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Entries in science fiction (2)


Defining Graphic Design

I was reading [[Wikipedia]] on graphic design topics. Most of the articles aren't in great shape without basic information on the topics we all use everyday in our profession. The web is big enough that any of the missing information can be found pretty quickly just by a Google search. I don't think that many of us in the profession would turn there for these definitions anyway. We find more focused sites about design that are secluded from the public. Anyway, it's not so great to see the weak points in Wikipedia as a resource and not great that it's where we graphic designers sit.

It's not really a complete encyclopedia, so its probably a mistake that they've defined themselves that way. It's a collection of projects and its graphic design project is underdeveloped. The [[wiki]] concept seems to work great on the small scale. Take a look at the Battlestar Wiki for example.

I gave it a shot and dove in and did a small restructuring of the [[graphic design]] article. Like many graphic designers, I'd rather focus on my own projects than edit over there but I did my part. So here we are back on my site... Like I said, it's as easy as a Google search, but lets make it just a little easier. I've compiled a few resources and articles that give a nice overview of graphic design for further reading. What else should we see when we're giving an overview of graphic design past and present.

The Design from a German stamp.
The Design from a German stamp. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


What is graphic design from Design Talkboard. Here's five definitions of graphic design to start with.

What is graphic Design? from Veerle's Blog. Commenters from around the web weigh in to create their own definitions of graphic design.

Trying to explain graphic design to a hall full of ten year olds from Johnson Banks, a London design consultant agency. Michael Johnson talks about his experience with kids and design.


A Brief History of Type by Thomas W. Phinney. Type is summed up through four major eras: Gutenberg, the Industrial Revolution, Photocomposition and the Digital era.

A Historical Timeline of Computer Graphics and Animation by Wayne E. Carlson.

THe History of Graphic Design and Its Audiences from the AIGA. Michael J. Golec talks about the lack of educational programs that focus on graphic design history. Most education in the field is career or studio driven.

History of Graphic Design by Nancy Stock-Allen. This is an educational site produced to assist in lectures, but it's very visually compelling and touches upon more points than I've seen on other sites I've looked at.
XIXth century advertising poster for the hydrotherapic baths of Bagnoles de l\'Orne (France).
XIXth century advertising poster for the hydrotherapic baths of Bagnoles de l'Orne (France). Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Design of Battlestar Galactica

I had seen episodes here and there over the last few years, but I've really gotten into Battlestar Galactica for the fourth and final season. The show is really well done in every way. As an artist and designer, I can't help but to draw inspiration from it. You can learn a lot by looking at works from other mediums and bringing it into whatever you do. Chances are your next project won't be a sci-fi television series, you can still see what was done here and what it represents. From there, you might find certain elements or concepts applicable for your next project.

Galactica has a carefully chosen palette for even the frames of video to give a certain hardened feel to the show. The show has a very consistent set of colors representing the fleet, the twelve colonies and various atmospheres. A scene taking place in the Galactica has a distinct visual look compared to a scene in the enemy Cylon basestars.

Comparing the newly re-imagined series logo to the old one, there are a lot about the forms which are very close. The new logo has the aged metallic look of the ships within the show which have been battered by war. It really makes you see how complete the package of the show is. When creating, do you strive for this strong sense of unity and purposefully derived elements?