Wednesday, August 13, 2008

2. what is that we do that makes it graphic design ?

Please post your response as a comment

5 comments:

Bruce said...

Communication Design (note I am not using the term Graphic Design because of its limitations)is all about using appropriate visual communication to inform, call to action, and shift opinions within defined target audiences.
To do this we will use strategic and creative thinking during the research and conceptualising stage as well as at the design realisation stage, to grab attention so that the message can be delivered.

To break it down, the research and conceptualising stage involves:
a. critical analysis and interpretation of the brief
b.thorough research of client and communcation challenge/problem
c. creative conceptualising
d. appropriate media choice

The design realisation stage entails:
a. development of as many possible visual solutions (using scamping process) as deadline allows
b. editing process referring back to original strategy
c. iterative crafting process using subtleties of image and word to find best visual solution
d.generation of necessary elements i.e. photography, illustration, copy, 3D elements etc
e. use of various technologies to create the above and produce print/web ready communication design

Janet said...

I think we need to try to find the heart of what we do that makes what we do not industrial or jewellery or fashion or surface design. With this in mind I think there is much in the design process Bruce speaks about that is common to several design disciplines. It's when we get to the "subtleties of image and word" that i think we start to get close. We use word and image, alone or together, to communicate or persuade or alter some aspect of human behaviour via intellectual or affective or physical interaction.

Johannes Cronje said...

I like the Visual design aspects from Bruce, and the "subtleties of image and word" from Janet. Janet, do you have a source?

Andrea Broom said...

Agreed, we need to find a common understanding (is there is such a thing?) of the scope of what we as graphic design educators teach and what kind of student we hope to enlighten.

First of all, there is a question around the name ‘Graphic Design’.

Interestingly, industry practitioners at DACUM raised the name ‘Graphic Design’ as quite a controversial issue. In concurrence, colleagues, including myself, and design educators around the world are finding that the term does not encompass the kinds of education offered here, or anywhere else in the world, although we still use it interchangeably with the descriptor ‘Communication Design’. The name, since the Bauhaus, aptly used to describe the activity, but the field has, and is, changing constantly.

Broadly, this is a description offered by for what ‘graphic design’ is today:

...'(graphic) design becomes more concerned with persuasion than decoration; less about style than about emotion; more about clarity, understanding and context.' (Cullen [Heller (ed)] 1998:32)

As such, we should consider calling the course something that describes more accurately, what the field is about.

Cullen has also said, ‘Any attempt to map design education, much less to divine its future, is as elusive as answering that eternal question: What is design? There is no one elemental reply.’ She does, however, pose many questions, via many international voices, in her chapter ‘Future Teach’, in ‘The Education of a Graphic Designer’ (ibid 1998:31)
questions and arguments that make as much sense today, as they did then.

The difference now is, that the decisions as to what kind of ‘graphic design’ course we are going too offer now, needs to be clearly defined quite quickly, and in a
fully-informed way.

Broadly this is a description offered for ‘graphic design’ today: ...'(graphic) design becomes more concerned with persuasion than decoration; less about style than about emotion; more about clarity, understanding and context.' (Cullen [Heller (ed)] 1998:32)
As such, we should consider calling the course something that describes more accurately, what the field is about.

See my posted answer to the question ‘how do we differentiate’ on this blog for consideration of the word ‘Communication Design’ as a suggestion. This, or any other terminology that would describe more accurately that which we teach our students should, I feel, be part of the debate.

Johannes Cronje said...

I agree with Andrea that Graphic Design may be too narrow. BUT, I am not sure that Communication Design works either. I understand its origin in Bauhaus, etc. But how will that separate us from Journalism, PR, Film & Video?
Communication Design may even be a "Cluster" name. Certainly the name of a subject for the degree. But I think we need a name that is Bigger than graphic, but smaller than communication?