AIGA – "What is graphic design?"

AIGA, the professional association for design, stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. AIGA’s mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution.

What is graphic design?

Article from AIGA Career Guide

Suppose you want to announce or sell something, amuse or persuade someone, explain a complicated system or demonstrate a process. In other words, you have a message you want to communicate. How do you “send” it? You could tell people one by one or broadcast by radio or loudspeaker. That’s verbal communication. But if you use any visual medium at all—if you make a poster; type a letter; create a business logo, a magazine ad, or an album cover; even make a computer printout—you are using a form of visual communication called graphic design.

Graphic designers work with drawn, painted, photographed, or computer-generated images (pictures), but they also design the letterforms that make up various typefaces found in movie credits and TV ads; in books, magazines, and menus; and even on computer screens. Designers create, choose, and organize these elements—typography, images, and the so-called “white space” around them—to communicate a message. Graphic design is a part of your daily life. From humble things like gum wrappers to huge things like billboards to the T-shirt you’re wearing, graphic design informs, persuades, organizes, stimulates, locates, identifies, attracts attention and provides pleasure.

Graphic design is a creative process that combines art and technology to communicate ideas. The designer works with a variety of communication tools in order to convey a message from a client to a particular audience. The main tools are image and typography.

Image-based design
Designers develop images to represent the ideas their clients want to communicate. Images can be incredibly powerful and compelling tools of communication, conveying not only information but also moods and emotions. People respond to images instinctively based on their personalities, associations, and previous experience. For example, you know that a chili pepper is hot, and this knowledge in combination with the image creates a visual pun.

In the case of image-based design, the images must carry the entire message; there are few if any words to help. These images may be photographic, painted, drawn, or graphically rendered in many different ways. Image-based design is employed when the designer determines that, in a particular case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Type-based design
In some cases, designers rely on words to convey a message, but they use words differently from the ways writers do. To designers, what the words look like is as important as their meaning. The visual forms, whether typography (communication designed by means of the printed word) or handmade lettering, perform many communication functions. They can arrest your attention on a poster, identify the product name on a package or a truck, and present running text as the typography in a book does. Designers are experts at presenting information in a visual form in print or on film, packaging, or signs.

When you look at an “ordinary” printed page of running text, what is involved in designing such a seemingly simple page? Think about what you would do if you were asked to redesign the page. Would you change the typeface or type size? Would you divide the text into two narrower columns? What about the margins and the spacing between the paragraphs and lines? Would you indent the paragraphs or begin them with decorative lettering? What other kinds of treatment might you give the page number? Would you change the boldface terms, perhaps using italic or underlining? What other changes might you consider, and how would they affect the way the reader reacts to the content? Designers evaluate the message and the audience for type-based design in order to make these kinds of decisions.

Image and type
Designers often combine images and typography to communicate a client’s message to an audience. They explore the creative possibilities presented by words (typography) and images (photography, illustration, and fine art). It is up to the designer not only to find or create appropriate letterforms and images but also to establish the best balance between them.

Designers are the link between the client and the audience. On the one hand, a client is often too close to the message to understand various ways in which it can be presented. The audience, on the other hand, is often too broad to have any direct impact on how a communication is presented. What’s more, it is usually difficult to make the audience a part of the creative process. Unlike client and audience, graphic designers learn how to construct a message and how to present it successfully. They work with the client to understand the content and the purpose of the message. They often collaborate with market researchers and other specialists to understand the nature of the audience. Once a design concept is chosen, the designers work with illustrators and photographers as well as with typesetters and printers or other production specialists to create the final design product.

Symbols, logos and logotypes
Symbols and logos are special, highly condensed information forms or identifiers. Symbols are abstract representation of a particular idea or identity. The CBS “eye” and the active “television” are symbolic forms, which we learn to recognize as representing a particular concept or company. Logotypes are corporate identifications based on a special typographical word treatment. Some identifiers are hybrid, or combinations of symbol and logotype. In order to create these identifiers, the designer must have a clear vision of the corporation or idea to be represented and of the audience to which the message is directed.

Graphic Design: A Career Guide and Education Directory
Edited by Sharon Helmer Poggenpohl
Copyright 1993
The American Institute of Graphic Arts

What is creativity?

You want a “creative” person for your company; that is a clever point.

But… What for? Exactly? And, do you know what makes the difference between TWO creative?

| First, you (we) need to agree on what is creativity |

What is creativity?

First let’s take a look on the WIKIPEDIA definition.

Creativity (or creativeness) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts. From a scientific point of view, the products of creative thought (sometimes referred to as divergent thought) are usually considered to have both originality and appropriateness. An alternative, more everyday conception of creativity is that it is simply the act of making something new. Although intuitively a simple phenomenon, it is in fact quite complex. It has been studied from the perspectives of behavioural psychology, social psychology, psychometrics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, history, economics, design research, business, and management, among others. The studies have covered everyday creativity, exceptional creativity and even artificial creativity. Unlike many phenomena in science, there is no single, authoritative perspective or definition of creativity. Unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique.

Creativity has been attributed variously to divine intervention, cognitive processes, the socialpersonality traits, and chance (”accident,” “serendipity“). It has been associated with genius, mental illness and humour. Some say it is a trait we are born with; others say it can be taught with the application of simple techniques. Although popularly associated with art and literature, it is also an essential part of innovation and invention and is important in professions such as business, economics, architecture, industrial design, science and engineering. environment,

Despite, or perhaps because of, the ambiguity and multi-dimensional nature of creativity, entire industries have been spawned from the pursuit of creative ideas and the development of creativity techniques. This mysterious phenomenon, though undeniably important and constantly visible, seems to lie tantalizingly beyond the grasp of scientific investigation.

“Creativity, it has been said, consists largely of re-arranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know.”

George Kneller

For our concern, we are talking about creativity (and being creative) in Advertising, Communications, Marketing and Design services.

So what is [a creative] in these topics?

As a Creative Director in-house, the purpose is to ensure the highest possible success of projects in supporting the company’s objectives. To ensure the highest possible success of projects by developing and presenting proposals, liaising with Clients, managing project work flow, supporting design team quality and efficiency, and solving problems.

Fiat Lux

The main Responsibilities:

  • Ensures optimal client fulfillment by developing and defining client vision and business needs into project proposals; collaborating with Sales Team to close sales; presenting proposals, progress and final project deliverables; establishing and maintaining effective creative liaison with clients, managing client expectations, cultivating trust, rapport and proactive client care throughout the project cycle
  • Maintains work flow by monitoring project progress and resource usage; assisting in troubleshooting “log jams”; facilitating change orders; collaborating with the Office Manager to schedule facility use; ensuring early meeting of milestones and deadlines
  • Resolves and Prevents Problems by immediately analyzing and soothing any client concerns and implementing remedial solutions; conferring regularly with Sales Department and Design Team to discuss, understand and address any sources of stress; carefully observing and checking in with clients to intuit and discover even the smallest source of dissatisfaction they may feel and taking corrective action
  • Ensures information utilization standards by ensuring accurate and timely input of all ISIS data including activity slips, project status, project specifications, quotes and estimates; and following file management procedures
  • Ensures project quality by working collaboratively with Management Team to assign project resources, support and assist in training of Designers and Artists, monitoring project quality and profitability; communicating and exemplifying organization standards
  • Ensures availability of project resources by adhering to resource rules and procedures; working collaboratively with other managers to optimize utilization of resources; alerting Management Team to any resource problems
  • Ensures team effectiveness by assisting in the training of new Multimedia Artists, monitoring productivity, cultivating team rapport, anticipating needs, proactively assisting, providing constructive feedback and guidance to Multimedia Artists; performing in the capacity of a Multimedia Artist when necessary; creating and implementing ideas that support team members’ ability to maximize client satisfaction
  • Improves company profitability by creatively assisting management team in identifying new potential product or service offerings, working closely with management and Sales Team to understand and meet sales objectives, and identifying and implementing strategies for improving general efficiency and effectiveness of the Media and Technology department
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by participating in personal and professional development opportunities; reviewing professional publications; benchmarking best practices; participating in professional society
  • Enhances the work environment by dealing openly and directly with team members; acting with integrity and respect; exhibiting a positive attitude

There is an excellent article from HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW ONPOINT, talking about creativity:

(by Thomas H. Davenport, Laurence Prusak, and H.James Wilson)

[Who’s bringing you hot ideas and HOW are you responding?]

“There’s an UNSUNG HERO in your organization. It’s the person who’s bringing in new ideas about how to manage better. Mind you, we’re not talking about product and service innovations. The people who cook those up-and they are heroes of the orgnization, too-are celebrated loudly and often. We’re talking about the person who. for instance, first uttered the phrase “intellectual capital“in your hallways, believing that better management of knowledge assets could yield a competitive advantage. Or perhaps it was the notion of “real options” as an antidote to overly risk-averse capital investment analysis. Or, depending on how long the person has been around, maybe it was even “total quality management”.

Exactly who are these people in your particular organisation? You probably already know.

  • It’s the middle manager you called when you decided to include something about process redesign or balanced-scorecard management in your letter for the annual report.
  • It’s the smart executive who advised you on which consulting firm to employ for help with e-commerce and who seemed to know all about each one’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • It’s the first person who comes to mind when you need a strategic thinker to do a special project.

Come to think of it, it’s that manager who just sent you a conference binder on a topic you’ve expressed some interest in.”

Here are some extracts (so true…) of the Harvard Business Review (spring 2007): The Creative Company

{ We’ve got one creative person here, and he makes everyone nervous. }

{ Creativity can’t be shoehorned between the hours of nine and five. The Muses don’t always show up on time for appointments. }

{ Again, creating such teams requires managers to have a deep understanding of their people. They must be able to assess them not just for their knowledge but for their attitudes about potential fellow team members and the collaborative process, for their problem-solving styles, and for their motivational hot buttons. Putting together with just the right chemistry – just the right level of diversity and supportiveness – can be difficult, but our research shows how powerful it can be. }

{ Supervisory encouragement. Most managers are extremely busy. They are under pressure for results. It is therefore easy for them to let praise for creative efforts – not just creative successes but unsuccessful efforts, too – fall by the wayside. One very simple step managers can take to foster creativity is to not let that happen. }

{ The connection to intrinsic motivation here is clear. Certainly, people can find their work interesting or exciting without a cheering section – for some period of time. But to sustain such passion, most people need to feel as if their work matters to the organisation or to some important group of people. Otherwise, they might as well do their work at home or for their own personal gain. }

{ By contrast, managers who kill creativity do so by either failing to acknowledge innovative efforts or by greeting them with skepticism. In many companies, for instance, new ideas are made not with open minds but with time consuming layers of evaluation – or even with harsh criticism. When someone suggests a new product or process, senior managers take weeks to respond. Or they put that person through an excruciating critique. }

You should prepare a nice nest for “your creative”.

He/She won’t be like others, only concerned by themselves, no, he/she will take part at 200% in your project and be happy when you will win a budget, sad when you will loose a competition. Sensible or sensitive? Concerned. Without that, no creativity is possible.
You should let “himher” take more leave days than others; “heshe” works with” herhis” brain, don’t forget. Heshe must be happy to create, in a GOOD atmosphere to create.

Generally, creative are not good in money or account, they prefer to dream or to find crazy ideas than talk about reality. Reality is boring, sublimating, rejuvenating is their job.

They see things that you even don’t know it exists. In one word you say, they will see a new campaign, a new product. In full color, they will see a new concept; so, please, prepare a nice nest for them, they will be more fragile than others; don’t forget, they live in an other planet than you, this is why they are… Creative.
When I have to recruit a creative in my team, I’m choosing the one who seems to be more “concerned“, the one who will say “us” instead of “me“, the one will think all the time “what is the best to do for my company? How should I have acted if it was mine?
Concerned. Proactive. Humble, always searching for the latest trends, someone with a “global culture”, could talk about surf, business, luxury trends, architecture, opera, video, cinema, sociology…

Someone definitely open mind.

Dear recruiters, I think there is a (slight) misunderstanding…

Dear recruiter, headhunter, HR,

I’d like you to help me to understand how you work…

  • …as I don’t understand:  why, despite companies and clients say I’m very creative, I can’t manage to have any appointments in your offices and meet any clients?

  • Why when I finally got one that it’s only “one shot”? (means I was enough good for ONE company but not for any others?)
    Why sometimes the recruiter interviewing me doesn’t understand what exactly my job is? (“oh you are a multimedia designer?”)
  • I have some questions to ask you and it will be great if you could answer!

Please download and see the file here: PDF file .

Because, WE, candidates, (just) want to understand…