Design for Communication
In support of a television series
about the history of science, this
poster uses iconic illustration,
photography and even sculpture to
form an image representing human
Chermayeff & Geismar Studio
In some educational institutions, and even among
clients, the term “commercial artist” is still used to
describe the duties and responsibilities of the graphic
designer. First used in the early twentieth century, this
term is both contradictory and misleading—after all,
something that is commercial is produced for mass
and profi t, while art is primarily meant to satisfy per-
sonal curiosity. “Commercial artist” more accurately
describes any visual artist whose goal is to sell their
work for a living.
While commercial art includes the separate disciplines
of photography, illustration, and design, graphic design
encompasses all three—the designer uses photogra-
phy (by selecting or commissioning photography),
Illustration Design
Commercial Art
Graphic design is the convergence
of illustration, photography, and
design. The graphic designer must
be the proverbial “jack of all trades”
when solving visual problems.
creates custom illustrations or diagrams to aide in
comprehension of complex messages, and uses formal
design elements to construct layouts that merge im-
ages with the written word. This synthesis of the vari-
ous branches of commercial art allows for effective
visual solutions that both communicate information
and visually intrigue the viewer.
Graphic Design Is Not the
Same as Commercial Art
Provision-Complete Graphic Designer
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