|Graphic design is a form of communicating visually using
text and/or images to present information, or promote a message.
The art of graphic design embraces a range of cognitive skills
and crafts including typography, image development and page
layout. Graphic design is applied in communication design
and fine art. Like other forms of communication, graphic
design often refers to both the process (designing) by which
the communication is created, and the products (designs)
such as creative solutions, imagery and multimedia compositions.
Graphic design is traditionally applied to static media,
such as books, magazines and brochures. Additionally, since
the advent of computers, graphic design is utilized in electronic
media - often referred to as interactive design, or multimedia
There are varying degrees of graphic design. Graphic designer
involvement may range from verbally communicated ideas,
to visual rough drafts, to final production. In commercial
art, client edits, technical preparation and mass production
are usually required, but usually not considered to be
within the scope of graphic design unless the client is
also a graphic designer.
|In the mid 1980s, the arrival of desktop publishing
and the introduction of software applications introduced
a generation of designers to computer image manipulation
and 3D image creation that had previously been unachievable.
Computer graphic design enabled designers to instantly see
the effects of layout or typography changes without using
any ink in the process. For more details on software used
by graphic designers, see art software.
Computers are now considered to be an indispensable tool
used in the graphic design industry. Computers and software
applications are generally seen, by creative professionals,
as more effective production tools than the traditional
methods. However, a few designers continue to use manual
and traditional tools for production, such as Milton Glaser.
Computers may or may not enhance the creative process
of graphic design, depending on which process best stimulates
the creativity of the designer. Rapid production from the
computer allows many designers to explore multiple ideas
quickly with more detail than what could be achieved by
traditional hand-rendering or paste-up on paper, moving
the designer through the creative process more quickly.
New ideas may come in the form of exploring software features
that would not have been considered without the software.
However, some professional designers may explore ideas
on paper to avoid creating within the limits of the computer
configuration, enabling them to think outside the box;
the box being the computer. Some creative graphic design
ideas are initiated and developed to near completion in
the mind, before either traditional methods or the computer
A graphic designer may also use sketches to explore multiple
or complex ideas quickly without the potential distractions
of technical difficulties from software malfunctions or
software learning. Hand rendered comps may be used to get
approval of a graphic design idea before investing what
would be too much time to produce on a computer if rejected.
Thumbnail sketches or rough drafts on paper may then be
used to rapidly refine and produce the idea on the computer
in a hybrid process. This hybrid process is especially
useful in logo design where a software learning curve may
detract from a creative thought process. The traditional-design/computer-production
hybrid process may be used for freeing ones creativity
in page layout or image development as well. Traditional
graphic designers may employ computer-savvy production
artists to produce their ideas from sketches, without needing
to learn the computer skills themselves.
use of computers in design is sometimes referred to as
(computer aided design), the same abbreviation
computer aided drafting and a homophone of the acronym
computer aided design & drafting (CADD) which is
the use of computers in engineering designs for mechanical
products and associated with computer aided production
of these products known as CAM (computer aided manufacturing).
This makes no distinction between graphic design and
drawing. Due to this common misunderstanding, CAD is
rarely used to describe computer use in graphic design.
common term used to describe computer use in graphic
design is DTP (desktop publishing). However, DTP is
to the narrower scope of graphic design known as page
layout and publishing technology.
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