What is the point of graphic design? Is it advertising or is it art? What purpose does it serve in our society and culture? Malcolm Barnard explores how meaning and identity are at the core of every graphic design project and argues that the role and function of graphic design is, and always has been, communication.
Drawing on a range of theoretical approaches including those of Derrida, Saussure, Foucault, and Barthes, and taking examples from advertising, magazines, illustration, website design, comics, greetings cards and packaging, Graphic Design as Communication looks at how graphic design contributes to the formation of social and cultural identities. Malcolm Barnard discusses the ways in which racial/ethnic groups, age groups and gender groups are represented in graphic design, as well as how images and texts communicate with different cultural groups. He also explores how graphic design relates to both European and American modernism, and its relevance to postmodernism and globalisation in the twenty-first century and asks why, when graphic design is such an integral part of our society and culture, it is not acknowledged and understood in the same way that art is.

chapter 1|8 pages


chapter 2|21 pages

Graphic Design and Communication

chapter 3|27 pages

Meaning: Words and Images

chapter 4|25 pages


chapter 5|29 pages

Audiences and Markets

chapter 6|26 pages


chapter 7|25 pages

Postmodernism and Globalisation

chapter 8|17 pages

Graphic Design and Art

chapter 9|5 pages