Discussion of readings about graphic design

of the Visual Arts and Film Studies of the Concerned 24 June Discussion on Readings about Graphic Design While elaborating on the constraints that are associated with the fabrication of a graphic design, Lupton and Phillips do also mention the concept of modularity as a typical type of constraint that is primarily about treating a fixed element in a graphic design as a constituent unit in the overall larger design and format. In that context it is indeed true that the constraint posed by modularity in a graphic design both limits and liberates a graphic designer. On the one side modularity makes the visual imagination of an artist secondary to an element that is taken to be the constituent unit in the larger design. Yet, on the other side it provides a graphic designer with the liberty to try a range of thematic patterns and visual elements that could be crafted while using that modular element. In that sense modularity should not be considered to be an element that limits the creativity of a graphic designer. For instance just because buildings are constructed by using modular building materials like bricks and lumber, this no way imposes any limitations on the creative possibilities that could be explored by any architect. In that sense the concept of modularity mentioned by Lupton and Phillips does blend with Gerstner’s ideas about designing programs that it has to do with placing the visual creativity and imagination of a graphic artist in the service of an already standardized and fabricated design pattern or method. It does need to be understood that in a post industrialization era, graphic art is also a commodity that is consumed on a mass scale. Thereby it would not be practical to think about graphic art as an entity that could be left open to free and individual imagination. Hence, Gerstner is right when he talks about reducing the creative process “ to an act of selection.”
Richard Saul Wurman does lay stress on the fact that that such data and information that one comes across in the day to day life is not as understandable as it is actually considered to be. This stands to be true not only for the data and information that are considered to be highly specialized and professional. This is equally true for the data that is considered to be public, general and common. Hence, in the post industrialization and post information technology revolution era, the one big challenge for designers is to make the available information more easily understandable, available and visual. Mushon Zer-Aviv does correctly and precisely catch this point that data does need to be made more easily understandable and viewable when he says that, “ In fact, maps have to lie, otherwise they wouldn’t be useful.” Hence, this leaves ample scope for the human creativity in the sense that it allows to mould and shape data in a way that it gets easier to understand. Here one need to take into account that point made by Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel that making information understandable is not merely about using scientific terminologies. Rather it has to do with tracing a link between visual understanding and scientific programming.