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graphic design/graphic art



I was in a Design program in college that made this distinction between
graphic design and graphic art: graphic design was the solution of
problems related to (primarily) printed materials, and graphic art was
the execution of those solutions. (I should probably admit right off
that our curriculum was heavily influenced by Buckminster Fuller, so we
were always doing the 'whole systems' approach to things.)

I worked for several years as a graphic designer and as a graphic
artist. As a designer I would look at what my client was trying to
communicate and try to find the best mediums to do it in and then the
best way to do it in those mediums. As a graphic artist, I was working
with people who had already come to a decision about what they wanted to
communicate and how they wanted to do it and all I had to do was to
execute the piece in a way that made sense to the printer, made good use
of materials and was within the client's budget. The greatest skill I
needed was communication: with the client to elicit what they really
wanted and with the people involved in the production of whatever was
finally done.

In the graphics part of our curriculum in school we 'studied' general
design principles and participated in a lot of activities to stimulate
creative thinking. We also picked a graphic artist to study for a
quarter and work  in their style. We had classes in photography and
produced various printed pieces, some of which we 'printed' ourselves
and some of which we had printed and we had to pay for ourselves. We did
a lot of projects for our own department, some for other departments and
even a couple for the university itself. Most of our projects were done
by committees, which taught us another set of skills.

The greatest thing about the curriculum was its intention to teach us to
think -- and to think creatively -- about problems.
w
-- w   e   n  d   y     h   a   l   e      d   a   v   i   s
 w o r l d b r i d g e r @ e a r t h l i n k . n e t
    --infinite gratitude for the past
        infinite service in the present
            infinite responsibility for the future--

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