The Basis of Graphic Design as a Discourse

By Luz del Carmen Vilchis Esquivel.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This work is about the basic structure of graphic design as a discourse . The beginning of this reflection is a philosophical point of view that defines “the designed”, understanding its issues through the concept of “sense”, where fact is not only the experience expressed but also the subjective and inter-subjective dialogical interchange. The discursive resource is the dialogic resource; therefore, the message has its basis in its meaning structure.
In visual culture, semiotic understanding is important. Visual imaginary makes sense because of the multiple meanings and the surplus of meaning. The visual levels show different reading alternatives related to the fields of context, media, configuration and significance, including new and old topics and horizons.
By itself, no object or visual sign means more than its essence. However, the same object or sign immersed in an intentional communication, such as graphic design, opens horizons of meaning because of the multiple codes and discourses that are spread. This admits symbolism but is extended towards the concept of semiosis, a deeper and more comprehensive process that requires interpretative readings. That is why “designed” visual images should be considered “visual texts” and “graphic repertoires”.
This paper proposes the interpretation of visual discourses, describing basic cultural units, making narrative schemes and formal journeys. All this concludes, in semantic chains: associations, anchorages and analogies.

Keywords: Graphic Design, Discourse, Sense

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.135-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.312KB).

Prof. Luz del Carmen Vilchis Esquivel

Professor, Visual Arts Postgraduate Program, National School of Visual Arts, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

Professor in Posgraduate Program of National School of Visual Arts in National Autonomous University of Mexico. Pioneer in Mexico using digital resources in arts and design. First woman director of National School of Visual Arts at UNAM (2002-2006), has published four books about Graphic Design Theory, Graphic Design Metodology, Non-linear languages semiotics and Graphic Design Hermeneutics, 32 research papers and 18 didactic manuals. Manager from two diferent firms: a technologic center and a graphic design place. Teacher during 30 years, is oficial tutor from postgraduate program in the lines of researching projects, semiotic and hermeneutic studies; participating in academic events in Mexico, Dominicana Republic, USA, Canada, Greece, Spain, Cuba, Peru, Holland, Uruguay, Argentina, Germany and Prtugal and presentating conferences in Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Spain, USA, Lisbon and other countries; also, being advisor thesis from more than 120 researching student thesis works in different universities. Professional graphic designer, working in Mexico, USA and Canada in firms like BMG Entertainment, Environmental Law Institute or UNESCO in traditional and digital way. Visual artist, has exposed digital art, collage and visual poetry in more than 30 exhibitions in Mexico, Panama, USA, Rusia, Spain, France, Greece, Palestine and Frankfurt.


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