The role of type in graphic design

According to Wikipedia, graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving using one or more of typography, photography, and illustration. This broad definition reveals the general importance of type in graphic design. It’s one of its essential elements. My professional experience so far just confirms that.

Broadly speaking, I perceive graphic design as a translation of language into form, and type as such is the primary cultural mechanism to make that a reality, used both by graphic designers and population in general. In that way, I find it to be more than an equal associate of photography and illustration. It is the primary tool of graphic design.

With the magnitude of its importance, comes an equal level of responsibility. As visual communicators, we need to foster a deep understanding of the discipline, learn from its tradition, play with its rules and contribute to its development, while being aware that we are merely standing on the shoulders of giants, so humility and respect are paramount.

Win Without Pitching is the training program founded by Blair Enns that helps creative professionals win more business at higher prices and lower cost of sale.

I’ve been subscribed to their newsletter and reading some of their articles, and it’s clear that they are excellent at what they’re are teaching. Following is a short excerpt from one of their recent newsletters, which I found useful.

A memento of another missed opportunity

I’ve been waiting for this opportunity.

But I’m stuck.

I’m talking myself into action, but I can’t move. Apparently, this is not enough. Or, maybe it’s is, but the knot of my limited beliefs is so intricate, that it will take some additional time and work to disentangle just a part of it.

However, that bit of agency gives me hope and strength to try again. To be persistent.

I have to transcend my internal stories and integrate the lessons. I will. Soon.

That would be the seizing of the opportunity.

But this is not about you, the opportunity seized. This is a memento of another missed opportunity. I apologize I did not take you. Regrettably, you’ve just been one of those who makes up the process. The important but ultimately forgotten one on this path.

Missed opportunity, thank you.