Design Semantics

Graphic design is visual language, it seeks to express emotion of clarify information. As a language, it doesn't use a vocabulary of words and sentences, but of images, colors, composition, knitted together with a grammar ruleset of things like composition and contast. Graphic design is often something that can be (is) exchanged commercially, can be sold for money. Therefore, as a process it is not only inherently communicative, but also externally; the designer's clients will have to be persuaded of the fact that the design needs to look blue, there must be a reason for it to look blue, and this reason should be communicated.

We can't just walk up to our clients, offer them something bluish and expect them to like it because we do... they will want some kind of explanation of why we are using blue, why blue is the logical choice in this case. Thus, designing is a conceptual process, a result of conclusions and decisions based on research and background information. The what, why, how, when and who play an essential role in this process.

"Design is a process of observation"

The world is full of strange and crazy things. The designers looks at the world through a microscopic lens, observing those oddities, enhancing them, exposing them. Each design process involves asking oneself how it can be visualised in a way that makes it interesting to look at and think about. There is also a social factor that plays an important role: since the designer has the power to display the world in a certain way, he or she plays a part in social awareness and social critique; the things that are made should relate to the world and expose its flaws, not just look beautiful and sell for big money.

"Design is dead"

One of the most common statements about design and arts is that everything has already been done, all styles and influences have been drained dry. Therefore, it is fairly useless and boring to create yet another design based on a style that has been uses over and over. Each creation follows its own rules, based on action and reaction, without any preconceptualised style or esthetic. Design is not dead, it follows a recurring circular motion: in ten years time we will see old things be made anew - and something that is regarded as ugly now may be considered beautiful in ten years time. Beauty is a relative notion based on conformity.

"Design is an associative process"

The elements in any graphic work, texts, images, color, all relate to each other, and to the outside world. Often, these relations are more important than the elements themselves. Thinking about observation, we could once again say that design seeks to expose things and display them in new ways, based on the associations and internal relations that are made.