gdthesis .pdf

File information

Original filename: gdthesis.pdf

This PDF 1.4 document has been generated by Adobe InDesign CS5.5 (7.5) / Adobe PDF Library 9.9, and has been sent on on 17/05/2013 at 04:52, from IP address 98.183.x.x. The current document download page has been viewed 1173 times.
File size: 5.7 MB (32 pages).
Privacy: public file

Download original PDF file

gdthesis.pdf (PDF, 5.7 MB)

Share on social networks

Link to this file download page

Document preview

one to two

what is graphic design?
three to eight

process in graphic design
nine to eighteen

nineteen to twenty-four

is graphic design important?
twenty-five to twenty-eight

works cited
twenty-nine to thirty

about a badly designed
toothbrush until you put a
badly designed toothbrush
in your mouth

Graphic Design is under appreciated.
There is value in the work that Graphic Designers
produce, it just needs to be revealed. There are
books on layouts, how to use a grid, typography and
theories associated with Graphic Design, but little
to no books on why Graphic Designers are valuable.
Why is this? In a world full of people who explore
with their eyes, Graphic Design plays an important
and undeniable role. With websites that allow you
to design your own business cards, now more than
ever, is the time to show how capable professionally
trained Graphic Designers are more qualified than a
website to complete such a task. We are competing
with our own technology, therefore it is easy to
see the issue at hand. Through the research I’ve
conducted this semester, I will introduce Graphic
Design through the eyes of a designer. I don’t think
of myself as a writer, and design may or may not
be big enough to change the world, but hopefully
this book will change your outlook. Beginning
with the introduction of Graphic Design, this book
explores the process designers go through and how
to see value in their craft; ultimately answering the
question; is Graphic Design important?

intro page two

A creative
process, most
often involving
a client and a
designer, and
completed in
with producers
of form.


An interdisciplinary, problemsolving activity which combines
visual sensitivity with skill
and knowledge in areas of
communications, technology
and business. Graphic Design
practitioners specialize in the
structuring and organizing
of visual information to aid
communication and orientation.


what is graphic design? page four

What is Graphic Design? The question is so small, yet
there are so many answers. It’s art. Wrong; it’s design. No
wait, it’s both. Do we even know?
It’s hard to compare Graphic Design to other forms of
art, because design, historically, hasn’t been around
as long. Having said that, Graphic Design isn’t always
considered art. According to The Crystal Goblet by
Beatrice Warde, who compares a wine connoisseur to
typography and printed matter, printed art cannot be
fine art because fine art is intended to be an expression
of beauty for its own sake. In another article, entitled
Art VS. Design by Craig Elimeliah, design is planned
whereas art is an inspired creation with its own
rules. After reading these two articles, I wondered to
myself; do Graphic Designers ever create without an
explanation? Will Graphic Design ever become fine art?
If so, would this make the industry more valuable?

The art or skill of combining text
and pictures in advertisements,
magazines, or books

If printed art cannot be art, or considered fine art,
because its primary purpose isn’t to exist as an
expression of beauty for its own sake or delectation of
the senses, but a planned creation; is it possible for
designers to create printed matter that exists without
using rules or an explanation?
Can Graphic Designers expressing ideas of emotion
through printed material like artists inspire emotion
through their mediums? I believe so. We should
create without explanation in order to stay creative
and new; Artists must continue working to prepare
for exhibitions, Musicians put on concerts and
designers must do the same with their portfolio.
These tips are important because they are what set
an average template based designer from a skilled
Graphic Designer.
Showcasing a designers ability to be creative is
essential to break away from the ordinary and
emphasize the importance of choosing a designer over
a ready-made, picked-off-a-wall logo or generic website.

Along with staying constantly innovative, designers
have to be able to work fast. Juggling multiple design
jobs at once isn’t uncommon, and working outside the
office is a must. Marketing and communication also
tie into design in one form or another. Branding and
identity are branches of marketing and require lots
of research and precise planning in order to make a
product successful. Graphic Design can be used to
solve a problem in a variety of ways. This is why it is
so  important
So back to the question, What is Graphic Design;
Graphic Design is art. It is a creative, problemsolving process and a skill not everyone can posses.
Graphic Design is a job for strong-willed, determined
individuals who work well under pressure. They are
different and imperative to the industry and the
world. This book will help explain why designers are
so important to the world, and relate design to other
aspects of culture and community, as well as explain
the process of design.

what is graphic design? page six

The reason I bring up Graphic Design and fine art
is because they both have a process. Whether it’s
printed material or stuff on a canvas, they both can
be created for the hell of it. The need to create still
exists, however they are just expressed through two
different mediums. Designing just because you enjoy
designing shows passion and dedication which are
crutial attributes to posess. Could this be the start to
finding value in Graphic Design?
Even though many graphic artists create and recreate what has been done in the past, it’s still
possible for a design to have the same cultural
influences but different content. Context in your
work is just as important as the content. It’s easy
for the Graphic Designer to explain a thumb or a

rough to a client that they came up with, but if the
designer were to send it in an email, for example,
would it still be understood by the client with a
short descriptive paragraph? Probably not. Pairing
the two, context and content, together make for a
strong design that will almost never fail. Having one
without the other is like putting on a jacket without
a shirt underneath. It might work on the surface but
it doesn’t make sense as a whole idea. More than
likely the same designer didn’t create the piece their
inspiration was dawn from and all great designers
approach their creations with their own style.
Everything has been done before, it’s the designer’s
job to make it their own. Don’t get me wrong, i’m
not stating to use other designers work as your own,
but finding inspiration among other designes is okay.

people ignore design
that ignores people.

I believe that it is possible for designers to create
printed matter without explanation for the sake of
creating Graphic Design art. As a designer, I am
compelled to be creative even when I do not have
a client to create for, and at times I play around
with poems or quotes to create for the sake of
creating. Maybe this is what sets me apart from
other designers, being driven to create all the
time, experimenting with typography in forms other

than printed material, designing for the sake of
designing. Graphic Design is my passion and my
calling. This is what I am good at.
Over half of the Graphic Design process is hidden.
This is one of the main reasons Graphic Design
is underappreciated. By exposing the layers, and
showing the process, the secrets become exposed,
helping to explain this profession a little better.

what is graphic design? page eight
















be effecient



solve the problem

purpose of action






process in graphic design? page ten

exposing the layers


Often the Graphic Design process is presented as
a series of steps to go through when developing an
idea or a product. They usually include: identifying a
problem, gathering information, proposing solutions,
choosing the best idea, testing, evaluating and
communication. There are many different ways to
approach this and no list can cover all the ways people
interpret the design process.Terms like thumbnails,
roughs, comps and super comps are often familiar
during this stage. These terms will be introduced in a
way that explains what their purpose is in the process
and how to use them to recieve the best results.


investigate the design brief
think about the outcome
produce the solution

identify the most likely idea

process in graphic design? page twelve


When a designer sits down and begins their assigned
task, the first step is not to start on the computer,
but to start on paper. Those who begin on the
computer omit important steps that help the creative
process and build a stronger concept. Designers
who want to be good begin on the computer.
Great designers take the extra steps and create
wonderfully stunning images that help break the gap
between ordinary and successful.


Beginning steps include: brainstorming in the form
of a mind map or word list followed by thumbnails
upon thumbnails. Thumbnails aren’t supposed to
display perfect content, but approximate basic
ideas. The more thumbs, the better in order to rule
out the good from the bad. After the designer feels
they have explored all possible solutions, the best
thumbnails turn into roughs and get more specific.
These steps are vital in the design process and are
often discounted. For instance, beginning on tracing
paper is a good starting point because tracing paper
is transparent, therefore, it gives the designer the
option to overlay their see-through ideas. This allows
the designer to create ideas otherwise impossible
beginning on the computer.

process in graphic design? page fourteen

Above: Charlie Rubenstein, the

what is the process?

chief organizer for 3419 homeless
awareness, explains his intentions

·define the problem
·make connections
·final output

for the campaign to Graphic
Designers in an Q+A interview



Spread from the book Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming

Charlie Rubenstein, Chief organizer of a campaign
named 3419 homeless awareness, talked to some
Designers so they could find out what he wanted and
needed for his campaign. After Graphic Designers
talk to their clients, they often follow up with
research, mind-mapping and or brainstorming. Using
the material gained during their talk with the client,
the Graphic Designers define the problem. These are
the pre-stages before the designers even produce
concepts on paper.
Mind-mapping is a type of diagram used to visually
outline information without using words or texts.
Seen in the spread to the left — taken from the book
Graphic Design Thinking: Beyond Brainstorming is an
example of how some designers began the definition
process for Mr. Rubenstein’s awareness campaign
using such diagram. As you can see, using this type
of creative diagram gives the Graphic Designer a
visual map of connections made using the word
HOMELESS and the numbers 3419. This diagram
helps to make connections that might not have been
made if the team began on the computer instead.
Brainstorming happens next. After the
brainstorming, the creative team is able to pick and
chose their ’definition’ from the research they came
up with and proceed to the thumbnail stage of the
design process.

process in graphic design? page sixteen

little detail in thumbnails can still
get the point across to the viewer

What is a thumbnail?
Thumbnails are quick, abbreviated sketches or
drawings. These are done quickly and with any
medium, though pen or pencil is the most common.
Thumbnail sketches are usually very small, often only
an inch or two high, but that’s all you need.
Content is also essential at this stage, as it becomes
increasingly difficult to design without it as you go.
Having thumbnails without content is like having a
house plan without rooms.These are the parts of the
process that don’t seem important, yet they are the
most important.

How do I start a thumbnail?
First you should sketch a rough box that represents
the orientation of the design, then begin with your
lines, text or any major objects. Next outline any key
shapes, and quickly hatch in any strong dark areas.
There are no right or wrong ways to approach this,
so do what works.
Once you’ve done your thumbnail sketch, if needed,
make notes alongside it so that your message is
clear to you as well as others. The next step is to
fine-tune your drawing or rough before embarking on
the finished piece.

rough sketches get more
specific and solve problems not
addressed in the thumbnail stage

What is a rough?
A rough is a half to full sized sketch. Roughs are
selected from half of the thumbs. These get more
specific and should help to solve problems from
your thumbnail stage. Because roughs are usually
drawn in pen or pencil, visual images that help get
your point across might be required.

What happens after roughs?
After thumbnails and roughs are comprehensive
layouts, or comps. These ultimately serve as a
draft of the final layout. Comps are done on the
computer, most of the time, and address any issues
that might arise during production. Occasionally,
clients must approve this stage in order to move on.

process in graphic design? page eighteen
























value page twenty


Graphic Designers have a voice that they don’t
always use. Being in a competitive job market, we
are trained to prepare for that one spot and that one
design firm. There are not enough jobs to fufill the
demands of graduating students. The market tends
to become this competitive place instead of one
large networking team with a huge voice. If Graphic
Designers came together and worked as a team to
solve problems in the world, the field would become
more valuable.

If technology wasn’t important,
would design be?

Let’s say I become a designer who works at a big
design firm but I don’t like products that include
high fructose corn syrup. If Heinz came to me to
and wanted me to rebrand their ketchup bottle, I
could rebrand them or I could take a stand and say
no. This could create a bad chain of events — like
getting fired — or it could be the beginning to a
bigger picture. Let’s also say the design firm I was
just fired from hires another designer who also
doesn’t like high fructose corn syrup products, and
they also turn down the rebranding of Heinz ketchup
bottles. Would that designer be fired as well? Or
would the firm finally realize there’s something
bigger happening here than just designers not liking
high fructose corn syrup.

Graphic Design is occasionally
associated with negative
attention. New technology has
made it easier to reproduce
material creating room for
scams. This technology has also
helped Graphic Design become
necessary. Look around you next
time you’re by a group of people;
they are always using their
phones. And the internet. There’s
that too. Negativity certainly
doesn't bring value to the table,

In a more valued industry, the firm would ideally say
’Hey, sorry Heinz, but we cant rebrand your ketchup
bottle because we don’t agree with your product.’
This example illustrates an important point made
by a man named Hal Riley whom I met once at a
design conference. If Graphic Designers became
more ’picky’ about their designs and took a stand
on things they believe in, we would become valuable.
Heinz would never be able to get their ketchup bottle
rebranded and designers wouldn’t be supportive of
the values they don’t believe in. This chain of events
would change the world.

it just muddies the water. If
Graphic Design was only used
to create honest designs, there
would be more value in the field.
We can’t go backwards, it can
only get better from here.

Value is the regard that something is held to
deserve; the importance or preciousness of
something. Graphic Design deserves to be valued.
Unless you know how important Graphic Design is,
it’s useless. It becomes potentially useful.






value page twenty-two

Culture brings communities
together; from art to literature,
and language to religion.
People relate to culture and
are curious about it. Design is
what communicates to multiple
cultures and communities at
once. It influences and inspires
people all around the world. This
is just another reason Graphic
Design is so important.

value page twenty-four

is graphic design
Could studying design be of
general, not just professional,
interest? Do we really have anything
to offer outside of the sometimes
questionable promise of a job?
If we answer no, it is because
we underrate the potential of our
field. Design is at an intellectual
crossroads where anthropology
meets communication studies, art
meets marketing, and cognitive
psychology meets business. It
is in the position to become an
integrative educational field, a
liberal art for the next century.

It has become a cliché of career counseling to point
out that most of today’s jobs won’t exist in fifteen
years and most jobs that will exist in fifteen years
don’t exist now. We can expect the statement to
remain true, although the time period will shorten.
Although there may be Graphic Designers in fifteen
years most of them will likely be doing something very
different from the present vocation of Graphic Design.
The design students of today will be the inventors
of the design field of tomorrow. A general education
is more conducive to the flexibility needed for such
invention than is vocational training with its narrower
concerns. A general education focusing on the
concerns of design—form and meaning, vision and
understanding—would serve our next generation of
designers better than what we now offer them.
The interests of the design business have traditionally
driven design education. It is time to reconsider
whether that is really in the interest of design
education, design students and, for that matter, the
design business. The pace of development of the
design business has, in the past, allowed for the
kind of consideration and analysis that a maturing
field needs. The current changes in design leave little
time for practitioners to reflect and that is unlikely
to change. That room to grow could be provided by
design studies that are independent of vocational
Without such a balancing force the Graphic Design
business is in trouble. With it we could discover that
design is, indeed, important.1


Excerpts from Is Design Important? In the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, vol. 13

is graphic design important? page twenty-six

Graphic Design is important. As a designer, we work
with many different personalities also known as
clients. Clients come to Graphic Designers because
we know how to make them money. As I stated
earlier, not everyone is cut out to be a Graphic
Designer, therefore this job market should hold
a fair amount of value because it is specialized.
Gunnar Swanson forecasts a different type of design
world in the future stating ’the interests of the design
business have traditionally driven design education.’
Would the merge of such interests as anthropology
— the science of humanity — and Graphic Design
create an atmosphere that changes design education
all together? It’s possible. I mentioned that designers
should design with one another rather than being so
competitive all the time. These type of choices could
become so wide spread that maybe it is possible for
Graphic Design to change the world.
Even though many artists create and re-create what
has been done in the past, Graphic Design can
still be different because the same designer didn’t
create it. Everything has been done before, it’s the
designer’s job to make it their own.

I believe that it is possible for designers to create
printed matter without explanation for the sake of
creating Graphic Design art. As a designer, I am
compelled to be creative even when I do not have
a client to create for, and at times I play around
with poems or quotes to create printed matter for
the sake of creating. Maybe this is what sets me
apart from other designers, being driven to create
all the time, exploring typography in forms other
than printed material, designing for the sake of
designing. Graphic Design is my passion and my
calling. This is what I am good at.
I hope after reading this book, your mind has been
opened to a new side of design you may or may
not have been aware of. Whether you are a Graphic
Designer or not, I hope you appreciate the points
being made. From your own experience, think of
something you are driven to do or passionate about;
then imagine that hobby/career/activity not being
important or holding value. Would you be proactive
enough to show others it shouldn’t be overlooked?

things don’t have to change the
world to be important

Gunnar Swanson makes an
important point in his article
about design. He mentions
a design center for general
education which would be a great
idea, if it was something that
was required learning, would
there be a need for designers?
Does everyone have the ability to
be a designer? Not everyone can
become a doctor or a firefighter,
so assuming that design could
be general interest and not
professional is questionable.

When it comes to design, I
don’t think it’s possible to be
too articulate or too bewildered.
Designers have a unique way of
thinking and problem solving;
their own visual language of
expression. Design is important
whether you have a job as a
designer or not because there will
always be that visual language to
appeal to.

is graphic design important? page twenty-eight


1. Is Design Important?

2. Graphic Design
Thinking: Beyond


Designing a book about the
importance of Graphic Design
is more difficult than I ever
imagined. I hope I explained
why the work I produce is better
than the work of an untrained,
uneducated person and that being
a Graphic Designer shouldn’t feel
expendable or insignificant.

I’d like to thank all the professors
who took the extra time to help
me: Ivanete Blanco, David Shields

Gunnar, Swanson. “Is Design

and Derek Munn, and all the

Important?.” AIGA Journal of

lectures I drew my inspiration

Graphic Design. 13. (1995):

Lupton, Ellen. Graphic

from during the semester:

n. page. Web. 18 Mar. 2013.

Design Thinking: Beyond

Christopher Simmons, Hal Riley,


Brainstorming. New York:

and Andy Slipher. This book is


Princeton Architectural Press,

dedicated to all Graphic Designers


2011. 8-9. Print.

who design with a purpose; those
who care about their efforts in
making this community what it
needs to be today.


works cited page thirty

written and designed missy thieman 2013

Related documents

greenologue sustainability primer 2017
victory insider 4 vietnam
cultural appropriation and larp shoshana kessok
combine document test 2 1

Link to this page

Permanent link

Use the permanent link to the download page to share your document on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or directly with a contact by e-Mail, Messenger, Whatsapp, Line..

Short link

Use the short link to share your document on Twitter or by text message (SMS)


Copy the following HTML code to share your document on a Website or Blog

QR Code

QR Code link to PDF file gdthesis.pdf