Graphic design is a means of which advertising is just one application of many

The debate on the apparent convergence of graphic design and advertising (Private View, DW 16 February) was stimulating, but can be limited by the professional context. Surely graphic design is the means of which advertising is only one of many visual communication applications.

Graphic design describes the creation and control of visual form, style and content, whereas advertising is the application of these processes in a specific promotional or persuasive context.

Other graphic design applications include instructional or interpretation design, which could not be described as advertising, though they still need to be engaging through some visual means.

Returning to the professional context, advertising relies heavily on other disciplines which could not be described as graphic design, such as copywriting and photography, although the general nature of graphic design demands at least a working appreciation of these.

Paul Linnell

De Montfort University

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