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Graphic Design vs. Computer Graphics?

GLAWGLAW Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
edited January 2009 in Visual Arts and Film Majors
I have been seeing a lot of colleges with these two separate majors. What is the difference between them?
Post edited by GLAW on

Replies to: Graphic Design vs. Computer Graphics?

  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Actually the majors are beginning to merge. Graphic Design deals with layout of script and pics for magazines and newspapers. It is very print oriented.

    Computer graphics ( and related majors such as Digital Art and Digital Design) do have some elements of graphic design such as topography,but also emphasizes type in motion and web design. Some Computer Design curriculum also do animation and design on computer. Some of these majors might even be more fine arts oriented on the computer such as computer painting etc.

    As I said, many of these programs are starting to merge or emulate each others. Graphic Design is starting to have more web courses in their curriculum, and Computer Design is starting to have more topography and other graphic type of studies. I guess you would evaluate where your interests lie and see if you prefer one or the other.

    Graphic Design is much more traditional a major. There are LOTs of newspapers and magazines and other print material such as brochures. Computer Design is more emerging,which makes for fewer jobs but, those jobs that exist, usually pay better and are more "avant guard." You need to be more computer literatre with Computer Design or Digital Design then with Graphic Design.

    hope this all helps.
  • charlaccharlac Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    ^Exactly as stated.

    Computer graphics emphasizes using the computer to do 3D, computer painting and motion graphics. This has been offered only recently in the last 5 years.

    Graphic Design is a very traditional technical art degree. This has been around "old school" art degrees such as fine arts, printmaking, illustration, sculpting etc.
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    ///Actually the majors are beginning to merge. Graphic Design deals with layout of script and pics for magazines and newspapers. It is very print oriented.///

    Graphic Design is the fabrication of a visual language and design of information regardless of media, electronic or traditional. While, print is still dominant, screen-based design should be a strong component of all G.D. curricula.


    ////Computer graphics ( and related majors such as Digital Art and Digital Design) do have some elements of graphic design such as topography,but also emphasizes type in motion and web design.////

    Computer Graphics is an archaic term in that computer-based "graphics" may be subdivided into a number of specific skill sets including Graphic Design, Visual Effects, Animation, and Interactive Design...Photopgraphy too.

    Very few G.D. programs eschew digital/electronic media. If they do, they are doing their students a disservice. SCAD's G.D. undergraduate curriculum was/is one that is stuck in a rut. As of one year ago, G.D. undergraduates were only required to take 1/2 year of Web-based design though elective opportunities in Visual Effects or Interactive Design were/are available. The MFA program was better however.


    ///Some Computer Design curriculum also do animation and design on computer. Some of these majors might even be more fine arts oriented on the computer such as computer painting etc.///

    Time-based media is becoming a modestly important skill-set for designers, but the professional demand for design-related, time-based skill sets is presently limited to television graphics, movie titles, and Flash-based web sites, to some degree.


    ///As I said, many of these programs are starting to merge or emulate each others. Graphic Design is starting to have more web courses in their curriculum, and Computer Design is starting to have more topography and other graphic type of studies. I guess you would evaluate where your interests lie and see if you prefer one or the other.///

    At this point "Computer Design" and "Graphic Design" are analogous since graphic design - at some point - is always executed on a computer at least to render the final product. However, there is no need to define curricula as Computer This or Computer That. The computer is a tool first and foremost - used in most all design practices - and ought not to define, specifically, the nature and content of a course of study.


    ////Graphic Design is much more traditional a major. There are LOTs of newspapers and magazines and other print material such as brochures. Computer Design is more emerging, which makes for fewer jobs but, those jobs that exist, usually pay better and are more "avant guard." You need to be more computer literatre with Computer Design or Digital Design then with Graphic Design.////

    Virtually no one practices design of any kind without using a computer.

    Computer Graphics - though the term is archaic- now implies a very different industry including 3-D modeling and animation, Visual Effects, AutoCAD, ...whatever.
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