My father and I many times mused about graphic design and architecture. We conversed about the disciplines’ similitudes and differences. We evaluated how each of us could use our fields to impact the other.
Architecture can aid my understanding of balance (specially when it comes to grid work and the alignment of elements), it can fuel my understanding of the different ways my work will affect others, and it can be a catalyst for three dimensional explorations of a basically two dimensional area of study. Graphic design can influence him by improving his communications, by opening a space to create strategical standpoint for the conceptual exploration of aesthetic representations, and in providing a typographical groundwork on which to develop a new layer of expressive meaning.
Wether we both liked it or not, in many instanced, we eventually concluded that our disciplines, to the majority out there, are basically a luxury. People do not really need us to live their lives. A building is not going to fall down because the engineer executed it without the architect. A person is not going to not read a letter because the font in the body copy does not match that of the letterhead. In the end, we are an added value.
A key difference between architecture and graphic design? Even though, to some extent, both disciplines are an indulgence, you need a big capital to produce the final project in architecture. You have to build the house to finish the project. Graphic design’s ephemeral nature a diversity of expressive mediums basically requires no budget to be good. You can draw with chalk on
When it comes to graphic design, we are not charged for the amount of ink on a page. We are not charge for the size on a screen. We are not charged for alignment. We are not charged for including 1 or 12 typefaces. We are not charged for balance. In reality, without any kind of extra investment over our regular tools, we are capable of producing good graphic design.
Ok, before you jump out of the seat to comment violently on this, I realize that many great graphic design ideas require budgets for better production and programming. I do not dispute that. All my father and I have pondered about is that once we have our basic tools, executing good architecture will always require a certain amount of money, while great graphic design can happen with little or almost no extra monetary influx.
Think about this when you encounter your next project. Where could you get?