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Graphic design is almost everywhere. Crammed into our homes, all over our cities and dotted around the countryside, its images, letters, colours and shapes are consciously put together to perform all sorts of functions.
Its roles range from directing travellers to the right check-in desk at an airport, to organising the layout and style of a magazine so that it catches that traveller’s eye and makes them buy it to read on the plane. Graphic design on the ticket they buy for the car park may advertise other products or services.
The carton of juice they take for the flight has information organised so its appealing and understandable. The safety instructions aboard the plane are designed so they are clear and accessible, even to people who don’t speak English. Graphic design art is also emblazoned across the hull and tail wing of the aircraft itself.
In short, graphic design is visual communication. It employs lots of different techniques and modes, but is very seldom purely decorative: graphic design has a job to do and graphic designers are in the employ of their clients. The graphic designer may be briefed to create a piece of work which catches a customer’s eye in a busy supermarket, or they may be required to herald the formation of a new business.
Their client may want their work to impart cultural knowledge at a museum or help foreign tourists find their way to the bus station. Or graphic designers could be employed for something as run of the mill as creating a new look for the company stationery. Using an array of visual elements - including type, colour, shape, photography, illustration, painting, digital imagery and so on – graphic designers work with their clients to deliver the required message in the most effective way.