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Environmental graphic design


Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving using one or more of typography, photography and illustration. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term "graphic design" is used synonymously. Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to create visual compositions. Common uses of graphic design include corporate design (logos and branding), editorial design (magazines, newspapers and books), wayfinding or environmental design, advertising, web design, communication design, product packaging and signage.

The term graphic design was coined by William Addison Dwiggins in 1922. However, graphic design-like activities span human existence: from the caves of Lascaux, to Rome's Trajan's Column to the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, to the neon lights of Ginza, Tokyo. In "Babylon, artisans pressed cuneiform inscriptions into clay bricks or tablets which were used for construction. The bricks gave information such as the name of the reigning monarch, the builder, or some other dignitary". This was the first known road sign announcing the name of the governor of a state or mayor of the city. The Egyptians developed communication by hieroglyphics that used picture symbols dating as far back as 136 B.C. found on the Rosetta Stone. "The Rosetta stone, found by one of Napoleon's engineers was an advertisement for the Egyptian ruler, Ptolemy as the "true Son of the Sun, the Father of the Moon, and the Keeper of the Happiness of Men"" The Egyptians also invented papyrus, paper made from reeds found along the Nile, on which they transcribed advertisements more common among their people at the time. During the "Dark Ages", from 500 AD to 1450 AD, monks created elaborate, illustrated manuscripts.



  • Fiell, Charlotte and Fiell, Peter (editors). Contemporary Graphic Design. Taschen Publishers, 2008.
  • Wiedemann, Julius and Taborda, Felipe (editors). Latin-American Graphic Design. Taschen Publishers, 2008.
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