Graphic Design as Communication
Routledge – 2005 – 208 pages
What is the point of graphic design? Is it advertising or is it art? What purpose does it serve in our society and culture? Malcolm Barnard explores how meaning and identity are at the core of every graphic design project and argues that the role and function of graphic design is, and always has been, communication.
Drawing on a range of theoretical approaches including those of Derrida, Saussure, Foucault, and Barthes, and taking examples from advertising, magazines, illustration, website design, comics, greetings cards and packaging, Graphic Design as Communication looks at how graphic design contributes to the formation of social and cultural identities. Malcolm Barnard discusses the ways in which racial/ethnic groups, age groups and gender groups are represented in graphic design, as well as how images and texts communicate with different cultural groups. He also explores how graphic design relates to both European and American modernism, and its relevance to postmodernism and globalisation in the twenty-first century and asks why, when graphic design is such an integral part of our society and culture, it is not acknowledged and understood in the same way that art is.
1 Introduction, Who is this book for?, What is this book about?, Chapter Outlines, 2 Graphic Design and Communication, Introduction, What is Graphic Design?, The Functions of Graphic Design, What is Communication?, Communication Theory, Semiology, 3 Meaning: Words and Images, Introduction, Types of Signs, Meaning: Denotation and Connotation, Meaning: Layout, Meaning: Anchorage and Relay, Foucault and Graphic Design, Metaphor/Metonymy/Synechdoche, 4 Social, Cultural and Economic Functions,Introduction, The Relation to Society and Culture, Society, Social Functions, Culture, Cultural Functions, Childhood, Gender, The Relation to Economics, Consumption, Anti-consumption, 5 Audiences and Markets, Introduction, Target Practice, Ethnicity/Race, Age, Gender, 6 Modernism, Introduction, What is Modernism?, Graphic Design and Modernism, European Modernism, American Modernism, 7 Postmodernism and Globalisation, Introduction, What is Postmodernism?, Postmodernism and Graphic Design, What is Globalisation?, Globalisation and Graphic Design, 8 Graphic Design and Art, Introduction, The Artist and The Designer, Cultural Significance, Expression and Individuality, Creativity and Problem-solving, Function, Aura, 9 Conclusion
Malcolm Barnard is senior lecturer in the history and theory of art and design at the University of Derby. His previous publications include Fashion as Communication (Second Edition 2002), Art, Design and Visual Culture (1998) and Approaches to Understanding Visual Culture (2001).