Critical Graphic Design Theory

Neue Haas Grotesk

As a central component of a creative design process, typography is intended to communicate a certain tone, mood and an over all message of a brand. In this field of design typography has had a radical shift after the global digitalization. In addition, with this new digital era and the exploitation of design and modern typefaces designers are able to find visual solutions that meet the need of their clients. 

After watching the Helvetica documentary it became clearer how this contemporary font has had a cultural impact since its release in 1957. Helvetica has been the visual identity for many corporations, fashion brands and organizations because of its neutral characteristic. Before Helvetica became an international typeface decorative fonts with characters and bold colors were dominating the advertising market.

Helvetica responded to a demand that was obviously needed, but had yet not been met. It was a new font that helped designers visually reinvent their designing process. However, certain designers have described Helvetica as a safe choice and not a challenging one. For example, I personally like to design with typefaces that are simple and straightforward. A typeface that also sets the tone for personal aesthetic. Therefore, it is vital as designers we learn to separate our personal taste with the message that a brand wants to convey, but concurently maintain our signature style as creatives.


UAL’s new logo in Helvetica 



Critical Graphic Design Theory Course //



The lecture started by an introduction to the theoretical and critical studies of graphic design. We then discussed the term theory, which refers to system of ideas or set of principles that is intended to express a specific concept.

In an industry where design is rapidly changing it is important to analyze the tools provided by previous creators and utilize them accordingly.

Following through the lecture, we were given study options to choose from, which contained different elements in graphic design based on subjects that interests us as inspiring designers. These topics are going to highlight our individual interests in this course by giving us the possibility to assess each subject in-depth. What I think is interesting is the study of visual perception and the effect that it has on the spectators. As a result of this critical study we will also be provided with basic key knowledge and approaches to the field of graphic design.

We were then asked to define the word “critical”. In my opinion, being critical does not necessary suggest that one should criticize or cast judgments on certain ideas or prinicples, but rather reflect and reference them.



SWOT analysis based on assumptions made from first day at CTS term 2  Critical Graphic Design Theory course. 

Strength –  Diverse subjects, input and contributions, feedback, reflecting on ideas and      design within in the field of graphic design.

Weakness – Not enough time

Opportunities – Discover individuality, explore methods and techniques, develop          fundamental of design practice. visual problem solving.

Threats – Short course.  Not enough explanations will be given in regards to final essay.


Critical approach to design: