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The Deep Meaning of Design


The Deep Meaning of Design

A graphic design is a drawing or diagram of an object or a system or for the practical implementation of some activity or procedure, or the culmination of that design or diagram in the form of a finished product, machine or process. The word ‘graphic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘gikos’, which means ‘drawing’. The graphic design conveys information that can be represented by lines, shapes, images, and sometimes even text. The word ‘graphic’ was first used in publishing in the late 19th century. A graphic design conveys many of the same values as art, but with more emphasis on the message conveyed than the visual qualities.

The significance of words such as ‘graphic design’ and ‘designing’ is determined by the context in which they are used. A graphic design is not simply a picture or a drawing; it is the transformation of one representation into another. An image is not ‘just’ a picture, the way a painter deals with a canvas. An image contains many elements, like texture, shading, and shape. The goal of graphic design, therefore, is to transform those elements in a specific way so as to provide a new ‘look’ at an old subject. In this way, graphic design conveys many of the same meanings as art, only with less emphasis on the creative aspects of the production.

Some designers have argued that the true meaning of the term is dependent upon the type of media in which the output takes its form. Art is often described by the medium through which it was produced, including painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. A website, for example, could be described as ‘interactive’, if it incorporates media that allow users to interact with the content on the website. In this way, it seems to imply that the term has something to do with the way in which information is produced and managed, rather than the actual content of the output. This suggests that designers who wish to convey a deep meaning in their work need to look beyond the simple definition of the term, and define it according to its specific and highly expressive uses.

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