|/ art center graduate program. 1990. introduction written for a booklet
to announce the new art center graduate program in graphic design,
initiated by ramon munoz, which later became the media design program.
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|Words and images permeate every aspect of our daily lives and play an increasingly important role in our information-hungry society. Advances in information technology are changing the way we communicate with one another; global communication is now commonplace. We have become an image-conscious and even an image-dependent society. The written or printed word has been displaced by the flickering televisual word and image. Desktop publishing has made it possible for anyone to play at being a designer.
These and other recent developments have had a significant effect on the field of graphic design. In many ways it can be said to have come of age as a profession. The general public is much more conscious of design. The use of the words “design” and “designer” as product- or image-enhancing adjectives also testifies to the profession’s higher profile and increased prestige. Designers are now promoted as stars, and design is now perceived as a fashionable profession, and often as fashion itself. The danger is that design will become nothing more than an insular style contest, fueled by a plethora of awards, annuals and magazines, further evidence of a contemporary triumph of style and form over content: design for, of, and about itself, divorced from the realities of the world at large.
Recently, however, new political moods, coupled with increasing environmental awareness, have raised pertinent questions about graphic design practice, bringing the issue of the designer’s social responsibilities to the fore. There is a need for the profession to be