The Universal Arts of Graphic Design | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

The Universal Arts of Graphic Design | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

First and foremost, graphic design has to communicate something. But good graphic design makes people’s lives better. You
have to find a way to make sense of how to make something beautiful and, to me,
you’re speaking for them. As a graphic designer, concept is the
first thing; idea and life. Graphic design is essentially a language for living. Graphic design is about using words and images to convey a message. Graphic
designers have to know a lot about color theory, typography, how to create a grid. But those are all really basic. You have to be somebody that is
really interested in understanding human behavior, being able to
understand how they think, how they choose, how they buy, how they believe. People probably don’t think about how
much graphic design impacts them. We use graphic design to cross the street, to
decide what we want to eat and how much we want to eat. We use graphic design to pay our bills, to
get married. We use graphic design to get divorced. We use graphic design in every
single aspect of human life right now and people tend to like things best when
they feel that they are respected by that thing. But I think, ultimately, if it moves you,
whether it be a good emotion or a bad emotion, chances are that it’s effective
because it’s getting you to think about something and it’s getting you to potentially
take action. When I work on package design I like
for there to be an idea behind it. I like for there to be some wit,
some language, some feeling that there is a human hand behind what you are interacting with. Like, for instance, matchbooks are one of
my favorite things to design. It’s this nice intimate moment between you and
the smoker or candlelighter because you have the
reveal that can be completely surprising. For the Spice Market, we turned
them into these little incense boxes. I like to think about the product like
I’m the consumer. So, when we were working on the kleenex project, we learned that,
for some people, choosing which pattern on the box to take home is a huge part of their day. So, I think about what would give me a moments pleasure
when interacting with that thing. The Mercer Hotel was a really interesting project that was very
clean and very understated and witty. And not necessarily witty in the design but
also witty in the language. Like, for instance, there’s always that sign on the
bathrobe that says “If you take it, you’re going to have to pay for it.” But we didn’t
want to say that in such a crass way, so we just made a sign that very simply said “disrobe” and then, when you turned it over, it said “is available
for purchase in the lobby.” And, so, sometimes maybe beautiful isn’t exactly what it should be. Maybe it needs
to be quirky or maybe it needs to be ugly or maybe it
needs to be invisible. So, I think you’re always solving what it has to look like visually based on what it
needs to be conceptually. A lot of times when people talk about
signage and environmental graphics they think that it always involves letters but it really involves landmarks,
creating a moment that somebody remembers and immediately understands.
Graphic designers aren’t trained necessarily to think in dimension but you
do need to identify things within space that the architecture wouldn’t necessarily
be doing otherwise; through color and type and light. Working on the signage for
Bloomberg’s offices, they wanted people to use the stairs. We thought if people
are intended to use this space, why don’t we at least make it interesting to use. If you
can make the space interesting people will want to be there. It really involves creating a
moment that somebody remembers and immediately understands. Bridge designs
are decorations that we have proposed for the city of Pittsburgh and our
proposal was to, essentially, make those moments special moments. So it could just be
a paint job or it could be using light in a certain way to highlight that
feature as a gateway to the north side. Every building has a timeline of your
experience with it. What’s the cover of this book and then how does that play out as
one navigates through the space where your mind actually solves the problem. So, there’s a process of discovery there. Should you judge a book by its cover? I would really like to say yes, but I
think that there’s a lot of really good books out there that don’t have good covers. My guiding philosophy in design is forever going to change, I think. You have to understand the responsibility
you have in terms of there’s someone at the end of the line there that actually cares about what you’re doing and you have to give it a voice. I never like to pin myself down to one
different style and, to me, that’s what’s fun about design as opposed to an illustrator’s style. You can wear
different hats. The artistic expression, that is the art of it. Getting into the mind of a book, expressing what the book is about, making
it beautiful and grabbing people’s attention. You always care about what are you
reading first and that’s based on contrast of size, contrast of color, is the title more important than the author, can you read it from across the store or not. You know, these are the things that I think about on a daily basis. You have to understand
where this book fits in the world of books. The Day the World Ends is a poetry book
and here’s an example of well, what do you focus on? You have all these different poems that are about different things so I broke the type up a little bit and the author just connected with it. If you love the content, you want
something to come up in your head when you think about it. So, any successful book cover
is something that you want to hold in your hand. It’s
unexpected, smart, and beautiful but at the end of the day you just want to put it on your book shelf face out
because it means something to you. We use graphic design now in many ways to convey who we are as people, to define affiliations, to signal beliefs. If you can contribute to making
peoples lives a little bit better and elevating the general level of design, then why not? If you know how you want to make them feel, that’s the most important thing. You just want to make something memorable. I say, do what you think is right and interesting and smart and then worry
about what the survey says.

Dereck Turner

100 thoughts on “The Universal Arts of Graphic Design | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

  1. Charles Gray says:

    I want to be a Graphic Designer in my next life

  2. MyBroSux24 says:

    A little idea that came up while watching this: What about Album Covers? They are also a huge part of graphic design and also great pieces of art. Wheather it's cover arts which are typical for certain genre to NOW! Series to animated .gif album art like Anamanaguchi

  3. speier says:

    This video is OK…… Gary Hustwit's Helvetica is a far more interesting take on the subject matter.

  4. Rongen Robles says:

    Those 5 dislikes were coders 🙂

  5. JostenDooley2 says:

    " Do what you think is right and interesting and smart and then worry about what the survey says" interesting way to think and go about designing.

  6. DaySoze says:

    I get chills with every PBSoff book video! Great work guys!

  7. bab8649 says:

    It lost me when they showed obama and then CHEMTRAILS……propaganda in everything.

  8. ismajosh says:

    Ok. Seriously. Why would anyone want to stop funding for something like this?

    And I'm not just saying thank because I'm a graphic designer.

  9. 123gabygarcia says:

    Wow this make me want to be a graphic designer even more! OMG I finally know what I want be!!!!:D great video

  10. uhpenis says:

    wow this just encouraged me more into what I want to be when I get older!

  11. Studio95 says:

    i am thinking of going into graphic design as a career. is the pay any good?

  12. Paulo says:

    I love this series!
    You guys should really do an episode on designer toys

  13. 21cat21 21 says:

    what program do you use to graphic design?

  14. ismajosh says:

    Depends on how "good" you are, and how much you know. The career is extremely saturated right now, but if you love it, then do it. Passion defines this career.

  15. ismajosh says:

    Manually with Pencil and Pen, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, HTML & CSS, Java. It's extremely broad right now. And that's why its so wonderful.

  16. Cassie Marie says:

    I'm in 8th grade now and we signed up for classes at the highschool, i picked Intro to Art and Computer Apps. Cause i wanna be a graphic designer, i love the computer and i love art so i kinda thought that would be good for me? But i don't know, i have till monday to change my mind..

  17. dododatdatdat says:

    too much zooming and panning again

  18. HydroxWolf128 says:

    Having a week to decide what direction I want to take for my career really got me thinking about what I want to do. And after discovering from a lot of people what Design involves, and after watching this video, I really think that it's the direction I want to take. Great video! 😀

  19. Saritacheeks says:

    I am a computer science major thinking about changing to graphic design. Writing code all day and creating programs is great and all, but after a while it all becomes a dizzy mass of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and errors. This video totally just convinced me that I should indeed change my major.

  20. Mr Kandahar says:

    I love america because you can really get rich there. Like earning money by devorcing, DAMN

  21. Cathy Kuang says:

    Graphic design seems really cool!

  22. rhiyos says:

    While I see that graphic design is a medium of communication, the many of the messages were overbearing in their contextualizing of the spaces that they were put into, as in a play field that has a large sign that says, "excellence." There has to be a respect for the what the space and users already have in mind and not trying to overwrite the creative mind of those who use the space or product that has the graphic design.

  23. Saraa Babyy says:

    my graphic design web promo

  24. MirroTea says:

    I doing my career research essay on Graphic Design ^^

  25. Up Graphic Design says:

    Inspiring Video, nice job!

  26. wild says:

    Hello im a young graphic designer and even thow I have 300subscribers doesn't mean they all watch my videos so could u please go check out a video of mine and like and share it would really be appreciated….and maybe subscribe 😉

  27. Vianney Padilla says:

    So inspirational and interesting 🙂

  28. newfoundland38 says:

    I am studying Graphic Design and think that this video was a great help ……also a WICK video.

  29. FattieAcidProduction says:

    I've dropped my accounting program to take Multimedia Development and this video has just made me more pumped to start in the fall semester. I can't wait!!

  30. Trevor K says:

    Graphic design, sucking Satan's cock to the last red cent. This video is nothing but how to brag about sell out to the almighty dollar. Almost as bad as advertisement, wait this is scum bag advertisement…

  31. Saia Fog says:

    any skill can be taught. i know your comment was spammed but after reading it i had to comment.

  32. Awsome4649 says:

    i'm trying to be a graphic designer but i cant draw :{

  33. Deejay Jaramillo says:

    aawe all of these people are my role models. i am a 11 year old graphic designer learning new things every day <3

  34. AS4 says:

    You don't like it, I don't like it but there are people who actually love it.I don't know why but it's just the way of life anyone chooses.

  35. Chasady Jones says:

    This is what im going to college for

  36. Will Paterson says:

    This is so true, love this! It's really inspired me and lit a fire in my brain springing forth creativity!

    If you want some tutorials in Graphic Design, then come over and check out my channel!

  37. Levene Grant says:

    I am recommending a graphical designer who can assist many of you people.. like the page on facebook and follow it

    also if you guys need any help in making ur own graphical designs contact techno media at:

    [email protected]

  38. LONO Creative says:

    Great video on how much graphic design is used in every aspect of human life!

  39. Mike E. says:

    Good stuff. Thanks

  40. BPO Outsourcing Remote says:

    Graphic design is already part of our lives. Every thing we see has a design as a designer our objective is to convey people, to catch people by our expressive designs.

  41. ThatDude Cory says:

    I create graphic design images, as well, and it involves a lot more than what others may think. It is that complex and that necessary to have.

  42. SanjuroHoja says:

    Very nice video. I am sharing this video with a person to rekindle their excitement of being a graphic designer

  43. chris96co says:

    Wow this is awesome, I want to be a graphic designer and this made me want to be it more

  44. Meucudeasadelta says:

    Its cool

  45. Rachel Ramsey says:

    Just watching this video made me smile. Thank you for making and posting this video in a place where others can educate themselves about what it is that we actually do and why we go about doing it… to make other peoples lives better

  46. Jamie Grocott says:

    All your Graphic Design needs! I need some work and promise instant delivery!

  47. Ashley235 says:

    message me if youre searching for a designer

  48. GraphicDesigner says:

    very cool video here. Thanks for making me feel better today 🙂

  49. Mike Miller says:

    i fucking love it

  50. Mufiz Asyarkoni says:

    Design is What you make…and What you Think…

  51. Noah Buffman says:

    this video really made me want to become a graphic designer

  52. Cortez Davis says:

    I think I found my niche.

  53. Nicole Jones says:

    Very Nice Video!

  54. deandre woofer says:

    Can you go into this field with a lot of tattoos1

  55. scarab13designs says:

    very cool. this is an neverending topic though, and a profession with lots of ups and downs but definitely rewarding!

  56. Andy Ceballos says:

    Oh god! This made me change my mind about studying medicine…

  57. Philippine Outsourcer says:

    Graphic design is creative form of marketing wherein a certain company is promoted by using artistic pictures, signboards, etc. Graphic designers use specific tools to help them convey your message to your target market. One of the many uses of this craft include logo making, publications, advertisements, packaging and many more. This is the reason why many designers are wanted by lots of companies worldwide.

  58. Maria Flores says:

    I want to learn more

  59. One Channel says:

    Creative print templates

  60. ViixEdits says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! I Love watching this video so much.

    I've been doing graphic deisgn as early as the age of 10, when I organized a "waveboard cup" it was televised too and in the news papers, then I started creating designs for a small fee when I was 13 for friends and even for people who I didn't know (youtube backgrounds, layouts) now I'm almost 16 and I'm going to an art college to study Graphic Design (hopefully) my entree exam is tomorrow! I'm going to print out all my work today to put in my portfolio.

    Wish me luck!

  61. orangecross13 says:

    is it ok to post this video on my site?

  62. Dale King says:

    How can I find out how I can use this video for informational purposes, this is a fabulous teaching tool to show others that graphic design is all around us. 

  63. Dominick Ray says:

    Is this a good field to get into or criminal justice debating graphic design and that I know I know two different ends of the spectrum…please any advice needed.

  64. Clipping Path India says:

    Thanks so much for these tips

  65. Vishvas Dave says:

    anyone looking for a graphic designer feel free to reach out to me.  I have just finished with my bachelors degree in graphic design and now I'm looking to put my skills to the test. (vishdave92683)

  66. Nalinnipa J says:

    Thank you very much!

  67. Noxid The Gamer says:

    This makes me like graphic design even more. I just wish I had the money to get a job lol

  68. ChalzZy says:

    I have been doing graphic design for 3 years, and its extremely fun!

  69. Molly Light says:

    Thank you so much. God bless u. That was so enjoyable and informative. I am a geneticist muslim doctor. Genetics is like graphic design because genetics forms an integral part of essentially every science and medical field in life. Islam encourages me to enjoy every aspect of life within the glorious principles of Islam which is the best treatment for depression many people suffer from nowadays. Thank God.

  70. Legit Persian says:

    This is very intresting!

  71. TheEloquentEye says:

    I can't help but feel America is quite far behind Europe when it comes to graphic design. My friends graduation show had better work than most of the examples in this video.

  72. Dhub says:

    All great designers base their work on a ton of creativity and scrap a lot of ideas and concepts before starting to graphically design it. You need unique concepts and to also make sure that your design suits the product, you want something that makes the viewer gasp! Also, Steve Attardo’s covers are amazing, this guy is very talented!

  73. mittROMNEY666 says:

    Thanks for making my life so ugly with your hideous design work losers. I wish graphic design would dry up and die.

  74. ad infinitum says:

    "intimate moment between you and the smoker" pretentious. stfu

  75. Levenshulme says:

  76. Christian Plummer says:

    I've want to pursue this as my future career, I'm studying fine art gcse right now and next year taking A level art graphics. I'm just wondering how to get into this sort of Buisness ?

  77. Lps Loveable Puffball Productions says:

    I love making logos for people and photagraphy and video making can I use these skills for graphic design

  78. Tina Mitchell says:

    I've been looking for a GOOD video to present to my high school Graphic Art Design class on the first day that actually shows what is Graphic Design rather than just explaining it.Thanks to you I've finally found it! Great information with great visuals, thank you!

  79. Weston Cook says:

    It so cool

  80. Jennifer Kiel says:

    Awesome Video. Can't wait to use in my 4th grade art lesson. Learning about Graphic Design. Thanks.

  81. Christopher Cooper says:

    Amazing video!

  82. Austin Alexander says:


  83. Darrell Kapusta says:

    this vid is cring


    thanks manss!!!

  85. WowiLoveSchwepps says:


  86. David Mercado says:

    this is wack

  87. David Mercado says:

    gay ass video

  88. David Mercado says:

    should be removed

  89. Catch_boy 88 says:

    the music…………..

  90. Honey Couple says:

    i am keen on doing this job really. Amazing

  91. The black man is better than me. says:

    But these guys are bad graphic designers. Why didn't they at least approach the guys at Pentagram?

  92. Courageous Dei says:

    Superb! This video makes me subscribed on this channel because it gives a lot of information to talk about what graphic designing is and why is it important.

  93. Jocari Peralta says:

    Wow… I definitely love graphic design!

  94. Rachel Green says:

    I love graphic design.

  95. Threelly AI says:

    2019 anyone?

  96. V J says:

    Which apps to be used for graphic designing

  97. Abdul Subhan Lone says:

    Awesome 👍👍☺️

  98. John Maddin says:

    Just reading a piece on Barney Bubbles and ended up here.

  99. Blaine Fiasco says:

    I found some of the descriptions in the intro a bit… dramatic.
    It's is still a highly artistic pursuit.

  100. Ramya Samudrala says:

    Sections of the Video:
    -Human Element 0:27
    -Packaging 1:35
    -Environmental Design 3:09
    -Book Cover Design 4:17

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