Graphic Design Education: “Graphic Design: Fine Art or Social Science?” by Jorge Frascara

I read a research article, Graphic Design: Fine Art or Social Science?” by Jorge Frascara, related to graphic design and education. Even though this is a very old article, it still related to the issue that is still being seen today in the Graphic Design world. This is my piece about it.


This article focuses on the issues of graphic designs in terms of a form of art versus a form of communication. It talks about the importance of being able to connect a message to the design for the audience to see. There is also some historical background of how graphic design just used as a way to create art without a message or concept that could talk/grab an audience. In order to change the audience’s view of graphic design, Frascara stress that Graphic design education need to emphasis that the field is not just an art and a form of esthetic expression, but is also a form of communication and social significance. Graphic designers also need to communicate with their audience about various ideas, messages, and issues they want to express. Graphic Design education needs to change in order to heighten visual communication and analysis on an artistic, social, and technological level. IT should also be turned into a process of development of personal skill and style.

Reason for selection (relevance)

This article is very relevant to this class because how the emphasis of using technology  in graphic design is to not only grab the attention of an audience through artistic creativity, but through a form of communication that expresses messages, issues, and more.

Connections for course/ activities/ related to readings

The way we organize a layout with images and text is important to create themes and forms, but it is important to understand why we choose the designs and its components and how they can relay the desired message we want to express to our audience.  Just like the “Design Index”, various aspects of graphic design components can affect a person emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially.  Especially with society being greatly affected by visual culture, Golobisky and Hagen (2010) agree with that people “judge and are judged by appearances. In fact, everyone can benefit from knowing something about the mostly unspoken rules of visual communication. That’s call media literacy” (p.5). If they see something is communicates poorly, then people will believe that the quality of the object is poor, think it is unorganized, and much more. However, only when a person knows how to properly utilizes the rules of design and can use them in ways that can enhance their work (also by breaking a few rules), will they then be successful in creating good design and visual communication. The essence of this article can be seen through the design assignments with the font, layout effect, and cropping designs. The importance of all of these assignments was to help convey the messages that I wanted my audience to see through the feel, ambiance, and the visual effect it has on them.


One response to “Graphic Design Education: “Graphic Design: Fine Art or Social Science?” by Jorge Frascara

  1. Mae-Lin,
    Your summary of your article is very interesting. I liked how you discussed the relevance of “media-literacy” and it’s place in the classroom. As language teachers, we should be conscious of this literacy and apply it to our teaching as appropriate. I think we could definitely include some lessons that show how media and images are portrayed within target cultures and it would be interesting to see how the students analyze these images. It would be an authentic activity in which the students could learn a great deal about the culture.
    Great post!!
    Good luck with the end of the semester!

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