Graphic design is about the client, not the art-lover

I was disappointed to read the article ‘Somerset House promotes graphic design with annual fair’ (DW 12 November).

As an industry, we spend a lot of time and effort explaining to clients, and other non-designers, what we do and why it is important to them – how graphic design is a vital tool for communication, with measurable effects. However, reading this article we don’t seem to be clear on what graphic design is ourselves.

Who are we designing for? We design for clients, we have creative, ideas-led solutions answering specific briefs. Our profession is about much more than designing art to sell. Is this graphic design or graphic art?

In the article Claire Catterall says, ‘There isn’t anywhere that you can get to see really good graphic design, let alone buy it.’ But good graphic design is everywhere – packaging, branding, posters, literature, websites and so on.

If we aren’t clear on the difference between graphic design and graphic art, how will non-designers understand our profession?
Paul Bailey, Partner, 1977 Design, by e-mail

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