Back to Basics: What Graphic Design Is and How It Can Help Your Business


In college I took an advanced calculus class. Calculus, the mathematical study of change (Wikipedia), can be pretty complicated at times. While I have always loved math, even I could easily get lost in the proofs and computations, but throughout the semester it got easier to work out the complex, situational problems.

But while numbers and symbols dominated our assignments, there came a day where we got the most unusual math class assignment I’d ever gotten—to write a math paper.

This wasn’t strictly sums and “solve for x” type of problems I’d typically had for homework. I was assigned a fictional client, a farmer, who had a real world problem that could only be solved with the complexities of calculus. I not only had to solve his problem, I had to explain how I arrived at the solution to him in plain English—because farming was his area of expertise, not calculus.

I had to go back to the basics and clearly communicate the solution to his problem.

My professor knew that there would be a day where I—whether I became a mathematician or pursued another career— would need to be able to explain my work to others without getting lost in the complicated jargon of that particular field.

If I started talking about derivatives and integrals and equations and formulas and parabolic change, I think I’d have lost that farmer pretty quickly. Without clear communication, my work would be of no value to him.

I did end up choosing a different career path than math—which is why you’re reading a design blog, not a math one!—but I’ve found that the principles of what Dr. Pilger taught are true no matter what your profession.

I want you to understand the power and impact that graphic design can have on your small business. And I don’t want you to be lost in complicated design jargon that feels like a foreign language.

In the following weeks, I’ll be going back to the basics of graphic design to:

• Introduce you to what graphic design is

• Share with you what I do as a graphic designer

• Show you the impact graphic design can make in your small business

So stay tuned! I can wait to kick off the series next week!

 What do you wish you knew about graphic design?

Is there something you wish you knew about design or working with a designer?
Share with us in the comments! We’d love to answer all your questions in this series.