What Is Graphic Design?

I came across this interesting video on YouTube, where AGDA (Australian Graphic Designer’s Association) asks the general public on the street (in Australia) various questions on graphic design.

Their first question was: “What Is Graphic Design?

There were some very interesting responses in the video such as my favourite..

“Graphic design is a wank, a load of bullshit, wanky bullshit.”

However, there were some other quality responses that didn’t make me feel so bad, with some answers being quite sophisticated and some bordering on correct. I don’t even know if I, myself could accurately describe in full what graphic design is. What about you?

The second question they asked in the film was: “Do you know any graphic designers?

No, was the response in pretty much all cases.
Favourite Response: I only know that graphic design is St Kilda. (A football club.)

3rd Question: “What does a graphic designer look like?

My favourite responses were:
They should be locked away.
“Hunched over, rings around the eyes, white.”

4th Question: “Any advice or tips for a graphic designer?”
My favourite responses were:
“Get more sun.”
“Keep it simple.”
“Get more modern.”
“Reduce Costs.”
“Do a survey.”
“Be Original.”
The most appropriate answer: “I wouldn’t know until I was a graphic designer, its like telling an airline pilot how to land a plane.”

They ended the video with each person wishing graphic designers good luck.

So, What is Graphic Design?

Below is a compilation of short definitions of what AIGA and Wikipedia think graphic design is. For the full definition, follow the links.

Wikipedia: Graphic design is the process of communicating visually using typography and images to present information. Graphic design practice embraces a range of cognitive skills, aesthetics and crafts, including typography, visual arts and page layout. Like other forms of design, graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Art) : Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.

Update: You should visit Veerle’s What is Graphic Design Blog Discussion as this was a very popular blog entry with hundreds of responses. It was so popular there was even a what is graphic design poster competition with hundreds of responses and great prizes.

What do you think graphic design is?

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