Graphic design is easily the most ubiquitous of all the arts. It is everywhere, touching everything we do, everything we see, everything we buy: on billboards and in Bibles, on taxi receipts and on web sites, on birth certificates and on gift certificates, on the folded circulars tucked inside jars of aspirin and on the thick pages of children’s chubby board books. It is the boldly directional arrows on street signs and the blurred, frenetic typography on the title sequence to E.R. It is the bright green logo for the New York Giants and the staid front page of The New York Times.
Simply put, graphic design is the art of visualizing ideas. Until World War II, it was better known in the United States as commercial art. Practiced by printers and typesetters, it was more a vocation than a profession, more a reflection of the economic realities of a newly industrialized culture than an opportunity to engage the creative expression of an individual or an idea.