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Graphic Design

Red and black film poster for the Alfred Hitchock movie Vertigo

Vertigo film poster by Saul Bass

Bass, S. (1958). Vertigo film poster [Digital image]. Retrieved from

One a white background is a silhouette of tyrannosaurus bones. It says Jurrasic Park in blue at the top and Michael Crichton in red at the bottom

Jurassic Park book cover by Chip Kidd

Kidd, C. (1990). Jurassic Park book cover [Digital image]. Retrieved from

Red doubledecker London bus with an advertisement for Pirelli slippers

London bus advert: Pirelli slippers by Alan Fletcher

Fletcher, A. (1962). [London bus advert: Pirelli slippers]. Retrieved from

A series of icons from Apple in the 1980s

Apple Icons by Susan Kare

Kare, S. (1980s). Apple icons [Digital image]. Retrieved from

Portion of the MTA Subway map

New York City subway map by Massimo Vignelli

Vignelli, M. (1972). New York City subway map [Digital image]. Retrieved from

White backround with black letters and a red heart that says I heart NY

I Heart NY logo

Glaser, M. (1977). [I heart NY logo]. Retrieved from

Two posters, one yellow and black, the other white and blue, both advertising the show Bring in 'da noise, bring in 'da funk posters

BRING IN 'DA NOISE, BRING IN 'DA FUNK poster by Paula Scher

Scher, P. (1995). Bring in 'da noise, bring in 'da funk posters [Digital image]. Retrieved from

Text in the Garamond font

Garamond typeface by Claude Garamond

Garamond, C. (1500s). [Garamond typeface]. Retrieved from

On a white field is a blue outline of a circle with a few curved lines in it next to the words PanAm also written in blue

PanAM logo by Ivan Chermayeff

Chermayeff, I. (1972). PanAm logo [Digital image]. Retrieved from

Red, White and Blue stylized picture of Barack Obama with the word

Hope campaign poster by Shepard Fairey

Fairey, S. (2008). [Hope campaign poster]. Retrieved from

Graphic Design

Graphic design communicates ideas and information visually. Guidelines for graphic design were originally based on older printing press requirements. In the 20th century, offset lithography greatly improved the ease of including images with text, and the developments of film, television, electronic processing, and computers further expanded the tools of the graphic designer. The principles of visual communication, however, remain constant since they are based on human perception and behavior. The innovation that has brought about dramatic change in  graphic design is the dynamics of interaction with the user. Interactive computer graphics has become a driving force in design for two-way communication on the World Wide Web, as well as in interactive CD-ROMs, and computer games.

Successful visual communication is the goal of the graphic designer. Exploring the meaning and information in all visual elements is the designer's specialty. Before interactive computer graphics became common, it was not possible to manipulate and rearrange graphical elements so easily. In the past, the designer told a printer how to set the type and where to place images. The printer did this and gave the result to the designer to approve. Today, with software that is readily available, anyone with interest and motivation can work directly with design elements and see the results instantly.

Computer scientists and engineers can develop web sites, and lay out and print color documents directly, without the services of a designer or professional printer. Thus, it is useful to understand the issues faced for years by designers and printers in doing their work. Computer scientists and engineers need to know about design principles as applied to graphic interfaces and graphic displays of information, use of signs and symbols, web site and software navigation design, and animation.

Graphic design in new media. (2003). In J. J. McConnell (Ed.), Computer graphics companion. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from