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What is Graphic Design?

Visitor do you even know what Graphic Design is? Let's make sure!

ACCEPT the mission to find out.

Though often overlooked, Graphic Design surrounds us: it is the signs we read, the products we buy, and the rooms we inhabit. Graphic designers find beauty within limitations, working towards the ultimate goal of visually communicating a message, be it the packaging of a product, the spirit of a book, or the narrative of a building. Utilizing a language of type and imagery, graphic designers try to make every aspect of our lives defined and beautiful.

As you can see Graphic Design is indeed ... everywhere. It is not just logos. Or posters. Or flyers. It is in everything we interact with.

But, but I hear you saying ... I thought this was an Art class!?!?

Yes it is. Art and design might seem synonymous at first, but there is a very distinct difference. All design is Art, but not all Art is design.

The subject of what separates art and design is convoluted and has been debated for a long time. Artists and designers both create visual compositions using a shared knowledge base, but their reasons for doing so are entirely different. Some designers consider themselves artists, but few artists consider themselves designers.

Perhaps the most fundamental difference between art and design that we can all agree on is their purposes. Typically, the process of creating a work of art starts with nothing, a blank canvas. A work of art stems from a view or opinion or feeling that the artist holds within him or herself. The artists create their art to share that feeling with others, to allow the viewers to relate to it, learn from it or be inspired by it. The most renowned (and successful) works of art today are those that establish the strongest emotional bond between the artist and their audience.

By contrast, when a designer sets out to create a new piece, they almost always have a fixed starting point, whether a message, an image, an idea or an action. The designer’s job isn’t to invent something new, but to communicate something that already exists, for a purpose. That purpose is almost always to motivate the audience to do something: buy a product, use a service, visit a location, learn certain information. The most successful designs are those that most effectively communicate their message and motivate their consumers to carry out a task.

Another difference between art and design is how the messages of each are interpreted by their respective audiences. Although an artist sets out to convey a viewpoint or emotion, that is not to say that the viewpoint or emotion has a single meaning. Art connects with people in different ways, because it’s interpreted differently. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has been interpreted and discussed for many years. Just why is she smiling? Scientists say it’s an illusion created by your peripheral vision. Romantics say she is in love. Skeptics say there is no reason. None of them are wrong.

Design is the very opposite. Many will say that if a design can be “interpreted” at all, it has failed in its purpose. The fundamental purpose of design is to communicate a message and motivate the viewer to do something.

If your design communicates a message other than the one you intended, and your viewer goes and does something based on that other message, then it has not met its requirement. With a good piece of design, the designer’s exact message is understood by the viewer.

COMPLETE the mission to move on.

Visitor start paying attention to the world around you. Good design is everywhere and good design doesn't come from a vacuum. It requires inspiration.

The skills you will learn in the CIA are going to be valuable no matter what career you choose.

Next up let's what's the difference between Raster Vs. Vector Graphics?

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