Design – Concept, types and characteristics

We explain what design is and what its characteristics are. Also, what is graphic, industrial and architectural design.

Architectural design
Designers do nothing more than create physical, graphic or other objects.

What is Design?

The word design has a very wide range of definitions, since it is applied to many areas of human knowledge in a more or less differentiated way. However, by design we generally mean a process of mental foreshadowing, that is, of creative planning, in which the solution for a specific problem is pursued, especially in the context of engineering, industry, architecture, communication and other related disciplines.

In very broad strokes, design is nothing more than the imagination of an object, that is to say, its conception taking into account aspects such as the shape, the appearance, the functionality, the operability and the useful life of the same. Designers, therefore, do nothing more than create physical objects, graphic or of any other nature, that serve a specific and established purpose in advance. For example, an industrial designer may prefigure pieces of machinery for automobiles, or more efficient forms of plumbing, while others may dedicate themselves to creating furniture, toys, telephones, and so on.

Design as an autonomous discipline plays a vital role in the contemporary world, to such a degree that it has been assimilated into practically all areas of human endeavor, and is among the most demanded study careers internationally.

Design features

A designer is a person who has trained his creativity by focusing it on more pragmatic aspects, so that he can offer solutions adapted to the problem he faces. For that reason, design as a discipline is usually a bit general, a set of knowledge applicable to various fields of work, but that use geometry, arithmetic, logic, illustration, marketing, sociology or computer science for a process that, fundamentally, comprises the following stages:

  • Observation and analysis. Since the need for design arises from the daily life of the human being.
  • Planning and projection. Proposing a way to solve the detected need.
  • Construction and execution. Bringing the projected to reality and subjecting it to the test of its operation.

The graphic design

Graphic design
Web design often ventures into the audiovisual and interactive.

This is maybe one of the most popular branches of design today, given the visual aspect that predominates in contemporary culture. It is about the creation and projection of graphic objects: illustrations, compositions, logos, images, fonts, etc., used in various industries and mass media, attending to aesthetic, communicational and symbolic aspects.

This branch of design has, in turn, segments applied to various fields of interest, such as:

  • Editorial design. He specializes in graphic work of layout and preparation of covers for books, magazines and other printed publications.
  • The advertising design. He specializes in the creative work behind the advertising and marketing of consumer products and services, thus creating advertisements, commercials or commercial illustrations.
  • The corporate design. He specializes in creating business graphic motifs, such as logos, packaging, and illustrations that reflect the corporate identity of a company or organization.
  • Web design. He specializes in the aspects of design that concern the Internet and the 2.0 world, which is why he often dabbles in audiovisual and interactive matters, even making use of computer and programming knowledge.

Industrial design

Industrial design
Industrial design pays attention to the shape, use and lifespan of objects.

This is a branch of design that deals with designing serial and / or industrial products, that is, consumer or capital goods. Paying attention to the shape, use and useful life of objects, it seeks to maximize their functionality and make them better, more satisfying for the consuming public. In this sense, the industrial designer is dedicated to:

  • Automotive design. Or car or parts for them.
  • Aeronautical design. Or planes and ships or parts for them.
  • Furniture design. Or furniture and shelves or parts for them.
  • Product design. Which can be household appliances, ceramics, glass, plastics, etc.
  • Toys design. Or spare parts for them.
  • Design of machinery and equipment. With various manufacturing or productive purposes.

Due to the complexity of these processes, industrial design usually requires very specialized knowledge in terms of materials, machinery and services, they want from their study throughout a university career.

Architectural design

It is a type of design focused on the satisfaction of the specific needs of the habitable spaces by the human being, either in its aesthetic or technological aspect. That is, it provides technical and constructive solutions for the practice of architecture, of which it serves as a subsidiary discipline. Arguably, architectural design deals with the creative aspect of architecture.

Fashion design

fashion design
Fashion is one of the main cultural expressions of the human being.

The creation of outfits, clothing, accessories, footwear, jewelry and other objects of ornamental or functional use for the human being is the field of specialization of fashion design. He applies his creativity to the understanding and management of cultural, aesthetic, social and consumer trends of a certain time in a certain place, at the service of the style and ingenuity of its creator. It differs from cutting and sewing in the latter: in its artistic aspect, far from the mere profession of making a garment.

Fashion designers play an important role in the fashion industry, and they usually exhibit their designs in catwalk shows, in which various models wear their garments before an attending public. Fashion is, in that sense, one of the main cultural expressions of various human cultures, and they play a prominent role in the preservation and transmission of moral and social values ​​and ways of life.