Many designers believe that graphic design has number of responsibilities toward society. Among responsibilities of concern to graphic designers is the influence and impact of visual communication on the visual environment, as well as the need to ensure that communication works toward community safety in an appropriate way. Solving a design problem is not just about visual appeal and clarity, it also needs to be effective as a communication tool, preventing and reducing socially and personally harmful outcomes. The design process should not only produce symbols but also test the effectiveness of design after delivery.
Design is a science?
Testing and predicting graphic design impact ought to be parts of the design process, making design essentially about problem solving. However, design problem solving using similar processes to those applied in the sciences could be confusing, as it suggests that design is a science. Herbert Simon points out that there is a difference between design-in-general and science. On a simplistic level it maybe argued that science is concerned with how things are, while design is concerned with how objects and ideas can be proposed and realized in respect of utility.
Design is an art?
It is popularly asserted that design and art have a long interface with each other throughout history. Unfortunately, this shared history can result in the designer’s desire to play a central role in the design process. The fine arts legacy positions the designer at the center of the artifact project, just as it does the art project. In most cases, the artist is usually the focal point of the artifact and artists are encouraged to produce art outcomes that are largely self-referential. Norman Potter in What is a Designer answers the question, is the designer an artist with an emphatic: NO! As Potter explains, the designer often works for others solving their problems, while the artist is working for himself/herself to solve his/her own problems and express his/her own visions.
Design is Design
Many voices argue that design should not be claimed as an art or science. They believe that the call for design to become an art is a reduction of both design to aesthetics and designer to egoist. Likewise, treating design as a science is a conversion of design to a purely functional tool serving restricted economy.
As one of these voices, I believe that design should be treated as design and only design.