Communication design is relatively a new topic whereas graphics always had an important role in communication for ages. It is evident from the cave paintings that human communication started through graphics even before alphabets came into existence. So there is the point to ponder if graphics is such a great communication tool why we needed to import a new word ‘communication design’.
There is no doubt we used graphics for communication throughout ages and graphic in any form is a communication tool itself, be it a design by commercial designer or a painter’s creation. Great paintings created by artists always carried some message or thoughts which critics, art lovers and common people analyzed, tried to understand and appreciated. Even some creations were evaluated or understood after generations when the artist was no longer alive. So if graphic has that communication power what is new in communication design?
Businesses use graphic very heavily for communicating with their prospects and there is no specific history for when this has started. For a long time there is an existence of a different kind of designers termed as commercial designers. Earlier it was an option for a student studying painting and design but with the change of business and advent of technology there are prominent divisions between classic and applied designs. I believe communication design is an outcome of that evolution.
Commercial designers or graphic designers are always a part of business communication but with change of business the demand from graphics or graphic designers has been changed. A lot of time it was experienced that graphic design for business was more influenced by aesthetics rather than communication and the consumer liked the promotional image but did not buy the product.
Business communication has changed to become more strategic in nature more subtle in communication so as the graphic as a part of that. Where graphic design is more based on concept, communication design is a derivative of strategy. A graphic design may artistic but communication design has to be functional.
The reason behind communication design has come to fore is evolution of business process. As business became more marketing oriented and consumer is prone to be more educated before purchase, enterprises are depending more on strategic communication. Every business wants make sure that they are well placed in the process of information gathering by their consumer. What other than a proper graphic can inject the necessary business information into that knowledge gathering process!
That’s why not just graphic design –‘communication design’ is the buzzword.