Graphic design is art with a purpose. It involves a creative and systematic plan to solve a problem or achieve certain objectives, with the use of images, symbols or even words. It is visual communication and the aesthetic expression of concepts and ideas using various graphic elements and tools.
Professional designers possess a creative mind with an artistic inclination, and so much more. Keen observation skills and analytical thinking are essential tools for graphic design, before they dig into their physical tool kit and touch pen to paper or stylus to tablet. Designers employ a variety of methods to combine art and technology to communicate a particular message and create an impressive visual.
The term graphic design was coined by William Addison Dwiggins in 1922. However, the origins of graphic design can be traced from the origins of human existence, from the caves of Lascaux, to Rome’s Trajan’s Column to the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, to the neon lights of Ginza, Tokyo. In “Babylon, artisans pressed cuneiform inscriptions into clay bricks or tablets which were used for construction. The bricks gave information such as the name of the reigning monarch, the builder, or some other dignitary”. This was the first known road sign announcing the name of the governor of a state or mayor of the city. The Egyptians developed communication by hieroglyphics that used picture symbols dating as far back as 136 B.C. found on the Rosetta Stone. “The Rosetta stone, found by one of Napoleon’s engineers was an advertisement for the Egyptian ruler, Ptolemy as the “true Son of the Sun, the Father of the Moon, and the Keeper of the Happiness of Men”. The Egyptians also invented papyrus, paper made from reeds found along the Nile, on which they transcribed advertisements more common among their people at the time. During the “Dark Ages”, from 500 AD to 1450 AD, monks created elaborate, illustrated manuscripts.
Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.