What is Graphic Design?

The modern day world is full of graphic design. Everywhere you look, there will always be some type of graphic design in sight. This can vary from posters on billboards and flyers to logos and advertisements on TV.

Graphic Design is the creation of products that either have a specific meaning or are used to communicate/send a message to the audience. Most Graphic Design created is either used to persuade or inform it’s audience. For example: if a company wanted to promote their new product, they would use Graphic Design to create a logo for the

item. This would then be used to persuade the audience to use their new product. Many logos created do not have to be complicated, they can be simple, such as a tick or even a cross. For example: The Nike Logo.

Image result for nike logo
Fig 1, Nike

Even though this logo is very simple, it is very successful and is extremely well-known. The Swoosh was created to represent motion and speed through the use of a simple design. The colour palette used today is mainly a white or black swoosh being dependent on the colour of material used.


Another example of a well-known logo is the Toyota logo. This logo is simple yet effective but was created so people could recognise the brand outside of

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Fig 2.1, Toyota

it’s manufacturing country, Japan. The logo consists of 3 ovals which are all connected. The ovals located on the inside of the logo represent the heart of both the customer and the company showing a strong relationship, in addition to forming a ‘T’ shape. The oval located on the outside represents the world. Within the logo, the spaces in the background between the ovals represent Toyota’s ‘infinite values’ such as

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Fig 2.2, Toyota

high quality products and a joy of driving. Moreover, the logo was created in such a way so that it could be seen head on as well as at an angle. The logo also spells out ‘TOYOTA’.


The final example that will be covered is the London Underground map. This example is very highly commended and is now used in many different cities

Fig 3.1, London Underground Map(1931)

around the world. For example: London, Paris, New York, etc. The map was originally created in 1926 by ‘Fred Stingemore’ who wanted to improve the underground route visually.

However, this was then redesigned by Harry Beck. in the late 1920’s. In 1931, he had created a new map that no longer represented the shape of the line, but included a straight line in the direction that the line ran. Each line was represented in a different colour meaning it was easier to see the line and where it travelled to. Each station was

Fig 3.2, London Underground Map (2015)

now named in block capitals and presented as a small black dot and interchanges as a black outlined circle. Over the years, the map has been altered slightly due to the addition of new stations and routes but is still recognisable due to it’s bright colours and straight lines to represent the different lines on the network.





One Reply to “What is Graphic Design?”

  1. In terms of marketing and branding, graphic design often is used to not only develop a recognisable identity, but also to communicate the values and character to its intended audience or at the least, reflect these. A full corporate identity or marketing campaign also needs to help a company with building or reinforcing its credibility and therefore subjective value with its audience / customers; ethical questions could be asked about these activities when the core values of an organisation or its underlying culture are called into question.

    Beck’s underground map is an excellent example of enduring visual communication and of providing a solution to a problem or meeting a specific need; often graphic design is as much about problem solving as it is about visual representation and ordering of information.

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