chapter  2
Graphic Design and Communication
Pages 21

This chapter will present different definitions of graphic design, drawing ideas from practitioners and theorists in the history and theory of graphic design. It will describe the functions of graphic design, and it will introduce and explain the idea of communication. There are various everyday or commonsense definitions of graphic design and they must be illuminated and addressed. The chapter will first consider the most prevalent and popular view of graphic design. This view is sometimes held by students of graphic design, as well as by the general consuming public (see Crafton Smith 1994: 300). This is the idea of graphic design as an innocent or transparent medium, or vehicle, for the communication of messages and information. It is often found where there is talk of graphic designers sending messages to receivers (see Meggs 1992: 3 for example), or of designers using ‘effective media’ for the ‘transmitting’ of messages or ‘information’ to ‘target audiences’ (see Cronan 2001: 216). There are various problems involved in this conception of graphic design and they will be explained here.