The work of Graphic Design is twofold: it gives shape to messages and information in the form of designed artifacts, and it facilitates people’s interaction with messages and information in the form of interfaces, in both physical and digital formats. The artifacts and interfaces created by graphic designers are often designed as part of larger systems, effectively representing and communicating networks of services and products. The best of Graphic Design meaningfully promotes, educates, directs, informs, exposes, clarifies, beautifies, and/or delights the people who engage with it.
- Create artifacts such as books, magazines, newspapers, and other kinds of printed and electronic media; interface and interaction design for mobile devices such as cellphones and electronic tablets, and exhibition graphics, to name but a few types of applications.
- Plan and produce visual systems for companies and organizations, called “Identity Systems,” which might include logos or marks, in-house collateral material, online web presence, marketing tools, product packaging, vehicle graphics, signage, and more. This network of artifacts is often a component of an overarching branding strategy.
- Develop strategies and systems for making services more accessible to users on behalf of the companies that provide those services. These strategies and systems are also components of an overarching branding strategy.
- Address the needs and wants of people by considering production and distribution of designed material within social contexts—including the consequences of their work once it is released to function in society.
- Consider the quality of experience as people engage in activities that are important to them.
- Determine the formal attributes of artifacts across media, aiming for visual communication that fits the needs and wants of specific audiences.
The skills necessary for a career in graphic design include the ability to: communicate information and messages through typography, images, symbols, physical material, and digital platforms; visualize, prototype, and produce artifacts and interactions; implement design research methods and practices; and collaborate with other experts, such as ethnographers, software engineers, and/or web programmers. The Graphic Design faculty teaches these skills as they encourage and help students develop and expand their creative abilities.