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Digital Design for Print and Web: An Introduction to Theory, Principles, and Techniques by John DiMarco, Ph.D.

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CHAPTER 2
Design: Definition and Devices
Chapter Objectives
Define design as a problem-solving tool for communication.
Introduce basic design types.
Identify modern, functional influences.
Identify and integrate modern, functional design devices.
Explore exemplary and inspirational images from a variety of artists and designers.

Design as a Problem-Solving Tool

What Is Design?

A noun and a verb, design has a variety of meanings. As a verb, design designates an activity. To design something is to conceive, invent, or create to solve a problem. As a noun, design designates a visual or industrial composition. Connecting the two, we can define design as a visual or industrial composition that solves a problem.
Design is a process and a tool. We see the residual effects of design in new and improved products and technological innovation. On the industrial side of design, let’s use automobiles as an example. A major automobile safety problem is the head-on car crash. A head-on crash may cause a driver or passenger to be catapulted out of the vehicle upon impact, causing serious or lethal injury. To solve this problem, industrial designers first invented lap-only seatbelts. Lives were saved as time went on. However, research showed that injuries still occurred, because passengers were getting injured from the whip of their upper bodies into the dashboard. So the seatbelt was redesigned ...

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