - the people who write books, who give lectures, who get books written about them, who teach in the most prominent design schools - agree that computers are just tools. Oicumayberight makes an important point. I'd love to write this section, but - gah - I can't get my books for a few months. Chelt 13:52, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, you seem to bring that out in me …maybe it’s because you imply that only computer users who struggle with technology are REAL designers; anyone else is just a techno-hack.
I often sketch out my ideas when I’m talking with clients, or when I’m thinking over a cup of coffee somewhere. Most of the time though, we just talk about thoughts, feelings and goals and the design comes later. But sketching is often part of my own creative process. My creativity is -less hindered- though, when using the tools provided in computers. I'm 47, but computers are a natural and easy extension of myself. I adapt to new features without hesitation; they're usually on my wish list, or something truly powerful that I never thought of, or provide me with more power to complete my task quickly and easily. I ignore things that don't apply to my job, or that I find frivolous (and other designers might not share my opinion.) With many young designers this ability is even more evident... they are swimming in waters that are strange to us older folk.
Computers don't enhance creativity per se, but in skilled hands they definitely enhance the creative process, by making it possible to rapidly compose and experiment with refined, print-ready images, type and illustration. A skilled operator can accomplish tasks much faster than is possible by hand. In effect, your creativity is enabled by being able to see a high-quality facsimile of your idea quickly and easily.
At the same time, when any creative experiment goes awry, you may undo your experiment many, many steps, where in the analog world you'd have to start over from scratch. That's creative enhancement. Going through that exercise manually is just as valid a method, (you only have to watch how Frank Gehry design buildings to know that) but only for those who are more analog-oriented than digital. That next attempt will likely be a better product, but on a computer you could've already tried a dozen more ideas. That’s enhanced creativity.
For the digital-oriented person, the primary duties performed as a graphic designer almost always move faster (are enhanced) by having a computer involved. As a freelance designer, my livelihood relies on that speed, and the ease and continuity with which the creative process moves. I speak only for my situation, but it's a fairly common one.
You can pretend that the only designers whose opinion matter are writers or the subjects of books, or are part of a big ad agency that's getting a mil to do that next big print promotion for Pepsi. But the vast majority of us are freelancers plugging away at $100 an hour, with clients who don't have to pay our bills and freak out that we even charge that much, or that it takes so long to turn their garbage into gold.
Sure, computers are “just” tools, but they enhance the creative experience for me, even more than an HB lead may enhance my sketch artistry over a 2H, because I'm in an HB kind of mood. (Personally) I have to have the speedy creative flow that only a computer can provide, so that I can produce quality, originality and creativity to the client at a price that the market will bear. That's my reality. Joeadair 22:07, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Don't know about you, but my point is that there are notable graphic designers who harbor reservations about computers. Maybe they're snobs; maybe they're leaders. Whether you or I agree with them doesn't particularly matter for the purposes of an encyclopedia. What matters is that such people exist, and express their opinions in verifiable sources. Chelt 03:55, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Books and "verifiable" sources like you speak of are just opinions, like yours or mine, especially topics involving the usefulness of anything. Their legitimacy is strictly for the reader to decide.
To me, (and unlike some, I stress that this is my opinion and not fact) saying that computers don't help in the design process have a problem with computers. Regardless of their standing within the industry (whatever that means) they and their opinions aren't any more legitimate to me than illiterate people who criticize the printed word.
My biggest gripe, is that other's opinions are being asserted against my own as overriding fact and NOBODY (including me) has presented any credentials here. At the same time, some here feel as though their opinion dictates authority when for all I know, they could be a 12-year-old that reads a lot of books. Joeadair
The article does not suggest that computers don't help in the design process. The article points out that computers may hinder the design process in addition to helping the design process. This is not a case of one opinion versus another. This is a case of presenting all the facts. It is a fact that some people find the computer a hinderance to the design process. It is also a fact that some people find the computer as an aid to the design process. If you want to say that computers help more people's creativity than it hinders, and that the ones who don't are just luddites, you need to point to a research study.
If you can state what you know without making it sound opinionated, it will most-likely be received better. The wikipedia is a medium for presenting facts. It points to books and authors that have opinions. If you want to point to your opinion as an author, start a wikipedia page on the books you have written, and then quote that opinion on this page with the reference to your works. Oicumayberight 02:30, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Me - I'm not interested in arguing about the role of computers in graphic design. I've had that discussion too many times, and it never really gets anywhere because the question depends on artificial divisions. I've backed both sides (depending on the company present) because my opinion falls somewhere in the middle.
I'd like to return to the original post, where Oicumayberight said that that the jury is still out. That's the key point. Based on the discussion above, I think we agree that there is room for debate here. Can we also agree that the article needs to present both positions? We might call people on the extremes Mac-monkeys or Luddites, but they still exist.
You're right, Joeadair, we don't know anything about the credentials of anyone here. That's why I even talk about verifiable sources. If the article cites its sources then an editor's background doesn't matter quite as much. Thank you for the comment about bookish 12-year-olds, though. I'm glad that you're not taking this personally.
I've offered to write up a case against computers. I'm not sure if Oicumayberight would like to take a first shot, though. Eh? I would be equally happy to write a case for computers, but I suspect that others might want that task. Chelt 03:32, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
I already wrote a little bit defending both sides. Oicumayberight 06:18, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

If I may chip in here – what we need to do, if that discussion is presented at all, is report on what others have to say about it, backed up by reliable sources. See WP:NOR, WP:V and WP:RS. In the process we must make sure that all notable viewpoints get a fair representation; see WP:NPOV.  --LambiamTalk 11:02, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

The computer section devotes more than half its content to why computers are secondary tools that real designers don't use. The more I read it, the more condescending it sounds. I've tried to see it from both sides, but the section is a critique of computers, not an explanation of their current role in design. It repeatedly refers to computer users as second-class designers (i.e. "computer-savvy production artists".)
This section should be edited by a professional who uses computers successfully, not by someone who views them with equal measures of resigned necessity and belittling disdain. The section does not properly present the computer's role as a tool used by the vast majority of professional designers.
Perhaps a whole section titled something like "The Hated, Dreaded Silicon Monster" (I'm being funny, don't raise the hackles) following the computer section? That presents things more honestly than the current iteration, which is an entire section of semi-disdain and snide, belittling remarks. The issues need to be separated.
I will gladly present something different from the positive team, when the elections are over. Joeadair
If you think that the section is lacking description about what makes computers useful, feel free to write more about it. Just keep it factual and remember that graphic design is not a technology. You wouldn't want to reduce your own job to technology, would you? Otherwise people get replaced by machines. Oicumayberight 20:00, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the following paragraphs should be removed from Use of Computers:

"A graphic designer may also use sketches to explore multiple or complex ideas quickly without the potential distractions of technical difficulties from software malfunctions or software learning. Hand rendered comps may be used to get approval of a graphic design idea before investing what would be too much time to produce on a computer if rejected. Thumbnail sketches or rough drafts on paper may then be used to rapidly refine and produce the idea on the computer in a hybrid process. This hybrid process is especially useful in logo design where a software learning curve may detract from a creative thought process. The traditional-design/computer-production hybrid process may be used for freeing ones creativity in page layout or image development as well. Traditional graphic designers may employ computer-savvy production artists to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing to learn the computer skills themselves."

This paragraph doesn't talk about the use of computers in design; rather, it talks about sketching as a process of design. It should edited and moved to a topic discussing that process.Joeadair 00:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

It does talk about computer usage. It just talks about it objectively, the potential negatives and the alternatives. The point is to distinguish graphic design from graphic production as it pertains to computer usage. You don't want to alienate "traditional designers" from computer-savvy designers on this article. You don't want to sell computer usage anymore than one might sell traditional methods as a better alternative. Unless you think graphic designers have no business using tools other than the computer, it's relevant. I think it's fine as is, but if their is a real conflict here, perhaps we should name the section "Graphic design tools" rather than have two separate sections. Oicumayberight 01:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Like I've stated before, I find the tone condescending. There are ways of saying things without demeaning the people who don't prescribe to your opinion or choice of methods. For instance, why not use this tone for that paragraph instead:
“Many graphic designers find computers to be an ungainly fit to their design style. Those designers may employ computer-savvy production artists to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing to learn the computer skills themselves.”
It doesn't imply that computer-oriented users are less free-thinking or artistic than "traditional" users. Joeadair 02:16, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
The comments were not related to differing styles of graphic design as much as they were related to differing techniques, considering technique doesn't always effect style. It wasn't to belittle those who use computers or imply that those who don't use computers are "above" those who do. If anything it was presented as an alternative to those who struggle with technological distraction. If a computer user can be just as creative and is not distracted or overwhelmed by technology, that's an advantage. If a person can develop the same ideas without a computer faster or as quickly as a person with a computer, that too is an advantage. I just wanted to present both sides of the debate without making either side feel that one way or the other was superior in line with the "there is more than one way to do it" philosophy. If you think you can reword it without making those who feel they don't need the computer feel like they are inferior to those who do, be my guest. Oicumayberight 02:40, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Not trying to make anyone feel anything; that's my point. That section is about the use of computers. I have no problem with a section on "Traditional Design Methodology". That area of design is diverse and deserves its own section, without any interjections about computers at all. Both methods are valid and different and can be explained without inferring that either is preferred by anyone.
Not making anyone feel anything is the whole point of keeping it neutral. I agree that traditional art media and computers can be explained without interference in the separate articles that say the most about them. Visual arts, Computer graphics and Desktop publishing are all articles that discuss the advantages of those mediums for design and production. However, graphic design is unique in that the only thing distinguishing it from the production and tools used for production are the ideas of graphic designers. If too much is said about the tools, then the message to the unfamiliar or unskilled is that graphic design is all about knowing how to use the tools.
To put more emphasis on the intellectual mental discipline of graphic design, very little needs to be said about the tools. IMHO, the only things important about tools in regard to graphic design is that which is not mention in the other articles that also cover production and the important fact that it's not limited by what can be done on the computer. Graphic design is ideas. Formulating ideas may not require production skills. Executing ideas may not require design skills. There is no doubt that computers have expanded the options of graphic designers. However, just as the internet hasn't made print obsolete, computers haven't made traditional media and exclusively cognitive formulation of ideas obsolete. If computers are the only graphic design tools mentioned or over emphasized in the article compared to the alternative, or computers are presented in such a way that it seems required for graphic design, the implications will be an inaccurate representation of the current reality and an unfair advocacy for computers. Oicumayberight 05:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
How about this:

Although most Graphic Design workflows use computers during the prepress process, Graphic Design is not a dicipline of computer science, but instead is the product of the Graphic Designer's creativity. Traditional Graphic Designers may employ computer-savvy production artists to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing to learn the computer skills themselves.

Joeadair 16:30, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Bare with me. I'm trying not to be overly critical and yet be fair to alternative points of view at the same time. A couple of factual points are missing that I allude to in the original paragraph:
  • First one being that production art aside from graphic design may be more than pre-press. Page layout and rendering may involve technical skills without graphic design if the production artist is merely copying a sketch, following a script, or following instructions as is the case with paste up.
  • Second point is that there are reasons why even a designer who knows how to use computers may choose not to in some or all of the design process.
Without mention of the outside the box factor, the paragraph implies that there is no good reason not to use the computer if the designer knows how. The reason why I edited the "traditional graphic designer" out of your edits was because there are (in fact) designers that know how to use the computer, but prefer not to in parts if not all of the design stage. It seems like you are rigidly dividing graphic designer's into only two camps, those who do and those who don't use computers. The reality is that there are varying degrees of computer usage ranging from those who never use it for design or production, to those who hire other people to use it, to those who use it themselves for only some parts of graphic design sometimes, to those who don't do anything without the computer.
It's important to emphasize that computers are useful but not required for graphic design (even at the professional level). Showing that the computer is not required is not suggesting that computers shouldn't be used. It's merely to show that (unlike desktop publishing) graphic design is not defined by computer usage.
In summary, of the three tools graphic designers may use (brains, traditional media, and computers), the most important and only one that is required in the design (not the production) process is brains. That's why I suggested the option of renaming the section "Graphic design tools" if we can't tell the full story relative to computer usage without sounding biased. Oicumayberight 18:59, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your principles, but I disagree with your implementation. The topic of computers has all kinds of information about manual design methods and nothing about computer useage whatsoever. You need to make a new section. Your're off topic in those two paragraphs. Joeadair 19:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I'll work on it when I get a chance. For now I will just rename the section. Oicumayberight 20:03, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
That's actually the right solution...Joeadair 20:27, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

"The use of computers in design is sometimes referred to as CAD (computer aided design), the same abbreviation of computer aided drafting and a homophone of the acronym computer aided design & drafting (CADD) which is the use of computers in engineering designs for mechanical products and associated with computer aided production of these products known as CAM (computer aided manufacturing). This makes no distinction between graphic design and technical drawing. Due to this common misunderstanding, CAD is rarely used to describe computer use in graphic design. The more common term used to describe computer use in graphic design is DTP (desktop publishing). However, DTP is often oversimplified to the narrower scope of graphic design known as page layout and publishing technology."

CAD/CADD/CAM are not forms of Graphic Design, they are forms of architectural & mechanical rendering. It should be deleted. Joeadair 00:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with deleting this. However I modified it instead because it's a recurring problem. I agree that CAD is associated with architectural/mechanical design and rendering. But the term mistakenly was once applied to graphic design as the alternative to DTP. This means that it may see it's way into the article over and over again by those who still think it applies. Rather than delete and explain over and over again why it gets deleted, I figure it would be better just to clear up the confusion in the article. Many articles on wikipedia do this for the same reason. It's used to set graphic design and DTP apart from CAD, not to associate it. It's never a bad idea to make distinctions for unfamiliar readers. Oicumayberight 01:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I see your point and like the changes.Joeadair 02:22, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

As regards the computers discussion. I understand the reasons for emphasizing that graphic designers do much more than sit in front of a Mac and use the software. But c'mon, when was the last time anyone walked into a design studio and saw someone manually 'pasting up' anything. I think I last saw this 20 years ago. I think there is far too much emphasis on this in the page and it gives the casual reader a wrong impression. OK, Milton Glaser can get away with not using a computer, but no designer can leave art school these days without knowing how to use DTP software, I don't care how good their conceptual skills are. OK, we can clarify that by stating some graphic designers can work outside of the commercial world and get away with it. But to say anything else is to overstate a point. Graphic design in the 21st century involves using computers. Period. We use them as tools, what's wrong with that?

Moreover, DTP and computers changed our industry like nothing since the industrial revolution. We can't ignore or understate this contribution.

Bonzobonce (talk) 00:50, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I doubt that anyone (including Milton Glaser) ignores the fact that computers have changed our industry. It's not a question of if computers are important to graphic design. There's no doubt about that. If anything, there's an over-emphasis on technology to the extent that technology often gets mistaken for talent. More people than not assume that graphic design is exclusively a computer-based skill. It's a question of if computers are required for graphic design. It wouldn't be a WP:NPOV to imply that they are. And we shouldn't assume that computers will always be the tool of choice for graphic designers. Oicumayberight (talk) 06:57, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Lead section is becoming unbalanced[edit]

The lead section is becoming unbalanced. The first sentence in the lead section should be a concise definition of the topic. It need not (and should not) contain everything that can be said about it. That is what the rest of the article is for. Imagine a reader coming to the article who has only a vague idea what people mean by "graphic design". The purpose is to enlighten that reader, not to deliver a knock-out punch.

The whole lead section should function as a summary of the rest of the article. Something not dealt with in the rest of the article should not be mentioned in the lead section.

 --LambiamTalk 04:47, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. I think what has happened here is that everyone has different ideas of what graphic design involves and which examples are most important. I noticed that many of the examples were too specific and inconsistent with the context which they were mentioned in. My edits were in response to the user "Lz Li" who added the specifics to "take emphasis off just what Mac-monkeys do" as quoted. I didn't want to be rude an removed them. So I attempted to categorize them with broader examples while maintaining some of the specific examples in the parentheses "(e.g. ect., ect.) ".
I'm afraid that if we use just a few specifics, it may start an edit war over which specific examples people think are important enough to mention in the lead section. We might get another logo designer thinking that logos need emphasis aside from the broader category of branding or marketing. I suggest we either stay within broader examples without the specifics, or not mention examples in the lead section at all.
Maybe we need a "Uses" section where specific examples are categorized neatly. But there's so many uses, that might get messy too. Oicumayberight 05:49, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

So instead of having an edit war, let us have a discussion on the talk page, hopefully resulting in consensus. I see some minor issues with the formulations used, but largely I have no problems with the content, only with the overladen presentation. Almost everything being said is worth having a place somewhere in the article, but that place need not be the lead section. To facilitate comparison I am putting the last three versions below. (The background colours are not meant to convey a semantic message beyond increasing recentness.)  --LambiamTalk 14:42, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm all for keeping it simple in the lead section and expanding in the other sections. Looking at all three versions, I have issues with all of them, including my own. My comments are listed underneath: Oicumayberight 20:58, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Revision as of 20:23, October 6, 2006:

Graphic design is a form of communication in which visual information is used to convey a message. Unlike fine art, it is normally used for commercial purposes, to convey a specific and persuasive message to a large audience. Graphic design often incorporates typography, page layout, image development, and branding, but it is not limited to these elements.

Like many forms of communication, graphic design often refers to both the process by which the communication is created, and the final form that it takes. For example:

  • Print Design – magazine & newspaper layout, posters, corporate logo/letterhead/business card design, book & album cover design, package/label design.
  • Interactive/Motion Design – Web page layout, Web animation, film/video title design, software interface design.

As a process, graphic design is complex and multi-faceted.

This version is neatest with the list format.
My issue with this is that there is too much emphasis on design of the medium and not of the graphics used in the medium. The medium involves many other considerations that don't fall within the realm of graphic design. This is especially true with electronic media. There is already a territory battle between information technologists and graphic designers in electronic media, especially when you talk about interactivity. I don't want that territory battle to find it's way on to the graphic design page. It would only dilute the meaning of graphic design. If you read the web design page, you will see what I'm talking about.
Graphic design is mainly "form", where as interactivity is "function." Information technology people swear that function is their domain. There is some function that comes from form such as in the case of interface design. I would use the word "interface design" instead of interactivity whenever graphic design is discussed in the context of electronic media.
I would also avoid saying too much about animation, film or video. This would tempt the 3d Modelers, Film Editors, and other technical types from diluting the page with technobabble. Just a simple mention of graphic design used in multimedia would suffice. If we can save the technical considerations for the multimedia, electronic media, and art software pages, that would be better.
As for print media, this isn't as much of a problem as with electronic media, but still needs consideration. We do need to avoid competition from copywriters, instructional designers, and marketers on this page. We should avoid making it sound like graphic design is the whole of a medium. Instead we should write about the graphics used within any particular medium or a whole campaign. Instead of saying "print design," I would say "graphic design in print." Showing graphics as not exclusive to any one particular medium, also shows how versatile graphic design is with the ability to enhance most any medium. The best graphic designs are for whole campaigns more than any one particular medium within a campaign. Oicumayberight 20:58, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Revision as of 16:27, October 7, 2006 by Lz Li:

Graphic design is a form of communication using text and/or images to present information. The art of graphic design embraces a range of skills and crafts including imagination, typography, calligraphy, lettering, page layout, image development -- photography or illustration -- and corporate identity development and branding. Like many forms of communication, graphic design often refers to both the process by which the communication is created, and the final form that it takes--namely signs, symbols and print designs (magazine & newspaper layout, posters, logo/letterhead/business card design, book design, package design) as well as interactive/motion designs (electronic media graphics, internet page layout, web animation, film/video title design, software interface design).

Although the term 'graphic designer' was first coined in the 20th century[1], the story of graphic design spans the history of marks of humankind from the magic of the caves of Lascaux to the dazzling neons of Ginza. In both this lengthy history and in the relatively recent explosion of imaging in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is sometimes a blurring distinction and over-lapping of advertising art, graphic design and fine art. After all, they share the same elements, theories, principles, practices and languages, and sometimes the same benefactor or client. In advertising 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."[2] "Fine art refers to arts that are 'concerned with beauty'..."[3]

This version is the least organized. It talks about sub categories within the context of broader categories with no distinctions made.
Calligraphy is more illustration or typography than it is its own discipline. "Lettering" is too vague. There isn't even a page for it. Showing all three in the front of the sentence puts more emphasis on letters than other forms of graphics in that entire sentence.
The double dash "--" separator is not consistent with most wikipedia pages that used parentheses for showing examples.
Graphic image development is the new term to describe the discipline of creating images. "Graphic image development" emphasizes the emerging countless ways that images are designed and produced with modern technology. I would avoid mentioning just illustration and photography without mentioning all the other methods, 3d-modeling, photo manipulation, applying filters and effects, combining photos with illustrations, computer generated imagery like fractals, handicraft, etc. Photography is seen by many as just snapping photos. Illustration is viewed by many as hand rendering. These misconceptions need to be overcome with newer terminology like graphic image development.
Corporation identity and branding involve much more than graphic design. I don't think it should be mentioned in the same sentence as typography, page layout, or image development. I know people want to emphasize the used of graphic design within branding by mentioning logo design. But even logo design involves more than graphic design. Logo design is a combination of communication design and illustration, to separate disciplines. In cases where there is much overlap between disciplines, we should emphasize the graphics part and avoid attracting competition from other disciplines to this page. Some people think logo design involves choosing clip art. That's why it's important to discuss the illustration aspect of logo design more than corporate identity or branding. In communication design, there's also a difference between graphic design and art direction that many graphics designer are unaware of. Most people should know that corporate identity or branding is the goal. What they want to learn about is the part of the process that involves graphic design. Oicumayberight 20:58, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Revision as of 22:49, October 7, 2006 by Oicumayberight:

Graphic design is a form of communication using text and/or images to present information. The art of graphic design embraces a range of mental skills (e.g. imagination, creativity, visualization) and crafts including lettering (e.g. typography, calligraphy), image development (e.g. photography, illustrating) and page layout. Graphic design is applied in communication design (e.g. advertising, presentation, education) and fine art. Like many forms of communication, graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created, and the products (designs) such as creative solutions (e.g. visual metaphors, styles, compositions), imagery (e.g. logos, symbols, illustrations, photo compositions) and multimedia compositions. The designs are applied to static media (e.g. print media, paintings, out-of-home advertising, handicraft) as well as electronic media (e.g. web pages, motion pictures, video games, virtual reality), not always in the completed form. In commercial art, client edits, technical preparation and mass production are usually required, but usually not considered to be within the scope of graphic design.

Although the term 'graphic designer' was first coined in the 20th century[4], the story of graphic design spans the history of marks of humankind from the magic of the caves of Lascaux to the dazzling neons of Ginza. In both this lengthy history and in the relatively recent explosion of imaging in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is sometimes a blurring distinction and over-lapping of advertising art, graphic design and fine art. After all, they share the same elements, theories, principles, practices and languages, and sometimes the same benefactor or client. In advertising 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."[5] "Fine art refers to arts that are 'concerned with beauty'..."[6]

This version was my struggling attempt to fix the problems with the last two versions. The result is the sentences are two long and choppy. I was trying not to exclude what others thought was worth mentioning while making distinctions. If I were to change it, I would remove the subcategories like this:

Reccomended changes by Oicumayberight:

Graphic design is a form of communication using text and/or images to present information. The art of graphic design embraces a range of mental skills and crafts including typography, image development and page layout. Graphic design is applied in communication design and fine art. Like many forms of communication, graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created, and the products (designs) such as creative solutions, imagery and multimedia compositions. The designs are applied to static media as well as electronic media, not always in the completed form. In commercial art, client edits, technical preparation and mass production are usually required, but usually not considered to be within the scope of graphic design.

... or I would just revert to an older version before the above three and expand in the lower sections of the page.
As for the second paragraph:

Although the term 'graphic designer' was first coined in the 20th century[7], the story of graphic design spans the history of marks of humankind from the magic of the caves of Lascaux to the dazzling neons of Ginza. In both this lengthy history and in the relatively recent explosion of imaging in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is sometimes a blurring distinction and over-lapping of advertising art, graphic design and fine art. After all, they share the same elements, theories, principles, practices and languages, and sometimes the same benefactor or client. In advertising 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."[8] "Fine art refers to arts that are 'concerned with beauty'..."[9]

...I have no problem with it. Oicumayberight 20:58, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

If you have the time and energy for continuing to improve the section, I'd say, just follow the approach you feel will eventually be the most comfortable on the way to a nice article. That may indeed be the option of reverting to an older version and taking it from there. If we want more depth – and I think we do – this means we will need to expand the lower sections anyway.  --LambiamTalk 20:44, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Nice job Oicumayberight. (current iteration is best) Joeadair

History section[edit]

I have tinkered with this - I hope treading on nobody's toes! I skimmed the topics here but there did not seem to be much on that section. Frankly it is still pretty weak & there is a lot to be said in the leap from Manutius to Morris (by someone who knows more about it than I do). I don't think Morris made much money out of the books btw - I thought he went bust in the end & the main turnover was in wallpaper & fabrics.

I really came to this page because I am concerned about the lack of coverage of graphic arts - prints and drawings - in Wikipedia. I am thinking of doing an article on old master prints & I think there should be an explanatory definition thing at the top with a link - this would be to the current "printmaking" article, and something for drawing. Johnbod 15:52, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Use ... CAD/CADD/CAM[edit]

The recent edit regarding the ambiguation with CAD/CADD and CAM seems to get farther and farther off-topic as you go deeper into the paragraph. Maybe consider a rewrite or elimination of that section?--Htmlism 01:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Fine if you want to delete the paragraph altogether. I just added those notes so that full understanding of what that term means and how it's commonly used was in the article. I would rather the term not be used to describe graphic design because of the ambiguity associated with the term. It just waters down what's unique about graphic design. Had they came up with the term computer aided graphic design CAGD, it would have been better. But it's a little to late now since "DTP" has caught on. Oicumayberight 02:08, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I moved the paragraph to the bottom and reworded the first sentence. Hope that helps. If not the paragraph should just be deleted. Oicumayberight 02:46, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I have a bit of the problem with the wording. Outside the context of graphic design the terms "CAD" and "computer-aided design" are widely understood to mean the use of geometric modelling tools for the design and development of 3D objects as a preliminary process to manufacture, and as such predates the widespread use of computers for graphic design by decades. So where the text states that this is "often misunderstood to mean CADD (computer aided design & drafting) which is the use of computers in engineering designs for mechanical products and production of these products known as CAM (computer aided manufacturing)", this comes across to me as a slanted point of view.  --LambiamTalk 15:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I reworded it again. Let me know how it works. I'm not against deleting the paragraph altogether. It's a little to late to make the term "CAD" work for graphic design. Oicumayberight 20:29, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
The issue I raised has been satisfactorily addressed. I am not sure about the "added value" of the paragraph, but have no specific objections.  --LambiamTalk 20:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure why CAD was added to the article. But since someone felt that it was important to mention, I felt that it was equally important to mention the reason why it's not often used in graphic design. CAD is simply inadequate to distinguish what is unique about graphic design from other uses of the term. If there is any added value, it serves as a caution for those on that path of relying on one of many obsolete terms. Again, if anyone want's to delete the paragraph altogether, feel free. Oicumayberight 20:50, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Philip B. Meggs[edit]

I don't know who Philip B. Meggs is but I just created an article about him. Please edit. MPS 03:30, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

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Philip B. Meggs has made probably the best description of graphic design I have ever come across. His book is a must for any student of the history of graphic design.

Bonzobonce 02:41, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I added the date that he died to the Meggs page. (ForwardForward 23:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC))

Graphic design theory[edit]

Anyone mind if I have a go at rewriting the "Graphic design theory" section of this page?

In particular I don't think the references to the "classic theory of design" are very clear and certainly need exlaining or removing.

Bonzobonce 02:45, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Image deletion and selection[edit]

Many of the recently added images are terrible--overly specific (the smoking rat), irrelevant (Air Force One), or simply hideous (the markers and pencils). None are illuminating, informative, or representative of the subject at hand. I already deleted the Air Force One photo. I nominate that the markers and CS2 rat be removed as well.

Since this is, after all, an article on “the process of communicating visually,” it seems especially important that we work hard to get the images right. Does anyone have suggestions or ideas for what we ought to include as representative works?----Thetourist 01:07, 14 March 2007 (UTC)]]

So you are saying it's only graphic design if you like the images? This article is not for the exclusive community of "good" graphic designers. It's for anyone who is interested in the subject and the scope. If you delete everything that you don't consider the best example of graphic design, then you send the message that graphic design is only needed when you need really cool images. For boring stuff like the design of the American Flag, the Air Force One emblem and the Air plain decoration, well I guess you can't call that graphic design. I suppose you'd have to call it random graphics or something of the sort. You don't need to hire graphic designers for things like that. Just hire someone who knows how to use the tools to throw something together, without much thought. The point of the Air force one photo was to show how graphic design is utilized anywhere, everywhere, by anyone, for any reason.
BTW, the markers and the software screen were examples of graphic design tools, not graphic design. It's one thing if you don't think that tools need to be shown. It's another thing if you think they were being used as examples of a graphic design. Did you bother to read the captions before you deleted those images with the captions? Oicumayberight 20:09, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
This isn’t about canon snobbery. It’s about relevance. The images on this page seem to have been chosen at random and most are just laughable, Air Force One being the most egregious. If you want to discuss the American flag or presidential seal, then show us those things—not a tiny photo of Air Force One taken from a few hundred yards. None of the discussed elements were even discernible in the image. I can’t squeeze any information about graphic design from that picture—all I see is a white and blue plane on a tarmac.
As for the picture of CS2, again the idea is fine. We certainly ought to discuss tools. But the execution is terrible. What is currently on the page is not an example of a graphic design “tool”—it’s a gaudy ad for RUFFMOUSE that happens to be displayed inside of a modern piece of software from Adobe. What does this add to the article? What information does it convey that the body text cannot? It’s just silly and distracting.--Thetourist 05:52, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
The thumbnails may be clicked for enlargement. The caption also includes links to articles with the images that can also be enlarged. Oicumayberight 09:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing Air Force One was used mainly due to copyright restrictions on similar large-scale applications (such as commercial airlines). I believe the design applications, Presidential Seal, etc. are public domain (correct me if I'm wrong). So as an example of the scope of what graphic design is, what it can be used for, the combination of several design elements and so on, it's as good as any. The marker image seems unnecessary--we all know what markers look like. Not sure what it adds to the article as a whole. My guess is that was the problem, not that markers were a bad example of graphic design (although I don't want to speak for anyone). But in the end, why not put Air Force One back? It illustrates the point. Freshacconci 20:36, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure about the copyright issues here when it comes to posting representative works of graphic design, but ideas about a direction for sourcing examples of good graphic design include: Germano Facetti's 60's/70's book cover designs for Penguin Books, Roy Kuhlman's 50's/60's book covers for Grove Press, the Apple branding system, poster designs (such as the poster for the film A Clockwork Orange), album design (such as the Factory Records covers produced between 1978 and 1992, like the iconic Joy Division cover), and magazine covers (such as British Vogue from the '20's up to the early '60's). I hope this (very very brief) list can serve as a starting point...Illogirl 04:47, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

A good, relatively commonplace representation of logo design is the UPS logo designed by Paul Rand. It was recently re-designed, and both logos could be shown to illustrate branding and re-branding. The new UPS logo (it looks like a shield) was designed by FutureBrand in NYC.(ForwardForward 23:19, 14 March 2007 (UTC))

Also, on removing images, I don't think the Airforce One image is functioning. It's awfully small, the caption mentions the "presidential seal" but it isn't clear in the photo. The caption says "graphically designed" which should be changed to "designed" if you all agree. As for the rest of the caption. it says the US flag was "graphically designed" but I think this is up for debate. Betsy Ross is credited for having sewn the first American Flag, but did she design it? It seems too dicey of an area to be used as one of the few visual examples we use on the page. (ForwardForward 23:49, 14 March 2007 (UTC))

Someone had to design it. Nobody said it was Betsy Ross. Oicumayberight 09:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

In place of Air Force One picture, I propose the emblem of the United Nations, or if we want to show an identity system that includes large scale objects, I suggest the 1972 Olympics (in Munich) exhibition graphics created by Otl Aicher. He designed everything from signage to uniforms.(ForwardForward 23:49, 14 March 2007 (UTC))

That's fine. As long as it shows the versatility of graphic design. Oicumayberight 09:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
So it seems as if the Air Force One image and the rat have crept back in, but luckily the markers have been left behind. I think, or at least I hope, that with the addition of ForwardForward's comments and other suggestions above, we are moving toward the consensus that Air Force One is a bad image which ought to be replaced with something better. I don't object in principle to showing, say, flags or state steals. I object to this particular selection. It's a bad image, not necessarily a bad idea. It was originally Oicumayberight's addition, so he clearly feels strongly about it. I would just delete it again, but I really don't have the time or inclination for a silly edit war. So I will, for now, just ask: Why are you attached to this image? What do you think it adds to the article? Why should an article on graphic design include a picture of a airplane? Why should it include an American flag or American seal? We need to be selective--we can only fit in so many pictures in one article. Why do these deserve prominence over what you might expect to find in any well-made history or introduction to graphic design? --Thetourist 10:40, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not married to the Air Force one example. I just think more examples of the versatility of graphic design need to be shown. Some graphic designs are not very hip, but are effective nonetheless. My guess is that there are 100 subtle but practical graphic designs for every one that grabs the average persons attention. Oicumayberight 09:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree entirely. I'm not out to make the entry hip or trendy or cognoscenti-approved. I just want to make it relevant and useful. I think the recently added pictograms are a good step in this direction.--Thetourist 14:44, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
The Air Force plane is fine in itself, but it is not the best example of what it is: corporate identity design. The airplane design is a one-off, it looks different than the White House, which looks different than the official website, and so on. In other words, the disagreement is in the versatility and effectiveness of this design. To stay with the transportation and livery theme, which I think is a great way to show the functionality and versatility of graphic design, a thoroughly designed city metro system would be more appropriate. I agree with Thetourist that the image should change. A London Bus and the London Metro map would work, for example. Berlin's yellow transportation vehicles and graphics (buses, trains, logo, etc) would also fit and more clearly show the workings of corporate identity.Atypo 31 January 2011 (UTC)

...and categorisation.[edit]

I've removed the "gallery" section, and re placed the images back into the body of the content. The reason for this is that the images aren't simply "examples" of graphic design, but specifically illustrate the sections. The Saul Bass, Airforce One and Pictographs help illustrate the scope, scale and variety of Graphic Design applications and rightly belong in the defintion. The Cassandre, Glaser and Reid kind of illustrate Early, Late and Post-modern graphic design respectively. I say kind of because the Cassandre one is a bit weak, IMHO his Dubonnet poster would be preferable. That the kells illustrates pre-modern / pre-industrial GD is, i hope, self-evident. --Davémon 18:44, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

The spacing of these images means that they force the text down the page so that the reader finds large expanses of blank page with disjointed images on the right hand side. They need to be distributed more widely through the text or placed in a gallery as Image 1, 2 , 3 etc and reffered to in the text. Lumos3 20:01, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, the layout was shot to heck. I've moved some of the images around - put the Saul Bass image into context with his paragraph, and shifted the gallery to the Modern section, as all 3 do pertain to the modern period. The pictographs as the main image for Graphic Design is probably contentious, but no more so than the Bass, I feel. Placing the images in context relieves the need for excessive labeling and is more natural for the reader. --Davémon 21:37, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Mondrian inspired Grids citation[edit]

The citation:

Allen Hurlburt, The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books, Dec 1982 pp:13 [4]

Doesn't claim that Mondrian inspired graphic design grids, but uses Mondrian as an example of the use of golden section. The source does say that Grids have been in use by designers and typographers since Gutenberg. --Davémon 13:07, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good. I knew that couldn't be the case and that in fact grids go much farther back, but had no references either way to back me up. But yes, I can see how Mondrian would have been used as an example, thereby influencing advertising. Freshacconci 14:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

The person who wrote the statement must have used that or something similar as a reference which is a matter of interpretation. Rather than call it a failed verification, try rewording it. Maybe include some other mentions from that book to take the emphasis off of Mondrian. That would be a positive approach. Oicumayberight 20:17, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Before, the statement claimed that Mondrians work influenced graphic design because of his use of grids. It now reads that Mondrian influenced graphic design because he is used as an example in Hurlburts book. The book wasn't published until the 1980's, so this doesn't show that Mondrian significantly influenced graphic design between the Arts and Crafts movement and Modernism where he is currently placed. This source [5] does say that Mondrian had a major influence, but they also say Eric Gill is post-modern, so they seem to be a bit confused and unreliable. Perhaps the paragraph could be reworded so that it reflects Mondrians direct influence (if any) on the development of graphic design at the time? --Davémon 08:58, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Rewording and maybe moving it to the "Modern" section sounds like the solution. Maybe the other influences of the grid should be mentioned without going too much into subject of grids. If it gets to lengthy or off topic, the material can be moved to the grid (page layout). Oicumayberight 03:53, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Top Universities or Schools offering majors in Graphic Design ?[edit]

When someone mentions the top film-schools in the U.S., you can name them off the top of your head -- yuou can also easilly find a list of them on the internet. USC, NYU Film, AFI, UCLA, etc.; however, with Graphic Design, I can't find any top schools listing. I really would like help choosing a top (prestigious) school/s. Thanks in advance. 02:57, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Every so often, I load this article and find that links I've deleted, per Wikipedia policy, have been restored to the article. Most of these links offer nothing of value to this article. (Note the relevant policies about external links and What Wikipedia is not.) In order to include links, they should elaborate on the subject (for example, an in-depth article about the history of graphic design). A few of the current links are simply spam, others are fora, but none fit the criteria for external links. If there are any sub-pages on those sites which fit the criteria, please link to those instead. I'm removing all the sites. Also, please note that "these links have been in the article for a long time and are useful" is not an adequate defense for maintainging these links. Mindmatrix 15:28, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

I am glad that we are discussing this in this section as I have tried to raise this subject numerous times before.
I too often come back here and find that links to relevant external resources have either been added or deleted. If they are spam, not relevant, or against the terms of Wikipedia, then I delete them also.
However let's try to be sensible about this. Not all external links are evil, spammy or go against the terms of Wikipedia. I really am bemused by this repeated unilateral deletion of all links. The external links and articles are an integral part of this project. They add value to this body of knowledge and backup the aims of this section, within the remit of Wikipedia.
Most of the links that have just been deleted fall well within the remit of the Wikipedia linking guidelines.
They are relevant to the subject and contain meaningful unique content.
They are accessible to the reader.
They add value to the subject of graphic design and many expand on areas that are not able to be covered on this page, due to either copyright, or because of the length of the articles. Some are also industry bodies.
They are not private design firms touting for business, search engine sites, or spam of any other description.
All sections on Wikipedia have an external links section and with good reason. All the links have the nofollow attribute and so their spam value is negligible and we do a good job of policing this anyway. Simply deleting all these links without thought or discussion is bad practice and it removes relevant resources from this section and does a disservice to this subject matter. Many of these links have been researched and posted for good reason and are well within the remit of Wikipedia policy.
I agree that just because links have been there for a long time is not - on its own - reason for them to be there. But it does add weight to the argument as it means that thousands of people, including editors, have seen them (and discussed them on occasion) and have found them to be acceptable. Obviously everything here is up for discussion. But this makes the unilateral deletion of these long time external resources especially unhelpful.
I have reverted many of the deleted links (there were a couple of spammy ones which I left off) and I really would like to spend some time adding more relevant ones. But it is hard to feel inspired to do this when they keep getting deleted. Let's talk about this!

Bonzobonce 04:17, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Half agreed. I've just removed some really obvious linkspam and some, well, links to user-edited content which really just read like a random collection of thoughts. This page must get linkspam added quite often, along with other vandalism - is that enough to warrant semi-protection? Perhaps that would help solve the problem. --Davémon 20:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Fair point. Spam is spam is spam. But that is fairly easily dealt with, we don't get as much spam as we might think. I think having the no_follow tag helps with that as most graphics companies are aware that this exists on wikipedia now. I've just restored some links and removed the DMOZ link as it is sub-standard. DMOZ really isn't what it used to be. When we delete links, can we please ensure that they really are spam, rather than just making wholesale deletions of all external links? A site that happens to carry advertising does not automatically make it a spam site. Is the New York Times a spam site? Is Google a spam site? I think that the current list of links was carefully chosen, is tried and tested and covers a broad and relevant set of external resources. Can we please agree to use these as a base and carefully add to this list when we come across new resources.?

Bonzobonce (talk) 00:33, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I have restored some links in reference to above discussion. If people are going remove links, let please discuss this first. (Bonzobonce (talk) 03:06, 14 June 2010 (UTC))

Lead Paragraph[edit]

The lead section was getting too bloated with discussive elements, many of which which are not fleshed out in the main body of the article - for example the art/design schizm and an over-emphasis on multimedia design, and specialised terminology. --Davémon 11:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Gallery of Graphic Design[edit]

Gallery of Graphic Design: 1930 - 1969 --Mycroft.Holmes (talk) 14:54, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

An F Paper[edit]

I just found a paper plagiarized almost entirely from this article. I probably would have failed even before I realized it was plagiarized. Interpret that as commentary on this article however you wish. She did use the thesaurus function to create weird phrases like "Computers have replaced many of the conservative paraphrenalia used before the invention of computers" but many of the problematic sentences came directly from here. I said at the bottom of her paper it sounds like stilted, meaningless corporate cliches. Anyway, as I said, interpret that however you'd like.

F. Simon Grant 17:35, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

This page in the media[edit]

This is the notable design theorist Rick Poyner writing on design and/in Wikipedia:

And it is very sad to see that this article here still is in a very sorry state. 08:55, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Anyone who chooses to complain about a wikipedia article, instead of editing what they feel is inaccurate, is just an elitist snob with no leg to stand on. Get with the times already. Oicumayberight (talk) 08:32, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Models Presented to Companies[edit]

I removed the sentence in the first paragraph that read "Graphic designs can be represented as models as are often done in company projects for architects to base their plans upon" because it was unsourced, poorly written, and didn't seem to add much to the article. If anyone can find a citation and wants to reword it, feel free to add the information back in. Ketsuekigata (talk) 05:39, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

"Occupations" Section Widely Inaccurate, Generalized and Incomplete[edit]

Take this as you will. I'm not trying to piss anyone off or step on any toes. I don't claim to be an expert by any means but I do have a BFA in Graphic Design and have worked full-time in advertising for over 10 years. I have some problems with the way the "Occupations" section reads. I hope to get some feedback on making this better so PLEASE chime in! Here are my observations...

First, I don't really know why the position-by-position descriptions are even necessary, considering there is an entirely separate article for graphic design occupations. Plus, position are WIDELY VARIABLE across industry (one title at a newspaper may entail completely different responsibilities than the same title at an ad agency). Maybe some type of bulleted list might be in order instead (or a list of industries/focuses and their applicable positions)?

And on the position descriptions that are there now, there are some major flaws that don't match the reality of the graphic design industry... and don't even match the SAME position descriptions in the other article for that matter. An example is:

>> "The art director serves a variety of similar job functions in advertising, publishing, film and television, the Internet, and video games."

The art director position is VERY different across industries. For instance, here in the U.S., an art director at a publication may earn over 50% LESS than an art director at an ad agency because of how different the responsibilities are and how different the talent requirements are. There is NO WAY IN HELL that art directors in publishing, advertising, film and television serve similar job functions. In fact, a career art director in the publishing or Web industries frequently will not even be CONSIDERED for an art director position with an ad agency or television station simply he or she doesn't have the right qualifications or experience.

There are major probs with ALL the position descriptions... so many in fact that it would take forever for me to provide examples.

My suggestion is a total re-write of the Occupations section if you want to keep it (I actually would not be opposed to taking it away entirely). Perhaps do a two- or three-paragraph text summary about occupations in graphic design, a bulleted list below that, and then link to the graphic design occupations article below that.

I also think we miss some important points about employment in the graphic design industry that could be accomplished with a new format. There are some EXCELLENT occupational points that aren't even in this article at all. One would be the industry problem—across various graphic design positions (low-level, experience AND management)—of excessive overtime... with artists frequently working 60- to 70-hour weeks. Or the salary stratification between account executives and graphic artists in publishing and advertising. Or how some publications are now ONLY hiring account executives that can design their own ads in order to cut costs and decrease errors. All of these things have been written about extensively in trade publications.

I think the occupations section in its current form is inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant and even a little confusing. As I said, I am not the expert on this but I think it could be better. Thoughts? (talk) 00:41, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the above. It should be a bulleted list or a couple of sentences and then refer to the separate article if not deleted altogether. There's no need to say too much about occupations here when there is a separate article. Oicumayberight (talk) 15:29, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Problem with the Graphic design formats section[edit]

This section implies that graphic designers never develop images used in graphic design. Many graphic designers do their own illustration and photography and apply graphic design principles in the process of aquiring images. Just because some graphic designers don't have the time or lack the skill to develop their own images, does not mean that image development is not a part of graphic design. If that were true, no graphic designer would ever be able to design a logo without clipart. Oicumayberight (talk) 17:14, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Just to expand on the above comment, the first sentence minimizes what many graphic designers do. It reads: "A graphic design project may involve the presentation of existing text and imagery" with no mention that images can be developed by the graphic designer. We are talking about related skills here. It certainly fair to say that authoring text (i.e. copywriting) is not related to graphic design because it doesn't involve graphics. But styling text (i.e. calligraphy and typography) do involve graphics. Why have a Typography subsection without having a visual arts subsection? Anytime you talk about imagery, it involves graphics with the potential for improvement through graphic design. Any elements that involve graphics may have graphics design principles applied to their development, just as easily as their final form can be applied to graphic design. Oicumayberight (talk) 17:49, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Who invented the phrase "graphic design"?[edit]

Is the attribution in the History section of this article correct? Other sources suggest that the phrase "graphic design" was invented a little later by the British designer Richard Guyatt. --Londoner1961 (talk) 20:23, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I think the info should be checked and verified by another source. Looks like the article has many unreliable sources. --Ronz (talk) 22:46, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

What about New Companies? Like BOON Multimedia and Design? Should they be mentioned?[edit]

I think that the new companies are worth mentioning among graphic design as well. Take for instance BOON Multimedia Design BOON Graphic and Web Design Now these guys are new and have no credibility but some of the work on the site I was pretty impressed with. It's very basic but it still identifies companies as individuals by looking at there logo design and what not. They also do web design that I like too.

Another Website i wanted to mention that was new and way better than BOON was the site was just absolutely incredible but didnt showcase his art as much as I would have liked. They got some great and cool ideas for their print work too!

I just think sites like the ones listed need some recognition as Graphic artists and web designers even though they may not be big... just yet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Derbra1513 (talkcontribs) 06:24, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not the place to promote companies. Some companies are notable enough to warrant a wikipedia article such as a publicly held corporation. But not even those companies need mention in the graphic design article. This article is conservative about showing work, let alone companies. See WP:PROMO. I consider it gaming the system to even mention a non-notable company in the talk page. Oicumayberight (talk) 21:55, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Inclusion is based on WP:notability, specifically WP:COMPANY. It is not for you or me to decide if a new company should be included just because we like their work. --Triwbe (talk) 08:42, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


While I understand that Phil Meggs' history of graphic design textbook cites the caves of Lascaux as the beginning of graphic design, I think that this is rather overblown. Certainly none of the cave-dwellers who made those iconic images were thinking of their images as graphic design. They were merely engaged in image-making for their culture. Graphic Design as a practice didn't really exist until after the Industrial Revolution, though it could be argued that the birth of graphic design coincided with the invention of printing technology... If no one objects, I would like to remove the reference, or modify it to indicate Lascaux, Trajan columns, Egyptian Heiroglyphs, illuminated manuscripts from various cultures as antecedents of Graphic Design. UnkleFester (talk) 22:10, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Interesting discussion. Indeed, the difference between modern 'graphic design' and socio-anthropological ideas around 'art' and communication is something that would take a lot of thinking about. I don't have an answer ;) But I tend to agree that the term graphic design has its roots in the industrial revolution, where graphic art is put to use for commercial promotion on a mass scales. (Bonzobonce (talk) 03:10, 14 June 2010 (UTC))

Professional Associations[edit]

May I suggest that you include the Art Directors Club (ADC) in the Professional Associations Nikiandi (talk) 16:23, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

In-house designers[edit]

Added a short paragraph on in-house designers. May need to be expanded. This has been an increasingly important area since DTP made it inexpensive enough for corporates to bring graphic design in-house. (Bonzobonce (talk) 03:07, 14 June 2010 (UTC))

Typography you ether love it or hate it[edit]

Typography you ether love it or hate it It is more then text it is a creation of shape and when put together creates emotions and messages. “Stop thinking of typography as simply headlines and body copy and start thinking of it as a design element”. When using type do not think of it as words, think of it as shapes that can be arranged making something completely different. “When you’re creating a headline, don’t simply type it out: design it”. Before you start plan out your layouts think before you start designing. To seperate a bad designer from a good designer is the good one doe not just throw it on a page and say that a design. It needed research and developing to make the work spectacular.

“Don’t forget that typography isn’t the only part of print, you have to incorporate images and other graphic elements”. When you’re creating work and you spend too much time making typography look fantastic that you forget what you task is trying to convey. Think of design students who have created beautiful typography spending hours on it then rushing the body copy and images at the last minute trying to get things done. “You can’t just throw text on a page, it has to be laid out and organized in a clean way that adds to the information being presented”. Remember that’s layout is important part of design but the main point of Graphic design is to convey a message. So research, plan your work and don’t rush the most important part the information.

References: J. Johnson, 1st April, 2010, “8 Rules for creating effective Typography” Design Shack, 20/05/11, Matt “Unknown”, January 11, 2009, “11 Essential Tips for Good Print Typography” Spoonfed Design, 20/05/11,

K.Schulz, 2011

Typography you ether love it or hate it[edit]

Typography you ether love it or hate it It is more then text it is a creation of shape and when put together creates emotions and messages. “Stop thinking of typography as simply headlines and body copy and start thinking of it as a design element”. When using type do not think of it as words, think of it as shapes that can be arranged making something completely different. “When you’re creating a headline, don’t simply type it out: design it”. Before you start plan out your layouts think before you start designing. To seperate a bad designer from a good designer is the good one doe not just throw it on a page and say that a design. It needed research and developing to make the work spectacular.

“Don’t forget that typography isn’t the only part of print, you have to incorporate images and other graphic elements”. When you’re creating work and you spend too much time making typography look fantastic that you forget what you task is trying to convey. Think of design students who have created beautiful typography spending hours on it then rushing the body copy and images at the last minute trying to get things done. “You can’t just throw text on a page, it has to be laid out and organized in a clean way that adds to the information being presented”. Remember that’s layout is important part of design but the main point of Graphic design is to convey a message. So research, plan your work and don’t rush the most important part the information.

References: J. Johnson, 1st April, 2010, “8 Rules for creating effective Typography” Design Shack, 20/05/11, Matt “Unknown”, January 11, 2009, “11 Essential Tips for Good Print Typography” Spoonfed Design, 20/05/11,

Schulz, 20/05/11, 2011


Considering that this page is about graphic design and visual arts, I find that it should have more visuals. Not only would it appeal more to the people reading the article but it would also complement the information that is being provided on the subject. Rox1286 (talk) 03:10, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

All about credit card rate — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:55, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

fcgtbiut — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Problem with sentence in "Emergence of the design industry"[edit]

"Morris created a market for works of graphic design in their own right to create a profession for this new type of art for aspiring individuals who wishes to earn a living through these skills".
I'm not sure how I would go about correcting this sentence, but it seems in need of restructuring, proper use of plurals and commas. I've had a go at it here, but I might have lost some meaning.

"Morris created a market for graphic design. This emerging profession led aspiring graphic artists to earn a living, using the skills taught by his books." (talk) 01:38, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^ Meggs, Philip B., 'A history of graphic design'. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Meggs, Philip B., 'A history of graphic design'. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Meggs, Philip B., 'A history of graphic design'. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983
  9. ^