What is Graphic Design?

Most people see more examples of graphic design before they get to work than they see examples of arts in the year. Before they even fully awake, most people will see the numbers and letters on the faces of the alarm clocks, the colours, the shapes and lettering on tubes of toothpaste, the letters and symbols on taps and showers, the signs for ‘On’ and ‘Off’ on the kettle, coffee maker, the packaging on their tea or coffee, the stations idents on morning television and the prnt, photography and layout of the newspaper.

This is before they climb into cars (with front and rear badges and logos, and a dashboard full of tiny pictures, symbols and numbers) or onto buses and train that is full with advertisment around and inside. Yet it is often taken for granted, passing unnoticed and unremarked as it blends in with visual culture of everyday life.– Malcolm Barnard (2005)

Most people are familiar with advertising; they know it when they see it and they are more or less happy to be entertained, offended and persuaded by it. As William Dwiggings – whom Margolin credits with coining the phrase ‘graphic design’ (Margolin 1994:236) – pointed out in 1922, advertising design is the only form of graphic design that gets home to everybody’ (qouted in Jobling and Crowley 1996:6)