Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.

2004-08-10

What is Graphic Design?

I'm often in situations where I'm asked: what do you do for a living? And invariably, I respond "graphic design and marketing communications."

For some time, I thought that was a clear explanation. I create visual messages that sell, inform, and hopefully, inspire. Yet, so many people these days look at me blindly as if I just told them I dress up in a monkey suit and fly around on a magic carpet.

Has it always been this way? Have I just never noticed before?

I understand that creatives are often misunderstood. That, "what we do" seems to be plucked out of the ether. Why else would one be asked to reproduce 3 advertisement concepts for 3 different, unrelated products "by the end of the day?" No problem, yes?

But could it also be that "what we do" is so blurred by evolving technology based media that no one -- including graphic designers -- has a good, clear definition anymore? Is a web designer a graphic designer, maybe -- however, web DEVELOPERS generally aren't. Now that there is a PC in every home, everyone has access to the professional tools of the graphic designer. I could point out endless examples of where the line continues to blur (and I probably will at some point)!

I mean, when my father was a graphic designer, many years ago, he sat at a desk with a pencil and exacto blade, moving type around. It was pretty obvious what he was doing.

Anyway, here are some cool examples of how two extreme styles can be executed in web format:

Brazilian design student Eduardo Recife: misprintedtype
Kaliber: k10k


cheerio,
Rick
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