Graphic Design and Communication Design


Graphic or communication design is one of the constituent design disciplines within the design of narrative environments.

Graphic communication design is an art and profession of selecting and arranging visual elements — such as typography, images, symbols, and colours — to convey a message to an audience.

“Graphic design which evokes the symmetria of Vitruvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates is not good design if it does not communicate.” -Paul Rand

Audience in Graphic Design

The audience for a graphic design product is usually clearly defined by the client or, following a period of primary research, by the designer in consultation with the client.

The term ‘audiencing’ refers to the ways in which readers interpret and understand texts. Surveys of audience reading are often based on methods adopted from qualitative social science, such as interviews and ethnographic studies, together with quantitative methods based on statistical analysis.

However, one further model for graphic designers to consider is the reflective critical interpretation of images, which can often include a personal deconstruction of existing work or critical reflection on work being undertaken by the designer himself. Through the analysis of design methods, the designer can become more expert in the range of forms and approaches suitable for a particular context or audience.”

Authorship in Graphic Design

“The involvement of the designer in the mediation of the message to an audience. It can be argued that through the creation of visual messages, the designer has an equal role to play in the ways in which a piece of visual communication is read as the originator of the message itself. The designer as a form-giver or channel through which the message is passed, can play a key role in actually shaping the content of the message.
Some design theorists have borrowed the notion of the auteur from film theory in an attempt to build on this notion, while other have been provoked into a heated response which foregrounds the neutral role of the graphic designer within a commercial area.”

Intentionality in Graphic Design

Intentionality is a useful term in graphic Design in relation to the purpose or function of the design by its creator or intended audience.
It is often discussed in philosophical terms, especially in relation to language – some philosophers argue that intentionality is characteristic of a concept or an intention. In philosophy, intentionality is related to mental states such as remembering, believing, knowing or experiencing as well as to the concept of free will.

Layout in Graphic Design

Harmonising the flow and order of information


Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design, 2nd ed., Ian Noble and Russell Bestley