This study discusses possible interpretations of the relationship between form and function in relation to graphic design aims and processes. Although there are many functions that can be applicable to various forms, this paper will be geared towards messages conveyed by still graphic designs in signs and advertisements.
The reason behind choosing advertising was based on the fact that the advertising sector can be viewed as the most competitive area where an object of design has to capture audience’s attention and inform effectively in the shortest possible time through correct application of elements of visual communication.
I believe that role of visual communication is vital in modern advertising culture where people are bombarded with visual information through various media channels. It is possible that at this stage the balance between ‘form follows function’ becomes shifted more towards emphasis on ‘form’ as a factor that will secure audience’s attention and response. This may lead to exaggerated and imaginative design efforts aimed at describing an item with simple straightforward function. This overemphasis can be observed in many modern TV commercials where the entire story line and acting and special effects can be deployed to promote something as trivial as new variety of a morning cereal. However, the question now is if such efforts towards the production of form serve the function of selling the product.
Graphic design is defined as “the ‘art’ of communication – to inform, educate, influence, persuade, and provide a visual experience”(Resnick, 2003, p. 15). Lawrie (2008) claims that the visual communication of ideas or concepts is the primary function of graphic design while evoking feelings, either emotional or kinaesthetic ones, are considered its secondary function. Graphic designers intend their designs to effectively carry out its meaning and that its