Graphic Design ~ Visual Communication ~ Commercial Art ~ (compromise art) ~ Consultancy
graphic (graf-ik) adj. 1. of drawing or painting or lettering or engraving, the graphic arts; a graphic artist. 2. giving a vivid description, a graphic account of the fight. graphics n. the use of diagrams in calculation or in design; lettering and drawings, the graphics are by John James.
design n 1. a drawing that shows how something is to be made. 2. the art of making such drawings, she studied design. 3. the general form or arrangement of something, the design of the building is good. 4. a combination of lines or shapes to form a decoration. 5. a mental plan, a purpose. design v. 1. to prepare a drawing or design for something. 2. to plan, to intend for a specific purpose, the book is designed for students.
visual adj. of or used to seeing, received through sight; a good visual memory, ability to remember what one sees.
communication n. 1. communicating. 2. something that communicates information from one person to another, a letter or message. 3. a means of communicating, e.g. a road, railway, telegraph line, radio, or other link between places.
commercial adj. 1. of or engaged in commerce; commercial vehicles, those carrying goods or fare-paying passengers; commercial art, art used in advertising etc.; produced on a commercial scale, in amounts suitable for marketing widely. 2. financed by firms etc. whose advertisements are included, commercial radio. 3. intended to produce profits rather than be of artistic or scholarly merit.
consultant n. a person qualified to give expert professional advice. consultancy n. the position or business of a consultant.
Graphic design can be explained in many ways. It is a form of visual communication; a marketing tool or outlet; it is commercial art (or as I describe to students, 'compromise art'); it is conceptual or fashionable design. Whichever description suits, graphic design is not advertising, it is not printing, it is not photography or illustration, but the thought process that leads to, uses or incorporates any or all of the these. The role of the graphic designer is 'to make it happen', to take a marketing problem from the client brief and follow it through to the solution.
Conceptual design, which lends itself to the corporate market, will generally have a longer life than fashion based design, which is used more in the consumer marketplace. Style is a word usually associated with the latter, and would not sit comfortably next to bespoke problem solving design.
The purpose of a design is to communicate a visual message from a person, organisation or product to its intended public. To do this, it is necessary for the designer to have accurate background information (market research) in order to understand the problem that needs to be solved. A good brief can often be sufficient. The designer would then use their creative ability, their visual, technical and aesthetic expertise, their ability to think laterally (a technique mastered and written about by Edward de Bono) to produce a design that would not only resolve the problem to be solved, but would aid their client to be differentiated and stand out from their competitors.
Our clients have a vision of what it is that they want to achieve, even if they don't know the exact route to their target. This is essential, even if it changes along the way in order to be successful. We believe that vision is the difference between the best and the rest.
© In The Clouds Design 2004
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