Thursday, April 2, 2009

What is Computer Graphic Design?

Christopher Mock

What is Computer Graphic Design?

"The creative process is not performed by the skilled hand alone, but must be aunified process in which head, heart, and hand play a simultaneous role".by Herbert Bayer

To understand computer graphic design, you must first understand the raw formof bringing something to life. By using color, light, sound, font, alignment andmuch more. Color for instance has been called visual magic, a language ofillusion. The colors that you perceive to see depend on the light that is around you.Color is reflective and as the light around you changes, the colors you see willchange as well. The type face or font you use within a design will also effect whatpeople see. Letters are very much alive and understanding the makeup andcomplexity of the alphabet will give you a much greater appreciation of what youread today. The first thing you should do when choosing your font is to considerthe legibility and your audience, if you want your message to be received.

Graphic design evolved from the early cave paintings our ancestors used tocommunicate with one another. These simple images had a purpose, a purpose tovisually tell a story or to convey a message. The size, color, shape and texture allhad meaning. It was the foundation of everything we do today as artists, writers,and designers. Egyptians used hieroglyphs ( a well advanced version of cave paintings).The Chinese developed a form of calligraphy that they still use to this day. The Chineseare also credited for the invention of paper and the discovery of printing. The face ofdesign would change again when the Romans began using illuminated manuscripts.As time went on, the importance of combining images and literature increased,paving the way for artists to express themselves to an audience with limitlesspossibilities. The invention of Typography in the mid 1400's by a German inventoris considered one of the greatest advancements in civilization. Printing came to Europeand a great demand for books exploded among the middle class, students and noblemen.Things would change once more by the late 1400's during the renaissance of graphicdesign. The beginning of the twentieth century came with change. The invention of themotor vehicle, the airplane, and modern day cinema sparked a revolution of it's own.Our social, political, cultural, and economic way of life was in a spin cycle.

Modern art, cinema, and technology have given us so many new ways to expressourselves. The information age of television, movies , and Internet gave us an opportunityto reach out to an audience world wide. The first wave of modern design from Europewas called avant-garde. You could see the influence of there designs in the Americangraphic arts by the 1940's. Europe design was more theoretical and structured whileAmerican design was more informative and enticing. Photography is a very importanttool when it comes to computer graphic design. You can take a photograph, and withcomputer technology enhance the image to create an exceptional work of art. Graphicartists in the twentieth century use computers as a tool to explore several ideas with greatspeed and detail. The ability to create 3D images and animate these images also makes theComputer Graphic Designer invaluable. Modern computer graphic design can be foundevery where you look. You see it on the soda cans you drink, the labels on your shoes,the print on your sons pamper box, the label of your finest bottle of wine. It is trulyeverywhere.

What is Computer Graphic Design? It is first and foremost an art of emotion. It is an abilityto take a concept and bring it to life. It can create beauty or hideousness. Computer graphicdesign allows the artist to assemble many things into one image or several images in orderto relay a message. Computer graphic design has many layers, layers such as colors,Typography, Photography, light, emotion, sound. It can be used to create web sites,commercials, movies, video games, product logos, bill boards, books, pictures. You seeit when you receive a speeding ticket. You sign it when you get married. You feel itwhen you shine your BMW logo on the hood of your car. You are amazed by it whena man gets interrupted on the john by a thirty foot T-Rex that rips him apart. ComputerGraphic Design is the smiley face on your fifth grade principles paddle. It is our modernday way of communicating with the entire world.

Resources used for information are:
The Education of a Graphic Designer
Communication Arts Magazine
Digital Color and Type
Designer's Survival Manual
A History of Graphic Design


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Very informative and well-written. Nice post.

  3. Nicely written. This post reminded me of the first day of class. We were asked, "What is graphic design?" Just starting out, noone really knew how to answer that question. It is complicated to explain, because truthfully, it is in everything, even if it is just a little. There are logos on products, and a shape and style to everything. It is what seperates brands, and defines a company. It is more than color, the lighting, than art, its a solution.