Graphic Design isn’t Digital Design

On our course there is an increasing desire to design apps, websites, digital artwork, and other web-based interactive media.  After a number of critiques and informal presentations, the word ‘digital’ seems to be a no-go for Olwen our course tutor (and rightly so).

  I feel that there is something being lost: the skill of creating something personal, meaningful, and insightful, using what could possibly be described as ‘old’ techniques such as book making, letterpress, and simple hand drawn illustrations.  Marian Bantjes is a graphic designer that I’ve always admired, particularly her typographic work using things such as flower petals, sugar or pennies.


‘I Want It All’ – Marian Bantjes

Personally, the idea of graphic design seems to have become a modern term for creating a website, an app, or something for some other digital platform.  The description, if you like, of a graphic designer, is being able to communicate something to someone when you are not there in person to do so.  This, to me, is things like cave paintings, primitive signage painted on walls, the earliest Bibles, hieroglyphics, and other primitive methods of communicating.  There is no mention of digital work or ‘Adobe’.  Of my own volition I’ve got no concept of how to use Photoshop.  One day, I will do, but I’d rather be able to draw well and with precision, than take several hours adjusting the vectors in Illustrator.


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