A category of fine art, graphic art covers a broad range of visual artistic expression, typically two-dimensional, i.e. produced on a flat surface. The term usually refers to the arts that rely more on line or tone than on colour, especially drawing and the various forms of engraving; it is sometimes understood to refer specifically to printmaking processes, such as line engraving, aquatint, drypoint, etching, mezzotint, monotype, lithography, and screen printing (silk-screen, serigraphy). Graphic art further includes calligraphy, photography, painting, typography, computer graphics, and bindery. It also encompasses drawn plans and layouts for interior and architectural designs.
Typology of Graphic Arts
The graphic arts are divided into two main groups:
In the case of purely photographic processes, the images are formed by exposure to light to sensitive documents and are made permanent by suitable processes.
In the printing process, the printed products result from the fact that a printing form provided with color and is clapped to the substrate to be printed by pressing. Depending on the type of the printing form, a distinction between high pressure, planographic printing, intaglio printing and stencil printing: When high pressure, the printing areas of the form are higher than the non-printing and therefore used only with the coloring roller and the paper sheet in contact (wood cut, Autotypie etc.). In the case of planographic printing, the printing areas of the mold lie in one plane with the non-printing ends, the latter – which are kept moist in the watery state – repel the rich color (chalk, pen and ink).and photolithography and -Algraphie, light pressure). In gravure printing, the printing areas in the form are deeper than the non-printing ends, from which the excess applied color is removed by wiping while the recesses hold them (etching, engraving, heliogravure, stone engraving, guilloche, etc.). When printing, the image areas of the printing form consist of a template on a color-permeable stencil carrier – a sieve made of plastic or metal threads. Non-image areas are impermeable to color (screen printing, risography).
Throughout history, technological inventions have shaped the development of graphic art. In 2500 BC, the Egyptians used graphic symbols to communicate their thoughts in a written form known as hieroglyphics. The Egyptians wrote and illustrated narratives on rolls of papyrus to share the stories and art with others.
During the Middle Ages, scribes manually copied each individual page of manuscripts to maintain their sacred teachings. The scribes would leave marked sections of the page available for artists to insert drawings and decorations. Using art alongside the carefully lettered text enhanced the religious reading experience.
Johannes Gutenberg invented an improved movable type mechanical device known as the printing press in 1450, the first outside of Asia. His printing press facilitated the mass-production of text and graphic art and eventually, replaced manual transcriptions altogether.
Again during the Renaissance years, graphic art in the form of printing played a major role in the spread of classical learning in Europe. Within these manuscripts, book designers focused heavily on typeface.
Due to the development of larger fonts during the Industrial Revolution, posters became a popular form of graphic art used to communicate the latest information as well as to advertise the latest products and services.
The invention and popularity of film and television changed graphic art through the additional aspect of motion as advertising agencies attempted to use kinetics to their advantage.
The next major change in graphic arts came when the personal computer was invented in the twentieth century. Powerful computer software enables artists to manipulate images in a much faster and simpler way than the skills of board artists prior to the 1990s. With quick calculations, computers easily recolor, scale, rotate, and rearrange images if the programs are known.
The scientific investigations into legibility has influenced such things as the design of street signs. New York City is in the process of changing out all of its street signs bearing all capital letters for replacement with signs bearing only upper and lower case letters. They estimate that the increased legibility will facilitate way-finding and reduce crashes and injuries significantly.
The graphic arts are currently used as a means of advertising diffusion. Being the graphic arts an important means of advertising diffusion by means of posters, containers, boxes, logos and images that are not only found in the physical world but virtually in the Internet and basically in any place for which we direct our gaze. Nowadays it is fundamental to handle advertising in the world because of the competition that exists in it, since new technologies require more and better people working in this medium, encouraging perfection to position a brand, a logo, a political party or an ideology, in this way the graphic arts fulfill an excellent role in the world of advertising.
The most common means to apply the various graphic arts techniques are:
signs and posters
containers and boxes
bottles and containers
The main printing systems are the Offset, the Serigrafía, the flexography, the gravure, the high printing and Digital Printing. On the other hand, Binding and finishes include: cuts, pleats, pre-cut and folded to the substrate (paper or other), among more types of finish.
Graphic design software
Graphic artists applying for positions in today’s job market are expected to be familiar with computers and a variety of software programs in order to create the most appealing, up to date designs.
Graphic art software includes applications such as:
Adobe Dreamweaver – a tool that facilitates the creation of webpages and dynamic internet content
Adobe Illustrator – a software application that allows artists to manipulate vector graphics
Adobe InDesign – desktop publishing software used for layout and design manipulation
Adobe Photoshop – a bitmap graphics software including powerful graphics editing tools that provide a large variety of editing functionality
CorelDRAW – similar to Adobe Illustrator, it is another vector graphic manipulation tool
PhotoImpact – a digital photograph editor
QuarkXPress – similar to Adobe InDesign, it is another computer publishing software tool
Paint.net – photograph editing capabilities with lots of plugins to expand use
GIMP – similar to paint.net and Photoshop
Inkscape – similar to Illustrator
Beside computers and software, graphic artists are also expected to be creative with processing camera work, registration, crop marks, and masking.
One of the most common career paths for a graphic artist today is web design. With the popularity of the World Wide Web, the demand for web designers is immense. Graphic artists use their creativity with layouts, typography, and logos to market the products or services of the client’s business. In addition to creating graphical designs, graphic artists also need to understand hypertext, web programming, and web page maintenance in order to successfully create a web page. The responsibility for effective communication also falls under the auspices of the graphic designer.
In France, there are several schools that provide this training, such as the Penninghen Graduate School of Graphic Arts, the Graduate School of Art and Design of Amiens, the Graduate School of Graphic Arts and Arts. architecture (EPSAA [ archive ]), the School of Visual Communication (ECV), the Graduate School of Arts and Graphic Industries (ESAIG), the School of Applied Arts of Aquitaine, the Higher School of applied arts of Troyes (ESC Troyes Group), SUP’IMAX…
In Quebec, graphic designers are gathered under the Society of Graphic Designers of Quebec; The training is provided by the Lasalle College, the School of Design at the University of Quebec in Montreal, as well as other educational institutions.