NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

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Neshan 34

Editorial Column

Different Shapes of Graphic Design

Ali Rashidi

Creative and original ideas in graphic design lead to results that capture and astonish audiences. Today’s graphic design succeeds if these ideas align with an organization’s objectives. Whenever design thinking and implementation are tied in with business objectives, the position of graphic design is enhanced to a targeted instrument. Strategic graphic design is a particular language that realizes and simplifies the client’s goal of better communication with its audience.
Graphic design’s pioneers tended to portray graphic design as an artistic activity — an attitude whose influence is still present. In today’s world of production, graphic design must have a professional description rather than be represented as a form of art. However, there are designers who consider themselves artists; their design work is deeply rooted in a personal world where expectations and the general taste of others is disregarded. They create exquisite works of art that may be judged by aesthetic criteria. These designers shift the position of graphic design from a strategic influential force to an aesthetic one.
Graphic design is also considered one of the primary influential and strategic elements of an organization or brand. Based on the knowledge of an audience’s behavior and taste, graphic designers provide clients with solutions for maximizing output with a strong presence in competitive environments.
The graphic design profession is not constrained to commercial projects, since today any cultural work may be treated as a business of some sort. For instance, a poster that fails to encourage its audience to participate in an event is not successful; or even packaging that cannot effectively transfer information to the consumer is a failure.
It is graphic design that differentiates a brand or commodity and consolidates the organizational identity of a company. A company’s organizational identity is the integration of all communication elements which play a harmonious tune, like a large orchestra. From a company’s header to its website, brochure, and all other communication elements, everything must be united in order to be effective. In summary, graphic design guides the momentous decisions of an organization in an artistic manner.
Commonly, business owners do not have a compre-hensive view of the visual identity of their organization. The graphic designer is the one who controls the integration of the communication elements. It could be asserted that graphic designers are the visual architects of an organization. Their job is to shed light on the opportunities a client cannot seize and develop.
Graphic design creatively simplifies complicated problems and illustrates things that cannot be expressed through words. For instance, consider Apple Inc. Why is Apple among the world’s best brands for so many years? The company would never obtain such an unrivaled position among its audience without the presence of design. All Apple products, from their gadgets to their packaging, in addition to the communication style of the brand, are in complete harmony and seek to provide the consumer with a sweet experience and, ultimately, fascinate him/her with their simplicity.
It is the graphic designer who elegantly orchestrates all the instruments in spite of their different identities and arranges them to produce a pleasant, extraordinary melody for the audience.
To conclude, it must be noted that graphic design is considered an investment for all institutes — investment in a profession that needs to be viewed more professionally.

Ali Rashidi

After graduating from California College of Arts in San Francisco (now CCA), Ali started his early career working as a designer and art director at University of California Publications. He established his own design office DesignZone in 1986 in Oakland, California. He moved to Iran in 1990 and co-founded Daarvag International, a distinguished branding and advertising company. His teaching career includes over two decades at graduate school of Art University and University of Tehran. He is one of the co-founders of Neshan magazine, a member of AIGA and ADC Global, and former chairman of the Iranian Graphic Designers Society (2012 to 2015).

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