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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Research in graphic design: Exploring creativity and functionality


By John Rivas


Research in graphic design is a fundamental component that drives evolution and excellence in this creative discipline. It goes beyond the simple search for information, becoming a vital process to understand, explore, and apply concepts effectively in visual communication.


In essence, research in graphic design is the engine that drives innovation, relevance, and emotional connection in each work. This involves an in-depth and systematic analysis of various aspects surrounding a design project, including understanding the target audience, researching the cultural context, exploring visual and technological trends, and evaluating the effectiveness of visual elements in communication.


Graphic designers explore through in-depth analysis the trends, tools, and methodologies driving graphic design to new frontiers.


One of the most crucial aspects of graphic design research is its ability to inform and guide decision-making. Before beginning to design, the designer enters into a research process encompassing the visual and the conceptual aspects. The process helps define the tone, message, and aesthetic that will be the foundation of the final work, allowing each optical element to serve a purpose, whether it be conveying an emotion, communicating specific information, or generating a response from the viewer. This process is intrinsically linked to problem solving. Designers are constantly facing creative and functional challenges, and research provides them with the tools to address these challenges effectively. Through analysis, designers can discover innovative and creative solutions that might go unnoticed.


The functionality aspect is another crucial point in graphic design research. More is needed to create visually stunning designs; they must also be functional and able to communicate the message clearly and effectively. Research helps designers understand how users interact with designs, allowing element layout, typography, and visual hierarchy to be optimized for maximum effectiveness.


In short, graphic design research is a dynamic and essential field that explores the intersection between creativity and functionality in visual communication. It dives into the evolution of graphic design from its traditional role to its position in the digital age.


The importance of creativity as a motor of design is highlighted, underlining how innovation and experimentation can influence perception and the effectiveness of visual communication.


This column aims to shed light on the continued relevance of graphic design in an increasingly visual and digital society. It provides a comprehensive view of how graphic design adapts to changing demands and continues pushing the limits of creativity and functionality in visual communication.


John Rivas is a graphic design professor at the University of Puerto Rico-Carolina Campus.


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