Modern Graphic Design: Directions and Purpose.
The article presenting the variety of purposes served by modern graphic design: branding, UI navigation, mascots and lettering, tutorials, posters and animation.
“The details are not the details. They make the design.” These words about the nature of the job, expressed by Charles Eames, have become a well-known eternal truth for graphic designers. They are actually the people building a bridge between the art and the functional goal-centered design. They mix the power of art and functionality within the limits of particular goals and definite audience. They make beauty work for people.
Here in Tubik we have felt all the variety of stones in that way. Today we invite our readers to review the diverse purposes for which graphic design can be highly beneficial as we have checked in design practice.
What is graphic design?
As we mentioned in one of our previous articles about the issue, graphic design can be described as the sphere of human activity that lies on the crossroads of several directions, first of all, visual arts, communication and psychology. Basically, graphic designers do the job of communication to others by means of graphic (visual) elements such as images of different style and complexity, types and fonts, pictograms, shapes and sizes, colors and shades, lines and curves etc. Graphic designer makes all those elements of visual perception transfer the message, so he makes them functional. Therefore, we could say that graphic designers are artists applying their talents mostly not in pure art but communicating and purposeful art.
Modern graphic design broadly covers all spheres of human life which deal with visual communication, from books and posters to sophisticated mobile applications or 3D animation. Let’s look into directions in which graphic designers can express their creativity for the sake of solving problems and satisfying needs.
Graphic design directions
Nowadays, graphic design is an incredibly broad sphere for application of artistic talents. In particular, it includes:
- editorial design
- identity (logo and branding) design
- icons and pictograms
- interface graphics and elements
- print advertisements
- big print items such as posters and billboards
- packaging etc.
Thus, it’s easily seen that modern designers in this sphere have multiple options to apply their talents. In all the mentioned directions, the basic purpose of graphic design is to serve a particular purpose or even a set of them by means and techniques of art.
Graphic design in modern life full of digital devices is getting more and more technological. Famous Italian designer Massimo Vignelli said “The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.” Remembering the words we have to say that the purposes of modern graphic design are pushed further and further. Not only does it beautify the physical or digital object, but also helps its users, navigates them, guides their way via which they can get both aesthetic pleasure and problem-solving benefits.
Graphic design purposes
Today, graphic design can set diverse purposes. It rarely happens that the object of graphic design serves only one objective. Looking over the most essential of them, we would mention the following.
This purpose first of all serves for branding reasons. It is primarily concerned on creating logos which usually lie the foundation for the whole branding strategy. This is the task at which designers work with multiple factors combining specific features of the target audience, laws and rules of artistic harmony, psychology of color and shape impact on human perception and emotions, the current situation on the market, business goals of the brand or company.
Numerous logos accomplished by studio designers have proved that this symbolic image plays the crucial role in all the next stages of brand strategy, including printwork (like posters, business cards, corporate documentation templates etc.), interface design (when brand or company uses digital sources and channels of reaching their clients like blogs, websites, apps, widgets etc.), branded items (like stationery, cups, notebooks etc.) and other directions. The efficient logo is usually based on deep analysis supported by designer’s talent and skills and presents a balanced mixture of art and functionality. Thinking over all the details, designer selects the type and image of a logo that will correspond to the objectives of the company or brand strategy.
Design4Users logo tested in print stickers
This is the broadly used function of graphic design items that has found its comprehensive realization in all the spheres of users interacting with visual stuff, from advertising to book covers and cartoons, to user interfaces of all kinds, packaging, photos and tons of other things. It’s not a secret that people are not only rational but also emotional creatures, and most of us are visually driven and aesthetically engaged. Although the content and functions are the most important factors of making a product problem-solving, the old classic trend hasn’t changed: people still believe that a good dress is a card of invitation. Attractive and stylish look is traditionally highly important to make your user think about trying the product, especially in conditions of modern intense competition.
Graphic design in all its variety becomes a powerful tool of interface beautification. It can be applied in the slightest details like icons and up to significant elements like illustrations and mascots.