What is Graphic Design?

The Australian Graphic Design Association provides this definition.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]
Graphic Design is an interdisciplinary, problem-solving activity which combines visual sensitivity with skill and knowledge in areas of communications, technology and business. Graphic design practitioners specialise in the structuring and organizing of visual information to aid communication and orientation(1). The graphic design process is a problem solving process, one that requires substantial creativity, innovation and technical expertise. An understanding of a client’s product or service and goals, their competitors and the target audience is translated into a visual solution created from the manipulation, combination and utilisation of shape, color, imagery, typography and space.” [/quote]

Definition of a Graphic Designer
One who has the artistic sensibility, skill and experience and/or training professionally to create designs or images for reproduction by any means of visual communication, and who may be concerned with illustration; typography; calligraphy; surface design for packaging; or the design of patterns, books, advertising and publicity material, or any form of visual communication(2).

Definition of a Communication Designer
One who has the sensibility, skill and experience and/or training professionally to create designs or images for reproduction by any means of visual communication, and who may be concerned with graphic design; illustration; typography; calligraphy; surface design for packaging; or the design of patterns, books, advertising and publicity material; broadcast, interactive or environmental design; or any form of visual communication(3).

Visit this page on the AGDA’s website for graphic design job descriptions.


1. The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario
2. Articles of Association of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations, September 18, 1984
3. Icograda


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BFA2012 Portfolios

View the portfolios from the 2012 BFA class here. Featured is Jarrod Tredway’s “Mullet Festival” Campaign—a fish fry in the front, a party in the back. Jarrod received the School of Art + Art History’s Outstanding Undergraduate Award and was the featured student speaker at the College of Fine Art’s Graduation Ceremony.

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Icograda Design Education Manifesto 2011 book launched

image: fabrica

from the icograda website

The Icograda Design Education Manifesto 2011 was launched on 27 October 2011 at the Icograda General Assembly 24 in Taipei, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei).

“The Design Education Manifesto 2011 is a fruit of a 2-year-long process engaging some of the most prominent design education experts from around the world. The final output addresses the needs and desires of the future of design education in a world both converging and expanding” said Omar Vulpinari, Icograda President Elect and Co-chair of the Manifesto update.

alumni competitions news

Candour’s website featured on HOW

via Kristin Fisher Goza, BFA 2003 – Wanted to share some exciting news with you. The website for my business Candour, has been featured by HOW Magazine, as one of the top 10 website for designers this month! This is a very big honor for us, from a highly respected industry publication. I am so very thrilled and excited, and I wanted to share the news with you! Check out the link…

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communication or graphic design?

There has been a lot of talk over the years, here at UF, nationally and internationally about the term “graphic design” and its significance. Most recently, ICOGRADA – the international graphic design organization that is the umbrella for national and regional graphic design organization – change their name to reflect the 2007 congress vote that “communication design” is the preferred term.

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qr codes

A QR code is a small rectangular barcode that can be printed on any of your print products. It contains a link to your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, web page, portfolio site or any other piece of cyberspace that you’d like to send people too. It utilizes smart phone scanning technology to navigate to a specific website; as long as the viewer has a QR reader application on their phone, they can take a picture of a QR barcode and the application will navigate them straight to that piece of cyberspace via their phone.

Google’s Reader

1. To start your QR code by clicking on this link:
2. Type in your webpage that you want to send contacts and customers too
3. Your link will be generated as a black and white coded image
4. Right click your QR code and save it to your desktop
5. Add this image on all your business cards and marketing materials (see image of business card below for suggested size of QR code)


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websites: bfa 2011 class

Click here to view their combined websites with links to individuals.


internship: registerpatient For spring 2012. Contact Tyler Soliday at Tyler[at]

Job Description: is a web-based patient registration system that allows patients to register for their doctor’s appointment online prior to getting to the doctor’s office. We’re currently seeking graphic design interns to help us make the system as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Our system is currently live and used in doctor’s offices around the country, but it’s simply just not pretty enough. That’s where you come in. We are a start-up company and encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial work space. As an intern at RegisterPatient, you will be given the freedom to create your own projects and tasks. Interns will choose their own hours and work attire, and will be provided with the tools necessary to complete their projects. Throughout your internship, you will learn the ins and outs of getting a web-based start-up company off the ground, and will be a core part of the team. Our office is about a 10 minute walk from the art school (near the Warphaus), and parking will be offered for all interns.

Option for credit. This internship is unpaid.

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UF Ligature 2008

UF Ligature 2008 by thoughtandtheory
UF Ligature 2008, a photo by thoughtandtheory on Flickr.

news resources typography

A Visual Semiotics Primer

Steven Skaggs has posted his Visual Semiotics Primer online – chapters are downloadable PDFs. I highly recommend this resources. See A Visual Semiotics Primer here

grads news

shoelace typeface

shoelace alphabet: shantanu suman

A typeface by Shantanu Suman, UFGD MFA 2013.


senior student cassie mcdaniel wins scholarships

Cassie McDaniel, a senior graphic design student who played a lead role on the 2006 Wixárika Calendar project and received a UF University Scholars Fellowship, is going to be our first student spending a year at the University of Leeds under the new UF/Leeds exchange. She was recently awarded the University Women’s Club scholarship and a University of Florida International Center Scholarship.

jobs profession resources

it’s good to be a graphic designer

The author writes “After reading the November issue of How Magazine’s article by Bryn Mooth, entitled “Follow Your Heart” (which is a very awesome, inspiring article, I might add). I felt compelled to share my thoughts on why I feel it’s good to be a graphic designer.” View the article


2006 wixárika calendar

wixarika calendar

This calendar was designed by uf graphic designers Cassie McDaniel, Avery Smith, Maria Rogal, in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Corona from the Universidad de Guadalajara and the Wixárika community of San Miguel Huaixtita, Jalisco, México. It was developed in spring 2005, with the participation of the class of 2006 – a stellar group of people. Visit the project web site.