Graphic design is so much a part of our lives that at times it goes
unnoticed. The layout of type and imagery on the page you’re reading right
now is a key aspect of graphic design. This book was designed by organizing
all the visual and textual information into a communicable message, an
object bound between two covers. But if organizing were the only job of
graphic designers, the computer would have replaced us by now.
Graphic Design Categories
To varying degrees, the intent of design is to persuade, identify, or inform.
A book jacket informs the viewer of the book’s content, persuades the
reader to buy, and identifies the writer. The same is true in food packaging where persuasion, identity on the shelf, and information all matter.
Even a geographical map’s organization and clarity requires the designer
to decide on what to include and exclude as well as how to present the
information. A clear map is more likely to be purchased and used than a
Creating a three-dimensional experience for the visitor
is the goal of an environmental designer (Figure 1.9).
The category includes the design of museum exhibits,
trade shows, and convention booths. Environmental
design overlaps with signage design in the sense that
both types of designers work closely with architects as
well as interior and landscape designers and must have
an understanding of structural materials.
This evolving field of design involves adding sound,
motion, and time sequencing to pictures and words.
Filmmaking, animation, and visual effects converge to
tell a story or visually articulate a concept. Motion design
projects include film title sequences, trailers, animations,
and broadcast identifications (a short spot that confirms
the channel being watched). The finished projects are
displayed on television, in the cinema, on computer
screens, and even through cell phones (Figure 1.10). (See
the Speakout by Barry Deck on page 10.)