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Re: definitions of graphic design



Dinah,

I am a designer and have taught this on the college level at a few
Universities. I am not sure about the exact nature of your questions. But, if
I am reading you correctly the general nature of graphic design is the very
essence of fine art in application to our modern day society ( in contrast to
what many think of it as the "prostitution of fine art").  Toulouse-Lautrec I
think was the first to make the "art for the masses" reflect fine art.

Graphic design in its essence is visual communication. It is, I think,  among
the highest art forms we have today. Look at Pentagrams work in England.
Browse through Communications Arts magazine and the New York Art Directors
Annual. You will see some of the finest communications, design, typogrpahy,
color use and marriage of words and visuals in any art discipline we have
today. Graphic design is a true reflection of our culture. If art is the eyes
and ears of our society, even more so is graphic design that is so highly
linked to modern trends, thoughts and instant communication.

I am not clear on your second question of the link with other studio
practices. Do you mean photography and illustration, animation and such? They
are all visual mediums used to create the strongest messages. Tools in your
palette so to speak. Environmental graphics, signage, packaging design,
industrial design, corporate identity work, annual reports almost any
application to day from the beautiful work of the netherland's money designers
to the packaging of Calvin Klein's perfumes, to the tube in London are all
enhanced by precise, pleasing and thoughtful graphic design applications.

The history and place of graphic design is endless. The very nature of logo
design stirs up incredible connections in people, and memories. We are more
visual learners than we think, and the impact of a logo is so profound that
companies invest vast amounts of money in the image that creates.

Well, I hope this helped. I can recommend some books if you like.
Good Luck

Betsy Berger


Dinah Ryan wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I'm part of an art department at a small liberal arts college.  The studio
> program is discussing its needs and looking at the scope of our graphic
> design curriculum. Of course, we have our own notions and experience about
> the range of graphic design's applications and definitions, but since many
> of you on this list are involved professionally with graphic design, I'm
> interested in hearing about your sense of what graphic design is,
> particularly beyond marketing applications such as logo design, packaging
> design, corporate image-making, etc. Also, I'm interested in your thoughts
> about a) the links between graphic design and other studio practice, and b)
> the place of history and theory in teaching graphic design.
>
> I always appreciate the many inventive ideas and the breadth of thought on
> this list. The last time I queried (asking for sources for old
> typewriter-style fonts for an exhibition catalog) I received wonderful
> responses. A belated thank you!
>
> And, thanks in advance for your insights on this subject.
>
> --Dinah Ryan
>
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