The 3 in the 2 and the 4: Graphic Design and...

Graphic Design is becoming a common [essential] language for all designers and artists. Of course each discipline has its own take on the page, book, or poster, but aside from these vernacular forms of graphic design found within, accepted, and codified by Architecture, Industrial Design, etc., what might be the expanded role of 2-D and 4-D visualization and Graphic Design within the design disciplines?

A well conceived and designed portfolio or presentation is an entry point, but considering the book and the movie as both process and final artifact within the study of Architecture knits together conception, process, and invention between those things 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D. Do the unfolding narratives and transitions of the book and movie better parallel the experiences of architectural space and experience? What is the accepted graphic design vernacular in each of the disciplines? Can graphic design [visual communication, information design, web design] be considered a design fundamental—should it be? I think so. [2007-02-09 15:45:51]

posted by Tony Brock on December 31, 2006 | comments: 4 | post a comment

[ in parallel ]

A. mirror mask is the real deal. gorgeous. why can't everything we design be so emotive?

B. yes, yes. we must be leveraging our craft in these areas to expand the visual vocab that is applied to those things other than fantasy films. we say emotional design. this doesn’t have to mean a design-design approach. expando-chango!

A. by design-design approach, do you mean the typical processes that graphic designers typically go through?

B. Yes, absolutely, but it is more than the process. It is the mindset which either believes in FORM completely and allows the full breadth of process, visualization [including what some would call style], story-telling, openness, empathy, justice or NOT. That which is being kept just is the balance of perspectives, options, and potential of FORM—this is to truly believe in FORM, and in turn the value of language and communication.

Unfortunately many are too busy designing and operating as a designer to make designed things which follow the presumed thresholds of both design and those who decode it. In addition, it must not be overlooked that many still operate as though the act of design is a wholly [holy] personal therapeutic and a closed-circuit act. Our intent should be beyond such things and actively move into making the full range of forms real and viable for all. It is an act of education which leverages all FORM to reach new levels of integrated language, understanding of the full gamut of language, and the full range of responses to communication without assigning mindless summary judgments of good/bad or some universal that is not. Freeing ourselves from the critical perspective that presumes there is a “right” is essential. Such mindsets only generate a retrograde perspective and uphold assumptions and modes of practice that either no longer exist or were simply not true to how we read, make, invent, connect, feel, and learn/draw meaning. The issue is not to capitulate to cynicism—it is cynical to say you believe in form, yet value your point of view/context over others—but revel in possibility, invention, and creative uses of language which need not be common, but imbedded with the intent to share, grow, and communicate possibility. We have a history which we are not acknowledging—it is time to quit being purveyors who must polish and protect their precious intellect of the image and the mark and get down with the fact that communication must consider the full range of FORM without assigning presumptions on the limits of media nor the pathways to increasing literacy.

We say we value CONTEXT, DIALOG, and COLLABORATION, but when we consider FORM within any of this, it somehow gets very weak, small, and prescriptive—the voice fades and critical trajectories of invention are a memory. For anyone who says this is just not true: do you really believe in form? If you say: yes/BUT, then there is no belief nor understanding that recognizes language nor communication and the social act that it is. And in turn there is no connection to the intent of design.

Oooops, lets try again...

Posted by Tony on February 10, 2007 07:12 AM

Will the blog replace the cafe as the place to philosophize? It just cries of existential angst, bitter coffee and cigarrettes. and yet the contrast of the bright white and spring green text- ever so refreshing and cleanED.


Replace? Well, we still have the book—print has yet to die. Face-to-face [F2F] dialog will find a rebirth out of need. However, blogs are ancient by web years and yes they have their customs and coffee stains. Getting folks to take part can be just as difficult as teasing out a response in a large F2F group. : )

Posted by hana on February 12, 2007 05:33 PM

Well I don't know about the cafe being replaced. Like Hana says, face to face has something to it that can never be changed. Even if you replaced all the sensory input, which we're far from doing, there is something about knowing you are actually in front of the person. We talk differently on the phone, in e-mail, etc. What interests me, now that I mention it, is how we have different relationships with people for each medium. I say things to my dad over e-mail I could never say to his face. For good and bad. And, if we say that our entire personality is created in relationship to other people, because that is what it is for (would we really want to interact with ourselves for 20 years, and would we know to anyways) then we change as our relationships change. And new mediums through which we intreact therefore changes us a bit, changes our personality. So what is the difference between a blog personality and a cafe personality. For starters, blogs don't allow you to see physicality. So that levels the playing field in terms of physical appearance and stature. But books have done that for a while.

To answer your question, the blog won't replace the cafe, it will become, already is, a new method of communicating. But it is far different from the cafe. Maybe we should ask, what are the benefits and drawbacks of each. How can we benefit from both of them. How do we know to go to the cafe to talk, or to the blog?

Posted by David on February 14, 2007 04:44 PM

4D Time space:
Perhaps, the 4th Dimension is a helix of graphic design and "thing". Very clearly, the purpose of type and information in general is to express a thought in a clearly stated logical order. Type setting and CSS alike should bring understanding to the job. This process occurs over a period of time. Therefore, it is impossible to explain anything without being able to effectively use graphic design.

How many times have we (graphic designers) looked at an exhibit, document, or website and thought to ourselves: everyone should take at least one type class in their life, so ugly stuff like this doesn't ruin my day.


Graphic designers grow sensitive to typography when they utilize these fundamental type strategies.

Posted by ANNAW on February 27, 2007 08:32 PM