Enjoying graphic design as applied art

Enjoying graphic design as applied art

For some years now I have become more interested in art. This is partly due to an illustration course I took last year. During this course, the subject of applied art and graphic design was also discussed.

A form of art that you also frequently see around you.

There are different forms of art

There are arts (painting, sculpture etc.) and applied arts. Applied art is art that you see reflected in functional things like buildings, clothing, printed matter and the like. It is also called utilitarian art or with an older term ‘arts and crafts.

In English they say ‘arts and crafts.

Applied arts include architecture, fashion design, industrial design, goldsmithing and interior design. This article is about an applied art that has many professional and occasional practitioners, namely: graphic design.

Graphic design is everywhere

Graphics are everywhere. In the restaurant as you study the menu or with St. Nicholas as you tear up the gift wrap. Every book and magazine is graphically designed, as well as all highway signage.

Surfing the internet? All websites have a design. Sometimes you also have annoying designs, think of billboards in a shopping street.

We are surrounded with graphic design.

You too are working on this

You may not be aware of it, but you too will have designed something graphic at some point in your life. Even if it’s just a club magazine, a decorated Saint Nicholas poem or a sign in your garden announcing ‘House for sale’. All of us are (consciously or unconsciously) involved with design.

Do you know these graphic designers?

We often know famous applied artists like architects (Antoni Gaudí, Frank Lloyd Wright or Rem Koolhaas), but graphic designers are much less known to a wider audience. Yet there may be a few you know from this list: Wim Crouwel, Gerard Unger, Irma Boom, Dick Bruna, Anthon Beeke, Jaap Drupsteen.
And yes these are all Dutch graphic designers. The Netherlands is indeed a country where graphic design is highly valued and a country that has produced relatively many internationally renowned graphic designers. But of course graphic design extends beyond the Dutch border. You may have heard of Neville Brody, David Carson, Jan Tschichold or Erik Spiekermann.

They are all the Picassos or van Goghs of the graphic world.

Exhibitions in museums

Many products of all these graphic designers are discussed during art courses or at graphic schools. For example, in the course I took on illustration, several chapters were devoted to art and graphic design. There are also regular exhibitions, such as last year’s extensive focus on Wim Crouwel at the Stedelijk Museum.

Is graphic design something for you?

Because graphic design is so creative and artistic, for many it is a hobby. And more than that: many students in adult graphic education come from caring professions, for example, and retrain in a part-time annual course to become graphic designers or, for example, marketers with graphic skills. Knowledge of marketing and graphic design is currently in demand for many jobs. So if you are an adult and want to get started with graphic design, you can, for example, at Graphic Design Courses in Amsterdam. The most popular course is the year-long course in Graphic Design which deals extensively with all parts of graphic design such as: typography, color theory, imagery, composition and visual identity. but the packages Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and WordPress are also taught during the year-long course.

You can go to Utrecht, The Hague and Breda for their two-day courses in addition to Amsterdam.

Enjoying graphic design as applied art

Classroom at Grafische Cursussen in Amsterdam during a graphics course

Tips for online inspiration

If you want online inspiration about graphic design, there are many great websites, sometimes very specific about typography or color theory, for example. There is certainly much to enjoy and learn in this field. And subjects like color theory can of course be applied to other arts and applied arts as well. Here are some recommendations:

Would you like to do another course or training?? And how many of the famous logo’s with hidden meanings did you know?