How Graphic Design Does Not Have A Fixed Meaning Essay
Graphic design does not have a fixed meaning. In a broad sense it is the production of visual statements. The term was first used by the American book and advertising designer W.A.
Dwiggins in 1922. At that time it served the purpose of pointing toward a new profession that was broader than either typography, book design, or advertising design alone. For many years the term “graphic design” held because the range of media that graphic designers worked in did not change dramatically. By the early 1960s you had graphic designers working on large exhibitions, urban signage projects, and corporate identity programs. At that point, the practice outstripped the traditional name for it. New terms like “visual communication” or “communication design” came into use. Today, there has been another rapid expansion of the designer’s work in the digital realm. Designers are working with images, text, and sound and visual communication is overlapping with filmmaking and sound design. We probably need another new term to describe what communication designers do but I don’t know what that is.
2. What makes current graphic design different from that of earlier times.
The proliferation of new media. Designing good web sites, for example, requires a deeper understanding of cognitive psychology, learning theory, and other social science disciplines than most communication designers have. Consequently, the information routes through a web site are frequently rather…