Talk the Walk on Visual Communication
I just had the pleasure to read and digest the latest in a series of books on the communication of graphic design out of Norway. This one is called, Visual Grammar: A Design Primer, by Christian Leborg, and is printed by Princeton Architectural Press. Let me say this up front - it IS an interesting read and can be used as a practical resource guide in communicating just what we do.
Leborg mentions in the preface that "producers and consumers" of visual communications need a common language about the art and processs of graphic design in order to communicate and understand each other. We all see many visual images daily and need to understand and communicate what we're seeing in a common way to other "producers" and, most importantly, our "consumers".
This book is a primer and dictionary of terms and the basic design elements and principles that make up graphic design. Leborg breaks this all down into four areas: abstract objects and structures; concrete objects and structures; activities; and relations. For example, the Abstract refers to such concepts as point, line, surface, and format, the Concrete refers to size, color, or tone, while Activities refer to repetition, movement, or rythm and Relations refer to such things as groups, balance, or tangent.
Although one could argue that some of the items contained in the various categories can be somewhat vague and ambiguous or miscategorized, the book nevertheless truly explains the visual language. The illustrations and diagrams really help to further explain this language. After all, we all love pictures.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a student in the study of graphic design, an instructor who teaches the basic elements and principles of design, and the professional who wants to maintain the knowledge of graphic design and have a resource guide to communicate, in words, just what the heck he or she is doing. I think this book will be a good addition to any designer library.